Tuesday, June 26, 2018

School of the Built Environment Graduation 2018

Graduation 2018 took place on a sunny (but not too hot) Monday 18 June. This year the ceremony and reception moved back across the bridge from Headington Hill Hall to the newly refurbished Kenneth Wheare Hall and the JHB Building. So things were a bit different this year...the photos show the story of the day and showcase our new buildings very nicely.

Outside the Clerici Building
Before the ceremony...

...and the staff are getting ready.

And being given their instructions for the stage.

Lining up for the...

...procession into the Kenneth Wheare Hall


...and finally inside the ceremony itself.

The staff line up to applaud the new graduates...

...as they leave the hall.

The journey through the JHB Building...

...to the Terrace.

Lunch :)

The traditional hat throw...

...and the hat that had to be rescued.

The photographers gallery...

...the undergraduate prizes...

...and the postgraduate prizes.

Now that you've graduated, don't forget to keep in touch. Join one of our alumni groups on LinkedIn...a great way of keeping in touch with your mates and the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes. We use our groups to post job opportunities, source mentors (for the Real Estate Mentoring Scheme), share news and to use your experiences to inform our course development, so make sure you join!

Real Estate Management
Construction, QS and Project Management
Urban Design, Planning and Development
Real Estate Investment Finance (REIF)

Finally, for yet more photos, take a look at the SBE Graduation 2018 album on the School of the Built Environment Facebook page.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Netherlands Field Trip 2018

The field trip to The Netherlands is an annual event which brings together postgraduate and undergraduate students from across four MSc and two BSc programmes in the School of the Built Environment. The two groups of students postgraduate (PG) and undergraduate (UG)) have their own itineraries for the field trip, both of which aim to integrate knowledge gained in the early part of the students' programmes, to develop team skills and to build relationships. Site visits and walking tours are backed up with a series of presentations from local experts focusing on: planning strategy, sustainability and urban design considerations, the mix of dwelling types, retail and community buildings, infrastructure plans, planning for flooding/rising sea levels, and sustainable and innovative building technologies. Click on the blue links for more information about the place visited.

Day 1
The students traveled to Amsterdam (by coach), calling at Antwerp on the way to take a look at Antwerp Central Station, the Museum aan de Stroom and the Port House (designed by Zaha Hadid).

At the Museum aan de Stroom

The Port House in Antwerp

Day 2
UG students: De Hallen for a presentation and guided tour, followed by a guided walking tour of the Bijlmer area and finally, a visit to Amsterdam ArenA (home to Ajax and one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world) for a presentation on the development and a look around.
PG students: Zuidas and the World Trade Centre for a presentation and discussion session with Ton Schaap, followed by a visits to various museums at the Museumplein before finishing the day with a visit to the Amsterdam ArenA for a tour and a presentation about the impact of the development on the local area of Bijlmer.

The guided tours...

...of De Hallen

Presentation at the Amsterdam ArenA

Day 3
UG students: Rotterdam for a walking tour and presentation at the Information Centre with lunch at the famous Markthal, followed by a visit to FutureLand and the Port of Rotterdam.
PG students: Utrecht for a presentation at JHK Architects on 'Re-use and Transformation' and a walk around the regeneration projects at Werkspoorkathedraal and Werkspoorfabriek, followed by a trip to Rotterdam for a series of presentations about the city and guided tours of the Central Station and Markthal.

Tour of Rotterdam and...

...the presentation at the Information Centre

The Rotterdam Markthal

FutureLand and the Port of Rotterdam

Finding new uses for old factory buildings in Utrecht

Lunch (sadly not for the students) at Zecc Architecten in Utrecht

Day 4
UG students: Utrecht for a presentation about the city followed by a walking tour and a visit to the Waterline Museum designed by Anne Holtrop.
PG students: Urk for a visit to an arkenbouw factory followed by a trip to Almere and Ijburg for a series of presentations about the developments and a walking tour of each area.


...and guided tour of Utrecht

At the Waterline Museum

Day 5
UG students: Breda for a presentation from the Lead Councillor for Regeneration and a guided tour of the city before returning to Oxford.
PG students: Breakfast at Schipol Airport followed by a presentation from Bernado Gogna from the Schipol Airport & Royal Schipol Group and finally back to Oxford.

Presentation on Breda...

...and the guided tour.

For more information on our courses take a look here:

BSc Construction Project Management
BSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

MSc Project Management in the Built Environment
MSc Building Information Modelling and Management
MSc Construction Project Management
MSc Infrastructure and Sustainable Development
MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

Monday, December 18, 2017

MSc Construction Project Management: Graduate Presentation

Giacomo Pini, a graduate from the MSc Construction Project Management returned to Oxford Brookes in November 2017, to give a presentation to the current postgraduate students in construction about his recent career experiences in Ohio (USA).

Giacomo Pini in action (photo by Christos Vidalakis)

Giacomo Pini (photo by George Blumberg)

A few days later, I caught up with Giacomo and he agreed to answer a few questions about his background and experiences at Oxford Brookes...

What is your background and why did you choose to go into Project Management?
I’ve always been passionate about numbers, so I studied Civil Engineering and obtained a bachelor and master degree. At the end of my education, I did an exchange in Denmark with a focus on construction management. From that time, I started to become passionate about management, scheduling and supervision. Project Management is wide, complete, fulfilling. It includes most of the knowledge of the construction industry and that makes it, to my eyes, one of the best paths to follow.

Why did you choose the MSc Construction Project Management at Oxford Brookes?
At the time I took the decision to enrol, I was working for a consultancy in Venice. I felt like my knowledge of project management wasn`t broad enough and I wanted to take the chance to improve all the basics I learned before. I did some research online, talked to alumni on LinkedIn, looked at university ranking and the MSc CPM at Brookes was the one choice leading the race. So, I left my work at that time and started this path.

What was it like when you arrived and started the course?
I was curious most of all and a bit thoughtful, as I was wondering if that was the right path. The first weeks were enough to convince me that I did take the right decision. The subjects included the exact knowledge I was looking for, well explained and in a good atmosphere. The other students, following the MSc with me, were all great people, with a so diverse background.

Looking back over your MSc, what were the highlights? And the most challenging bits?
If I look back, I can say that what were the main challenges I had to face, soon became the highlights of my experience. The background of every student was so diverse that everyone initially tackled problems in a different manner. It was a challenge itself to look at a common solution together.
Soon we all learned how to cooperate and match our background knowledge, making this way, all the teamwork exercises, a pleasure to complete.

What advice would you give to someone starting the MSc?
Be open, be flexible. The knowledge comes, and the concepts can be learned. But it`s the relationship with your professors and classmates that counts the most. If that is enjoyable, you learn more, appreciate more and live the experience fully.

Which subject area did you focus on for your dissertation and why?
As my engineering background was still strong in my thoughts, I looked for a topic where engineering and management were meeting. I researched underground constructions and methods, the way top-down structures are built, the match between feasibility, schedule, budget and technical details. I collected data from professionals in the industry, from engineers, to project managers, to schedulers, to tackle the knowledge in its completeness.

What have you got planned for the next 5 years career-wise?
I`m currently working as a Tunnel Engineer after a 2 years’ experience as a Field Engineer. I`m looking at progressing forward in my career moving into roles as Site Manager or Section Engineer.
I`m trying always to match engineering with management. I do like the technical aspects of the constructions as I do like the organization of activities and management, so I work hard to be able to understand and handle both.

Thank you Giacomo. For more information on the MSc CPM and the other postgraduate courses in construction, click on the links below:

MSc Construction Project Management
MSc Project Management in the Built Environment
MSc Building Information Modelling and Management
MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

Thursday, November 9, 2017

October 2017: the first MSc Study Period

Welcome Week activities in Oxford - photos by Dianne Castuciano

This year (September 2017 entry) we welcomed more than 100 students across our 4 MSc courses in construction:

MSc Construction Project Management
MSc Project Management in the Built Environment
MSc Building Information Modelling and Management
MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

About half of our students study full-time on campus at Oxford Brookes and the other half study via distance-learning using a combination of online learning and campus-based study weeks. Both methods of study make use of an applied approach to learning known as 'problem based learning'.

The October 2017 Study Period brought the full-time and distance-learning students from across the 4 MSc courses together on campus to attend lectures, seminars and workshops and to share experiences. There are two study periods each year which bring together students and staff on campus to share experiences and knowledge as well as renew friendships and make connections within the industry. As part of the MSc programmes students also take part in a field trip to Belgium and The Netherlands. The full-time students feel that they benefit greatly from being able to interact with the distance-learning students who are already working in industry (UK and overseas). For the distance-learners, there is the opportunity to meet the teaching staff and other students face-to-face which contributes greatly to the feeling of belonging.

The distance-learners are welcomed to the first day of the October 2017 MSc Study Period in the
beautiful surroundings of Oxford Town Hall, where the first sessions were held this year.

They were joined soon after by the full-time students to start the first module: People, Leadership and Organisations.
The module, which is led by Esra Kurul is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Back to the most recent study period. As well as the official welcome, groups sessions, guest lectures, careers talk and CIOB event, there was a special welcome meal and a series of local field trips for all the students. The staff even had time to take some photos (click on the blue links for more information)...

Students get stuck into the group work during the first session.

More discussion with Donnie MacNicol, part of the team who presented the workshop at the first session.

The field trip to the HB Allen Centre development at Keble College - photos by George Blumberg

The project will bring together the Keble College graduate students
on one site with top quality facilities

For more information on the development, take a look at the architect's website: MICA 

If you're interested in taking one of our MSc courses, find out more on the blog (using the labels on the right-hand side of the page) or visit the School of the Built Environment website.