Students become international leaders with built environment prize

The winning team featuring Audrey Schultz (centre) and Prof Les Ruddock (right)

The winning team featuring Audrey Schultz (centre) and Prof Les Ruddock (right)

Postgraduate students from the University of Salford’s School of the Built Environment have beaten teams from around the world to lift the CIB Sebestyén Future Leaders Award for a proposal to investigate the use of building information technology on four continents.

The student team worked with academics at Salford to win the prestigious prize which is awarded annually by the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (usually abbreviated from its French name to CIB).

The 2012 submissions were all based around the theme of ‘economics, construction and society’ and the Salford team triumphed with a proposal for a cost/benefit analysis of building information modelling (BIM) in the USA, UK, Brazil and Nigeria. The student team want to see how effectively this technology is being used in different regions and to help spread the efficiency, environmental performance and time benefits that using computer technology in construction projects can deliver.

This is the third time Salford has won the award following victory in 2002 and as part of a multi-university team in 2006.

PhD candidate Audrey Schultz is the leader of the Salford Student CIB Chapter. “We’re thrilled to win this award,” she said. “To get to this result we’ve had great support from the academics in the School and we really feel that once put into practice our proposal is something which the global construction industry can learn from.”

Audrey and the other students will now carry out their proposal and present a report in May 2013. They will also have the opportunity to take their findings to Brisbane for the CIB World Congress next year, where they will hold a session attended by globally leading academics and business people.

Professor Les Ruddock, who leads the Economics Group of the CIB and is also a researcher at Salford, said: “We’re very proud of the achievement of the students this year. Their proposal was ground-breaking, well thought out and compelling, and fully deserved the win. When we talk about future research leaders, these Salford students certainly fit the bill.”

PhD Candidate and Associate Lecturer Georgios Kapogiannis is the immediate Past President of the Salford Student CIB Chapter. He also contributed his knowledge of proactive behaviour in managing construction projects to improve performance in terms of  time, cost and sustainability, using BIM. “I am pleased and excited to see our team win such as prestigious award.” he said.  

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