We will be hosting the 33rd UCEM Property Awards on Thursday, 15 October. Due to COVID-19, we will not be able to hold this in person but we will be sharing videos and announcements throughout the day on our social media channels to celebrate the achievements of our nominees and winners.
The event will see a sixth person receive our Academic Excellence Award since it was added to the Property Awards in 2015.
The Academic Excellence Award recognises the academic excellence and quality of a student’s research/dissertation submission.
In the lead-up to 15 October, we will be profiling each of the nominees for this Award. We looked at Philip Goldstone’s and Laura Millican’s nominated dissertations last week, and next, we feature Jasmine Walsh and her dissertation project entitled ‘How can Anglian Water improve water footprinting of its investment programme?’.
Jasmine has worked as a Cost Engineer within Strategic Investment Management at Anglian Water since 2016. As part of this role, she is responsible for building capital and operational asset cost models using data captured from Anglian Water’s actual construction projects, building and maintaining carbon and water footprint models across the asset base, quality assessing project cost estimates within Anglian Water’s investment programme and providing cost benchmarking analysis. Jasmine is using this experience to work towards her RICS APC, aiming to sit her final assessment next year.
Jasmine completed UCEM’s MSc Quantity Surveying programme, gaining a Distinction, whilst working full-time for Anglian Water through the business’s five-yearly price review and business planning period.
Having originally studied for a Geography BSc, the increasing prevalence and focus on sustainability within the Built Environment keenly interested Jasmine during her MSc studies. This passion, combined with Anglian Water’s sustainability business goals, led to her dissertation project titled ‘How can Anglian Water improve water footprinting of its investment programme? A critical analysis of current practice and recommendations for continuous improvement’.
This project found that there has been very little progress made in terms of water footprinting data, perception and understanding in the last 10 years, particularly in comparison to carbon footprinting and despite water being a valuable and increasingly scarce resource. These findings have led to further work for Anglian Water in hotspotting key assets and materials to identify areas to target within the business plan to reduce the business’s water footprint and, therefore, its environmental impacts.
“I was equal parts shocked and delighted to have been nominated for this year’s Academic Excellence Award,” Jasmine reveals. “I was fascinated by my dissertation project, so I am truly honoured that it has been considered worthy of recognition and has contributed something valuable to our understanding of sustainability within the built environment.”
Reflecting on her time studying with UCEM, she says: “I found studying with UCEM whilst working full-time both challenging and rewarding. It pushed me to develop my time management and organisation skills, but it was great that I could study online at my own pace, which allowed me to balance studies with life. As for course content, it was interesting to learn about aspects of the construction industry that are not part of my day job and I loved that topical subjects, like innovation and sustainability, were woven into each module.”
On the dissertation and what lessons she would give to others based on her experience, Jasmine adds: “I remember feeling both anxious and excited about starting my final assignment because it was going to be a huge undertaking, but it was a topic I was really keen to explore. When it came down to it, planning and hard work were key!
“My advice to others starting their final projects would be to choose something that you are interested in because you are going to become an expert in that area, you will spend a lot of time studying it and it could open doors for you in your career. My other tip would be to speak to your colleagues to get ideas and advice so that you can be sure the work you are doing is relevant and beneficial to the business. I planned regular catch-ups with my advisor, which kept me on track and gave me confidence that I was taking the project in the right direction.”
Looking ahead, Jasmine says: “Since completing my MSc, I have been continuing in my role as Cost Engineer within the water industry, developing my water industry engineering and costing knowledge. I am also working towards my RICS APC and hope to take my final assessment to become Chartered within the next year.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Jasmine, and all the best for the Awards and your APC!