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"How do you make concrete? Where does this room live on the plan?" These were just some of the questions a young Lanre Onanuga would regularly be firing at his Dad.
Black and white image of Lanre Onanuga

With his Dad developing several sites, Lanre, at a very young age, always had a real curiosity for the built environment and was regularly pushing to visit and see for himself how things worked.

So much so, he would begin his very own mini construction projects before reaching secondary school age.

"As a kid, I was fascinated by the built environment. I carried out my first project somewhere in between ages 7 and 10, using spare blocks from a completed project, and bought a lightbulb and battery set to build a miniature 'lab'."

This curiosity blossomed into practical steps for Lanre, and he decided that he would like to follow a career path in the built environment by pursuing higher education.

"In my early teenage years, I was certain I was going to pursue a degree in the built environment but was unsure what discipline. Towards my final year in secondary school, I honed my potential paths down to construction management and quantity surveying."

Choosing the University of Reading

Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Lanre started looking for a university abroad that could help answer the many questions he had alongside like-minded people with a passion for building and construction. 

"I started researching universities and it was the University of Reading that stood out. 

"The umbrella course for both construction management and quantity surveying gave great flexibility to specialise in one subject in my final year. I wanted to gain experience in both specialisms before I chose." 

Following the completion of his studies in Lagos, Lanre accepted an offer to study at undergraduate level within the School of Construction Management and Engineering at Reading. 

The unique flexibility of courses at Reading means that students like Lanre do not have to stick to the course originally enrolled on, and ensures the degree is adapted to the needs of industry while studying.

Settling in

In the School of Construction Management and Engineering at Reading, students are supported by approachable academic staff, who take the time to get to know you and enable you to make the most of your experience of studying with us. 

Meanwhile, the student-managed Reading University Construction Society (RUCS) helps foster this supportive environment, bringing students across all years and academic staff together in an informal setting, helping Lanre to settle in. 

"Initially, I had thought it would be difficult settling in but to my surprise it was not. There were several societies that were available for me to join – I particularly enjoyed being a part of RUCS in addition to the Horse Riding and the African-Caribbean Society."

Campus design project highlight

The flexibility of our courses allow students to pursue projects and issues they are passionate about while studying. 

A second-year group project gave Lanre a chance to look at key issues of sustainability and education in the not-for-profit sector. 

“One of my highlights on the course was designing a campus with renewable technology for Football Gambia – a charity aimed at promoting education through football in West Africa. 

"Not only did I find the process of designing enjoyable but it was refreshing to hear from external persons highlighting West African specific design challenges."

Summer placement

In addition to the opportunities available through projects and research, Lanre was able to meet employers throughout his time at Reading and gain critical industry experience following the completion of his second year. 

“I secured a summer placement with Transport for London as part of their project management team, through leveraging the existing relationships the University has with the industry. 

"I learned a lot about project management tools and I decided to specialise in quantity surveying in my final year.”

Following graduation

In 2016, Lanre was awarded a BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and, similarly with his summer placement, his established connections with industry made at Reading ensured he had a graduate job lined up with a leading construction consultancy. 

“Since graduating I have gained four years' experience in the cost consulting space, predominantly in the commercial sector in London. In November 2018, I attained Chartered Surveyor status from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.” 

Discover our undergraduate degree courses

Ada Wong in graduation cap and gown, with a bunch of colorful flowers.

Ada Wong: broadening horizons

Ada came from Hong Kong to study BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying at Reading. She found her arrival was made easier by the welcoming staff and students and the all-round support she received during her studies.
Josh Smith in graduation cap and gown

Josh Smith: dream graduate role

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Zoë French: overcoming challenges

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Athena SWAN Silver Award