After completing his Bachelor of Design in Architecture (CRICOS 0101291), Ryan McKillop felt that a Master of Building Information Modelling and Integrated Project Delivery (CRICOS 099719J) was the best pathway to complement everything he had already learnt and expand his career prospects. Off the back of his recent graduation, Ryan sat down with us to share his experience as a postgraduate student in this ever-growing and in-demand discipline.
What is building information modelling (BIM)?
Building information modelling is essentially a series of digital processes that brings everyone together to deliver the final product on a construction, architecture, or engineering project.
The lightbulb moment in class that helped me really understand BIM and its applications was when we were tasked with the hypothetical challenge of deconstructing a building. My background is in architecture, so it was strange for me to think in reverse, but after discussion and a few hours of work, we did it. When we put that digitally into some of the BIM software that we have here at Bond, the instructor was able to grab our work, invert it, put it in a timeline, and press play, which meant that we could watch exactly how a building was constructed from the ground up. That was really cool for me to see, just to understand what we were actually doing and how it could be used in the real world.
How do Bond’s BIM subjects prepare you for the workplace?
From the very first semester, the content we learned was great. Each week we covered a different topic, including cost management, 3D modelling, and intellectual property. In the second semester, you really start to hone those skills that you learnt about in the first semester. We used a lot of different software programs, such as Archicad and Solibri, which is a really good example of what’s being used in industry. It is essentially a program that brings together a range of different models from many contractors and detects clashes so we can have in-depth discussions and look at what needs to be resolved before we get to construction on site.
I think what is really beneficial about BIM is that it allows us to have these early discussions and construct digitally so we can flag potential issues before we get to site.
How did your architecture background translate into BIM?
What was great about coming in with an architecture and design background was that everybody in the class came from a different field in the industry, so we could all provide fresh insights and offer unique perspectives on how our professions intersected with BIM. I also found that the architecture knowledge I had made it easy to communicate with my instructors. They actively looked for ways to integrate my undergraduate background and bring it back to design, which helped me to understand how BIM and architecture could work together.
What was it like to learn from Bond’s BIM academics?
The instructors were very passionate. They’re very patient, as well! All of the academics within the program are specialists in their own respective fields, as well as in BIM. I actually managed to get a work placement with one of my instructors, which was fantastic because I already have that relationship with him, and he has really taken me under his wing. He basically controls and manages all the BIM software for his firm and is the go-to person for anything related to models and 3D modelling. It has been a great opportunity to work with him and make the most of the strong industry connections on offer at Bond through the academic teaching staff.
Would you recommend BIM to other students from different undergraduate backgrounds?
Absolutely! I would recommend this program for two reasons. First, because it is BuildingSMART accredited, and second, because you can complete it very quickly. Taking on the Master of Building Information Modelling and Integrated Project Delivery didn’t feel like a big decision for me because of Bond’s accelerated degree timeline, so I knew it was only a year of study. I had also heard the word BIM floating around a lot, and I knew that the Queensland Government in particular was pushing for BIM to be used across all high-value commercial projects. I wanted to upskill myself and, with my design background, I thought that having a BIM qualification would make me very employable. So far, I can say that the prospects within the BIM field that I have been exposed to are incredible.