A passion for building services engineering has won Deakin University architecture student Sharyn Blakemore an industry award.

Ms Blakemore won the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Mark Griffin Award – Student of the Year for her ‘passionate video submission addressing why she considers building services engineering to be an art form’.

Ms Blakemore joined other CIBSE award finalists at a ceremony at the Australian Museum in Sydney on 21 June where winners across three categories were announced.

‘The award was very unexpected,’ Ms Blakemore says.

‘Building Services Engineering was part of my course which I really connected with. This integration into design is really important for smart and comfortable building design. The award was very humbling and the awards ceremony in Sydney was a great networking experience.

‘The idea of designing a space, a home or a building that is comfortable, thermally efficient and meets the needs of its occupants is very appealing to me and is what interests me within the building services field.

‘Incorporating safe, efficient, and healthy environments into the design should be a priority for all designers, architects and engineers.’

Now in her third year of Deakin’s Bachelor of Design (Architecture) course, Ms Blakemore completed an Advanced Diploma of Building Design after high school before working in industry.

‘I have worked as a building designer for the past seven years, and architecture was always the capstone of the career path I wanted to take. My path may not have been the most straightforward, but learning and working within the industry to confirm this was my true passion before taking this next step was right for me.’

And there is little doubt Ms Blakemore is dedicated to achieving her career goals – she makes a three-hour trip each way from her home on Phillip Island to Deakin’s Geelong Waterfront Campus to undertake her studies part time.

‘When I was researching different Victorian universities that provided this course, Deakin was the most accommodating and flexible for students wanting to work and study. I felt this flexibility would outweigh the travel commitment from Phillip Island to Geelong.’

One of Ms Blakemore’s career highlights to date has been her involvement with the Core 9 project, which featured in her submission video.

‘The Core 9 project started as a design collaboration between myself and two work colleagues to produce a highly energy efficient and sustainable design that was affordable and comparable to the Australian housing market,’ Ms Blakemore says.

‘The Core acronym stands for Carbon Positive, Zero Waste, Recycled and Economics. My involvement included design development of the house and conducting thermal performance assessments to reach its optimal energy rating of nine stars.’