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Girl powers to demolition degree graduation in world first


An East Midlands demolition expert is one of the first women to complete a brand new Masters Degree in Demolition Management at the University of Wolverhampton.

Trish Sloneczny, CSR director at AR Demolition, has gained a Merit in the Masters of Science degree course at the University of Wolverhampton and celebrated with other students at the graduation ceremony recently.

Trish is one of the first cohort of seven students to complete the world’s first demolition degree, which was developed and launched just over two years ago at the University’s School of Architecture & Built Environment.

Accredited by the Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE), the course has been designed in conjunction with industry specialists including Richard Dolman, the managing director of AR Demolition which is based in Carlton, close to Market Bosworth near Nuneaton.

The MSc comprises a range of modules including management, methodologies, research and sustainability, to asbestos removal and building information modelling (BIM).

Ms Sloneczny said: “When I came into demolition in 2006 it struck me how skilled demolition operatives had to be to work safely and productively on site. This experience is difficult to learn and hard-won, so our industry faces challenges for the next generation, to diversify, attract new talent, embrace technology and innovate.

“I believe demolition taught at the higher education level as part of the built environment is a crucial part of the solution.

“For me the MSc degree is about two things: facilitating more academic research into the demolition industry and on a personal level trying to encourage more females into the industry. My family are immensely proud especially my dad, husband and two boys.”

Mr Dolman, who founded the AR Demolition family of companies in 2007 alongside co-owner Andrew Thompson, said he is keen for his industry to help develop new ways of thinking which can be adopted across the construction sector.

“Demolition, like many industries in the construction sector, can be set in its ways,” he said, “and as such there is a danger that if it doesn’t evolve it will get left behind.

“Whether it is through new techniques for demolition, a greater focus on health and safety, or exploring ways to develop a circular economy, our industry has an important role to play in creating a truly sustainable construction sector both in terms of the economy and the environment.

“I am delighted that Trish is one of the first cohort of graduates on this MSc and proud to offer her qualified expertise as an asset to AR Demolition’s clients.

“Hopefully we can use her example to inspire other women to come into our industry and help introduce the particular skillsets, combined with leading expertise, which can help move the demolition industry forward.”

Dr Paul Hampton, Head of Built Environment at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Students on the pioneering Masters degree in Demolition Management should be very proud of themselves today.  As the first cohort in the world to graduate with the qualification, it’s an historic day for both staff and students.

“We are very proud to be the only University in the world that offers a programme for the entire lifetime of a building from design right through to demolition and it is thanks to the tireless efforts of partners like IDE that we are able to develop programmes which are both relevant to industry and vital to supporting local, national and international economies.

“Our focus in the School of Architecture and Built Environment is to develop courses that are sector relevant and partially delivered in partnership with sector experts. There is a real potential for this to address the sector skills gaps and provide a meaningful step change for recruiting future talent.”

Over 600 students are graduating from the University of Wolverhampton this week. The ceremonies took place at Grand Station, Wolverhampton.

Picture Captions: Trish Sloneczny, CSR director at AR Demolition, centre, with other Demolition Degree graduates and Trish with the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Geoff Layer.

Other graduating students were MATTHEW BARDGETT - C&D Consultancy, MATTHEW BROWNE - UDCS Demolition Ltd, DAVID GAUJA - Pts Demolition & Dismantling Limited, ROBIN POWELL – DSM Group, DAVINDER REEHAL – John F Hunt Ltd, GEORGE ROBINSON – GA Robinson


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