27 August 2013
Two property academics from the University of the Sunshine Coast have won recognition in Europe and an inaugural award worth 1,000 Euros for their cutting-edge research.
USC’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Engagement Professor Mike Hefferan and Academic Fellow Pam Wardner received the Award for Best Paper in Corporate Real Estate when they attended the annual conference of the European Real Estate Society in Vienna, Austria.
The prestigious Federation of Corporate Real Estate, which presented the award in collaboration with Emerald Group Publishing, praised the USC paper for showing “how the academic and commercial worlds can work together” to encourage better decision-making in the industry.
Professor Hefferan and Ms Wardner’s paper examined the changing office space requirements of knowledge-based companies. They said it was praised for successfully applying a methodology known as the Delphi technique to a real estate context.
The technique, more commonly used in military and medical research, involves gaining a consensus from diverse experts to predict future scenarios.
In this case, the academics found that tenants would be seeking more creative work spaces and more flexible lease arrangements. Their paper recommended decision-making strategies such as the establishment of commercial nodes in master-planned communities to accommodate the new requirements.
“Ensuring that property assets and development match changing demands, now and into the future, are critical to business success,” Professor Hefferan said.
He said few representatives from outside Europe had been recognised previously at the annual forum for professionals and academics.
USC’s Innovation Centre was involved in the research.
— Julie Schomberg