Balamurugan Soundararaj completed his MRes in September 2013. With a background in urban and regional planning, prior to joining CASA, Bala had worked in various sectors ranging from retail, real estate consulting, traffic and transportation planning to architectural conservation, and was looking for a course which connects the common theme in his varied areas of interest – the degree provided him with necessary theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills and introduced him to recent developments in research and practice in the field.
Bala said: “The year I spent in CASA was one of the most intense and productive ones I have spent learning, practising and building new, interesting ideas around analysing and visualising built environment. Being immersed in such an inspiring place with some of the brightest minds pursuing varied research interests had an immense influence in my thought process and approach towards research and problem solving.
"In addition to the classes and projects, being amidst numerous events, lectures, seminars and conferences taking place in and around the department provided the potential to be in the middle of a constant flow of information, ideas and people. The design of the course had a perfect balance between research, learning and practice which encouraged innovation and provided me with numerous options to pursue after the course”
Since graduating, Bala has been working as a research associate with UCL, School of Construction and Project Management for the Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Transport for London, UCL and Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) in evaluating, designing and implementing collaborative teams for complex infrastructure projects through organisational network analysis.
This project is a part of the ongoing attempt to bring both industry and academia to create a ‘network’ based theory and practice in project management which can be used by managers of large, complex infrastructure projects to ensure efficient design of the organisational structure and timely interventions preventing adversarial behaviour and enhancing project performance.