JCT Student Essay Competition winners announced

Angelica Salas, of the University of Wolverhampton, has been named the winner of the JCT Student Essay Competition 2014, with her essay, “What could be done to simplify construction? Applying Lean thinking and BIM in construction”.

Runner-up prizes were awarded to Richard Dunn, King’s College London, for his piece, “What could be done to simplify construction?”, and Martin West, Cambridge University, for his entry, “What could be done to simplify construction? A literal critique to a complex question”.

Over 100 entrants were narrowed to a shortlist of 10 for a judging day that took place at JCT headquarters on 19 May 2014. An overall winner is awarded a prize of £1,000, with two runner-up prizes of £250 each.

Commenting on Angelica’s winning essay, the judging panel said:

“What we liked best about this essay was the originality of the idea, and the clear way it was expressed throughout, pulling elements of BIM and Lean Construction together in a well thought, cohesive way. It answered the topic head-on, and provided a practical and interesting solution.”

A special JCT awards luncheon was held today (Thursday 12 June 2014) at the Royal Institution of British Architects, for the winners and their guests to celebrate their achievements and have an opportunity to discuss their essays with construction industry professionals.

The topic for this year’s competition was ‘What could be done to simplify construction?’ With no limitation on the scope of the essay, the deliberately broad title allowed students maximum flexibility to write about what they saw as the key factors in simplifying construction. They could choose to look at the construction industry as a whole, or select one particular aspect to focus on (e.g. BIM, sustainability) as long as this was put into context.

Entries were limited to 2,500 words and candidates took part in the competition by registering via the JCT website. The competition ran from 12 September 2013 to 19 March 2014.

This year’s judging panel comprised experts in construction law, education and skills, and the media, and included Tony Bingham (Barrister and Arbitrator at 3 Paper Buildings, Temple), Rebecca Evans (Editor, Construction News), Peter Hibberd (JCT Chair), Alan Jones (Course Leader, BSc Building Services Quantity Surveying, College of Estate Management (CEM)), and Stephen Radley (Director of Policy and Strategic Planning, CITB-Construction Skills).

All the winning essays can be read in full at the JCT website