Successful First Meeting of BIM Academic Forum Ireland (BAFI)


The first meeting of BIM Academic Forum Ireland (BAFI) was held at the CitA Head Office on December 6th. A total of 17 representatives from 13 different Higher Education Authorities attended the meeting. BICP postdoctoral researcher Dr Barry McAuley reported on the event.

At the meeting, the group discussed how to focus on and elevate the teaching, learning and research aspects of BIM. Discussions were held on how best to establish an open medium between Irish universities, institutes of technology and private colleges for communication thus sharing knowledge; experience; case studies; views, etc. Further discussions included plans to promote collaboration for joint activities and research projects between all colleges. This will help minimise duplication, create standard practices while celebrating diversity.

Dr Alan Hore, School of Surveying and Construction Management, DIT Bolton Street said, ‘One thing that has been evident in the past few years is how BIM has brought people together to create a more productive and efficient construction sector in Ireland. We have a responsibility as educators in this sector to show leadership and provide our graduates with the skillset to work in a more collaborative and non-adversarial industry. The work of BAFI will be progressive respecting the academic freedom of individual education institutions but encouraging a greater consistency in the digital output skills that future graduates attain but also to share learning materials and encourage collaborative research.’

The group’s mission, similar to the UK BIM Academic Forum, is to create a dynamic group to develop and promote the training, learning and research aspects of BIM through strong collaboration and cooperation. The group will foster integrated collaborative working on projects over the asset lifecycle through academic involvement and enhancement of BIM.

The BICP research team will be the facilitators for the group. The BAFI is focused on the development of a ‘BIM academic framework’. The BAFI will propose a roadmap towards a longer-term vision of embedding BIM learning at the appropriate levels within ‘discipline-specific’ undergraduate and postgraduate education that facilitates the development of professionals with the relevant BIM knowledge considered necessary.

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