Company director wastes no time in mastering the art of demolition


A company director wasted no time in mastering the art of demolition and has become one of the first students to earn a University of Wolverhampton Master’s degree in Demolition Management. Jacqueline O’Donovan, Managing Director of London’s O’Donovan Waste Disposal, and already a stalwart of the demolition sector, studied for the two year Master’s degree in the University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering. Having an esteemed career in the waste and construction sector, Jacqueline demonstrated exceptional experience and knowledge, leading her to be an ideal candidate for the academic course.


O’Donovan Waste is a multi-award winning, family-run company specialising in construction and demolition waste providing ‘cradle-to-grave’ options, offering total waste management solutions, demolition, site-clearance, waste-processing and recycled aggregates whilst diverting 100% of its waste from landfill. With Jacqueline at the helm, the business champions a range of initiatives that prioritises staff wellbeing, health and safety, training and environmental excellence, demonstrating a top-down commitment to best practice and is widely regarded as an industry leader and a pioneer in innovation.


Jacqueline is one of the first cohort students and one of the first of two women to achieve the world’s first demolition degree, which was developed and launched at the University’s School of Architecture & Built Environment.

Accredited by the Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE), the course has been designed in conjunction with industry specialists. The Masters of Science degree comprises a range of modules including management, methodologies, research and sustainability, to asbestos removal and building information modelling (BIM).

Jacqueline said: “I am delighted to be one of the first students to have achieved a Demolition Master’s Degree in the UK. I won’t lie, it was very challenging at times, especially being a mature student but I am delighted that I ploughed on! I am over the moon to have achieved this and having left school at 16, I did not envisage I would one day return to formal education, let alone work towards a Master’s whilst working full time!


“Demolition has always been at the centre of what we do as a company and it is particularly close to my heart as my late father Joe started out in demolition. I was honoured to join the first ever demolition-specific academic qualification offered in the UK. I felt it was imperative to have representation from the waste sector on the course and also to show that demolition is a viable option and can be diverse.

“The Demolition sector works on more than £8 billion of projects every year in the UK alone, so it is great to see it being recognised with this new professional qualification.

“As a waste management company and demolition contractor, we play a vital role in the demolition process and are incredibly proud of the fact we divert 100% of construction waste from landfill. I feel having a Master’s Degree will give our existing clients further assurance and knowledge that we are experts in our field and their projects are in the hands of an innovative and forward-thinking supply chain partner whilst helping us to reach new clients and grow our demolition services.”


Dr Paul Hampton, Associate Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment (academic), University of Wolverhampton, said: “Jacqueline should be extremely proud of her achievement in passing this pioneering Master’s degree.


“We are the only University in the world that offers a programme for the entire lifetime of a building from design right through to demolition and it is thanks to the tireless efforts of our partners that we are able to develop programmes which are both relevant to industry and vital to supporting local, national and international economies.


“Our focus in the School of Architecture and Built Environment is to develop courses that are sector relevant and partially delivered in partnership with sector experts. There is a real potential for this to address the sector skills gaps and provide a meaningful step change for recruiting future talent.”


Anyone interested in studying for one of the Demolition degrees should check out the course page.

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