Congratulations are due to Gemma Sommerville of CRGP on her successful completion of Part III a few months ago, then more recently the interview and “approval” process that awarded her the title of Chartered Architect. The road to full qualification is not an easy journey and it takes seven years.
For Gemma it started in 1998 when she embarked on a four-year honours course in architectural studies at Strathclyde University. Gaining a Bsc (hons) and Part 1 was her first step towards chartership.
Her next phase was to get work experience and in June 2002 she joined CRGP.
Gemma soon became part of the team and was fully involved in projects. “Much of the work I did in my year was at Belhaven Terrace West,” said Gemma. “It was a £4m refurbishment of the university halls of residence to 25 luxury flats. I really enjoyed working on this project and during the renovation we uncovered many original features, which we were able to highlight in the new plans.”
Following her one year placement with CRGP, Gemma returned to university in October 2003 where she continued her journey towards chartership. One year later, she was awarded a postgraduate diploma in computer aided building design, which gave her Part II.
The final stages towards Chartership saw Gemma return to CRGP for another year of work experience and her applying for Part III, which required her to submit a case study of a particular project and then take an examination over three days, plus an interview.
“The interview panel looks over your case study and the examination that you have done,” said Gemma. “Its purpose is really to make sure that you are a competent person to practise as a chartered architect. The last six months were quite difficult and I am really grateful for the fantastic support I got from my colleagues in the office. They were all more than willing to help me out and spend time going through various aspects with me.”
Gemma has been given a job with CRGP and she has been involved in Project SLAM, a Ministry of Defence initiative that seeks to improve the living accommodation at many barracks around the country. She was also involved in the fire damage reinstatement plans at Parklands Country Club.
In her spare time she goes to the gym two or three times a week and on a Saturday she follows her favourite football team: “I better not say too much about them,” she whispered, “they are not doing so well just now, although last season they were alright.”