Simon Ward, 1st Prize - Student Designer Awards 2016
If you didn’t already know, where have you been? At the beginning of March, we announced that the National CDM and Student Designer Awards had opened for entries into the 2017 competition.
Now in its 10th year, the scheme is all about celebrating inspirational good practice in the construction health and safety sector. Winning an award is a benchmark of excellence aimed at highlighting how good design and health and safety practices can help reduce deaths, injury and ill-health, both physical and mental.
We caught up with Simon Ward, Architectural Assistant Part 2, Allies and Morrison Architects, last year’s 1st Prize winner of the Student Designer Awards, to find out about his experience and why, if you’re studying for a construction-related design course, you should consider entering the competition this year too…
1) Why did you enter the 2016 APS Student Designer Awards?
My design thesis looked closely at the main themes of the competition of buildability, maintainability and usability. I wanted to increase the profile of my thesis and thought entering such a prestigious scheme like APS’ Student Designer Awards would give me a great platform.
I’d looked at a few options and found that other schemes have a hefty entry fee. With APS it’s free to enter, so as well as raising my own profile nationally while being in with a chance of winning an amazing award, financially on a tight student budget it made perfect sense too!
2) How did it feel to be the 1st Prize winner?
Absolutely fantastic and a complete shock, all at the same time. The competition was fierce, so to win against some other strong entries, it made all the hard work and late nights working on my thesis totally worth it.
3) Has entering the awards helped you in progressing from a student to the workplace?
Yes – most definitely. Winning the 1st place prize in the Student Designer Awards has enabled me to stand out from the crowd in a competitive job market, both on my CV and in interviews too.
4) Aside from winning, how did you benefit from the APS Awards process overall?
One of the biggest benefits of being involved in APS’ Student Designer Awards is the networking opportunities. From attending the exclusive event at the House of Commons, where I got to meet MPs involved in the construction sector, to chatting with and making connections with professionals already working at a high level in the industry. From start to finish it was just a great day out and a real opportunity to attend such a high-profile awards event.
5) Any final thoughts on the Student Designer Awards?
The awards event is a day I'll never forget! A trip to the House of Commons, fantastic people, great entertainment - a complete pleasure to be a part of. And of course, winning the award just topped the experience off perfectly. Again, I would like to say a big thank you to all at APS. It’s a great scheme and I only hope even more aspiring professionals enter this year to take advantage of the opportunities the Student Designer Awards present.