Former student recognised as rising star at prestigious industry competition

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A former HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology student from New College Lanarkshire has been recognised as a rising star in the industry after winning a prestigious award.

Sophie Orr, 23 from Motherwell has been awarded the ‘Keep your eye on this one’ accolade at the BIM (Building Information Modelling) Awards in Newcastle.

The BIM Awards honour and recognise the UK’s best BIM work and those who created it, by celebrating their exceptional and innovative use of BIM in the built environment.

Sophie, who now works for internationally successful design practice Keppie Design as a BIM Co-ordinator, was presented the award in front of the crowd of industry experts at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 26th February at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle Upon Tyne, part of the BIM Show Live.

She said: “Winning this award was such a great feeling for me, I definitely feel really proud of my achievements.

“New College Lanarkshire and Keppie Design have been so supportive of me. The college taught me all the core skills I needed to successfully secure my job at Keppie Design and I couldn't have asked for better teachers - they definitely pushed me to my full potential and have opened up so many doors for me.”

Sophie was accompanied to the awards by Keppie BIM Manager Diane Ramage, also a college graduate and previous lecturer on the Architectural Technology course and by her Associate Director at Keppie, Susan Weir.  Both were thrilled when Sophie’s win was announced, as were all the directors and staff at Keppie.

Sophie continued: “Working at Keppie Design has given me confidence in my skills by allowing me to explore my interest in BIM, eventually securing a role as a BIM Co-ordinator and further developing the skills I learned in college by applying them to real live projects.

“I think winning this award is definitely a step in the right direction for me in regards to my future by getting my name known within the construction sector, allowing me to progress and have more responsibility to carry out more BIM roles within my workplace.

“I hope it has also inspired more young girls to consider this industry as a possible career route!”

In November last year, Sophie was selected to compete at WorldSkills UK in the pilot BIM for Architectural Design competition along with three other students from New College Lanarkshire, taking home a Gold award.

Michael McGuire, Lecturer and BIM specialist at New College Lanarkshire nominated Sophie for the award after recognising her talents at college and in the workplace. He said: “I have often said that New College Lanarkshire produce the best Architectural Technology students and Sophie reinforces that!

“We are all so proud of Sophie and everything she has achieved. She really deserves the recognition as a rising star in the industry.”

For more information about New College Lanarkshire’s range of Computer Aided Design courses, visit: https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/cad

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