Alumni share their experience with Construction Management students

Paul Heming and Christopher Barber.

Final year BSc Construction Management students benefitted from the industry experience of our alumni when they worked on a project led by BCU graduates Paul Heming and Christopher Barber.

BSc Construction Management

Birmingham City University

Chris and Paul, who met studying Quantity Surveying at the University, now run their own start-up business, Construction Link ( They set the students a real-life problem, based on a project they had worked on during their careers. 

Students were divided into five teams and asked to prepare a bid and tender submission for a high value residential project in London, produce a cost plan and programme for the work, and then present their proposal.

The tenders were judged by Chris, Paul and Angela Kilby, the Programme Leader for Construction Management. The winning team, Shape Construction, impressed the judges with their in-depth research and the detail of their programme and budget.

In addition to setting the problem and judging it, Chris and Paul made several visits to the University over the course of the nine-week project to offer Q & A sessions, giving students the opportunity to learn directly from those working in industry.

Speaking about why they chose to get involved with the project, Chris Barber explained: “We saw this as a great way to give something back to the University. It’s also good to meet the next generation of the construction industry. It was very enjoyable to meet the students and pass on the knowledge we’ve built up in the years since graduation.”

He and Paul both enjoyed the opportunity of meeting the students, and Paul noted: “I remember doing a similar project when we were students. It’s more entertaining to set the really horrible problem than to solve it!”

Angela Kilby, who taught Chris and Paul when they were students, said of the experience: “This is the first time we tapped into alumni for a project like this. It’s been great to give students an idea of where they might go after graduation, and to hear how well our graduates are doing. We’re looking to develop more real-life projects like this on our built environment courses, and to continue building links with our alumni.”

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