Best BIM Bad BIM: Claire Bowles

Credit: thinkBIM
Credit: thinkBIM

Answered from either a personal or industry-viewpoint perspective, Best BIM Bad BIM sees a member of the #GlobalBIMCrew divulge their best and worst BIM experiences and what they have learned from both. The first interviewee of 2015 is Claire Bowles, Regional Director for Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire & Humberside and Project Director for thinkBIM at Leeds Beckett University.

What is Claire’s Best BIM Experience?

There’s no contest. Flying to Mauritius to meet our alumni Laurent De Senneville (click here to visit De Senneville’s LinkedIn profile) to deliver three BIM lectures to architectural technicians, QSs and civil engineering students on behalf of thinkBIM, our knowledge exchange network at Leeds Beckett University. I was excited to take up the BIM gauntlet and fly out and see if I could inspire some BIM enthusiasm amongst the digital generation out there.

The lecture room in Rushmore Business School, a leading international private tertiary education institution providing academic and professional courses to school leavers, graduates and the business community, was full of students from the three construction disciplines, most of whom had not heard of BIM. Some who knew a little and there were those who thought it was just Autodesk Revit. Watching the students become interested and inspired at the prospect of what BIM could do for them was my BIM highlight.

By the end of the first lecture the students were queuing up to ask more questions, discussing the potential of BIM for Mauritius, their sector and improvements in process, design and construction and opportunities for export markets such as Africa and Madagascar. It was brilliant.

What is Claire’s Worst BIM Experience?

Honestly, the most frustrating experience for me is the recurring and continuous doubting and bashing of BIM by some and the inability to recognise that BIM processes can mean better working and ultimately better working is where we need to be in construction.

In the words of Albert Einstein: ‘we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them’.

On a further note, my ‘baddest – or saddest – BIM moment’ is soon to come as I depart for pastures new in Melbourne in March. I’m sure once I am settled, this may lead to some of my best BIM moments yet. Australia is at an exciting point in time and I’m looking forward to being there to watch how it develops.

What lessons has Claire learned from both?

Education has a huge role to play in progressing our construction sector and the way BIM is taught in universities plays a critical role. This needs to be addressed and fast tracked through schools of the built environment in collaboration with the professionals bodies. Cross disciplinary engagement at Undergraduate level is key – as these graduates are our future improvement and collaborative working champions.

For more information on Claire’s work and thinkBIM, make sure follow them on Twitter: Claire Bowles | thinkBIM

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