It’s construction management, but not as you know it

After hundreds of years with little fundamental change in how we build, the construction landscape is transforming rapidly. The changes enabled by 3D (CAD) and 4D (time) and 5D (cost) building information modelling tools have driven the development of next-generation construction technologies, from augmented reality to roboticised assembly.

The pace of change makes continuing education a high priority for the Australian built environment industries, according to Professor Heather MacDonald, who heads up the School of the Built Environment at UTS.


Heather MacDonald

“The digital age has brought with it a demand for new skills that are already being embedded in undergraduate course content. New generations of graduates are arriving in the workforce with high levels of technological competence,” MacDonald says.

“However, it’s important that experienced and talented professionals working in more senior roles also have access to these skills. This isn’t just about keeping pace with change; it’s also about enabling effective leadership that reflects the shifting foundations of our profession.”

In recognition of this transformative period for the construction industry, UTS has introduced a series of education offerings that are focused on upskilling construction and property professionals. These include the streamlined postgraduate Graduate Certificate/Graduate Diploma in Construction Management degrees, which combine traditional project management frameworks with the in-depth study of the technological and human inputs that define contemporary construction management.

Short courses that focus on specialised applications of new technologies are also on offer. These courses, which range from a few hours to a few days of study, give participants the opportunity to engage with in-depth learning on a single topic.

One such short course is Construction as Production, a unique insight into how development in onsite and offsite methods are transforming construction workforces. Designed and delivered by UTS Professor Perry Forsythe, this course delves into the ways that IT enables greater degrees of collaboration, the role of robotics and automation in offering greater connectivity between processes, changes to traditional work processes, and the opportunities of customisaton versus mass production that underpin debate about cost viability.

“What would it take for construction processes to mimic the precision and efficiency of modern methods of industrial production? The answer is likely to lie at the intersection between industrialisation, digital technology, supply chains and market economics,” says Professor Forsythe.

“These factors are changing the way we think about, and execute, construction projects.”

Find out more about UTS Construction Management degrees and short courses.