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Medal for "force of nature" MDX Architectural Technology graduate in WorldSkills UK finals

Desislava Veleva wins Bronze in virtual Building Information Management (BIM) competition

New MDX Architectural Technology graduate Desislava Veleva won a Bronze medal at this year's all-online WorldSkills UK competition in the hotly contested Building Information Modelling (BIM) category.

BIM is the process of 3D architectural modelling and additional creation and management of information related to a built structure through the lifecycle of a project. It permits collaboration between architectural technologists and engineers on a digital construction team, and it is mandatory on UK publicly procured projects.

In the BIM contest for WorldSkills UK - the national charity which is a member of the WorldSkills global skills development movement - competitors must produce structural and architectural models using Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks and Autodesk BIM360 software, demonstrating eight separate skills.

Desislava was one of more than 40 students from across the UK to compete in 2020's competition. Four other MDX graduates and students participated. Desislava's prize includes free Autodesk Professional Certification training entry.

"The competition was very interesting, both to prepare for and to participate" says Desislava. "I got the chance to learn new things and practice them.

"I was a bit nervous, but at the end I managed to focus and finish everything on time. We have covered many of the topics [tested] and practiced them in class, so that was an advantage that helped me.

"I think that if you have a very good knowledge of BIM you have many opportunities in front of you," she adds.

Associate Professor of Creative Technology and Digital Creativity Noha Saleeb says she is "extremely happy and very proud" about Desislava and the other MDX entrants' achievements. "Desislava has shown huge talent in design since her enrolment, producing very high-quality work and excelling in her digital and manual skillsets which gave her a high distinction and prize for best graduate in her cohort," she says.

"She has also been aiding her peers as a Student Learning Assistant throughout her time on the programme. Alongside her polite and professional demeanour, she has proven to be a force of nature who has won prizes and been placed top in different events". Noha has welcomed the number of female participants, in an industry that is perceived as male dominated. She hopes this diversity helps to raise barriers and will encourage students from all backgrounds to participate and showcase their skills in contests of this kind in future.

"It is an excellent achievement by Desislava" says MDX Head of Department of Design Engineering and Mathematics and National Training Manager for the WorldSkills UK Automation and Mechatronics competitions, Professor Mehmet Karamanoglu. "We are so pleased for her and it shows that the BSc Architectural Technology programme she is following is preparing our students well to face the current technological demands of the sector they will be going into".

Last year, the first time MDX competed in the WorldSkills BIM contest, Viorel Mihailuc from the 2019 Architectural Technology cohort won Silver. Viorel is now teaching as an hourly academic at MDX. MDX Architectural Technology students have won several prizes in other competitions and MDX's MSc BIM Management and Integrated Digital Delivery programme has received two global awards. There are MDX alumni in this field living and working in more than 30 countries around the world.

MDX is working with WorldSkills UK on next year's cycle, running the Mechatronics, Automation and Lab Tech competitions.

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