Dundee students get taste of built environment industry

(from left) Tim Rhodes from Robertson, Helen Monckton, Greg Ireland and Robertson’s David Barbour at Dundee Waterfront

Students from Dundee & Angus College have spent the week with infrastructure firm Robertson after winning a prestigious student challenge.

The team of four students triumphed over twenty participating teams from higher education bodies across Scotland competing in the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) Student Challenge – which until this year was only open to universities.

The winning team included second year civil engineering student Helen Monckton (33) from Laurencekirk and building surveying student Greg Ireland (25) from Dundee, who both spent a week’s rotation on site in Dundee, where Robertson is delivering a £40 million development of flats, offices and a hotel on the city’s Waterfront.

While on placement, Helen and Greg got a taste of life in the construction industry, learning from experts from different professions within the Robertson team, including site management, design, Business Information Modelling (BIM) and quantity surveying.

The CIOB Student Challenge judging panel included Liam Short, a senior project manager for Robertson, who said: “This year’s CIOB challenge was in a slightly different format – a hypothetical project with some key scoring criteria, however generally left open for the students to review and respond how they best saw fit.

“What set the top teams apart was that they not only used their academic built environment experience but also used their life experience, such as previous jobs and hobbies to adopt a holistic approach to solving the problems given to them – all of which the winning team ultimately demonstrated.”

Speaking of his placement with Robertson, building surveying student Greg said: “I found that the tasks we were given helped provide me with a better insight into the construction process and how a large company is run, and really enjoyed spending time with the quantity surveyors and the planning workshop that I took part in.

“There was a good variety over the week and seeing inside the office workplace was just as helpful and interesting than being out on site. Learning about the civil side of construction was also a highlight.”

Scott Alexander, managing director of Robertson Construction North, added: “We’re always looking for ways to engage with the next generation of construction professionals – from architects to project managers and engineers to marketers. Sponsoring the CIOB Student Challenge is a fantastic way of reaching this new talent and making them aware of all of the opportunities available through our own graduate and apprentice schemes.

“The winning team received a placement on site at Dundee Waterfront, a dynamic, large-scale development which allowed them to be exposed to a variety of different disciplines, providing on-the-job learning that will supplement their classroom studies.”

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