UNSW Built Environment BCMP: Susan Irvine

19 05 2011

Hey all,

It’s a crazy thought that the semester is already halfway through. The summer break went really quickly! I spent my summer at home working, spending time with friends and at the beach. This semester I am doing the following subjects;

–          Scheduling Techniques in the Construction Industry (Scheduling)

–          Occupation Health and Safety (OHS)

–          Risk Management (RM)

–          Value Management and Feasibility (VMF)

Scheduling and OHS are my 2 core subjects, which I do with the rest of my year. I am really enjoying scheduling, as I believe this subject has lots of practical implications and I will use it in my future career. The major assignment for this project is to utilise MS Project (a scheduling program) to create a program to construct a 4 storey apartment block. This assignment has really made us think as we have to work out what activities can occur at the same time, along with utilising a new computer program.  OHS is a really important subject, which is going through the fundamentals of safety, on site but also in business.

RM and VMF are my electives for the semester. RM is a really interesting subject, which analyses all the possible risks and opportunities that can occur during a project and assesses if the risk is worth taking. In this subject we have a guest lecturer every week, they are usually senior people from the construction industry. It is fantastic to hear the different perspectives, methods and projects they have worked on. RM also integrates psychology as well, as it is important to understand how people think and how they would perceive the risks and opportunities. VMF is similar to RM and they complement each other really well. VMF is based on analysing the project during the design or construction phase and trying to improve its function through time, cost and quality. For this subject we have to do a case study on a project that utilised Value Management and see how it improved the project.

With the exams just around the corner it’s time to knuckle down and start studying. Next semester I am participating in UNSW global exchange program. I will be studying at the University of Leeds for a semester, which I am really looking forward to. I will be doing 4 of my subjects over there, along with the opportunity to experience a new education system, culture, society and a chance to travel and meet people.

That’s all from me.


UNSW Built Environment: 2010 Graduand Catalogues

14 12 2010

Our 2010 UNSW Built Environment Graduand Catalogues have been released for viewing. These catalogues showcase the achievements of our 2010 of our graduating students – congratulations to all those involved.

If you would like to view the various graduand catalogues, please click the links below.

Architectural Computing

Architecture (BArch)

Industrial Design

Landscape Architecture

Master of Architecture (MArch)

UNSW Built Environment: Path to a responsible approach

6 12 2010

UNSW Construction Management Professor Martin Loosemore has recently been interviewed in The Weekend Australian. The article, titled “Path to a responsible approach” comments on the idea that corporate social responsibility is ultimately a matter of cultural shift. Professor Loosemore speaks about his research in this area, and his book Responsible Corporate Strategy in Construction and Engineering: Doing the Right Thing?

To read the full article, please click here.

UNSW Built Environment: Dr Imriyas Kamardeen profiled in UNIKEN

22 11 2010

Dr Imriyas Kamardeen, Senior Lecturer of the BE Construction Management program was recently profiled in the November/December edition of UNIKEN.

If you are interested in reading this article, please click the link or the image below. Dr Kamardeen’s profile is located on the final page.



UNSW Built Environment BCMP: Susan Irvine

14 10 2010

Hey guys,

Once again this semester has just slipped away with only one week of classes left. It’s been a busy semester, with trying to balance working, studying, sporting and social activities. A highpoint for this semester has been competing in the Australian University Games (AUG’s) held in Perth. This is a national competition that university from all around Australia come together and compete in 31 sports over 5 days. I represent UNSW in swimming and waterpolo. The AUG committee also organises social activities for the athletes, so every night there are different themed nights and they also book out a couple of night clubs as well. This was a lot of fun and an opportunity to mix with all the other university students.  

 For my core subjects this semester I had Construction Contract Administration (CCA) and Tall Building Construction (TBC). CCA I found rather interesting as we learnt about all the different aspects of a contract and the process of dispute resolution in the construction industry. Along with this we learnt about the Security Payment Act, which is extremely important government legislation for the construction industry. My favourite part of TBC was going on the site visit. We got to go to 1 Bligh Street in the city, which is an extremely modern and state of the art high rise building. Being on site we saw everything up close, different stages of the building being constructed, along with having all the processes explained to us. This made everything we had been learning in class come together and it was really cool.

Surveying & GIS (SG) and Construction Business Practice & Marketing (CBPM) are my two building electives for the semester. SG has been a rather challenging and a different subject than my other subjects I have studied so far. It is more of an engineering subject, so it’s a combination of theory, maths and pracs. In the pracs I have been doing activities on the grounds of UNSW utilising theodolites, GPS’s and automatic levelling equipment. In CBPM I have been working on the major assignment of writing a business plan for a new business in the construction industry. The group I am in have decided to go with a project management company that manages the design and production of sustainable precast offices and accommodation for mining sites. I have been given the job of finance in the group, so I am responsible for managing the incomes and expense of the business.

At the end of this week UNSW has its biggest party of the year; Oktoberfest, which should be lots of fun. Then I am just looking forward to the summer holidays and spending some time at the beach.

Talk soon.


UNSW Built Environment Construction Management & Property: Jess Pascoe

5 08 2010

Semester 2 has just begun and it is looking like it will be a very busy time! I managed to get into my preferred electives despite initially being unable to. Housing Industry Practice had its first lecture and it looks very interesting – and also relevant to what I want to pursue later on. The class is different to most if not all of my other lectures I have (and have ever had) in that there are no slides. Instead he just speaks to us throughout the lecture – taking us through each part of the major assignment week by week. No exam! My other classes are Real Property Law, which I quite enjoy, as well as Tall Buildings and Contract Admin which are the core subjects and fortunately look like they are going to be interesting also. All of my assignment groups are sorted out and already things have been due, however luckily I think I am reasonably organised right from the beginning so it shouldn’t be too much of a struggle. I still see my friends from class all the time, but the electives also give me an opportunity to meet some new people which is great. Looking forward to this semester, I feel like I am getting a better and better understanding of what I’m doing which makes me feel more and more comfortable. I’ll have a lot on my plate for the next few months but I am eager to get in to it all!

UNSW Built Environment Construction Management & Property: Susie Irvine

27 07 2010

Hey ya,

The holidays have just slipped away and now it’s time to knuckle down and start semester 2. Over my holidays I did a 4 week work experience program with a company called Knight Frank working in their project management department. I learnt so much over the month and it gave me an insight to working in the industry. I worked on wide range of projects, which varied from the tendering process to completion. Activities I completed included providing a tender review and recommendation for the client, liaising with subcontractors, site visits, cost plans and handover manuals. Also I learnt about and assisted in conducting NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) ratings for buildings around Australia. This is a national initiative which is a performance-based rating system for existing buildings. NABERS rates a building on the basis of its measured operational impacts on the environment, and provides a simple indication of how well you are managing these environmental impacts compared with your peers and neighbours. Overall I found the work experience program very rewarding and have gained invaluable experience.

This week I started working with RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). I will be working in the dispute resolution services in the construction industry, which I am really looking forward to. It is a great opportunity, which will provide me further insight into the industry and improve my knowledge of law in the construction industry.

Once again this semester I have 2 core and 2 elective subjects. For my core subject I am doing Construction Contract Administration and Tall Building Construction, while my electives are Surveying & GIS and Construction Business Practice & Marketing.

I am looking forward to getting further into Construction Contract Administration. as I believe it will compliment my role in RICS extremely well. However, I do find this more of a challenging subject because of the terminology and concepts that have to be understood.

Tall Building Construction is another stepping stone, by learning to construct a slightly more complex and larger building, which should be exciting.

Surveying & GIS should be interesting, as we will learn how to use all of the surveying equipment. I am also mixed in with engineering students, providing an opportunity to meet students in a similar field.

Lastly Construction Business Practice & Marketing will go through all aspects of a business such as marketing but it will be tailored to the construction industry. From studying and enjoying business studies in year 12 I believe I will really like this subject.
Overall it has been a busy last couple of months and I am looking forward to the onset of summer.

Talk soon,