Mr Koe Choon Wei

Hear from Mr Koe Choon Wei, who graduated from NUS in 2014 as he shares with us on how the BIM knowledge and skillsets gained from NUS’ programme help him in his current job.

1. Q:  Can you briefly introduce yourself and the programme/IHL that you graduated from? What were some of the BIM modules covered in the programme? What did you learn from the modules?
Mr Koe Choon Wei
Mr Koe Choon Wei

A:   I am Choon Wei and I have recently graduated from the NUS project facilities management (PFM) (Honours) Programme. PFM is a very unique course in the sense that students are required to read modules related to both facilities management and project management rather than just one particular discipline. It gives students a lot more exposure and in my opinion it helps the student to decide on their future career path. There are also quantity surveying modules offered throughout the 4 years. PFM programme is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, UK (RICS), the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Throughout the 4 years, students are exposed to BIM progressively and the different modules help to build up the knowledge. Students learn about time management and principles of project scheduling (related to 4D), quantity surveying and cost estimating (5D) and facilities management (6D). Students are required to apply all these knowledge in a BIM module offered in the final year. In that module, there are also trainers to teach students how to use the different BIM software (eg. Archicad and Glodon). Given the rigorous nature of that module, all of us have to be very pro-active in learning. We spend a lot of time outside of school time learning some of software and reading up about BIM.

In addition, there are various BIM competitions (eg. BCA-BIM competitions) and overseas exposure (eg. Collaborating with KHU, Kumamoto University, Tohoku Institute of Technology in a friendly BIM competition where NUS students pair up with students from other universities. Students have the opportunity to learn from each other). I have participated in at least one of them every year with a group of friends. The mentorship programme introduced by BCA during the BCA-BIM competition help me gain a lot of valuable experience and lessons. The school has also been very supportive as the lecturer help us to find software vendor who will sponsor us for competition and provide training sessions.

2. Q:  As one of the graduates from the programme, did this give you any added advantage to securing your current job? Is the remuneration package as what you expected?
A:  Given that the industry is moving towards the era of BIM, I believe that this extra knowledge and skill set helps to provide a little advantage securing a job. It provides the opportunity to provide more value-added services and this will help differentiate myself from others. The remuneration package is what I expected.
3. Q:  What is your current job scope or portfolio?
A:  I am currently working in the LS cost research department. At the same time, I am looking into the percentage difference in quantities extracted using BIM (from the BIM model) and the quantities obtain from conventional methods. In addition, I am exploring the use of different BIM tools in the QS scope of work. I also have the opportunity to be involved in the BIM steering committee to learn more about development of the BIM guides.
4. Q:  How have the BIM knowledge and skillsets gained from the programme helped you in the course of your work? Can you give some examples?
A:  Software skills learnt during school days are the most useful. Understanding how to do quantity extraction for items explicitly modeled (beams and columns etc.) and items not explicitly modeled (formwork etc.). Another example is the ability to navigate the model to get the needed information (exporting views, sheets etc.). BIM concepts learnt in the programme set the foundation to allow me to integrate into the working world. Even though in practice things are a little different, the base knowledge makes it easier to adapt to these differences.
5. Q:  Do you have any advice for those who aspire to take up a career in BIM technology?
A:  BIM technology evolves at a very fast pace, you must have the patience and passion to learn and try new things. Keep improving yourself and never be contented with knowledge. Sometimes you will hear a lot of scepticism about going into BIM or lots of criticism while on the job, but if you believe in what you do and work towards your goal, you will be able to gain a lot of valuable experience and skills in this field.