Issue 10 - 7 November 2011 enews home

Budding designer helps build the Territory

By Leanne Coleman

Rodger Moerkerken

CDU Certificate IV in Residential Drafting graduate Rodger Moerkerken
Construction has started on a building designed by a Charles Darwin University graduate as part of his "residential project", which gave him the opportunity to gain experience with industry while he was studying.

A carpenter by trade, Rodger Moerkerken wanted to learn new skills when his interest changed from building houses to designing house plans, prompting him to enrol in a Certificate IV in Residential Drafting with CDU in 2010.

CDU Residential Drafting Lecturer Luis Espinoza said the "residential project" was undertaken by all Certificate IV in Residential Drafting students to give them hands-on experience with industry clients.

"Each student came up with design solutions to suit the needs of a real industry client," he said. "Best design was awarded to Rodger after his design plan was picked by the client as the freshest approach that met their criteria."

Mr Espinoza said this collaboration with industry meant that as part of the award the student's design was adopted by the client, who then worked with the student to fully document the project for construction.

"Once Rodger's design was chosen, the client worked with him to agree on fees and conditions and the working drawings were started," he said.

"Rodger's documentation for the house was recently approved and given the required certification from the engineer for a building permit and the slab was poured ready for the start of construction."

Four months after starting the Certificate IV, Rodger secured a job with one of Darwin's leading consulting engineering companies, Opus, where he works in the civil and structural disciplines and has been a part of the team for the past 18 months.

Rodger graduated with a Certificate IV in Residential Drafting earlier this year and received the Chancellor's Medal for VET at CDU's October graduation ceremony.

The year-long course offers pathways into the Diploma of Building Design and Technology and may further serve as an entry into a Bachelor in Architecture.