Secondary school students introduced to the world of surveying at UCEM’s centenary event

Hundreds of secondary school and college students from Newham were given a taster of what surveying is at UCEM’s first external centenary event on Thursday (May 16).

UCEM spread the word of the profession to more than 250 students across two sessions at The Crystal – the world’s most sustainable events venue – in the London borough.

The morning session was titled ‘What is surveying and what opportunities can it bring in the future?’. The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE began by telling the students how they can make a change to the world we see around us and how UCEM can play a part in that journey.

The morning panel discussion was chaired by Howard de Walden Estate Chief Executive, Andrew Hynard, who is also a UCEM Trustee, with Sherin Aminossehe, Jessica Austin and Jesse Meek giving presentations about their career and how the students could go down a similar path.

Group shot of Principal, Chairman, Jessica Austin, Sherin Aminossehe and Jesse Meek

(L-R) UCEM Chairman of the Board of Trustees, John Gellatly, Jessica Austin, Jesse Meek, Sherin Aminossehe and UCEM Principal, Ashley Wheaton.

  • Sherin’s talk covered her career which has included stints in government and Head of the Commercial Office Business at Landlease;
  • Jessica gave an overview of being an apprentice who studies with UCEM and works for CBRE Valuation and Advisory Services; and
  • Jesse reflected on his path to becoming Head of Property Asset Management at Sovereign Housing, having with studied with UCEM along the way.

Jessica covering her career in surverying, government and being Head of the Commercial Office Business at Landlease Jesse documenting his journey to become Head of Property Asset Management at Sovereign Housing, after studying at UCEM

Andrew Hynard, Jessica Austin, Sherin Aminossehe and Jesse Meek answering questions from the audience Andrew Hynard on stage answering questions from the audience

The first session ended with the announcement of the six winners of UCEM’s Design a Building of the Future competition. Amelie Hubert and Lizzie Laurie from Thornton College, and Niamh Urquhart from Coloma Convent Girls’ School were the three winners in the Years 7 and 8 category while Dwight School’s Drake O’Neil, Nina Stremersch and Alma Ayadi triumphed in the Years 9 and 10 category.

The competition was open to all schools in the UK and tasked students to design a building equipped to deal with the challenges of the future by incorporating sustainable features. UCEM received more than 60 entries with the winners earning a trip to the BRE Innovation Park in Watford and £50 for their school.

The winning designs included a hospital with a slide looping around the building for outpatients to use once they are better, an eco school and a home built for human habitation above expected risen sea levels with a glass foundation for sea animals to live in underneath. Winners in attendance were invited to the stage to collect a trophy from UCEM Principal, Ashley Wheaton and UCEM Chairman, John Gellatly.

The second session for the students built on the theme of sustainability in an hour-long panel discussion entitled ‘What does sustainability mean to the future of the Built Environment?’. Misa von Tunzelman, the Head of Marketing and Communications UK for BNP Paribas Real Estate, chaired the discussion which saw contributions by Friends of the Earth Chief Executive, Craig Bennett, The Prince’s Foundation Senior Director, Ben Bolgar, and Hammerson Plc Group Head of Sustainability, Louise Ellison.

Group shot of Craig Bennet, Misa von Tunzelman, Louise Ellison, Ben Bolgar and UCEM Principal, Ashley Wheaton

(L-R) Craig Bennett, Misa von Tunzelman, Louise Ellison, Ben Bolgar and UCEM Principal, Ashley Wheaton

  • Craig pointed out the multifaceted benefits to humans and the planet of pursuing a sustainable lifestyle;
  • Ben explained how town and country planners can be more sustainable; and
  • Louise highlighted the challenges facing the future of the Built Environment and what needs to be done, including the mass rollout of electric cars and using buildings to generate power.

Louise Ellison, Ben Bolgar, Misa von Tunzelman and Craig Bennett on stage answering questions from the audience Louise Ellison, Ben Bolgar, Misa von Tunzelman and Craig Bennett on stage answering questions from the audience

Louise Ellison, Ben Bolgar, Misa von Tunzelman and Craig Bennett on stage answering questions from the audience

UCEM Deputy Principal, Jane Fawkes, commented: “Not only is our centenary year a chance to reflect on our past but it offers us an opportunity to look to the future. It therefore made sense that we include school and college students in our event to inspire the next generation about the possibilities of working in the Built Environment and how sustainability is hugely important for the sector.”

The two sessions were live-streamed on UCEM’s YouTube channel with edited versions being released onto the channel tomorrow (Wednesday, 22 May).