(Left to right): NAWIC chief executive Laurice Temple; NAWIC International Women’s Day scholarship winner Michaela Sheahan; NAWIC national president Jane Bateson.

11 March 2014 — HASSELL researcher Michaela Sheahan has been awarded the 2014 National Association of Women in Construction International Women’s Day Scholarship.

The $14,000 scholarship was presented during a cocktail function in Sydney on Thursday evening, and will provide funding for a research paper that looks at how leading hospital precincts are designing connections within and between institutions to enable collaboration, innovation and activity.

Ms Sheahan, who is a researcher in HASSELL’s Knowledge and Sustainability Unit in Melbourne, said she was excited to extend her research skills and raise her profile in the industry with her study titled “Care, Connectivity, Collaboration: Urban design for interaction in hospital precincts – an international perspective”.

“I am very fortunate to be one of the few researchers working within a design firm in Australia,” she said. “Research in design is largely confined to academia, so this scholarship provides me with an opportunity to demonstrate to a wide audience the value of research in practice and evidence-based design.

(Left to right): Jane Bateson, Michaela Sheahan, Laurice Temple and Chris Correll from Corporate Culture.

Richard Munao, managing director of Corporate Culture, which sponsors the scholarship, said Ms Sheahan’s research had the potential to identify improvements in the way hospital precincts were designed and constructed in Australia.

He said the research undertaken through the NAWIC scholarship over the past six years had had a measurable impact on women’s leadership opportunities in the construction industry.

The scholarship was previously only available to those in NSW, however Corporate Culture had provided funding for a national scholarship for the next three years.

“We are delighted to be reaching a national audience with this scholarship, and were pleased to see such a wide range of ambitious research subjects proposed,” said NAWIC national vice president Gesa Ruge.

“This certainly underscores the potential impact that a national scholarship can have on the industry.”