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Entries open for $10,000 NZIOB Charitable Trust scholarships

Entries open for two $10,000 NZIOB Charitable Trust scholarships

The New Zealand Institute of Building Charitable Trust (NZIOB Charitable Trust) today announced that it is again offering two scholarships, each to the value of $10,000. The scholarships, which were first offered in 2017, recognise, encourage and financially support recipients from a trade, technical or professional role, who are proposing to pursue a project linked to building through research, practice or professional development.

Graham Stanage, NZIOB Charitable Trust Chair, said “These scholarships were established to encourage aspirational thinking that has the potential to increase the building industry’s performance. We are particularly interested in applications from those in industry and training, who have a project that will introduce improvements to the industry.”

The successful recipients will be chosen by a panel comprising three NZIOB Charitable Trust trustees, with winners to be announced at the NZIOB’s New Zealand Building Industry Awards gala evening at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland on Friday the 23rd of August 2019.

Applicants must be New Zealand residents or citizens, actively involved in the building and construction industry, and be available for an interview with the selection panel if required.

Entries close at 5.00pm on 30 June 2019 and a copy of the Rules and Instructions to applicants is available online, see:

Last year’s scholarship recipients were Emma Fell and Mikayla Heesterman, both Master of Architecture (Professional) students from the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington.

Emma, who is researching the design and development of a prefabricated building envelope system for mass timber construction using cross-laminated timber (CLT), says, “Receiving the NZIOB Charitable Trust scholarship completely transformed my research, enabling it to be taken to the next level.”

The $10,000 scholarship enabled Emma to attend conferences and events applicable to her research at local forums such as PrefabNZ’s CoLab, and the BuildNZ DesignEx. Further afield, Emma presented her research at the Architectural Science Association Conference at RMIT in Melbourne, in November 2018.

The award also meant Emma was able to construct a 1:1 scaled prototype model of her system. She says this transformed her thesis and has led to further research into Cross Laminated Timber connections from current Victoria University Master students.

Mikayla Heesterman, who is researching how robotic fabrication of timber connections can improve the construction industry through more efficient and sustainable designs methods, says, “the scholarship enabled me to purchase large quantities of high-strength native timber and additional robot-specific equipment. Being able to access these tools and materials opened up new areas of research which was otherwise not possible. I was, therefore, able to push the research to a stage which better addressed real-world industry issues.”

The scholarship also helped fund a trip to Sao Carlos, Brazil to present the research at the 2018 Sigradi Architecture Conference. This exposed the research to some of the world-leaders in technology in architecture, and the feedback received was vital in shaping the final few months of research. Mikayla was also able to develop connections with international academics and industry professionals who are interested in how robotics can improve architecture.

“The scholarship gave my research legitimacy, which helped to create conversations with several industry and innovation leaders in New Zealand. These discussions were important in ensuring the research focused on addressing the New Zealand construction industry and has raised the profile of the opportunities that robotics can offer architecture. The impact of the scholarship has affected not just me, but also the robotics programme at the Victoria University of Wellington. The increased exposure of robotics’ role in architecture and new tools has enabled more students to begin research into this new innovative sector.

“The opportunities that the scholarship offered me have created a non-standard career pathway where I am able to continue researching how innovative technologies can improve the construction industry,” Mikayla Heesterman said.

Graham Stanage said, “We are proud of what the past recipients of these scholarships have achieved and encourage people with projects that have the potential to advance the design, construction or management of buildings in New Zealand, to apply for this year’s scholarships.”.


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