Dr Lim is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Built Environment and his main area of research is in Sustainable Business and Workplace Management.
Benson specifically looks at the flexibility of construction businesses and their survival strategies, and the effect of workplace design on employee productivity and performance. He received his Bachelor degree in Building Construction Management (BBCM, with first class honours) from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2003, and completed his PhD studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2009. Benson has a strong passion to learning and teaching, and sharing his experience.
Since joining Built Environment in July 2010, Benson has hitherto received 12 Associate Dean of Education Teaching Excellence recognitions. In 2014, he received the BE Dean Teaching Excellence award. Benson has developed a teaching model, entitled “C.P.E.G.S.”, which integrates five concepts of learning: (1) Constructive Alignment; (2) Problem-based; (3) Experiential; (4) Game-based; and (5) Scaffolding. Also, he has published several research papers on the topics of scenarios-based learning, game based learning and communication development.
WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION – insights, challenges and paths to success…
Benson has focussed his research on women working in the construction industry, both as tradeswomen and as professionals. The outcomes inform some of our Construction Management teaching programs. He was interviewed about his research by fellow Scientia Education Academy Fellow, Associate Professor Cathy Sherry, UNSW Law, who has recently been awarded ‘Academic of the Year’, at the 2017 Women in Law Awards.
Click here to read the full interview.
Culture, Diversity and Community Engagement in Learning and Teaching Discipline
Culture, diversity and social awareness and responsibility are necessary considerations in the developmental processes of university learning and teaching. In recognising these, several projects and initiatives have been undertaken in 2018.
Project 1: Personal protective clothing and equipment for women in construction
Dr. Benson Lim and Dr. Bee Oo
This project is an extension of the two projects undertook in 2017, namely: (1) an Investigation of Early Career Women in the Construction Industry: Career Choice, Expectation and Barriers; and (2) Tradeswomen in the Australian Construction Industry. Of these, we have recently received the best paper award for a conference paper developed based on the findings on Early Career Women.
Turning to the current research, the aim is to provide an overview of the accessibility of women to properly fitting PPE in the Australian construction industry. The specific objectives are to: (i) explore the difficulties that women in construction experience in getting properly-fitting PPE, and (ii) examine the relationship between their satisfaction with PPE, self-efficacy and job satisfaction. The targeted respondents for this research include:
- Women labourers in the construction industry
- Tradeswomen in the construction industry
- Professional women in the construction industry (for e.g., Project Manager, Site Engineer, Architect, Quantity Surveyor).
Together with the previous studies, the findings will help informing company management and professional bodies about the current status of PPE issues for women in construction, and thus enable them to develop better targeted strategies to improve their well-being and job satisfaction.
Initiative 1: CMP Peer Mentoring Program
Dr. Benson Lim
Indeed, the CMP peer mentoring program has been going through continuous cycle of development and review since 2017. Of late, the program has been approved by the Head of School from the Faculty of Built Environment and will be ready for official launch in March 2019. Generally, the program involves three types of mentorship (i.e. junior-senior students, senior students-recent alumni, and recent-senior alumni) and one-to-one and group mentoring.
Initiative 2: BEWarriors City2Surf Charity Run (dated 12 August 2018)
Dr. Benson Lim, and 46 other students and staff members
For this initiative, we successfully obtained sponsorship from: UNSW Scientia Education Academy, Ganellen Pty Ltd, Watpac construction Pty Ltd and our UNSW Built Environment.
Generally, our BEWarriors team shares the motto of:
"We run to creating a better future for others. Let's do our little part, staying healthy and helping others to achieve their dreams"
We see this as a meaningful charity fund raising event and also a team building activity. Indeed, many of the runners had gathered and trained, three times a week for about two months, prior to the city2surf event dated 12 August 2018. Below are the blurbs from some student runners:
"When I decided to do my Ph.D. here at UNSW, I have heard that Ph.D. is like running a marathon – both require relentless efforts and long-term commitment, collaboration with others, and being critical and strategic to set goals and achieve them. When I first offered to join the team ‘BEWarriors’ for City2Surf, I was afraid of not finishing it just like when I first felt about doing Ph.D. However, for a novice runner like me, Benson, UNSW Scientia Education Fellow and the Team Leader of ‘BEWarriors’, kindly organised several training sessions and shared some useful tips, so we can have confidence in what we are doing. Eventually, with a help from him and other ‘mates’, all the runners including me were able to successfully cross the finish line. As a Ph.D. candidate approaching the end of the Ph.D. journey, someday, I hope I can share my experience with others and help them to achieve their goals – whether it is about running, Ph.D., or something else. I feel grateful that I was a part of the team BEWarriors and I highly recommend to anyone to join the team next year especially for those who still hesitate to begin their journey because of they are afraid not achieving their goals." Sumin Kim
"As a final year student in Bachelor of Construction Management and Property student, being part of BEWarriors’ City2surf was a great experience. We shared one goal; that is to run to stay healthy and helping others to achieve their dreams, ultimately creating a better future. As a student, this event really ties us together. We motivated each other to study and train hard. BEWarriors also serve as a platform to form networks; connecting academic and professional staff and different groups of students (i.e. undergrads, master and PhD students) from different disciplines. It is absolutely a great platform to make friends and meet mentors. Furthermore, the training inspires me to be more disciplined and be health conscious. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience to be part of BEWarriors.
I am really glad that BE UNSW initiated this event. It enhances my university experience and academic life. It would be really lovely to see more support from UNSW in these kinds of events whereby university staffs, students from different disciplinary, and level of study can form a connection for a good cause. This event is one of the highlights of my uni life." Edlin Prajnajaya
"Every time I look back at the journey of training with our City2Surf BEWarriors’ team, I still get excited. At the very beginning, I made the decision to participate the famous event hoping to lose some weight. After a few training sessions with this team led by Dr Benson Lim, I felt that we were not just a group of random guys who wanted to take part in the event. We were really like a team. I could feel that everyone from the team knew that we were representing the Built Environment of UNSW to run the City2Surf. During these training sessions, everyone tried their best to improve themselves, as well as encourage and support the other team members. I am really inspired by the team spirit and the ‘super’ positive attitudes of my co-runners. This is truly an unforgettable experience to me, and it makes me willing to participate again in the future." Zhuoyuan Wang
Students’ learning is reminiscent of a building’s life cycle. It entails erecting and dismantling scaffolds, building the “products”, engaging with relevant stakeholders, and monitoring their performance.
In this lecture, Dr Lim will present a teaching model which integrates the concepts of scaffolding, experiential learning, problem- & game-based learning and mentoring, which has been developed to facilitate students’ learning in construction courses.
Exploring survey results, Dr Lim will discuss the model’s impact on student engagement. We’ll find out how scenario-based team brainstorming games helped enhance students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills and, more importantly, how they built team camaraderie for their subsequent scenario-based group assignment.
In addition to the incentivised gaming elements, the model includes guest lectures, reflective blogs and mentoring. Dr Lim will explore how mentorship with industry practitioners and senior peers enables students to further develop their independent thinking, commercial awareness and judgement, making them better prepared for the industry. Dr Lim will also announce his newly developed “family-like” mentoring program in the construction and property program, involving three types of mentorship.