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Constructionariu m The University Perspective. Our “hands on” education on campus is limited to “lab scale” Dr Mike Cook of Buro Happold brings us industry.

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Presentation on theme: "Constructionariu m The University Perspective. Our “hands on” education on campus is limited to “lab scale” Dr Mike Cook of Buro Happold brings us industry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Constructionariu m The University Perspective

2 Our “hands on” education on campus is limited to “lab scale” Dr Mike Cook of Buro Happold brings us industry “know-how” but cannot bring industry scale to the classroom Our wave tanks does not incur the same risk awareness as building over water Design teaching uses models but it doesn’t teach construction decision- making and risk reality

3 Industry scale is too risky, expensive & alien for academics alone university c contractor designers Teaching team Design engineers from industry “thinks big” (much bigger than classroom scale) and “thinks risk” and “thinks creative” Contractor from industry: “thinks big” and “thinks risk” and “thinks logistics”. Contractors HANDLE risk as an everyday matter, at a scale not encountered in university labs. They deal with, not avoid, risk. Academics understand students and have field trip experience, pastoral care & welfare, academic assessment, cross-link to curriculum, understand project-based learning, supply PhD students and lab staff (as teaching assistants), experience in dissemination of education ideas; expert on nurturing students (who are HEI ‘clients’, not ‘employees’)

4 But even industry was nervous at first Learning curve for teaching team thus: 2003: the dam was “thigh high” 2004: the bridge was beautiful 5m 2005: the scale doubled to 10m bridge 2006: too big? 25m steel pier built in fear 2007: comfortable with an array of sizes but all require industry “process” (not DIY) 2010: ran 10 projects simultaneously (ouch)

5 Distinguish it from work experience Work experience teaches work “culture” Exposes student to a “slice” of hands-on life Cannot send 100 students to one employer Cannot monitor 100 different employers Assessment not easy Client needs take priority over student needs Student remains a student or junior engineer (cannot take decisions of a chartered eng’r) Constructionarium is academically efficient: fits timetables, serves industry, is easy to mark, teachers control the challenge, observable, repeatable, develops skills, enhances technical understanding, inspires, yields shared memories

6 Constructionarium effects: “Concrete and steel” replace “paper and glue” Motivates and inspires students (beyond mere technical learning). “I am” not “I will be” Completes the theory-design-construction triangle of knowledge Staff team now more sophisticated in its understanding of student potential/limits QUICKLY SPREAD to 16 universities Useful: Freedom to adapt to teaching plan/style

7 Versimilitude? Nuclear engineering education needs to look at new build as well as implementing/operating Constructionarium challenges would pull new build to the front of students’ minds Costings: we inflate costs to mimic real- life costs Safety: it is the student and staff safety on the line. Real H&S risk outguns theory H&S always Time: 5 working days for big things Quality: client negotiates final contract settlement Case studies only go so far Models only go so far Reality goes further, even at scale

8 What happens to the student? Prep: technical, mindset, safety, skills On-site for 6 days, 5 nights “Know-how” meets “know-why” Increased employability skill-set Earn marks? earn respect! Make decisions Do more, faster Reflect Student engineer Minimal discipline issues Practical engineers shine Reassess student “potential” Student tell-tale: the backpack

9 How do we know the impact? Observation on site: just watch them Output by the student teams Reactions of industry participants Reactions of students when interviewed (Imperial students told JBM accreditors that Constructionarium was “the best thing” in the degree) Student pride & sense of self as an engineer

10 Learning outcomes or “threshold experience”? First principles: it must be right to have hands-on experience, no matter what role taken. LOs differ from student to student, (but same true for medics on clinical practicals in hospitals). Could have a “checklist” approach? Could have a team “reflective journal”? Could have individual logbooks? Could have a casestudy presentation followup? Could trust the students to benefit without pinning down the immediate LO: treat it as a “threshold experience” to benefit follow-up classes/modules.

11 Nuclear engineering adaptation Nuclear industry needs graduates willing to engage Nuclear industry new build will be big Nuclear industry operational will be big/long-term Nuclear industry needs different culture from norm Teaching staff not experienced in nuclear build/ops Opportunity to be interdisciplinary CPD expansion opportunity

12 CASESTUDY: Why adopt constructionium? MSc nuclear engineering at Imperial Students with wide range of backgrounds (Chem, Mech, Civil, Elect, Mat Eng + physics, chemistry). Aim to provide the broader understanding of nuclear engineering on top of their specialist degree. Constructionarium provides a chance to experience nuclear culture not just learn about it. i.e. engage with nuclear safety culture. Gets students who may be involved in new build but aren’t civil engineers to understand some of the problems with design, supply chain etc that new build will face. Gives the real sense of new build is happening rather than just something that may happen in the future. Strong possibility of use, in future, for decommissioning studies, Mechanical and Electrical engineering. Constructionarium was mentioned by Georges Servière, adviser to the CEO of EDF, in his lecture at Imperial recently. Fair to say industry think it is a good idea!

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