In August Dr Hannah Wood presented at the International Council For Research and Innovation in Construction: Coping with the Complexity of Safety, Health, and Wellbeing in Construction conference, in Salvador, Brazil. The conference was attended by academics and industry professional from all over the world.
The paper presented was a continuation of work undertaken by MSc Project Management for Construction student (now graduate) , Jodie Collison, and was co-written by supervisors Dr Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo, Dr Kevin Wyche and Dr Hannah Wood.
The paper focused on the huge potential for women to work as construction professionals, which would help with the skills gap the industry currently faces. However, in discussion with women currently working in industry, it is clear there are a number of factors that both deter women from joining the industry in the first place as a career choice, or lead to women leaving the industry before progressing to more senior roles.
The paper presented a number of recommendations to improve recruitment, retention and progression of female construction professionals, with particular emphasis on flexibility and support around career breaks and caring responsibilities. This would not only benefit women in construction, but everyone in the industry.
“The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report ‘Off-site manufacture for construction: Building for change’ states that the construction sector as it currently operates cannot meet the UK’s need for housing and may struggle to meet the need for infrastructure. Given that the UK already lags behind other countries in construction productivity, and is facing a labour shortage, the Government and the construction sector must urgently find solutions.”
Nominated by the head of school, Dr Kirsty Smallbone, and supported by the colleagues within the School of Environment and Technology, Dr Poorang Piroozfar led the team and prepared University of Brighton’s written evidence to the enquiry which was received by the Committee on 26 April. It was selected to be published on 9 May among 82 written evidences submitted by the industry, academia and individuals of which 4 were submitted by UK universities (University of Brighton, Cambridge, Loughborough and UWE).
On 5 July, Lord Patel KT invited us along other participants to the launch of The Science and Technology Committee’s report on Off-site Manufacture for Construction to be held on 19 July 2018 at The Institution of Civil Engineers.
Dr Piroozfar represented University of Brighton in the launch event where feedback, questions and discussions on the embargoed report published by the Committee were invited from the audience and discussed with the Committee.
To mark International Women’s Day in 2018 we are celebrating the achievements of just some of the academics working here at Brighton.
Our Women of Impact web feature demonstrates how our academic staff are achieving great things, working on the complex challenges facing society, educating and inspiring the next generation and making an impact in communities. The varied and diverse career journeys illustrate the huge range of talent that we welcome at the University of Brighton.
From civil engineering and construction read these profiles
Dr Heidi Burgess – Managing Flood Risk
Dr Heidi Burgess, a Chartered Civil Engineer, brings together different disciplines to reduce flood risk as climate changes is causing more people to be at risk from flood events.
Della Madgwick – A Passion for Housing
Della graduated from university with a degree in Civil Engineering and went on to forge a long career as a professional in the Built Environment. She has presented research at COBRA, the world’s leading annual construction building and real estate conference, and has recently been appointed as Chair of the Subject Area Review for the Built Environment at the University.
As part of International Women in Engineering Day 2017, Dr Mary Geary, research fellow in our school, shares her experience of a career in STEMM research and the support she received from the University of Brighton on returning to STEMM research after a career break.
Dr Geary travelled to Barcelona last month as part of an EU ‘Co-operation in Science and Technology’ initiative called the INTREPID training school. Here is her diary of the trip.
In the famous Catalan fairy story ‚‘The Water of Life‘, also known by its original name ‘El agua de la vida’, only the deliverance of the water of life, sourced from a magic spring in the hills, can save a family from being turned to stone by an evil giant. It is the daughter of the family who outsmarts the ogre and restores life with the water. The life of her own family, of her petrified neighbours and of her surroundings are all rejuvanated as the water she spills on the return from the mountain turns everything green and fecund and frees the people from the giant’s curse. That water is still seen as the very essence of Catalan life is clear throughout the urban fabric of its capital city.
Wedged between the Mediterranean Sea and the estuaries of the Llobregat and Besos rivers and with the Serra de Collserola mountain range as its backdrop, Barcelona is a water-centric city fiercely proud of its heritage. As the economic powerhouse of Catalonia, its historic wealth was built around its port, driving its shipping, mercantile, leather and textile industries. The evidence of that financial prowess – Barcelona’s architectural splendour – attracts millions of tourists every year. Power, water, wealth have historically connected together to forge a city of almost 2 million residents; whose population rises threefold every year with almost 6 million visitors per annum.
As one of those 6 million visitors I travelled to Barcelona in early February this year as part of an EU ‘Co-operation in Science and Technology’ initiative called the INTREPID training school. My fellow Sustainable Futures researchers and I were collaborating to work together in a four day workshop, sharing experiences and learning together how interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of undertaking sustainability research. Working across disciplines – we were a disparate group of ecologists, urban planners, civil engineers, environmental lawyers, social scientists amongst others –we discussed how it is possible to try to make connections amidst and outside of our own scientific perspectives to find holistic pragmatic solutions to urgent, real world problems. As a Research Fellow based in SET, understanding how communities understand, articulate and action changes in their local water environments is crucial. It helps me contextualise how macro influences are interpreted and responded to, and what steps and strategies policy makers and governance bodies need to undertake to make sustainability science comprehensible and relevant. Read More →
Head down to the seafront between 1-4pm on Saturday 29 July and celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) with Soapbox Science.
Soapbox Science hosts events across the UK and the world raising the profile of women in science – breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes about who a researcher is. And they are coming to Brighton for the first time this summer.
Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank in 2016.
Senior Lecturers Ms Della Madgwick and Dr Hannah Wood presented their research papers at COBRA in Toronto Canada before a global audience of Surveyors Project Managers and Construction experts from both academic institutions and Industry.
COBRA is the world leading conference in Construction, Building and Real Estate research held annually by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Three papers were presented: An exploratory Study of the Impact of Visual Representation on Perception of Energy Consumption in UK households– described how thermal imaging may contribute to energy savings Embedding Emerging Technology in Built Environment Educations – considered how the latest techniques such as laser scanning, drones and augmented technologies can be integrated into undergraduate programmes The Impact of Service Charges to Free-holders on New Estates– considered how a changing platform of tenure in new developments requires some thorough research to fully understand the implications to new home owners.
The papers were well received by delegates and as a result of round table discussions a group of academics from a number of Universities propose to make a bid to the RICS Research Trust for funding to develop the ideas discussed and write Best Practice Guidance.
There was much discussion about the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and its increasing impact on projects. In addition delegates were able to visit the George Brown College and tour the Angelo DelZotto School of Construction Management to view how Building Information is Modelling (BIM) is taught in their specialist BIM lab.