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Jason Boyle - PG Dip Architecture, 1997

Jason graduated from our PGDip Architecture course in 1997 and in January 2018 was appointed as a Fellow Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as recognition of his significant contribution to the profession. 

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Architect working on technical drawing

Jason is currently the Design Intelligent Customer Lead for Civil, Structural and Architecture on a £240m project to assist with cleaning up the UK’s historic nuclear waste. Jason explains “Following graduation I wasn’t sure of the direction I wanted to take in Architecture and I was just grateful for my first job. I moved around between practices eventually taking a job in Manchester where I stayed for 10 years. When I applied for jobs I began to negotiate the project I was going to be working on and my role on that project, rather than being focused on the money. The role on the project became the primary reason for joining the practice rather than the reputation of the practice, as I wanted the best experience and most responsibility. After I completed each project I would move on if the right opportunity wasn’t available in that company.

“Then I got an opportunity to join the Nuclear Industry and realised that I could develop a specialism, which is one of the keys attributes you need for advancement; to be able to stand out from the crowd. I received great training in my new company and took every opportunity offered to me. After two years at the company I got the opportunity to design a major Nuclear Facility. The company set the challenge to deliver the project in seven years instead of the usual ten. In order to facilitate this reduction in time, I introduced Building Information Modelling (BIM), or rather digital engineering to the company after reading a government white paper. Having persuaded the project manager to adopt BIM to save time and money, the risk paid off and I became the company BIM champion, lecturing and writing publications on how BIM could transform the way projects could be designed, built and operated. 

“I love what I do because I love to create buildings. I also love working with lots of diverse people with diverse personalities and I love solving problems. The complexity of the various projects keeps me interested.

"However, I would encourage people to also have outside interests. This could be networking with people at professional events, creating interest groups or getting involved in charitable work, which all helps with filling your life with daily surprises. 

“Looking back, I’d say that persuading the project to adopt BIM when no one else in the company was doing this has been my biggest achievement, and being recognised by the professional institute (RIBA) was just the icing on the cake.”

Thinking back to his time at our university Jason, originally from Darlington, recalls “I chose Leeds Beckett based on its high technical reputation for the architecture course – and I really wanted to live in a big city as well. 

“The course was mainly studio based and I had some great lecturers. I enjoyed exploring the city through design projects as well as mixing with the international students where I made friends for life. The biggest thing that I learnt on the course was to think creatively in order to solve problems. Architecture is about blending art and science, and with this you need to understand how to solve the problems and challenges that you will come across.”  

“To anyone studying at the moment I would say: be prepared for change, read at least one non-fiction book a month as knowledge is powerful, take continuing professional development seriously and keep investing in yourself as this is critical for advancement. Learn how to network with people and build relationships. Equally as important is treat everyone you meet as you would like to be treated as this will earn you respect throughout everything you do in life. It’s a small world and karma has a way of catching up with you.”

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