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Northumbria graduate gets chance to work on World Cup Stadium

Press release   •   Jul 06, 2014 00:00 BST

A graduate has scored his dream first job after leaving Northumbria University, Newcastle – helping with the design of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup stadiums.

As this year’s World Cup draws to a close, leading engineering design firm AECOM are already working in association with Zaha Hadid Architects to plan and design the Al Wakrah stadium and precinct in Qatar.

Tom Pilkington joined the AECOM UK team after graduating from Northumbria with a BEng Building Services Engineering degree last July. The Al Wakrah development was his first project after graduation.

“They say that you always remember the first project of your career,” said Tom.

“In this case, that could not be more appropriate – I’ll certainly never forget working on a FIFA World Cup stadium.”

Hosting the World Cup in Qatar has attracted a lot of media attention, with news reports expressing concern over the high temperatures the players will have to endure.

Tom has been involved in the strategy and design of the cooling systems within the stadium, which will spill cooler air across the playing surface to aid the players. He credits his time at Northumbria with preparing him for work in this competitive industry.

Northumbria’s Building Services Engineering degree specialises in designing the systems which buildings need to effectively operate, including heating, lighting, air conditioning and electrical systems.

“My course definitely set me up for work in the architectural engineering sector” said Tom.

“As part of my degree, I had the opportunity to take a placement year and I’d recommend it to anyone – it definitely made me more employable after graduation as well as improving my final year grades. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the industry and set yourself apart early in your career.”

Lawrence Hughes, Programme Leader for Building Services Engineering, is proud of Tom’s achievements. “Tom is one example of how graduates of the programme are highly valued within the industry,” he said.

“It is extremely rewarding to the teaching team that Tom is playing an important role in such a major project within a year of graduation.”

Northumbria works with 560 employers and 60 professional bodies to ensure students, like Tom, are given the opportunity to gain hands-on industry experience and boost their employability. This is just one of the reasons why the university holds a place in the UK Top Ten for graduates entering professional employment.

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go

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