CALAawardceremony
Left to right: David McGrath, Claire Saville, Liam Keeble, Benjamin Kratz, Melanie Fecker, Easton Arthur, Fiona Grant.

Five forward-thinking undergraduate students have earned a placement at a major UK homebuilder organisation after impressing judges with their innovative ideas to shape the future of homebuilding.

48 Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying students in their third year of their degrees took part in the first ever CALA Student Partnership Award. This was a graded piece of work where students were asked to present their creative ideas on their vision for homes of the future, assessed by University and CALA Homes judging panels.

The winners were announced by Tracey Ashworth-Davies, HR Director, CALA Group, and David McGrath, Managing Director, CALA Homes (East), at an awards ceremony at Heriot-Watt University where other key stakeholders from CALA Homes and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) were also in attendance to celebrate the students’ achievements.

There were ten shortlisted finalists in total from each of two subject categories. Three shortlisted Construction Project Management students – Susanna Ford, Niamh Doyle and Neil Finlay  and two from Quantity Surveying – Lewis Mulholland and Gillian Smith  who all took home runner up prizes.

Easton Arthur and Melanie Fecker took 1st and 2nd place respectively for Construction Project Management. Liam Keeble was 1st for Quantity Surveying, with Claire Saville and Benjamin Kratz taking joint second place. These five winning students now look forward to a busy summer ahead of them as each have won a paid summer internship with the UK homebuilder, working alongside CALA’s expert team, whilst also seeing if their creative ideas can be put into practice.

The ceremony was introduced by the Head of School of EGIS, Professor Malcolm Chrisp, who linked this project to Heriot-Watt University’s ethos and current values.

He said: “Heriot Watt’s origins in 1821 was fundamentally to provide students with knowledge and problem-solving skills to address industry-specific issues. This project shows we are still continuing with that today.”

David McGrath, Managing Director of CALA Homes (East), said: “Heriot-Watt has provided a number of excellent candidates for CALA’s graduate scheme over the past few years so we were delighted to work with the University on the Student Partnership Award.

“The quality of the work that the students have produced and the enthusiasm with which they have approached this project has exceeded all of our expectations and we’ve been extremely impressed with the ideas they have generated.

“The housebuilding industry has a lot to offer young people who are looking for a rewarding career. As a growing industry, we need new talent and ideas for the future, so to have had such a positive response to this new initiative is fantastic. We hope to be able to continue offering this opportunity to students.”

To find out more about the CALA Student Partnership award visit the CALA Homes website.

You can also watch a video about the CALA Student Partnership Award here

Image: Ian Georgeson