Construction Management Volunteering
23rd April, 2013
What would you do with a construction management degree? Work full time for a local construction firm? Work internationally and build the next Burj Khalifa? Or would you volunteer your time to help kids in a remote Aboriginal community?
University of Newcastle Construction Management graduate Nathan West chose the latter, spending three months of his time working with teenagers and the community of Jabiru, a small town five hours out of Darwin in Arnhem land.
Nathan wasn’t a typical volunteer - After graduating in 2009 he worked full time as a project manager for two years before embracing his desire to volunteer and help the people who really need it.
After finding a volunteering program through Youth Challenge Australia that suited his skill set and goals, he secured sponsorship through a number of local construction management companies and through the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment.
The program cost $3000 and asked a willing volunteer to mentor indigenous teenagers studying towards a certificate 2 in construction management and to become an active member in the community.
"It was the best decision I ever made" Nathan says earnestly.
"It gave me a new perspective on myself and others. A view you just can’t get working full time after uni."
Throughout his three months, a typical day for Nathan involved helping high school kids from early in the morning through to late afternoon in school and in youth centre activities, before participating in other community activities.
During this time he was also lucky enough to visit Injalak Rock, a sacred place holding traditional artwork from 100 to 8000 years old - which is only open to outsiders one day a year.
"On a macro level it can be really difficult to cope with the area. It’s like stepping back in time in a lot of ways.
"You have to stay involved to get through it, focus on the micro - the people and culture."
Nathan’s project management skills opened a number of pathways within his volunteering. His skills easily translated into a role helping to event manage the Mahbilil wind festival - a celebration of indigenous culture and one of the biggest events held in Jabiru.
"By doing degrees like CM there are a lot of opportunities out there for people to volunteer - and awesome people and organisations to support you.
"And long term career-wise it’s been a great move."
Following his volunteering stint, Nathan continued traveling and volunteering across the world and has only recently returned to Newcastle. Now that he's back he's taken the chance to appreciate the support he received.
"I would like to publicly thank the FEBE for their support of me as well as their commitment to progressing indigenous education. Realising opportunities such as the one I successfully experienced would be much more difficult to achieve without their enthusiastic support."
Who Built this? Construction Management Explained
20th March, 2013
What is Construction Management?
Is that a question you know the answer to? Construction management is an industry with huge impact on the built environment – but it’s also one that people don’t tend to understand.
This video is intended to demystify the profession of construction management, but should entertain anyone interested in engineering or building. It highlights the multi-faceted approach that is undertaken whenever a building is constructed and explores some of the roles in greater detail.
To find out more about construction management, visit the program page.
Students Researching to Rejuvenate Newcastle
13th February, 2013
Students from the University of Newcastle’s Master of Architecture program have been challenged to map the history of one of Newcastle’s most iconic streets for an upcoming semi-permanent art installation aimed at rejuvenating the city.
The students, supervised by academic Chris Tucker undertook a summer research scholarship focused on Newcastle City Council’s "City Revolutions" project, a project focusing on revitalizing Newcastle’s original street, Watt Street.
The end-goal of the project will see Watt Street lit up with a combination of art and architecture, and it has seen the students researching the history of the street before habitation, settlement and into the modern era.
The project saw students Robertson Smith, Sacha Parkinson and Jasmine Richardson researching the way the street has evolved through historic maps, the state library’s resources and the University’s Flickr database.
Over their seven week scholarship the students overlayed historic maps, correlating with photographs and converting this data into CAD, with interest in tracking spatial development, the evolution of the facades of buildings and the spaces we chose not to build.
In addition to the historical research, graduating Master of Architecture student Gemma Savio researched interactive art and it’s application to the project, aiming to integrate an element of "play" to the delivery of the research of the other students.
"It’s a project that is aimed at revitalising the city through art and acknowledgment of our history, and that means people need to get engaged", Gemma said.
The summer scholarship has been a great experience for the students, solidifying the knowledge they’ve learned through their studies while still having time for a break between semesters.
"It’s great for flexibility – you’re still able to have a holiday around your work" Sacha said.
"I’m really grateful to the university and particularly our professors".
"The face to face time is invaluable" Robertson agreed.
The scholarships also serve as great tasters for postgraduate research in a university environment.
"It’s an excellent taster of the things you might be doing in an RHD situation – it gives you some direction as to what you might choose to study" Gemma explained.
"Students should really go for it... It's great to be able to be engaged in a real life situation" Jasmine said.
The City Revolutions project goes live by April. To find out more about summer research scholarships and to see other projects undertaken in 2013 check out The Summer Research Scholarships page.
2012 Industrial Design "Newcastle Products" Exhibition
10th December, 2012
Innovation was the word on everyone’s lips as the University’s graduating Industrial Design students presented their work to industry representatives on Wednesday, November 21.
In an evening of drinks and tantalising nibbles at the awe-inspiring Newcastle Museum Link Gallery, students and staff joined with important figures from the region’s business community.
It was all part of the NEWcastle Products exhibition, showcasing the designs of final-year students in the four-year Bachelor of Industrial Design program.
Nineteen budding industrial designers showed off a wide-reaching range of products at the industry evening.
They included a watch for the visually impaired; a coffee peculator that makes aroma visible; new and improved ski boots; a folding skateboard; an effortless jar opener suitable for people with arthritis; a wireless payment system for not-for-profit and charity groups; a super hygienic toilet brush; and much more.
One such designer was graduating student David Powers who opened the event with a humorous speech.
"I may look a bit older than some of the other students here tonight – that’s because I am," the mature-age student joked.
Emphasising the importance of student showcases like NEWcastle Products, David spoke about the lack of general awareness surrounding his field.
"Industrial design is still something that people don’t fully understand," David explained.
"It’s hard to put in a nutshell what we do – that’s a shame because we really are passionate about it.
"One minute you're looking for inspiration and literally, a heartbeat later, you have developed something material. In fourteen weeks we took a sketch on a piece of paper and turned it into a product."
Also addressing the crowd was fellow graduating student Ray Wills.
The gracious student thanked everyone in attendance for "acknowledging the extraordinary amount of hard work" students in the Industrial Design program put in.
On behalf of all students, Ray extended "a most heartfelt thanks" to both TAFE and University staff, particularly "our educational chaperone" Wyn Jones.
Ray said Newcastle’s Industrial Design degree – which incorporates both TAFE and University study – offered the perfect balance between "manufacturing, functionality, cost and aesthetics".
"That balance just isn’t available in other university programs," Ray said.
"The job of an industrial designer is to solve problems and to answer questions, but the real gift of industrial design is to ask questions.
"There is nothing stopping us from coming up with fantastic answers."
Reaffirming the night’s buzzword was Neville Sawyer, co-founder of leading international electrical supplier The Ampcontrol Group.
Mr Sawyer delivered a passionate talk about the importance of innovation.
"Innovation can be the driver of any good business to be successful in the region or in Australia," he said.
"Innovation and industrial design are just so intertwined."
With innovation a key area of focus for many big local organisations such as the University and Council, Mr Sawyer said industrial designers could look forward to a very bright future.
2012 Architecture "Heist" Exhibition
3rd December, 2012
Renew Newcastle founder Marcus Westbury has thanked the University’s graduating Master of Architecture students for inspiring him to see the city in a new, exciting light.
The cultural advocate officially opened the Master of Architecture Program’s Heist Exhibition at Newcastle Town Hall last Monday night, November 12.
The exhibition showcased the spectacular visions about 40 students have for the region.
Westbury said he was "blown away" by what he had seen, with students taking many of the problems Renew Newcastle has tried to fix and using them "as raw material for imagination and possibility".
"What I love about architecture is the possibility for imagination," he told the crowd of students, staff, industry people, and community members.
"It’s wonderful to see the students engaging with the possibility of place and space – it’s inspired me to see the city in a way that I’ve never seen before.
"Thank you for inspiring me."
Coffee houses, marine research centres, digital libraries, arts venues, biomimicry laboratories and cooking schools were among the diverse array of architectural concepts on display at the exhibition, which ran until November 13.
Graduating student Steani Cilliers said these unique visions for Newcastle were the result of tireless hard work.
"It takes a lot of passion and commitment to get to this point," Steani commented in a graceful address to the audience. "Five years is a long time to study architecture."
On behalf of all the students, Steani thanked staff, friends and family for "being there through the frustration, the tears and anxiety, as well as the rare eureka moments".
She gave a special mention to tutors Chris Tucker and Mark Taylor for their endless help and support.
You can find out more about the School of Architecture and Built Environment and the Architecture programs on offer at newcastle.edu.au/school/arbe/
Top Teaching Triumphs
3rd December, 2012
Top-rate teaching has been recognised at the University, with the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment announcing the winners of its inaugural Teaching Innovation Awards.
The Awards judged Faculty teachers on originality in the context of their discipline; demonstrated impact on teaching effectiveness; student learning and/or retention; and potential for wider use within or across disciplines.
Mr Wyn Jones, A/Prof. Steve Weller and A/Prof. Tristan Perez and Mr. Chris Renton all emerged victorious.
Wyn was recognised for: "Enhancing student learning and engagement through the use of a strategic design process and contemporary instructional technologies."
Steve proved to have: "Innovative curriculum design and delivery of a general online elective course on sustainable energy."
Chris excelled in: "Course content, delivery and assessment in the three Mechatronic specialisation courses."
A special mention also went to A/Prof. Steve Mitchell and Mr John Roberts who were both highly commended for their teaching innovations.
All of the nine submissions received were of an extremely high standard, reflecting some of the truly inspiring and progressive teaching practices that are emerging across the Faculty.
The Awards showcased the exciting, world-class teaching that is being delivered in the University’s rapidly evolving education landscape.
The winners and highly commended applicants will be asked to showcase their teaching innovations at an event in early 2013.
Postgraduate Research Poster Competition
14th November, 2012
Originality and creativity were fantastically displayed by a number of the Faculty’s students in the 2012 Postgraduate Research Prize.
The annual competition asked entrants to submit a poster based on their research and answer questions from judges.
This year’s winners included:
- Yiteng Shih (Architecture and Industrial Design)
- Gizelle Sanchez Combita (Chemical Engineering)
- Xue Zhang (Civil Engineering)
- Nurul Hazrina Idris (Environmental Engineering and Surveying)
- Shashank Bhatia (Computer Science and Software Engineering)
- Md Nurul Islam (Electrical, Computer and Telecommunication Engineering)
- Wei Chen (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering)
Winners of each category will receive a $1000 cash prize, as well as a certificate to be awarded at the Newcastle University Postgraduate Student Association (NUPSA) Dinner on November 26.
The deserving graduates were judged by a minimum of two Faculty academics on the basis of originality and innovation, technical and intellectual difficulty, scope, depth, degree of contribution and overall presentation.
The assessors were very impressed by the quality of all research posters entered for the prize.
Congratulations to all participants for their excellent results.
Masters of Architecture Exhibition
31st October, 2012
Does a culinary arts school specialising in slow food sound like somewhere you’d like to study? What about chilling out on a floating dock on Newcastle Harbour?
These are just some of the spectacular architectural visions the University of Newcastle’s final year Master of Architecture students have for our city.
They will be on display as part of the Master of Architecture Program’s Heist Exhibition, held at Newcastle Town Hall from November 12 to 13.
The annual exhibition showcases the final year works of the two-year Master of Architecture program, and represents the culmination of five years’ study for about 40 students.
The exhibition highlights the students’ final design projects – inspiring visions of a potential Newcastle.
Graduating student Steani Cilliers imagines a Newcastle enriched by a culinary arts school.
The school, which would be affiliated with the University, would teach the ethos of the slow food movement – cuisine focused on preserving local foods and regional traditions.
Steani will present her concept to both Newcastle City Council and the Slow Food Hunter convivium.
"It’s a means of rejuvenating the city – attracting younger people to live and study in the city, without losing track of the heritage of Newcastle" Steani said.
Taking a looser, more conceptual approach, fellow student Chris Mullaney will exhibit his idea of renovating one of Newcastle’s disused floating docks.
The dock would be used as a floating exhibition space, possibly holding cafes, short-term accommodation, an amphitheatre and harbour pool, boat-building workshops and festivals.
"It focuses on turning what is essentially scrap into something usable" Chris said.
"It would be a sustainable space, evolving as the city changes."
Heist challenges the students to sell their overarching concept by exhibiting just a snippet of their architectural vision.
"Some of the students’ work is quite provocative" Program Convener Chris Tucker explains.
"Newcastle city offers a unique urban canvas - there is so much potential, liberated from the development norms that usually limit possibilities their projects find new and engaging ways of looking at the city"
"We’re seeing radical designs – new architectural paradigms."
All community members and university staff are invited to join industry professionals in seeing the amazing work on display.
The Master of Architecture Heist Exhibition will be opened by Marcus Westbury from Renew Newcastle @ 5:30pm, Newcastle Town hall on Monday November 12. The exhibition is open from 5pm to 10pm on November 12, and November 13, 9am to 6pm.
Across the Ditch
31st October, 2012
One University of Newcastle student expanded her architectural horizons in the beautiful art deco city of Napier earlier in the month.
Third-year Architecture student Jess Summerhayes travelled to the picturesque part of New Zealand to attend the 2012 Annual NSW Country Division Conference 'Across The Ditch'.
Only two students were awarded a scholarship to attend the conference, run from October 1 to 6.
The scholarship was organised by the Australian Institute of Architects Country Division, with sponsorship money coming from Peter Duncan Timbers.
Along with fellow student Georgia Brennan, Jess’s passion for her field saw her win a spot.
Throughout her degree, Jess has volunteered to build tourist accommodation housing in Pokolbin with studio-based design collaborative EgresStudio, done work experience with a local architect, and studied at the University of Nottingham, England on exchange.
"It really shows you need to be in it to win it and just apply yourself to everything," she said.
A modest Jess couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities given to her.
"It means so much to me, I cannot believe how fortunate I am for winning this scholarship," she said.
While abroad, Jess was exposed to speakers from varied design backgrounds – architectures, urban designers, planners, artists and industrial designers – all from Australia or New Zealand.
"It was very educational and inspiring," she said.
"I gained invaluable knowledge about award-winning projects, the current issues relating to architecture and the role of the architect in the future."
The setting, Jess says, made the event all the more special.
"Napier as a city was a perfect site to hold an Architecture conference," she said.
"It is considered the art deco capital of the world with rich history and a beautiful town centre."
The scholarship, available to third-year architecture students, will be offered again in 2013.
Travelling scholarship winner for 2013
31st October, 2012
China, France, Turkey, India and the UK are among the countries third-year Architecture student Matt Kelly will venture to next year.
Matt’s architecture-related adventure is all thanks to the Eric Parker Travelling Scholarship, the biggest of its kind in Australia.
The scholarship is awarded to one deserving student enrolled in the University of Newcastle’s Architecture program.
With $10,000 provided by the Newcastle-based Architecture Foundation as well as sponsorship from local firms, it gives students the opportunity to gain the sense of professional worldliness that comes from global travel.
Eager to observe the effects of urbanisation on residential architecture and living standards abroad, Matt was the lucky recipient.
From May to September next year, the 21-year-old will travel to Shenzhen, Paris, Istanbul, Mumbai and London, where he will try to adopt a "first-hand resident perspective".
"How can we fulfil the goals of the user or client without being a user yourself?" Matt questioned.
He explained that in Shenzhen, a major city in the south of Southern China’s Guangdong Province, the population has boomed from 70,000 to 10 million in the past 30 years.
"I want to look at the way people are living in this hugely expanded society – the benefits and the negatives," he said.
While in Mumbai and Istanbul, he will experience life in the slums.
Then, in the vastly different London and Paris landscapes, he will view government-controlled architecture, particularly housing commission developments.
"Architects shouldn’t just focus on the one-per cent, they should focus on the masses," he said of his pending journey.
A very excited and modest Matt said he encouraged all students to apply for the scholarship.
"Never rule yourself out, who knows what will happen."
Recipients of the scholarship are judged on their passion and the benefit their travel aim could have, not grades.
To find out more, head to thearchitecturefoundation.org.au.
2012 Industrial Design "Newcastle Products" Exhibition
19th October, 2012
Compact skateboards, easy jar openers and modern coffee makers are some of the innovative products designed by University of Newcastle students on show at Newcastle Museum from November 19 to 25.
The NEWcastle Products exhibition will transform the Museum’s Link Gallery into a collection of Novocastrian innovation, with the next crop of local industrial designers showcasing a range of exciting products developed throughout their studies.
After four years of hard work, Bachelor of Industrial Design students are excited to finally bring their designs to the public arena.
Blending creativity and practicality, graduating student David Powers has created a folding skateboard.
David’s son, who was refused access to a bus because his long skateboard wouldn’t fit in a backpack, originally inspired his design.
Recognising just how popular skateboarding has become in the Hunter and across the globe, David decided to design a board that could fold in two.
Given that many new and older skaters enjoy cruising on more stable, longer boards, he feels his design is a winner - unlike past similar designs, it retains the flexibility and feel of a normal board.
In interesting contrast, fellow student Jonathan Fenwick will display a innovative jar opener in the annual end of year exhibition.
The idea for the jar opener was originally targeted at people with arthritis – but Jonathon quickly saw a wider market.
"There are a lot of people who just can’t open jars, so it would be good for all people," Jonathan said.
David and Jonathan encourage all students, community members and industry professionals to visit the very diverse student showcase.
"It will give people a better understanding of what industrial design is," Jonathan said.
"The degree is almost like a mystery, a lot of people don’t know about it."
Industrial Design students attend TAFE for three years, after which they complete one year of university study to obtain a degree.
Industrial designers create "just about everything that isn’t buildings", Jonathan said.
David agreed that there should be more awareness of local design feats.
"Newcastle could really become a centre for innovation," he said.
The NEWcastle Products Industrial Design Exhibition will be on display at the Newcastle Museum Link Gallery from November 20 to 25, 10am to 5.30pm. The public opening night is Monday November 19 starts at 7pm. There will be an industrial evening on November 21 from 5.30pm.
Newcastle Children's Art Pavilion Unmade
13 August, 2012
The children's art pavilion at the Newcastle Art Gallery has undergone an impressive unmaking under the guidance of University of Newcastle academic and architect, Chris Tucker.
The art pavilion, built in 1996, was constructed as a temporary three year structure collaboratively conceived by three fresh UoN graduates - Jodie Dixon, Ramsey Awad and Chris Tucker, but followed through by Tucker's newly established firm, Herd.
Although the pavilion's original use as a place of art for children was successful, in recent years the building had fallen into disrepair and had become wasted space – used only as storage for the gallery.
Over the past week the building has undergone a unique procedural deconstruction, revealing the space that the building's warped walls had long hid to the public.
Tucker shows no sadness in admitting that the building needed to go, but was extremely pleased that it could be demolished in a way that respected the building's character and purpose.
"We celebrate those things that are about to die, and that is exactly what this is, a celebration of the building as a work of art and part of the community".
"The building has not simply been knocked over, it is being recycled in a unique way, distributed to people across the city".
The pavilion is making way for a $21M redevelopment of Newcastle's art gallery, a development that Tucker is very receptive to.
"There is nothing more powerful that a city can do than to invest in its own art."
"It is a declaration to ourselves, and indeed Australia, that we respect our booming art culture, and that we want to celebrate it".
The public has been very welcoming to the redevelopment of the facility, with support from city council, and most importantly, people understanding and appreciating the change.
"The reception has been really positive" Tucker said. "It is a great thing for Newcastle to be Celebrating positive change".
The Pavillion being unmade
Students Washing Children Well
10 August, 2012
Newcastle University's second year Architecture students are impressing more than just their tutors with their recent conceptual work designing washing stations for disadvantaged Australians.
The program was run in conjunction with HealthHabitat, a not for profit organisation aiming to improve living conditions of poor socio-economic groups across Australia, particularly remote Aboriginal communities.
Students were asked to develop and communicate a prototype design for a place for washing young children in privacy, with reliable water supply, suitable "health hardware" and workable drainage.
The project took place over three weeks, beginning with a lecture and three day intensive workshop with Health Habitat managing director, Paul Pholeros.
The workshop saw students digging holes to test water dispersal rates and to create improvised hand washing stations.
The challenges that these seemingly simple tasks presented to the group made them aware of the basic difficulties in washing people.
Owen Kelly, second year Architecture student, explains the revelation the project brought to him.
"It was a fresh stance on the glossy world of architecture. My eyes were opened to the good work that architects can do."
"For me, University is about studying to change the world, and this program really inspired me."
At the end of the three week program, the students were asked to present drawings and scale models of the washing people design proposals.
John Roberts, course co-ordinator, relates the extraordinary results achieved in the short time.
"The standard of the drawings and models was remarkable, non-architects in the school were particularly impressed by the work's intensity and seriousness."
After the program, a student group, led by Owen Kelly and independent of the University persuaded Paul Pholeros to return to Newcastle to give another demonstration.
Pholeros commented that the work was amongst the best student work he had seen, answering the brief with high levels of design intelligence and innovation.
John Roberts proudly explains the exciting future of this inspiring project.
"Following the success of this student project, achieved within the bounds of an undergraduate curriculum and budget, we've begun to seek sponsorship from industry, so that selected designs might contribute to much needed improvements in health in remote Australian communities."
Newcastle University Graduate Wins NSW Architecture Design Medal
30 July, 2012
University of Newcastle graduate Warren Haasnoot has been awarded the Architects NSW Design Medal, the highest accolade for an architectural graduate in NSW.
Winning for his work in envisioning a future Carrington Wharf, Warren’s achievement builds on the successes of other recent Newcastle Architecture graduates Ben Walters (runner up 2011) and Lachlan Seegers (winner, 2010).
The award, held each year, goes to a fresh NSW graduate who shows exemplary and progressive vision in architectural design.
The significance of the award is not lost on Haasnoot.
"It’s fairly prestigious, a real honour", he says modestly.
Newcastle University Academic, Chris Tucker, concurs profusely.
"Some of the previous winners of this award have gone on to become some of the biggest names in Australian architecture. It’s a really significant achievement".
The award takes three final year students from each of the four architectural schools in NSW and exhibits them to the architectural community, from which High-ranking members critique projects on innovation and vision.
Haasnoot’s project aims to challenge the architectural norm of current Novocastrian developments such as Honeysuckle, and recognise the individuality of Newcastle and its people.
Tucker reflects on the qualities that led Haasnoot to his win.
"He has outstanding creative vision, is socially aware and recognises that the true value of architecture lies with the masses".
"He has a very noble outlook on architecture and is a very worthy recipient of the award".
Speaking to students, Tucker recognises the inspiration available right within their backyard.
"Newcastle is in a unique situation for architecture - we have a decaying urban centre that is in need of innovative vision and direction to remain relevant."
"Use this to feed your imagination, use it to create your vision"
Haasnoot agrees. "Architects need to look beyond just buildings. We need to consider and incorporate art, science, technology and anthropology into our designs".
"Immerse yourself within your project and imagine what the project can be within the community rather than what it will be as a building"
With Haasnoot’s success with the award this year, it bodes well for all students interested in competing in future years.
"The calibre of Newcastle’s graduates is incredible. Work on projects you care about and you’ll get out what you put in."
Take a step into Victorian Newcastle
4 June, 2012
Newcastle residents will soon be able to take a step into the past thanks to a new smart phone application from a group of Faculty academics.
Dr Tessa Morrison, Dr Ning Gu and PhD candidate Nicholas Foulcher have been working on the application, which ties together the region’s history and urban development with current technology.
The project allows users to visit key architectural sites in the Newcastle landscape and use their smart phone to retrieve images of historic buildings from each location.
It has been funded by a $15,000 Faculty Strategic Pilot Grant from the Faculty Research Committee.
Ornate, high Victorian architecture and expansive verandas are hallmarks of late 19th century local architecture, and characterise many of the images used in the project.
There is a wealth of information about Victorian Newcastle, thanks to the work of local photojournalist Ralph Snowball, and his descendants, who have kindly given permission for the use of his work in this project.
Snowball photographed the town during an unprecedented boom period, and managed to capture a glimpse of the quickly evolving area.
Many of the buildings he photographed have since been altered, are in states of disrepair or have been pulled down to make way for new developments.
"There are many images sitting in the archives, not readily available to the public," said project leader Dr Morrison.
"This application builds on our expertise, using the latest technology such as augmented reality, and gives the community the tools to reconstruct our heritage."
After downloading the application, users will be able to take a virtual tour of over 20 buildings and learn more about what previously stood on each site.
One site that has been repeatedly repurposed is 277 Hunter Street. It has previously housed an ice-skating rink, a food market, the Palais theatre and is now the Southern Hemisphere’s largest KFC.
From an academic perspective, the project seeks to identify the urban and architectural patterns of the region’s capital.
The team will use this information to benchmark the development of Newcastle in comparison to similar regions.
In coming months, the team will be asking the community to contribute their own historic photos and hope that they will help to bring the rich history of the region to life.
Locals will be able to get their first taste of the historic project when it goes on exhibition at the Newcastle Museum this November.
Sneak peak gallery
Basketball star joins local team
4 June, 2012
Bachelor of Architecture (Design) student Loma Mataika has been selected to join the Newcastle Hunters basketball team.
She has represented Fiji on the international women’s basketball, including the 2007 gold-medal winning Pacific Games team.
Find out more about Mataika’s interesting journey to Newcastle on The Herald's website.
Construction management student receives Colombo Plan scholarship
4 June, 2012
Construction management student Alissa Thivakon is the recipient of the 1968 Singapore Colombo Plan Students’ Scholarship for 2012.
The scholarship, valued at over $3000, was established by a group of Colombo Plan Students from Singapore who studied at the University of Newcastle from 1968 within the then Faculty of Engineering.
Thivakon is a high-achieving student with a raft of distinctions and high distinctions, and has always had a passion for the construction industry.
"I think it’s amazing how people come together, and work together, to make things function in a solid, tangible way," she said.
Thivakon grew up in Inverell, a small town in north-west New South Wales.
Her parents migrated to Australia from Thailand and are raising Alissa and her three siblings here. She says they are incredibly proud of her for winning this scholarship.
When asked what she would like to say to the generous individuals who made this scholarship possible, she doesn’t hesitate – "Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to be recognised. Receiving this scholarship has really motivated me to do the best I can.â
Construction management prize-winners announced
28 March, 2012
Three students from the Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) will receive industry-sponsored awards at the Construction Management Anniversary Dinner on 14 April, 2012.
Ryan Christie-Johnston will receive the NSW Public Works Prize for Construction Management worth $2000 and Alissa Thivakon is the recipient of the MBA Student Estimator Prize. Scott Eftimovski will be awarded a Dean’s Medal and the Newcastle Master Builders Association Prize, worth $500.
"I feel very proud and privileged to receive this award," said Eftimovski.
"It vindicates all of the hard work and long hours of study I have put in over the duration of the course."
Eftimovski was a qualified builder before entering the construction management program and felt that it was the next logical step to developing his career.
He aspires to project manage large scale, unique projects that help to contribute and add value to the lives of occupants and the surrounding community.
He is currently working for top tier construction company Laing O’Rourke on the K10 project located on Kooragang Island.
Winning the MBA Student Estimator Prize came as a surprise to Alissa Thivakon (picture left), who did not know her lecturer had entered her name. She will receive the prize at the MBA’s Top 50 Builders this Friday.
"I am very grateful for receiving this award as it has opened up a lot of doors for me," said Thivakon.
Thivakon enjoys the challenge of being a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry. Since receiving the award she feels even more motivated to continue working hard to do the job she loves.
"I hope to graduate with good grades and gain employment in reputable company where I can learn from others and continue to develop professionally."
Ryan Christie-Johnston grew up on a cattle farm outside of Bathurst and always wanted to get into the building industry.
When choosing a degree to study, he felt that Construction Management offered the greatest range of career prospects and the best opportunity to work on projects from start to finish.
Christie-Johnston believes the course lived up to its billing, combining a great student culture with broad technical and management expertise.
"Studying turned out to be the best four years of my life and I made a lot of great mates," said Christie-Johnston.
Since completing his studies, he has been employed with Parsons Brinckerhoff as a scheduler on their expansion of the Bengalla, and plans to develop skills locally and abroad to the point in which he can successfully manage his own high end projects.
Olympic village architect wins gold medal
28 March, 2012
The University of Newcastle professor who has designed multiple Olympic Games venues and villages has been awarded the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest accolade, the Gold Medal.
Multi award-winning architect, Professor Lawrence Nield, provides design leadership through the university’s Architect in Residence program where he acts as a mentor to Australia’s next generation of architects.
He is one of five leading Australian architects at the university's School of Architecture and Built Environment, one of the best-equipped architecture schools in the country.
Professor Nield was recognised at the Institute’s Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards in Adelaide for his impact on Australia’s built environment and significant contributions to teaching.
Professor Nield’s impressive design career spans 45 years. He was head of masterplanning for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, designed five venues for the Athens Olympics in 2004, five venues and for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and the 2012 London Athletes Village.
Professor Nield’s work also includes the redevelopment of the overseas passenger terminal at Circular Quay, Sydney's Cook and Phillip Park near St Mary’s Cathedral and the National Science and Technology Centre – Questacon - in Canberra.
Early in his career, Professor Nield designed the University’s David Maddison clinical sciences building in Newcastle.
Students to support natural disaster reconstruction efforts
23 Feburary, 2012
Beginning in 2012, students from the School of Architecture and Built Environment will have an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of people who have been affected by natural disasters.
During the mid-year semester break, students can take part in a four-week program in conjunction with Emergency Architects Australia.
In conjunction with aid agencies, local communities, governments and funding institutions, Emergency Architects assists to rebuild devastated areas, with the common belief that the construction of permanent (rather than temporary) structures, using local materials, will deliver effective and sustainable long-term results for communities affected by disaster.
The program has patronage from eminent architect H.E. Mr Michael Bryce, AM, AE and is the first of its type in an Australian university.
The University is currently looking for donors to help fund $4,000 scholarships, which will cover the costs of training, flights, accommodation and living expenses incurred while on the program.
Grant recipient to improve student experience
15th of December, 2011
Dr Helen Giggins and her team have received a grant of up to $10,000 to promote and support the development of initiatives focused on enhancing the quality of teaching and learning and the student experience at the University of Newcastle.
Dr Giggins and her team members Prof. Tony Williams, Mr Wyn Jones and Mr Andrew Yardy will develop an integrated system to provide students with 'verbal' feedback. The results of the project will be presented at the 2012 Teaching and Learning Showcase to be held in November.
“We are very excited to receive the grant and look forward to starting work early in the new year,“ said Dr Giggins.
“The project will incorporate voice to text, or voice recognition, software into an existing marking system, improving feedback to students and at the same time make marking a little easier for Academics.“
“This will allow the academic to provide high quality feedback to students in a much more natural way, simply by speaking as they would if the student were in the room with them.“
The Teaching and Learning Project Grants are coordinated by the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Please contact Julie Moulton, Grants and Awards Officer, for further information on 4921 6722 or Julie.Moulton@newcastle.edu.au.
The Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) achieves major milestone
The Construction Management program in the School of Architecture and Built Environment has obtained accreditation from the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS).
This is the culmination of a lot of hard work during 2010 by Staff in the Discipline after a request from the New South Wales Government through its agency the Building Professionals Board.
There is a shortage of qualified Building Surveyors in New South Wales and Nationally, this accreditation will allow graduates of the Construction Management program to choose Building Surveying as a career path.
This is great news for the School and future graduates as Building Surveying provides career path with exciting challenges and excellent remuneration. For further information please contact Dr. Jamie MacKee, Head of Discipline on 49217451.
Leading construction management academics returns home
Founding construction management professor Denny McGeorge has returned to the School of Architecture and Built Environment.
Emeritus Professor McGeorge has had over forty years international experience in academia, holding visiting Chairs at the foremost international institutions in the field, has contributed to two Royal commissions, advised governments, and has lead a number of significant research initiatives in Australia in the past 3 decades.
Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Publications
1st of December, 2011
The Faculty's Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Carter, has announced the recipients of the 2011 Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Publications.
This year's recipients are Dr Yuqing Lin, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Oluwole Olatunji, School of Architecture and Built Environment.
The quality of all candidates this year was excellent, so it is a significant achievement to have been selected for an award.
The purpose of these awards is to recognise research excellence in outstanding early career and mid-career researchers from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment.
The scheme is designed to encourage researchers to produce high quality journal articles, conference papers or creative works in line with the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) ranking system.
The recipients of each award will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $2,500.
Outstanding academics promoted to Lecturer and Senior Lecturers
1st of December, 2011
Congratulations to the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment’s newest Lecturer and Senior Lecturers. Five of our academic staff members have been promoted based on outstanding contributions in the areas of research, teaching and service.
Ms Annemarie Dosen of the School of Architecture and Built Environment has been named a Lecturer while Dr Michael Mak (School of Architecture and Built Environment), Dr Alexandre Mendes (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Dr Terrence Summers, (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and Dr Grant Webber, (School of Engineering) will become the Faculty’s newest Senior Lecturers.
Newcastle welcomes the who's who of Australian architecture
25th of November, 2011
Newcastle architecture students will have access to the best design minds in the country following the appointment of five leading Australian architects.
The internationally-renowned architects behind prestigious works including the Opera House, Olympic villages in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, and the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art, have been enlisted as specialist mentors for students.
Attracting the high calibre industry professionals was a massive coup for the university, Head of the
School of Architecture and Built Environment, Professor Tony Williams said.
“The professionals will work closely with students to provide invaluable industry perspective through critique sessions, offer advice on high impact design, and ensure connectivity to the industry was not lost,” Professor Williams said.
“Newcastle is arguably the best-equipped architecture school in the country, and now we are the first university in Australia to have five prominent practitioners working within a school. No one else can lay claim to that.”
The university is one of Australia’s largest architecture schools and is the only higher education provider that offers a studio environment for teaching, giving students 24-hour access to a state-of-the-art design studio, plus their own personal workspace.
Professional architects in residence are:
- Laurence Nield (BVN Architecture) designed four successive Olympic villages in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London.
- Kerry and Lindsay Clare (Directors, Architectus) husband and wife duo and winners of the Australian Institute of Architects 2010 Gold Medal for the design of Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art.
- Peter Stutchbury designed several Newcastle campus buildings, including the Birabahn Indigenous centre and the Design building. Peter has also recently won both state and national awards for housing designs.
- Richard Leplastrier worked on the Sydney Opera House design and is known most recently for his environmentally sustainable designs, particularly his prolific use of wood.