Introducing… Our new sustainability student ambassador

Posted on: 3 June, 2021

Our student ambassadors aim to inspire current and potential students at open events and webinars, and through networking. They also have a presence on social media and email communications where they answer questions about the student experience and give advice.

We appointed our first four student ambassadors representing diversity, sustainability, welfare and student communities, respectively, last year. With two of our ambassadors having graduated and the creation of two new roles representing the LGBTQ+ community and gender balance, we have four new ambassadors this year.

Over the next several weeks, we will be introducing you to our student ambassadors. With it being World Environment Day this week, it made sense to introduce you to our sustainability ambassador first and, here, Kate Andrews introduces herself and outlines her aims in the role…

Kate Andrews

Hi, I’m Kate and I’m the new student ambassador for sustainability here at UCEM. I am an assistant building control surveyor for an approved inspector where I have been for nearly two years.

Prior to that, I worked in a local authority, first in planning administration for 18 months, and then in building control for over 10 years, initially as technical support. I then worked as a technician until eventually starting to train part time as a surveyor for the last 18 months there.

I fell into the industry as somebody who knew nothing about construction (or planning!) as it was a convenient stopgap maternity cover role whilst I was looking at moving house; however, once I moved across to building control, I realised that it was a career that was incredibly varied, always changing and developing, impossible to ever know everything, and that could actually make a difference to both people and the planet.

I started at UCEM in September 2019 on its BSc (Hons) Building Control programme, as my company were looking for people to trial it alongside our own in-house academy programme. I had never finished my original degree that I had started immediately after leaving college, so it was an opportunity to finally feel like I achieved that, as well as a way to help further my career and gain professional recognition.

I, like many people, have an interest in our planet and trying to ensure the long-term sustainability of people living here, but have also always found it hard to find ways to feel like I am contributing or making a difference. I am a mature student and of a generation of people who seem to like the idea of helping the planet but in practice find it is too much hassle or inconvenient.

It is heartening that this attitude seems to be changing, and I have four children of my own who I want to make sure have the best possible future without having to face more and more extreme weather systems, or increasing pandemics, as well as ensuring they have the ability to provide for themselves and others in both society and the economy.

This, in part, explains why I wanted to become UCEM’s student ambassador for sustainability as I felt that it not only gave me an opportunity to make a small difference through raising awareness and healthy debate on sustainable issues, or providing a voice for others with less confidence, but also to hopefully inspire others on how to make a difference themselves (small or large). The construction industry is perfectly placed to do this, and I hope to be able to show others that this is the case and maybe even encourage more people to become involved in an ever-evolving industry, with big skills shortages and endless opportunities to help society become more sustainable in many aspects.

So, over to you. If you have any subjects you would like to know more about or have the opportunity to discuss, drop me a line ( ), and in the meantime please keep an eye out for any events or posts of interest.