28/01/2009 - 22:00

Kerr’s research call

28/01/2009 - 22:00

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HAMES Sharley director and newly appointed member of the Order of Australia, Warren Kerr, has called for more research to be undertaken in complex building design, particularly in the area of health.

Kerr’s research call

HAMES Sharley director and newly appointed member of the Order of Australia, Warren Kerr, has called for more research to be undertaken in complex building design, particularly in the area of health.

Recognised in this week's Australia Day honours list for his leadership role in the planning and design of major health projects, Professor Kerr took the opportunity to express concern over specialist training for architecture graduates in the area of healthcare design.

"When I went to university I was lucky to get a Commonwealth government cadetship in my final year, so when I finished my education I went and worked for the government ... and that gave me a good experience [in health]," Professor Kerr told WA Businesss News.

"There's a number of people in my age group with those skills and abilities, then there's a huge gap because there's no resources to train people in that area."

Professor Kerr has been working to develop a masters degree program to provide specialist training in the design of health facilities through the University of New South Wales, which is due to start later this year.

The university will provide a national centre for graduates from across the country to acquire specialist training in that area.

Another of Professor Kerr's initiatives, an internship program through the Institute of Architects for young WA graduates, is now preparing for its fourth intake, albeit in different economic circumstances to previous years.

"In the past few years there were plenty of opportunities for interns, now that's starting to dry up," Professor Kerr said.

"They would have started their study before the boom and by the time they graduate the boom's over."

Currently, Professor Kerr is part of the architectural consortium behind the $1.7 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital, and is also working on the redevelopment of Rockingham Kwinana District Hospital, the new Midland Hospital and a master plan for Osborne Park Hospital.

Also last week, fellow architect and Member of the Order of Australia, Ron Bodycoat, won the Architects Board of Western Australia annual board award for outstanding contribution to the architectural profession.

Mr Bodycoat was recognised for his highly specialised work in the area of heritage architecture, particularly in conservation and heritage assessment of the built environment.

He was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1992 for services to architecture, conservation and heritage.

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