UCEM Property Awards 2017: Alumni of the Year Award Nominees

Posted on: 2017-10-10

Ahead of the 30th UCEM Property Awards event, we are focusing on the three awards which will be handed out at the prestigious luncheon in London on Thursday.

Yesterday, we shone the spotlight on our UCEM Academic Excellence award nominees while today’s blog focuses on our UCEM Alumni of the Year nominees.


Just like the Academic Excellence award, the UCEM Alumni of the Year honour was only added to the Property Awards itinerary in 2015.

Alumni of UCEM are invited to nominate themselves or their fellow alumni for outstanding contributions throughout their early careers towards a better built environment which is then assessed by a panel from UCEM and a shortlist drawn up.

Julie de la Cruz was the recipient of the first UCEM Alumni of the Year award and Pavel Streblov was last year’s winner.

The nominees

Laura Collins graduated from the BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying programme in 2010. Aged 23, Laura became one of the world’s youngest Chartered Surveyors, passing the RICS APC programme on her first attempt. Five years later, Laura became Mace’s youngest ever Associate Director and in 2016, she was awarded the Best Woman Quantity Surveyor at the Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards. Laura contributes as an APC Assessor on behalf of RICS and is dedicated to making positive changes in the industry in her current role at Rider Levett Bucknall.

Dritan Uka graduated from the BSc (Hons) Building Surveying programme in 2016. Dritan worked as a Maintenance Manager and Lead Portfolio Manager for a housing association where he applied his learning and led on a number of significant defect and resolution projects, including one of the largest defect resolutions in recent years in a 43-storey residential tower with a defective glass façade requiring full replacement. In his current role as Head of Property Services and Asset Management, Dritan is setting up a direct labour organisation to deliver a variety of services for a leading private sector-registered provider.

Sean Connor gained an MSc Building Surveying in 2016. Sean became a Chartered Surveyor through RICS the following year and has used his learning to good effect as Front of House Maintenance Manager within the Tower of London on behalf of his employer, Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). Sean is charged with maintaining the World Heritage Site for more than three million visitors per year and achieved his most impressive feat as Project Manager for the refurbishment of the Yeoman Warders Club. Balancing the need to conserve the building and provide a modern refresh, Sean managed complex stakeholder and client expectations to ensure the Club is a focal point for the Tower community again.

Annie Chu graduated from the MBA Construction and Real Estate programme in 2016. That same year, Annie co-founded QnS Consultancy – a firm which provides services in Building Information Modelling (BIM), BEAM Plus, quantity surveying and risk management in construction and real estate projects. Annie is a Fellow member and Assessor for The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) and is also a member of RICS. Annie is a passionate advocate of UCEM and her profession and keeps corporate social responsibility at the top of her agenda, participating in several community service programmes, including arranging internships for teenagers at her company. Annie recently volunteered to help a small NGO regenerate a historical building into a future music therapy centre for children.

Clement Gunasekar completed his MBA Construction and Real Estate earlier this year. For the past 12 years, Clement has worked as a Cost Controller for various leading contract companies in UAE and Saudi Arabia. In his current role as the Cost Control Manager at Al Fara’a General Contracting (AFGCO), Clement built and enhanced the cost control system in line with internationally recognised standards from the likes of RICS, ACostE and ICEC. Clement was awarded ‘Outstanding Cost Manager of the Year 2017’ at the AACE International Conference in May and is sitting his APC in April next year with the aim of joining RICS.

Gabriel Kada graduated with a PGDip in Real Estate Surveying earlier this year. Gabriel was nominated for his outstanding achievements for promoting the business, attracting new investors and developing the professional standards at The Hallmark Group. He has worked with world-class organisations such as Lloyds Bank, IBM and the Secretary of State, and he created a company website and launched a social media presence which resulted in new investment in the company. Gabriel’s passion for the built environment has seen him advise the building committee of a community charity on a voluntary basis.

Stay updated

To find out who will take the award this year, keep up-to-date with our coverage of the event this Thursday, with live posts going out on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.