Sarah Marshall

Project Manager

Sarah Marshall
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Sarah is responsible for delivering BIM implementation projects alongside delivering, planning and managing both beginner and advanced BIM software training for industry clients. Since joining BIM Academy, Sarah has gained a wealth of experience working on projects in the UK, Hong Kong and Qatar. Sarah graduated from Northumbria University in 2015.

How would you summarise your current role?

I am currently working on a BIM Implementation project, based in Qatar in the Middle East. My main duties at this time involve coordinating with the client team to establish Standards and Protocols, which will in turn be rolled out and implemented across the wider Client company.

Prior to this I delivered specialist 4D construction and simulation commissions for major infrastructure project in Hong Kong. My role also has a focus on BIM management, 3D model coordination and quality control of model geometry and data to achieve the required level of quality to the client.

I have also had responsibility for delivering, planning and managing both beginner and advanced BIM software training for industry clients along with delivering collaborative multidisciplinary BIM workshops focused around a ‘virtual project’ structure.

What inspires you?

The light bulb moment. When something finally clicks, and people understand and really realise the benefits of what we do and why we do it. Having ran and assisted with numerous BIM training courses, sometimes there is a lot of reservation or resistance to changing ways, sometimes ways of working people have been doing for 30+ years and they don’t see a problem with it or why they would need to change what they do. It’s when you show them how BIM can benefit them and there’s sometimes a moment where it just clicks and there are comments of ‘I get it now’ or ‘it makes sense now’ or ‘this can be so useful for us’.

More recently, I have been inspired by my experiences working abroad, observing first-hand how people work in different countries, submersed in different cultures, but with a common goal. Having worked for extended periods in the UK, Hong Kong and Qatar it has allowed me to learn from others and to share my own experiences within these differing working environments.

What is your proudest moment?

During my time at Northumbria University, it was my honour to captain the University Women’s rugby team for an unbeaten season resulting in topping the Northern Championship league, leading to promotion to the Northern Premiership, and winning the Championship Trophy, all whilst completing my final year of studies.

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

Tuesdays with Morrie. As the blurb says: “Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

“Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying of ALS – or motor neurone disease – Mitch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class’: lessons in how to live.”

This book was an extremely thought-provoking experience, reminding us of the importance of how we spend our time. We focus on things that benefit mostly ourselves: enjoying our favourite hobbies and spending time with our friends, which is not at all wholly bad. But this book reminds us that time is precious, and we ought to pay more attention to how we choose to spend it.

What do you think our industry could learn from other sectors?

I believe we can learn a lot from what is important and seen as a priority to other sectors. We know what priorities we want them to have, particularly with regards to BIM, but is that a reality to other sectors. For example, are health and safety requirements more of a focus to infrastructure projects than buildings projects. And therefore, can we utilise BIM more in some circumstances than others in order to benefit most from BIM processes. This can be related to other sectors across the globe too. Looking at how the building sector differs in the UK to Hong Kong to Qatar and further, and what this means to implement BIM on projects. For example, in Hong Kong I worked predominantly on 4D projects looking at construction sequencing and site logistics, is this more sought after and beneficial in a country where space is so limited?