Bridge design needs good perceptive abilities

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In our new series we will show the everyday life of civil engineers working in different fields, to help the to-be and present university students see what opportunities does a civil engineer have.

The four five interviews of the series are HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Ákos Kővári wanted to deal with structural engineering at first, but owing to a summer job he changed his mind and chose bridge designing. He listened a few BSc subjects as an MSc student, and he is still designing bridges. For this change he needed courage, for being a bridge designer, you need good perceptive abilities and imagination. Why is this two so important? You can find it out by reading this interview.

How did your career started? Why did you choose Faculty of Civil Engineering?

I’m coming from an engineer family, but to be honest, Faculty of Civil Engineering wasn’t my first choice, so when I got in, I wasn’t absolutely happy. At first I did not really know, what a civil engineer does, but then I found it out, and it came to light soon, that it could not happen better way.

How did you choose your specialization?

I thought from the beginning, that I am interested in structural engineering. Then in the summer, between BSc and MSc I worked for Főmterv as an intern, exactly at the bridge design office, and during this I found out, that bridge designing is my way. So, as an MSc student I listened a few BSc subjects in connection with that, and they were important for the later training. Fortunately there wasn’t any problem with that at the university, so I got my degree as a bridge designer civil engineer.

Where did you work until now?

I’ve started design as a university student, at Speciálterv Civil Engineering Ltd, and I stayed there after getting my degree. I’ve learned there the practical part of bridge design, the static analysis and the construction design. Then in 2014 I started working at the bridge design office of Unitef ’83. Ltd., and I’m working there at the moment. This is a bigger company, where you can find all disciplines of infrastructure design. Bridge design is not a lonely job, we are working in a team with 4-5 members, which is very inspiring.

What kind of projects did you take part in?

Now I am working two bigger projects at Unitef: the bridges of the Mo ring road north continuance and the widening of the motorway between Pozsony and Nagyszombat from 2*3 lanes to 3*3 lanes. Of course we are working on the bridges widening. The already completed projects are the bridges of M43 motorway, the overpass of Pomázi road and the underpass of the railway station in Vác. There are projects which were already finished regarding the design, but the implementation wasn’t started yet. From the design perspective the piece of the special level junction between Ferihegyi expressway road and Üllői road was a challenge.

Usually you are working in the office?

Yes, mostly I spent my time in the office, but we also have field surveys, bridge-head studies, coordination with the customer or the operator, with are out of office programmes.

You are satisfied with your wage?

Yes. Obviously you won’t be a millionaire from your first wage, but you can absolutely go straight.

What are the most important qualities of a bridge designer engineer?

The good perspective abilities are very important, because you have to see through the necessary static and geometric calculations, and you have to know, which details are negligible in the given design phase. Over that, you need imagination, to see how will the designed bridge look like, and how can we build it. The university underlying is very important, and in this field, good drawing qualities and space vision also necessary. Because the well-conceived design is indispensable for the complex oversee of bridge structures.