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Kykloud CEO Ed Bartlett was recently invited into Northumbria University to talk to final year Building Surveying students about the role of technology in property and asset management. Ed was visiting the Northumbria campus for the second year running, as part of the partnership between Kykloud and the University.

In 2013, a capital expenditure bid within the University allowed the purchase of 30 iPads and the Kykloud App subscription for three years. This has subsequently enabled final year students studying the Facilities and Asset Management module to carry out a live survey of selected buildings within the university estate.

The partnership presents Kykloud with an opportunity to see how soon-to-be-qualified surveyors were able to get to grips with asset management software. For the University, the opportunity to incorporate a cutting-edge technology into the syllabus is acknowledged to benefit students on a number of levels.

Northumbria University’s Head of Architecture and Built Environment, Dr Kevin Thomas explains:

“The surveying profession has to adapt quickly to emerging technologies or be left behind as other professions embrace them.

“It is essential that graduates are exposed to these technologies, both to familiarize themselves with innovations such as asset management software and help cement the place of these new tools within industry standards. Only by doing this can we continue to meet the needs and requirements of employers.”

The opportunity to use Kykloud as part of a live exercise not only equips students with useful skills but also seemingly offers graduates an important edge over fellow candidates for future job roles. Ed says:

“It was fascinating to see that of the 40 students taking this particular module, just six had previously seen asset management software before. To us, that highlights the importance of what Kevin and his team are doing at Northumbria in bringing the latest surveying practice into the classroom.

“These students are among the first to be have been brought up using mobile devices, so they are all familiar with how iPads work. This comfort with the latest hardware, combined with early training on the very latest software, will serve them well throughout their careers.

“I think it is genuinely exciting to think how these students will go on to be valuable assets to their future employers. Having discussed the application of Kykloud with the group, I was impressed by their grasp of the detail and their willingness to adopt new techniques.”

When asked for his thoughts on the importance of integrating new technologies into the university syllabus, one student, Liam Keyworth, said:

“The industry is moving forward, and if we graduate with only knowledge of traditional methods and practices, we will be starting on the back foot.

“Kykloud’s app is slick, intuitive to use and perfectly laid out for surveying. It has moved things on leaps and bounds from pen, paper and dictation. I would definitely recommend it to my future employer given the opportunity.”

Ed and Dr Thomas will next be speaking together at Liverpool John Moores University in May as part of a seminar entitled “Building Surveying: Emerging Technologies”.

The event will be attended by members of CHOBE – the Council of Heads of the Built Environment – who represent the universities across the country delivering construction, property and surveying courses.

We will have more news on that event to share here nearer the event.