Scholarship recipient - Heather Huckle


At the NZ Institute of Building we want to support the Next Generation of the Building Industry. We know it’s tough to be a student right now and that for many, money is tight. We want to help relieve a little of that stress for one of our Next Gen members.

We are travelling the country to give students the chance to impress us with their passion and nab a $2,000 NZIOB scholarship.

We have asked students studying in the built environment to prepare a ‘shark tank’ style pitch where they talk about their passion, a project, or even just themselves. The main aim is to show our ‘sharks’ their potential and their passion for the industry.


Heather Huckle thoroughly impressed our ‘Sharks’ with her pitch at our event at Ara in Ōtautahi | Christchurch on 19 July and was awarded one of two scholarships at the event.

We’re looking forward to following Heather’s journey and seeing how she gets on with study, work and life. We’ve asked her a few questions to get to know her a little better.

Read on to get to know Heather.


Heather Huckle at the 'Shark Tank' pitch event

Name: Heather Huckle

Studying: Bachelor of Construction Majoring in Construction Management

Works at: AECOM as an Assistant Project Manager

Area of focus: My research project aims to talk to the industry about its waste culture and start a conversation that may lead to improved environmental practices. Lack of awareness is a major barrier to implementing sustainability – so let's talk about it.


Tell us about yourself - what were you doing before your studies?

Prior to entering the construction industry, I managed people and accounts in various roles. My integrity in building strong relationships has worked to grow new businesses and empower teams.
After a brief stint in stand-up comedy, I asked myself what I enjoyed doing, where my skills were, and how to use them best to contribute to society. I identified that I am a great communicator, negotiator, and motivator. From my varied work and life experience I have a wider sense of purpose in bringing people together and finding innovative ways to solve problems.

What made you go into your field of study?

I decided to enter the construction industry whilst travelling overseas. I realised how integral infrastructure is to society and it’s fascinating to understand the planning and logistics behind how we construct buildings and infrastructure. I enjoy my work at AECOM and currently work on projects that bring wider benefits to our communities, education centres, and the environment.
I’d like to develop my career to influence clients to consider the entire life cycle of a project, embracing innovation to cater to a changing world.

Who inspires you and why?

Who’s that lady who said “Better living everyone” that’s the kind of evolutionary thinking we need in construction.

What do you do in your spare time (if you have any)?

Surfing, Skiing, Mountain Biking, Extreme Hiking, Camping – anything outdoors!! I really value time with my family and friends and love cooking a meal to share or playing board games on a wintery day. My Catan skills are unrivalled.

What do you find interesting/appealing about the building industry?

All of it, honestly. Always changing, always engaging, always learning.

What would you like to see change in the building industry?

Innovation! Collaboration over silos, Respect for the environment and the next generation.

What kind of role would you love to do in the construction industry?

Innovation and sustainability consultant, business operations, combined project manager and stand-up comedian working a tough gig – the opportunities are endless.

What do you plan to do with your $2,000 scholarship?

This scholarship will provide time to complete my studies, and contribute to the chocolate biscuit fund for study participants – if you are reading this and keen to contribute your thoughts on our construction waste culture, please get in touch to arrange a #TrashTalk


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