CB1 – the new city quarter for Cambridge


19 August 2020

RG Carter trainee completes year-out placement at CB1

Committed to providing opportunities for local trainees and supporting the local economy, construction company RC Carter welcomed Construction Technician trainee Finn Farnan for a year-out placement during his MEng Civil Engineering studies at Swansea University.

The firm is known for multiple buildings in Cambridge, including currently on-site 30 Station Road. As the newest development rising on the CB1 estate, it will offer 79,000sqft of flexible office accommodation over seven floors, alongside 302 secure bicycle spaces and 52 basement car parking spaces.

We spoke to Finn about his experience at CB1 and what he plans to do next.

How did you get started with RG Carter?

Whilst studying at Swansea University, I had the option to take a year in industry. I applied to a couple of jobs advertised by the university but these were spread all over the country, so I also emailed several companies in and around Cambridge directly. One of these was RG Carter. I attended an interview where the director explained that I would be working on the 30 Station Road site and I knew it would be a great fit for me.

What does your role include?

I am a trainee site engineer, so I assist the senior site engineer in carrying out quality checks on various elements of the building and the utilities.

What would people outside of the construction industry be most surprised to know about your job?

I would say the amount of variations the design of a building goes through. You have to make sure that every party involved in the project – from us as the main contractor, to the final tenant – is happy with how the building will turn out.

How have you been involved in the development of CB1?

As a Cambridge local, I had previously seen the development of CB1 a fair bit when taking the train, so it’s nice to know that I have now somewhat contributed towards it through my work at 30 Station Road. I witnessed the demolition of the existing office building and the construction of a new, more modern one in my hometown – and to say I have worked on it means a lot.

How has the site changed over this time?

The site has changed a lot since I started. When I arrived, we were demolishing the existing three-storey Daedalus house. Since then, we have dug out the basement car park and started building up to the second floor of the new offices.

What do you hope to see CB1 become over the coming years?

I believe CB1 has become an extension of central London and developed into a bit of a tech hub due to the companies that have made their home here, as well as the university of course. I would like to see this continue as I think it’s bringing the brightest minds to an already thriving city.

What would you say to other young people looking to go down the same route?

I can’t recommend it enough to current or prospective students. Taking a year in industry is a great break from sitting in lecture theatres and learning theory. It gives you practical experience to put what you’ve learned into practice. Having an idea of what is expected of you once you graduate is also so valuable moving forward.

What's next for your career?

In late September I will return to Swansea to finish my degree and likely continue on to a masters. From there I’m not sure; hopefully a graduate job either in Cambridge or overseas. The great thing about civil engineering is that it gives me a lot of options and I am grateful for that.

Site Manager Greg Bowen said: “Finn has been a valued member of our team and provided great support and enthusiasm throughout his placement. He has thrown himself into every task he has been presented with, and we wish him well with the completion of his studies.”


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