As the Irish construction industry emerges from recession it has become evident that the existing established practices of project design and delivery are evolving in line with international best practice. BIM, (Building Information Modelling) is a collaborative based approach to construction project delivery from inception through to completion and facility management. This practice has been on-going for several years at a European and global level. The skillset of the AEC (Architectural, Engineering & Construction) professional re-entering this sector must evolve to contribute to this redefined workplace.
At the School of Engineering in WIT we have been integrating a BIM methodology into all our programmes, specifically across the Departments of Architecture and Built Environment. We have altered approach from CAD based delivery to Intelligent Modelling of the construction process.
The course is specifically geared towards individuals who may have graduated several years previous and have been subsequently made unemployed/redundant and are now considering re-entering the workplace. Naturally that workplace has evolved. In order for the graduate to be industry- ready the programme promotes aspects that will enable this transition to be as seamless as possible.
The Higher Diploma in BIM (H Dip BIM) is a one year level 8 programme which is aimed at construction professionals who wish to up-skill and re-engage with the AEC industry. The programme will be delivered over 3 Semesters. Semesters 1 & 2 will consist of campus based modules that will contain a project/studio element in each semester. All subjects will embrace the BIM ethos and will prepare the student for the Semester 3 BIM Industrial Placement. This module will be spent off-campus where each student will be placed in an appropriate company where they will gain practical experience.
Our teaching methods will ensure job readiness in two distinct ways. Firstly, in Semesters 1 & 2 many of the modules will be shared with students from within the School of Engineering. This gives the student an opportunity to engage with other professions and establish peer to peer learning within the context of the classroom. An ability to appreciate and understand each of the professions within the AEC sector is a positive attribute for the work-ready graduate to possess. Secondly, the BIM (1&2) modules will facilitate a Studio/project element that incorporates a collaborative project that builds on from the classroom collaboration to full engagement with an industry partner.
BIM Industrial Placement
In order for the student to fully appreciate the role they will undertake on completion of this course it is most beneficial that they undertake industrial placement. The dynamic of the AEC industry is changing and to successfully integrate the graduate back into the sector a period of supervised industry placement will further enhance their employment prospects.