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Mace head of BIM David Philp on what makes construction great

David Philp shares his experiences in construction and tells Construction News how to attract a new generation into the industry.

Q. How did you get into the industry?

A. Following my time on a fantastic summer job on a civil works project at the Faslane Nuclear Submarine base (making tea, pulling in cables, doing some 2D CAD) I switched to an engineering and project management degree course.

I was lucky enough to get a job offer and sponsorship in the second year of my course. I entered the industry as arguably Scotland’s worst ever setting out engineer. Thank goodness for BIM!

Q. What is the best thing about construction?

A. The fact that every day our industry creates so many fantastic spaces and great infrastructure that shapes our country for the betterment of society is pretty cool.

Q. If you could change one thing what would it be?

A. If we are to be fit as an industry for the second decade of the 21st century we need to create a digitally integrated culture – essentially we need to integrate now. 

Q. How should we encourage young people to join the industry?

A. We need to demonstrate the UK construction brand as the industry of choice – one that is innovative, forward-thinking and where you would be proud to work. 

We also need to ensure that academia provides a suitable platform where we think more about the entire built environment – especially the operational lifecycle – as opposed to putting students straight into domains.

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