Name: Whitney Bevan
Position: Lecturer in Construction Management
Company: Western Sydney University
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of construction & development?
Having been introduced to construction at a young age by my parents, Mum a kitchen developer and Dad wanting to replicate his dream house (where that idea of perfect constantly changed), I was exposed to the various aspects of construction and the desire to create a family home. Buildings are an enormous part of everyday life. Working within the sector, I contribute to the provision of comfortable living spaces and working environments for individuals.
In my current role, I am lucky enough to engage with students and collaborate with industry and academics from diverse experiences. Many of our students at WSU are working in industry and have significant industry expertise. I find my style of teaching is well suited to experienced industry professionals as we strike a balance of integrating theory and practice. My knowledge and expertise surrounds sustainable technology adoption and energy reduction in buildings. I challenge the ‘working student’ to explore the ways of understanding and critiquing their own experiences in a highly reflective model. When collaborating with industry professionals, I gain an understanding of the current pressures within the sector and apply my knowledge to aid the delivery of sustainable buildings.
Where do you see your life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
In the next 5 years I want to progress my career to senior lecturer and further build upon my current research of sustainable building development and integration. There are opportunities for me to become involved in industry projects, enhancing my knowledge of the sector and providing suggestions from current research, along with contributing to how sustainable buildings are developed and used. I will have the chance to travel to understand construction and sustainable practices at an international level, communicate and discuss the future challenges of sustainable buildings and, most importantly, delve further to explore my passion within the sector. A dream for me is to also be more involved with energy use in buildings to highlight smaller scale energy savings are possible!
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
Think about what excites you in terms of study and work. You will project that excitement and dedication to friends, peers and family. I would also remind myself that I do not need to have my life plan right now. What you decide to do in life (career, marriage, children, location), it does not have to be decided then. Ambitions and desires will change and that is completely fine. I went from astronaut, to weather analyst to environmentalist…
Most important, many of your ‘what if’ worries will never actually happen, and if they do, you will tackle them to the best of your ability.
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
- Effective communication: not only speaking, but listening to what others say.
- Creativity: thinking about how I communicate and teach my students, how is best to convey the message to industry and thinking outside the box for building sustainable buildings.
- Teamwork: understanding my strengths and weaknesses.