Junior Sophister Class Trip to London

The Junior Sophister group pictured on Hammersmith Bridge

After a Covid-enforced hiatus over the last number of years, the annual third year civil engineering trip resumed last week. 25 students and 3 staff spent two days in London, visiting various sites of engineering interest, as well as enjoying some reading week downtime.

After an early flight to Gatwick, the students viewed a number of enjoyed a walk along the south bank of the river Thames, taking in a number of engineering sites including the Shard, the Millennium Bridge and the London Eye. In the afternoon, they were fortunate to be treated to a very interesting site visit to view the stabilization works at Hammersmith Bridge. The bridge, which was a key traffic route in central London, has been closed since 2019 after cracks were discovered in the 19th century cast iron structure. Sincere thanks to Hammersmith and Fulham Council for organizing the visit, and to structural engineer Mott McDonald, contractor FM Conway and project manager Arcadis for providing an extremely interesting and informative tour. The day finished with a visit to the Broad Street Pump, where John Snow worked out that diseases were caused by microorganisms in water, and some refreshments at the nearby John Snow pub.

Students on site at Hammersmith Bridge

On the second day, the students were up bright and early to visit and admire the roof structures at King’s Cross, St Pancras railway stations and the British Museum, before taking a tour of St Paul’s Cathedral. Somewhat reluctantly, the students tackled the 528 steps to the Golden Gallery and were rewarded with a cool breeze, some snow and spectacular views of the City of London. The trip finished with a walk around the City, examining some of the new high-rise structures from up close.

The class trip has been part of the JS program for many years, with previous iterations including visits to cities like Barcelona and Bilbao. Although not as warm, London is a fascinating city for any engineer, and a fun place to visit for any student, and so overall proved a fitting destination to resume a long-standing Civil Engineering tradition at TCD.

Students feeling the cold but enjoying the views from the top of St Paul's Cathedral
The Tate Modern