Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in HE
Ewan Mcdonald

Graduate plays key role in new campus project

Former student at Robert Gordon University takes project manager role for new building

Posted by Stephanie Broad | October 09, 2015 | Estates

A former construction management student at Robert Gordon University (RGU) has played a key role in the university’s newest addition to its multi-million pound campus development. 

Ewan McDonald, 32, spent six years working as a bricklayer before making the decision to study Construction Design and Management at RGU’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment. 

Eight years after graduating, Ewan found himself back at the university’s Garthdee campus – this time in the role of Project Manager with Kier Construction for the build of the new Scott Sutherland School. 

“It’s an unusual opportunity to be able to be involved in the replacement of the facility that I studied in,” Ewan said. “When I heard that Kier had won the contract I was very keen to be involved with the project. 

“My links with the Scott Sutherland School have been helpful as I knew a lot of the staff. I worked as part of the project management team on the new building, with key tasks including organising the day to day running of the project, controlling costs and reporting and liaison with the client. Health, safety and environmental matters on site were also part of my role.” 

He added: “I think the new school will be an excellent facility for the students to see first-hand some of the systems that we install on a daily basis and also the detailing and interface between materials.” 

After obtaining his degree at RGU, Ewan went into a project manager role with Robertson Construction where he worked for around seven years before starting his current role with Kier Construction. 

“I felt that I was not going to be out on sites all my working days,” Ewan explained. “The best route and something that interested me was coming to do a degree. 

“Being told when I left school with only standard grades that I would not be able to go to university I never thought I would get in, but due to qualifications I gained during my apprenticeship I was accepted. 

“I gained a lot of theory behind the practical knowledge I gained on site. I think my mix of onsite bricklaying and academic knowledge provides me with the ability to really connect with the guys on site and also provide a service to both my employer and the client.” 

Ewan, who is currently Secretary at the Aberdeen branch of the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building), added: “I have no doubt that I would not have progressed as well in my career without my degree. My practical site experience is also a key driver but my degree enabled me to get on to my first employers graduate programme which gave me a vast amount of coverage of the business and functions.”     

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and north-east England business, said: “It was an easy decision to get Ewan involved in this exciting project, given the significant role the Scott Sutherland School has played in his professional development. 

“We have long supported graduates and apprentices looking to develop a career in the construction industry, and this is increasingly important as we look to mitigate the challenges posed by the skills gap. I am confident that one day, more people who have studied at this fantastic educational faculty will go on to work on similar high profile projects, perhaps even for Kier Construction.” 

Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in HE

Related stories

Scotland Build returns for 2017

School's out: reimagining education

UB November issue out now

Plymouth College of Art instals new Vice Principal

Creating 'healthy' buildings in HE

Inspiring creativity in the curriculum

New £6 million maritime campus at Solent

Cutting-edge sporting facilities in Wales to open early 2018

Education blooms at Regent's

Can online platforms solve inequality in education?

Market place - view all

Webanywhere

Education Solutions for your School
Webanywhere provide the pri...

Gerflor

Gerflor is a group that creates, manufactures and markets innovativ...

Led hut

LED lights for home & business. SAVE money with energy efficie...

Zones

Zones Solutions and Services
We're experts in technology.
...

Student COM

UK supplier, designer and installer of network cabling solutions. ...

Meru networks

Meru began with a vision that sooner rather than later most enterpr...