Skanska teams with University of Washington for new BIM certificate program

Press release 10/7/2015 12:00 PM EST

The University of Washington’s Department of Construction Management and Skanska, one of the world’s leading construction and development firms, have teamed, to offer a new certificate for Building Information Modeling (BIM).
The new program – the UW-CERC/Skanska Building Information Modeling (BIM) Certificate – was created to fill a current gap in the field of people trained to use data-rich virtual-reality modeling tools.

The 11-week program started on Sept. 29 and is open to UW students, local industry professionals and, via online streaming, to industry professionals nationwide. Students will learn tangible BIM software skills and gain an understanding of virtual design and construction processes that have real-world applications. Developed collaboratively by UW and Skanska to help the industry define and formalize a knowledge base for BIM managers, the course will be under the instruction of UW’s Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Education Research in Construction (CERC) Carrie Sturts Dossick and Skanska Virtual Design & Construction Director Mike Choquette.
“Students will come away with a very concrete and applied understanding of current practices using BIM tools and processes,” Dossick said. “From a hands-on skill-based level, they’ll know how to use the software to work with models and interpret the information, and from a conceptual level, they’ll know why BIM applications are valuable to a project.”
Throughout the course, students will learn to assemble models and assess for clash detection, analyze model-based estimating data, create 4D model animations, and complete a capstone project. Students will also learn how to compose a more integrated team and act as facilitators for stronger communication between designers, engineers, sub-contractors, clients and fabricators.
“Skanska’s rich history of integrating emerging technology into the construction process will give students an inside look on BIM’s growing impact on a rapidly changing industry,” Choquette said. “Ten years ago, it was difficult to predict how valuable this technology would be in construction. Today, three out of four of our active projects use BIM tools, and they help us do everything from working more safely to deliver customer value by optimizing schedules, improving quality, minimizing waste and enhancing lifecycle management.”
“The program has the potential to significantly help shape our graduates’ career trajectory. Nationally, we’re seeing the emergence of a specialized role for these professionals and a trend where they’re moving from being BIM managers all the way to executive roles for technology,” Dossick said. CERC plans to develop other industry-responsive certificate programs on other topics in the future.
From an educational perspective, undergraduate and graduate students will be able to complete the training in correlation with their degree. Existing construction management professionals can enroll in the course to further develop their skills and learn how BIM/VDC professionals are being utilized throughout the industry.
Choquette added: “A program of this sort shows that a company like Skanska, a construction and development firm, has the ability to respond to industry needs and deliver a curriculum like this. Potentially, we could explore a similar effort for other relevant topic areas.”
To learn more about the certificate program visit: http://cm.be.uw.edu/content/bimcertificate.