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Cognition Intern to Take on Permanent Role

2 August 2023

Alfie Davison reports on his internship with Cognition and how he's looking forward to joining us in a permanent role in September...

Over the past six weeks, I have been on an internship with Cognition where I had the opportunity to experience a wide range of activities at various sites. I had just completed my undergraduate degree in Environment and Business at the University of Leeds and believed that Cognition would be an excellent place to begin my career.

My placement began at the Barking Reach Power Station tunnel decommissioning project. During this time, the project involved drilling boreholes to fill the tunnels with grout located 40 metres beneath the ground. Initially, I helped survey the precise locations for the grouting boreholes. The accuracy of this survey was crucial as the grout needed to be injected at the crown of the tunnel to achieve a fill level of 95%. I also assisted in mapping the locations where photos were taken on-site, maintaining KPI spreadsheets and managing COSHH registers. Additionally, I supported environmental monitoring activities, helping to determine optimal monitoring locations and carried out VOC and sensory tests related to dust and odour risks. Once drilling began, I learned about the percussion drilling method and took samples of alluvium to ensure there was no contamination present.

The following week was split between Compton and Plumstead. At Compton, I participated in further environmental monitoring, testing Vibrock and VOC readings to determine if they were at suitable levels. I also spent time with Cognition’s Environment and Sustainability Manager who emphasised the importance of caring for local wildlife and showed me the new infrastructure installed to accommodate the local bat population. At Plumstead, I focused on scanning and documenting waste disposal sheets and delivery invoices. This task underscored the criticality of maintaining accurate documentation, as any lapses could lead to potential profit loss.

My weeks were spent at Bethnal Green where I gained insight into the meticulous planning required for each activity and the high standard of documentation required. Working with the Appointed Person and participating in a crane awareness course, I realised the level of detail required to ensure a lift's effectiveness and safety. Moreover, I participated in creating Friday packs, hotspot reports, and presenting monitoring data for reporting, all whilst managing materials movements. This experience provided me with a clear understanding of the documentation necessary for both our records and those of our clients.

I would like to thank everyone I encountered at Cognition during the last six weeks. They made my experience not only enjoyable but also incredibly informative. I eagerly look forward to commencing full-time work in September as a Geoenvironmental Scientist and to continue working with the environmental team.

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