UQ Business School and Laing O'Rourke Partnership powering ahead

22 Feb 2010
UQ Business School Downtown is proving there is power in strategic partnerships, with the first Laing O'Rourke cohort graduating from UQBS professional development courses. A total of 11 Laing O'Rourke Australia employees graduated from the Masters-level qualification Graduate Certificate of Executive Leadership this month, with their awards presented by UQ Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield and Laing O'Rourke Chief Executive Mr. Ray O'Rourke. Dr Jim Nyland, Director of Corporate Education and UQ Business School Downtown said the 'Laing O'Rourke Australia/UQ Business School partnership is an exemplar learning partnership for the construction industry as well as the university sector'. "The content is both global in outlook as well as leading edge, and the pedagogy is highly practical and innovative, enabling participants to develop projects of strategic significance for their company through a dynamic 'live' curriculum," Dr Nyland said. "The impact on participants has been nothing short of transformational and this has had an immediate flow through effect on the business." Dr Nyland said the relationship between internationally-recognised construction company Laing O'Rourke and the UQ Business School began as a series of short courses delivered by Professor Andrew Griffiths for 180 managers in sustainable business practice in 2008. In 2009 this program was extended to include further professional development for staff with the provision of four formal courses focusing on leadership, strategy, innovation and sustainability, resulting in the Award of the Graduate Certificate of Executive Leadership. The final course, 'Beyond Managing Projects', was delivered in January, focusing on the management of complex and commercial projects through both international models and applied frameworks. Dr Nyland said the program 'goes beyond the typical topics that focus on identifying resources to complete projects, and the design of networks to monitor progress against time, quality and cost measures'. He said diverse skills were needed to complete projects, including leadership, communication, environmental impact awareness, stakeholder management and dealing with the media. "We have had a 100 percent success rate, which is an outstanding achievement for the company," Dr Nyland said. Laing O'Rourke is one of the world's largest construction companies with offices across Australia, the UK, Germany, India, South East Asia and the United Arab Emirates. They are 100 per cent privately owned, with approximately 36,000 employees worldwide and gross revenues in excess of A$11 billion a year.