Exploring engineering over mid-term break

Marcus Fletcher, a grade-11 student at Cayman International School, knew he was interested in a career in engineering but didn’t know what type. Knowing Dart is an active development company in the Cayman Islands with a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) roles, Marcus asked Dart if he could spend his mid-term break gaining work experience with various engineering teams.

Marcus was first introduced to team members at Dart when he participated in a Dart led career information programme through his school in 2019. That opportunity motivated him to learn more. Seeing a high school student show initiative for STEM subjects at such a young age inspired the Dart team who happily guided him through a week where he was exposed to projects, construction sites, planning meetings and one-on-one conversations with actual engineers.

The support of STEM aspirations is rooted in Dart’s belief that these four disciplines are fundamental building blocks for both academic and career success. All Minds Inspired activities embody the Dart family’s approach to, and philosophy of, pursuing educational excellence in the STEM sciences.

Read on for an overview of his week, written by Marcus.

Day 1

Today I began my week at Dart with Rohan Marshall, a senior site safety manager who supplied me with a hard hat, glasses, a vest and safety footwear to wear every day. Dart takes safety very seriously with Rohan explaining, “There is no such thing as being too safe.” Next, I met with Kieran Donovan who is the CIS project manager for the high school expansion. He gave me a tour of the site where I learned that Dart focuses on renewable energy and includes ways to conserve energy in all of their designs. For example, solar panels are included in every new project and motion censored lights are used to conserve electricity. The tour of the school also showed how committed Dart is to Cayman’s youth by providing an updated and innovative campus for students like me.

Day 2

I spent today working with Ben Warden, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineer, and Steve Clark, senior site engineers, who are working on the new commercial building in Camana Bay. We toured the construction site then Ben showed me how he uses BIM (Building Information Modelling) to create and manage developments across the project lifecycle. I really enjoyed learning about his role as I find mechanical engineering very interesting. I’ve always thought I’d like working with BIM models behind the scenes and now I know this is something I’d like to pursue in the future.

Day 3

Camana Bay is building a new residential building with for-sale condos which is where I spent today. I met with Ray Boyce, project manager, and Bryce Rivers, construction engineer, who led me around the site and explained their roles. I was also able to sit in on a few team meetings where I learned how important teamwork and communication is in a group project. During the meetings, people provide status updates to ensure they complete their given tasks by the deadline. It’s important for everyone to stay on time and within budget so the project can progress. These check-in meeting help confirm everything is on the right track

Day 4

Today I met with Mike Pratt, plan reviewer and Keelan Green, construction engineer, on site at the Comfort Suites renovation project. In their roles, Mike and Keelan help guide projects through challenges in order to achieve the overall goals. We discussed the planning process of various Government agencies and Dart’s quality control process from design through construction. This showed me that having patience is a key quality for an engineer to possess as development projects can take a long time and face obstacles that can delay timelines.

Day 5

My final day was spent at Dart’s corporate office where I met with James Lunn, senior design manager/architect, Daniel Nguyen, BIM senior technician, Paul Henry, manager business innovation and Cameron Graham, president of development delivery and infrastructure. I feel very fortunate to have met with so many people working in a variety of fields this past week and am happy I took the initiative to arrange this internship which confirmed my interest in mechanical and electrical engineering. I have always enjoyed maths, science and the creativity of design and technology. Being able to see these subjects used in real world situations helped determine that I will seek a degree in mechanical and electrical engineering at Western University or Queen’s University as well as a master’s in either business or finance.

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