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I have helped applicants to programs in Construction Management from all over the world. I have especially enjoyed working on behalf of students from the Middle East, particularly the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where construction is on the world's cutting edge. I have a special interest in historical Muslim architecture, creativity, and I am imminently qualified to make your statement highly professional.
The Humanitarian Side of Construction Management
Construction Managers are in high demand all over the world where disasters have occurred and major rebuilding is necessary.
Michael Collins is a good example. We found his story on redr.org.uk, in their news section. Check it out. Micheal is the Program Manager for an international NGO working on a construction capacity building training project in Sumatra, Indonesia. Michael and his team assist homeowners living in earthquake prone regions to reconstruct their home so they meet earthquake resistance standards, train local engineers, builders and technical college students.
Darren Mort is another great example from redr.org.uk. He is actually a civil engineer, but taught Construction Project Management and Environmental Management in Construction to 4th year engineering students in Uganda, when completing a Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) program, but he’s also worked for Kampala University, as the Operations Manager for a local road contractor; done a seven-month placement in the Maldives, as Deputy Project Manager for the British Red Cross Society on their tsunami recovery project and been responsible for managing a $11m contract for 250 houses and the development of management processes for a $22m island project to ensure safe water supply, sanitation, power supply and correct construction on Vilufushi island. Darren has always been interested in the international side of engineering and his most recent work has been spent as a volunteer in Tanzania as a Site Engineer for school construction projects. In the past, he’s also worked in Albania, Romania, Croatia and Turkey for Bechtel. Working abroad could also help you get humanitarian construction management work.
Save the Children are currently advertising a Construction Manager position on their website savethechildren.net. Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children’s welfare, and this role includes providing technical input, construction management skills and capacity building efforts to their construction team. Save the Children are looking for a Construction Manager with a Masters in a related field, prior experience of working within complex country programs in an emergency response or fragile state and experience managing a team of international and national staff, among other experience.
The Halo Trust, the world’s largest humanitarian demining NGO, is also seeking a Construction Manager with a minimum of 2 years’ experience in construction/engineering management projects to work in projects in Afganistan, Angola, Cambodia, Somaliland, DRC, Mozambique, Georgia, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire. You should also be able to speak and write French.
The UN frequently also requires Construction Managers to work in various locations around the world. At the time of writing, the UNOPS, or United Nations Office for Project Services in Kenya has a vacancy for a Construction Manager to work supporting infrastructure development of health facilities and helping apply green building technology inputs. The position involves a lot of travel around Kenya, being responsible for all building and civil construction projects, as well as many other complex management tasks. You will need a minimum of 12 years’ work experience, with 8 of those years in building construction and maintenance works, etc., plus a Master’s degree in Engineering or equally relevant professional qualification. A similar position is also available, where you will work in Haiti, but French is required. Have a look at the unjobs.org website for more detail and other available positions.
These jobs are some examples of where you might like to end up in the future, or perhaps you already have a lot of experience working abroad and a Masters is the final piece you’d like to press into your career puzzle.
You have such a wide range of options available to you when it comes to Masters programs, especially if you’re happy to study abroad (which may also give you the chance to learn a second language – another excellent skill to add to your resume).
There are few different paths you could take. Studying International Construction Management is a straight forward and obvious choice. The Nanygan Technological University of Singapore, runs a program specially designed to enable graduate engineers, architects and other professionals from related fields to expand their decision-making horizons and prepare them to work with the parameters and risks involved in international construction projects. Modules include construction law, project financing, international construction and marketing, and IT in construction.
The University of Florida offers a similar course, a self-paced Masters in International Construction Management online with modules like advanced international project safety management, high performance green building, construction ecology and metabolism, and principles of international sustainable construction.
The University of Leeds, UK, has a M.Sc. International Construction Management and Engineering course at their institution, to prepare you for the challenges of the changing and increasingly global construction industry, with a focus on the financial, management and planning aspects of the project life cycle. You will study compulsory modules like applied construction management and whole life asset management, and will be able to choose from self-elective modules like strategic management in construction and the deterioration and maintenance of pavements.
If you’d like to study in English in China, the Tsinghua University in Beijing runs a M.Sc. in International Construction and Project Management, where you’ll have the chance to learn about how Chinese enterprises operate and deliver projects, as well as develop a more global vision of contemporary issues relevant to international construction.
If you’re interested in the sustainable building movement and applying that knowledge abroad, there’s a M.Sc. in Sustainable Construction Project Management at Plymouth University in the UK. There, you’ll build the specialist knowledge and skills to enable you to excel as a sustainability-aware construction project manager, and study modules like sustainable construction technology and innovations, value and risk management, and sustainable project management. While this may not be the most economical of programs, the UK has an excellent international reputation when it comes to their educational institutions.
The University of Newcastle in Australia has recently launched a Master’s in Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction, giving students the unique ability to work on approaches to building disaster resilient structures in context-specific situations. The professional application of these disaster management skills and techniques creates graduates that are a valuable resource to local government bodies, NGOs, and national and international organizations involved in disaster management. This year-long program will cover post-disaster project management, disaster mitigation and sustainable re-development, the economics of and for disaster management and professional practice for disaster management, plus other fascinating and unique modules.
If you’d like to specialize in healthcare estate, you might like to consider the M.Sc. Planning Buildings for Health, hosted by London South Bank University in the UK. This multidisciplinary course is offered by the Medical Architecture Research Unit and the Department of The Built Environment, for UK and international design and construction professionals to learn how to develop skills in capital planning, project briefing tools for new patient pathways, project leadership and knowledge management, low carbon sustainable development approaches, inclusive therapeutic design, and much more.
Have we given you some good ideas? If you’re preparing to apply for a Grad School course, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like some guidance and help with your application.