Associate Professor Mary Hardie leads the way

Take a bow Associate Professor Mary Hardie - Director Construction Management Undergraduate Programs

Associate Professor Mary Hardie's academic standing and commitment to professional construction education was recognised by Western Sydney University last week. This will be great news for the hundreds of young constructors who look back fondly on their time at the University and the foundation that Mary Hardie has given them as they build their careers in the construction industry. And it will be wonderful recognition of the academic team Mary has worked with to help build Western Sydney's Construction Management Program to the largest in Australia. This recognition comes on the heels of the AIB's 2017 award of the Ron Swaine Medal for academic teaching achievement.

Take a bow Associate Professor Mary Hardie

At the recent 25th Anniversary of the Construction Management Dean, Professor Simeon Simoff acknowledged the academic team's achievements of having graduated over 1400 young constructors since the program commenced and the momentum the program now has with more than 1500 more constructors expected to graduate by 2025. He pointed to over 93-percent of all graduates being employed in the industry, and that students had given the program and 82-percent satisfaction rating, the highest rating in Construction Management programs in Australia. 'This was a great team effort', he said.

Students will attest to the great lengths that Mary goes to in order to help them complete their course, to mentor them and share her experiences, to help find work experience and jobs. Others are lucky enough have benefited from her wide-reaching professional networks to participate in programs that have seen them gain work experience in Singapore and Hong Kong. Mary's door is always open, and her efforts tireless. This is reflected on graduation day when almost all her graduates cannot pass up the opportunity to have a family picture with Mary clearly in the frame.

Mary Hardie has an eye to the future of her construction management program. She is carefully guiding the next generation of academic teachers and researchers. Mary takes great pride in having built a great academic team of experienced staff and now, a new crop of up and comers who are embracing modern methods of teaching and preparing to ensure tomorrow's graduates are 'future ready'. Mary has been one of the driving forces for the new Centre for Smart Modern Construction. She say's 'this is an important initiative where industry and the academic community can collaborate to invest in new areas of research and capability building that will serve the Western Sydney construction industry well into the future. Western Sydney will be Australia's construction hot-spot for the next 20-years.'

Associate Professor Mary Hardie is tireless. Over the last year she has developed and delivered two new units that focus specifically on the transformation now re-shaping the construction industry. These units explore the developments occurring in Modern Construction Enterprises and Modern Construction Projects. They introduce constructors to the impact that changes in the digital economy will have when combined with the increasing industrialisation and globalisation of the industry. Over 60 students completed one or both of these units. They will be offered again in 2018. And, Mary presented a highly regarded paper to the AUBEA conference in Melbourne this year, where she outlined the challenges facing academics to investigate the transformations reshaping our industry, to develop evidence based insights into these changes and then to progressively bring these into the academic program.

Her paper makes good reading (opens in a new window).

Written by:
David Chandler OAM
Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University
26 November 2017