Trainee Program –
A civil engineer in the world of IT

Since March 2019 Julia Thiel has been working at ZÜBLIN as a junior engineer in the Northern subdivision. As part of the Young Engineers Program (NWI) she spent four months in Stuttgart to support ITC Engineering in the area of project support.
We asked Julia how it was in the south of Germany and among IT professionals.

Julia, what were your expectations of your time at ITC?
I hoped to go back to Hamburg with a comprehensive overview of the IRIS software and to understand the background of the platform. I also wanted to apply my knowledge of construction practice to the work in Stuttgart. But I also expected to have linguistic difficulties with the Swabian dialect.

Why ITC?
For me it was good to get an insight into an IT company that develops software for the construction industry. I was able to see what’s behind a construction site application instead of just seeing the end product as a civil engineer. This will certainly help me in the future when using apps or software in construction. The networking and contacts beyond the Hamburg location are also great; I can rely on them at any time in the future.

What were your areas of responsibility?
I worked in the project support at ITC. For different building projects we asked the project participants about their requirements. Afterwards IRIS is configured project-specific and explained to the users on the construction site.
Internally, the project support is the interface between the operational staff at ZÜBLIN and STRABAG and the development team at ITC. Optimisation potential from practical experience is thus passed on to the internal team. In addition, I participated in weekly internal ITC meetings, held video conferences with project participants for regular consultation and worked constantly on the configurations for concrete material management and component management for windows and precast concrete parts.

What was it like as a civil engineer in IT?
The first few weeks took some getting used to. Especially during appointments with the developers, I had the feeling of being in another world. The contrast to the construction site, where I had been before, was great. I first had to find my way into the English IT language, but after a few weeks this was no longer a problem thanks to the support of my colleagues… For me, the time was very exciting, as I was able to understand the thoughts, wishes and worries of the construction site teams through my previous experience from internships, working student activities and my previous NWI stations.

What do your new experiences bring to the Northern subdivision in Hamburg?
I can take the knowledge I have gained in the last four months with me and be available on site in Hamburg as an IRIS contact person. In addition, I am now familiar with the structures and the team of ITC and know who is responsible for which topic in case questions about IRIS arise in the future.

Were there any particular highlights?
I liked the site support – above all to see how foremen, who were sceptical about the new software at the beginning, are convinced of IRIS after a certain time and classify its use as added value. In addition, the factory tour at the Hilzinger window manufacturer in Berlin was a very interesting experience.

And your summary after four months in Stuttgart?
The time was varied and instructive. I appreciate the opportunity to get a taste of different topics and to be part of corporate divisions that you would certainly not get to know to this extent with a direct entry. In addition, my stay at ITC shows that as a civil engineer you don’t have to follow the classical path but can also gain experience in professional fields that are rather untypical for the construction industry.

Contact: Julia Thiel, ZÜBLIN, and Laura Cyprian, ITC Engineering

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