In focus: Our nominees for the RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards 2020 – Dan Nixon

Posted on: 28 October, 2020

Three UCEM apprentices and three alumni have been nominated in various categories at this year’s RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards.


In the lead-up to the Awards, we will be profiling each of our nominees beginning with Apprentice of the Year nominee, Dan Nixon…


Dan Nixon

Dan Nixon – Building Surveyor at Hollis

Chartered Surveyor apprentice (Building Surveying pathway)


How did your nomination come about?

“Apprenticeships are a relatively new concept at Hollis, with the scheme starting just over two years ago. Ever since the scheme started, Hollis have been keen to promote apprenticeships within the company and also at an industry level.

“This award nomination exemplifies and absolutely reinforces their positive and constructive approach to promoting the built environment, especially to young people and those looking to undertake apprenticeships.

“My nomination came about after a number of colleagues recommended me for the award. I am so incredibly privileged to work with so many incredible surveyors who allow me to question ‘why’ and to get involved on everything and anything – from project instructions to attending client events; things you stereotypically wouldn’t expect to see an apprentice tackling hands-on. This approach really does allow me to be the surveyor I want to be in the near-future.”

Why do you think you were recognised in this way?

“I really do enjoy work – the people I work with are great and I get to see some really impressive sites. I am also intrigued by the built environment – from the Government’s attempt to remodel the planning system to the use of sustainable technology.

“I value every site inspection and also appreciate the roles that I have been given on numerous jobs – some that I manage directly. I guess that this is what stood out to Hollis when selecting a nomination for the award – someone that enjoys work and benefits from their vault of knowledge and experience.”

How are you finding your studies with UCEM?

“I am enjoying my time with UCEM, especially now the modules are specifically Building Surveying-related. My favourite module to date was the Planning and Conservation module. We had the assignment task to inspect a historically important building and I selected the Byzantine Westminster Cathedral – a building that is meticulously designed and adored by so many, of all faiths and of none. I got into every crevice of the building and accessed some incredible information that allowed me to prepare a well-researched piece of work. After the assignment was submitted, I suddenly thought: ‘Ah, I enjoyed that. I can actually do this’.

“I now move into my final year of study with the UCEM – admittedly with a sense of trepidation. My modules – Building Pathology and Professional Surveying Practice, alongside my project – will be the first Level 6 Modules I complete. However, I am looking forward to the challenge and ultimately progressing onto the APC with the information I have picked up along the way.

“I have made so many good friends through UCEM and it is exciting to progress to our final year as a group – many of whom I got to know during my very first module. Knowing people on the same course is invaluable. It is so comforting to chat through a concept or theory with someone and appreciate that you actually get it: without them, I feel that online learning could be ever so dull and monotonous.”

What would it mean to you to win the award?

“It would be an incredible way to say ‘thank you’ to the surveyors who have spent time in mentoring and supporting me over the past three years. I have been so incredibly lucky to have had two awesome line managers (Jo Bell and Richard Skinnard) who have pushed me at every single opportunity to ‘go and get it’. They’re awesome people and without them and the experience that they have given me, I don’t feel that my name would be on the nomination paper. In that sole regard, it would mean an awful lot.”

Best of luck, Dan! To find out more, head to the Awards webpage.