Young Project Manager triumphs at construction’s Young Professionals award

Nazma Uddin from east London won the Project Management prize in the prestigious Duke of Gloucester’s Young Achievers Scheme on Thursday.

The shortlisted candidates joined over 200 senior industry figures and HRH The Duke of Gloucester at the awards evening at the Underglobe, London, where the winners were announced. The finalists were judged by an esteemed panel of industry experts through a rigorous process of presentations and interviews earlier in the year.

Nazma, a 29 year old Project Manager at Rise Management Consulting, impressed the judges with her talent, confidence and professionalism.

Nazma has been a high flier from an early age. At 22, with no prior experience of project management or working on site, she successfully delivered a construction project, refurbishing an existing 450 pupil boys school to accommodate 900 girls in just six months.

Following university, she was offered a place on the Mace Graduate Management Training Programme and was the only female graduate recruited that year. Since then she has grown immensely in her career and has recently project managed the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion project which won an NLA award in 2013 and she is currently managing a £22m apart/hotel project on the Southbank.

However Nazma also wanted to give back and in 2010 participated in a Habitat for Humanity build project in Bangladesh. As part of a team of 10 she helped build two homes for two families including breaking bricks, carrying sand, mixing concrete and actual brick laying. Nazma said:

“It was a wonderful experience for me, the majority of the people I came across were surprised at my choice of profession and decision to volunteer to carry out the build. I used this as an opportunity to dispel some of the stereotypical misconceptions that people had of the UK construction industry and also spoke to the children in the village about ambitions and following their dreams – that if I could achieve and come this far in life, so could they. The happiest moment was seeing change and increase in confidence in one particular child who had previously been told he would not be able to get out of the village life to pursue a career”

Assad Maqbool, Partner, Trowers and Hamlins was one of the judges and he said of Nazma:

“She is an extremely impressive professional and sees nothing as a problem. She is authoritative and engaging and is a role model for the construction industry outside of her work”. Another of the judges, Terry Spraggett, Director, Mace Plus said of Nazma, “She is a real revelation, smart, intelligent, professional, confident and above all likeable – she wowed me from the start until the end.”

The awards had 5 categories; Design & Architecture, Construction Delivery, Engineering, Surveying and Project Management. Winners will each receive a cash prize and a unique package of support through the Trust and development opportunities through a one year mentoring programme to enable them to make an even greater impact in their future careers.

The Trust is delighted to announce the remaining winners are:

Design and Architecture: Sarah Habershon, Hawkins Brown

Construction Delivery: Yasar Ugur, Berkeley Homes

Surveying Joint Winners: Luke Brooker, EC Harris and Dylan Shankland, North Ayrshire Council

Engineering Winner: Yvonne Murphy, Arup

The highly commended finalists were:

Design and Architecture: Lucy Stephens, WRW Construction

Engineering: Michael McClean, Aecom

Construction Delivery: Zoe Haigh, Hyder Consulting

Project Management: Nochum Dewhurst, Dewhurst Consulting

Now in its fourth year, the Scheme, with the support of the Trust’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, has been an opportunity for exceptional young professionals to be commended and celebrated for their achievements. It particularly looked for young people who have overcome barriers to get to where they are, and judges read applications from young people who had shown exceptional resilience and determination.

Construction Youth Trust Director, Christine Townley commented:

“The Awards has once again shown some exceptional young talent and it was a real priviledge to meet them all. They have all made significant achievements despite having to overcome challenges to get there and they all deserved the recognition they received tonight. We are very lucky that they have all chosen construction as a career – they are the future of the success of the industry.

“As a charity we support young people from all walks of life to enter the construction industry and we hope that by showcasing what these young people have achieved and recognising any challenges they have overcome, that we can show the next generation of young professionals the wealth of opportunities available in the sector.

“We are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors, judges and our Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, for making these awards possible.”

The Awards were sponsored this year by CITB, KPMG, AECOM, PRP, EC Harris and John Rowan and Partners.