Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

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Christine Gausden: “I have achieved 50 years of work experience to date and still have much to offer”

4 November 2020

Christine Gausden RD, a CIOB Fellow and a two-term CIOB Trustee, is celebrating 50 years in the construction industry

A multi-skilled project manager with international experience, Christine Gausden has been responsible for the delivery of projects for prestigious public and private clients. 

And as an academic, she has specialised in project, construction, risk and  facilities management. She is research active in BIM4FM, best practice, collaborative working and employability.

“From childhood, my inspirations were a combination of architecture and a long-standing love of technical drawing, which I taught myself. I did have ambitions to train as an architect, but these were thwarted by the prevailing view at the time this career choice would be a waste of time for a girl,” she says.

“I simply could not accept this, and any barriers served to further motivate me. I found a role as an architectural technician, rapidly acquiring qualifications on the way.” Gausden passed the RICS professional exams in building surveying and the CIOB professional exams and what followed was a varied career as a project manager in the built environment. 

“The most satisfying projects, for me, were those which were most challenging logistically – the undertaking of major refurbishments, whilst needing to retain an operational environment,” she says.

“My most enjoyable project was the delivery of the Selfridges Oxford Street masterplan, over a three-year time frame, including new shop fronts, new escalators and new floors, all whilst allowing this iconic store to remain open and completely operational.”

Gausden recently has used her experience in the role of an academic and mentor to young people. As well as being a CIOB Trustee, she sits on the UK BIM Alliance Communities Leadership Team and is chair of BIM4FM. 

She became a CIOB member in 1981, becoming the second female fellow of the CIOB in 1995, and chaired the first CIOB Women in Building committee.

“I first volunteered with CIOB on the Building Matters tour. This was an actual roadshow, in an especially adapted Routemaster bus,” she explains. “I spent time talking to students and schoolchildren, trying to persuade them as to the various perspectives of a career in the built environment.” 

Gausden, who has crossed the Sahara as a competitor in the Marathon des Sables, is constantly seeking fresh challenges. 

“I am presently seeking to further research and engage in projects looking at best practice and standards in industry, primarily from the perspective of the wider social impact of the built environment,” she says. “I have achieved 50 years of work experience to date and still have much to offer. I am looking forward to new opportunities and new projects to explore.”