Michael is now a Project Manager for ACIEM Group

Mike Williams Construction

Michael Williams studied MSc Construction Project Management and graduated in 2012 achieving a distinction. Michael is now Project Manager for ACIEM Group, a multi-disciplined specialist water industry contractor.

“I studied the BSc [Hons] Construction Project Management course at the University of South Wales and was keen to pursue a career in project management, so the Masters course was a natural progression. The Masters is also RICS accredited which I felt would demonstrate to employers that I was serious about pursuing professional chartership. I also felt that having a Masters degree on my CV would make me 'stand out from the crowd' when applying for future jobs.”

Employability skills

"The core project management topics, ie, Project Management 1 and 2, were the most interesting parts of the course. They provide an insight into real-life situations and give you a good grounding for a career within project management. The range of individual and group assessments, including PowerPoint presentations to a potential ‘client,’ provided an excellent insight into project management in the real world.

“Another element of the course that was invaluable was the field trip to Shanghai, China. The field trip provided a fascinating insight into the worldwide project management market and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In China, we visited numerous worldwide consultancies. It was interesting to experience a booming construction market compared to the declining market in the West. It was also a perk having the opportunity to go and watch the Shanghai Grand Prix."

Published Dissertation

"My dissertation title was ‘Target Cost Contracts: Adopting Innovative Incentive Mechanisms to Improve the Project Delivery Process’. The dissertation looked at how the NEC3 Option C and D target cost contracts could be innovated to provide incentive mechanisms for alternative performance metrics, ie, quality, programme, health and safety, sustainability, etc.

“The aim was to provide an incentive to the project team and potentially the supply chain, to align their objectives and drive the client’s overall strategy. I interviewed a renowned project management consultancy, main contractor, lawyer, client and an innovation expert to establish their views on the current NEC3 contract, and how it could be innovated to provide further incentive measures.

“The dissertation was awarded the Hays Award for Best Masters Dissertation 2012 in the graduation ceremony. I then worked with University lecturers, Paul Ryall and Trefor Williams, to successfully publish a conference paper at the Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, in September 2013. This involved a 15-minute presentation, and a further 15-minute Q&A session to the conference audience. It was a daunting experience, but very enjoyable and valuable, and overall a fitting end to my time at the University, and again an excellent point on my CV."

Project Manager

"I am now working as a Project Manager for ACIEM Group, a multi-disciplined specialist water industry contractor. I was working as a Construction Manager for a Civil Engineering Contractor on a part-time basis whilst undertaking the Masters course, and have since furthered my career and secured a role as a Project Manager. I am now looking to pursue professional chartership.”

My role

“My day-to-day work typically involves delivering multi-discipline water industry Turnkey Projects, to include the Civil Engineering and MEICA elements (Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Controls and Automation). My role involves leading the Project Team from planning through to commissioning and handover, with delegated authority for facilitating the delivery of the contract in accordance with safety, quality, time, and cost requirements of the contract.

“My tasks typically involve planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the project while continuing to liaise with all stakeholders, procurement of materials and sub-contract packages, tracking costs and profitability, leading progress meetings/pre-contract meetings/tender clarification meetings, etc, issuing early warning notices, calculating compensation events, developing construction phase health and safety plans/risk assessments/method statements, etc.

“It is a very busy and high-pressured role, but the satisfaction of delivering large contracts within budget, on time, of excellent quality and with no health and safety issues is what drives me on a daily basis.”  


“The lecturers are excellent in assisting students after they have graduated. There seems to be an open door policy, and any lecturers are willing to provide assistance and advice after we have graduated. This was apparent with my conference paper, as Trefor Williams and Paul Ryall spend a considerable amount of their own time providing advice and assistance to ensure that my paper was successfully published."