Actualidad / Updates

Zigurat documents the hands-on learning experience in Abu Dhabi


Zigurat compiles the outstanding moments and best testimonies of the first International Student Week in Abu Dhabi, organized in collaboration with CCC, in a special documentary, an unprecedented format until now.

Students of Master’s in Global BIM Management for Infrastructure Projects  gathered last September in the capital of UAE, namely in the Midfield Terminal Building of the Abu Dhabi International Airport, to join the first International Student Week in the Middle East. As the construction of this big-scale infrastructure is developed entirely with BIM, the aim of the meeting for the participants was to immerse themselves in this well-known megaproject and learn how Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is implementing this methodology in one of the most complex projects of the world.  On top of that, several engineers that are involved in the different stages of the project shared with the participants their experience of working the site and the lessons learned. They also accompanied and guided the students during the visits to the construction site. Isn't this just the best opportunity for the learners to put into practice the knowledge acquired in the Master’s? Now that we have the feedback from the participants of the first International Student Week in Abu Dhabi, we can confirm that if there is one thing that they all agree on, it is that the personal and professional experience lived was unique and unforgettable. The Zigurat video team captured each and every one of the most celebrated moments for the Master's students on film. They also cinematized the project engineers presenting the technical sessions and Zigurat representatives who traveled to Abu Dhabi to participate in the event. The result is an audiovisual piece that conveys the essence of this gathering.  Watching this documentary is reliving the best of Abu Dhabi. The images captured show the first impressions of the participants, feelings, interactions, knowledge sharing, visits to the construction site, networking activities and, all in all, the highlights of this amazing five-day event. Also, Master’s students and lecturers give their feedback on the program and uncover what’s next in their careers, after completing the Master’s. The documentary, organized in different stages, coinciding with the main phases of a long trip, exposes in parallel the experience lived by all the participants. Willing to check-in for this amazing experience? Fasten your seatbelt and continue reading. Coming from 7 different nationalities, 13 students landed in Abu Dhabi on the 15th of September, where they were welcomed by the CCC and Zigurat Team. It might have been the first time for them to meet each other in person but, in fact, they already had something in common: the Master’s in Global BIM Management for Infrastructure Projects. As a project where most of the faculty board of the Master’s is carrying out their professional functions as CCC operatives, it was no coincidence that the Midfield Terminal Building of the Abu Dhabi International Airport was selected for the Student Week. This mega contractor has been applying BIM for the last 20 years, in which they “have acquired a very valuable knowledge in workflows, processes and IT tools, that we would like to transfer to the students of this Master’s”, as explains in the documentary Anastasia Tsagka, Senior BIM/5D Engineer at CCC and lecturer of the Master’s. At the beginning of every trip, there comes an acclimatization period. This journey is no different from others. Newcomers - the participants - encounter a new reality...regarding BIM. As some countries are more advanced than others in the adoption, students have different backgrounds and pathways when it comes to Building Information Modeling. For some of them, it is something completely new but, for others, it is already a must in their projects. In any case, all of them coincided in being prepared and open to the opportunities BIM brings. In order to know more about all the participants of the Student Week and to understand their relation with BIM, the ‘JET LAG’ part of the documentary introduces all of them to the audience. In this part, we will also discover how they face the project, whatever their experience is. The Dubai Municipality (DM) and its government are trying to increase the capacity of the existing project from more than 60,000,000 passengers per year. As we’ve seen, BIM is holding the key in this challenge, mainly because many subcontractors needed to be coordinated in a very short period. Also for other important reasons that are explored in this ‘CHECK-IN’ stage, which is a complete immersion to the project from both a technical and an experiential perspective.  Miltiadis Goudiras explains in detail the requests and demands of the project, “a difficult one, with many technical issues, mainly because of the architectural surface, the shape of the roof and the overall building”, he recounts. In this part, it is also interesting to see the reactions and the first contact of the students with the project. After completing this week in Abu Dhabi, what are the participants taking back home? They have come to know one of the most important projects in the world from inside out, which means that the knowledge acquired these days represents a very important before and after in their careers.  With a very close deadline for completion — planned by March 2020 — the students are aware of how privileged they are to have been able to set foot on this site when it was still a project under construction, a few months before this terminal becomes a reality open to millions of daily passengers. In this ‘BAGGAGE’ phase, we analyze, through the students’ eyes and their feedback, how they perceive the short-term future in their profession. BIM is more the present than the future. Our students are a kind of pioneers that will lead the industry towards digitalization in the architectural and engineering field. What comes next? The answer can be found in ‘DEPARTURE’, the last chapter of the documentary. All journeys come to an end, but none leave us indifferent. In a few months, our students will be BIM Managers and will lead not only international infrastructure projects but also their own journey to success.