A Degree of Demolition?
When it comes to the construction industry, most of us are used to thinking of building activity – creating structures. However, there are times when the old needs to be ousted in order to make way for the new and this is where demolition comes into its own. Demolition has traditionally been seen as the poor cousin of the construction industry, with its humungous wrecking balls crashing into the sides of buildings and knocking them down. Indeed, the demolition of tall structures often attracts large crowds to watch the show and is even televised on occasion – a veritable performance art, if you ask me!
Well folks, demolition is now being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century with the UK’s first degree in demolition being offered to students from next September at the University of Wolverhampton’s new Springfield Campus. Highly skilled demolition engineers are still seen as less qualified than their contemporaries in the civil engineering and surveying sectors who are able to give out business cards with letters after their names to prospective clients and new contacts. However, without the knowledge, structural insights and project management skills of demolition engineers, the completion of so many of the impressive new multi-million pound developments we’ve seen in recent years would have been nigh on impossible.
Attracting a new generation of demolition professionals into the industry is essential for the construction industry of the future. There seems to be no problem when it comes to encouraging a new generation of operatives and labourers, but not many kids grow up wanting to be a chartered demolition engineer, despite how cool the job can be. Well, that’s about to change as the UK’s first demolition degree is launched, offering young people the opportunity to learn their trade to the highest possible level, safe in the knowledge that their expertise and training is officially recognised.
Students will be able to follow and educational course working towards a Bachelor of Science or Masters of Science in Demolition and Restoration Management in the Built Environment. The curriculum will be taught both in the university and onsite, giving students plenty of opportunities to undergo a little work experience while they learn. There are 15 different modules on the course, including asbestos removal, façade retention (increasingly important), working with explosives (increasing the cool factor) and health and safety (which, although it’s not particularly cool, is vitally important).
The course has been created as a result of collaboration by the Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE) and demolition experts from several UK companies. So far, more than 30 students have signed up for the new degree course which means that anybody interested in making a career out of demolition needs to get their skates on and sign up as soon as possible.
The Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE) has more than 400 members and its mission is to promote and foster the science of demolition engineering, including the promotion of more efficient techniques, the encouragement of safer methods of working and the provision of a qualifying body for the industry.
No doubt, we’ll be hearing more news about the Demolition Degree in the future, so watch this space!