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IAESTE - International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience
James Burt receives his prizel
James Burt receiving his cheque for £500 from Professor John King, Executive Director of External Relations and Development at Cardiff University, Chair of the panel of judges

Press Release - 01 November 2004

Bath student wins second prize in UK placement competition

James Burt, who is studying Civil Engineering, took second place at the IAESTE UK Trainee of the Year Award at the final held at the British Council in London.

IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) arranges work placements around the world for students of engineering, science and architecture. The programme is administered in the UK by the British Council.

James spent two months last summer on a work placement with Behan-Sadd, an engineering consultancy in Tehran, Iran. The company specialises in water management structures such as dams, tunnels and irrigation networks. James gained a range of experience both in the head office and on site, including the Gavoshan Project, a rock fill gravity dam and 20 KM conveyance tunnel just one hour from the border with Iraq.

James had this to say of his placement in Iran: "From this experience I have gained direction and purpose for the next two years of my degree, as well as ideas for potential topics for further research. I see this whole experience as reassurance that there are interesting projects in the world of construction….I wouldn't say this experience has changed my life, more shaped my future. I look at everything I have now in a different way and in many ways my priorities have changed."

Professor Tim Ibell, one of James' lecturers at Bath said, "IAESTE is a very prestigious international organisation, promoting student experiences in various countries, and for one of our students to come second in the IAESTE UK Trainee of the Year Award is simply outstanding for him."

The final featured ten students from around the UK, each of whom gave a five-minute presentation on the benefits of their placement abroad to a panel of judges chaired by Professor John King of Cardiff University. First prize was awarded to Matthew Wilson, a chemical engineering student from Queen's University, who took up a work placement in Denmark, while the third prize winner was Varun Sarda of Imperial College London, an environmental management student who spent his summer working in Tajikistan.

IAESTE enabled around 200 students from the UK to gain course-related work experience abroad this year in destinations as diverse as Japan, Germany, Ukraine and Argentina.