Study Overseas Alumni #16 - Michael Morley

Study Overseas Alumni #16 - Michael Morley

Michael Morley graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2018 with a Bachelor of Architectural Design. In Winter School of 2017, he completed a self-reporting program through Study Overseas to attend the 15th International Conference of Building Simulation in San Francisco, USA. Since graduating, Michael has also travelled to Indonesia to assist with a duck farm house design and build project.

“I was able to design the 150m2 farm house using bioclimatic design principles learnt through my studies. This building is now under construction.”

Michael duck house 1

“The conference and duck farm were an extension of my project in Environment II (semester 1, 2nd year in 2016), titled Investigating the Use of Earth Tubes for Passive Cooling and Heating through Thermal Modelling. In this course, I discovered a strong passion for purposeful bioclimatic design, and was intrigued by the diverse building construction systems and how that impacts a building’s energy consumption. Reducing energy consumption wherever possible seemed both purposeful and challenging. This led me to investigate more on my own, leading to extra-curricular work and an opportunity to conduct my own research and submit it to be reviewed for the conference overseas.”

“San Francisco was my second time travelling overseas, after travelling to Europe in 2015. In San Francisco there was a certain expectation and accountability to use my time well, as I was generously granted funding to make the trip happen. I was hoping to gain a lot out of my time at the conference and this caused me to be very focused on my research and presentation preparation. I wasn’t there for leisure, although I did get the opportunity to explore the city which was great.”

“I remember that my ideas and understanding on passive solar design were well received and intrigued some highly regarded engineers and professionals. I was privileged to have dinner on multiple occasions with these people and through many conversations I gained confidence knowing my ideas and research were valid in a professional context.”


Michael San Francisco

“In Indonesia, I was not only there to help with the design of the duck house, but also to help in the NGO we partnered with, a school and clinic called Hohidiai located on the island of Halmahera. It was quite confronting to see the living conditions of some of the many afflicted with AIDS in the local community. This experience was unlike any of my previous experiences.”

“Having the opportunity to use my learnt design skills to completely determine the design of a large scale building that is now under construction in remote Indonesia, was both a huge honour and a daunting task that tested my abilities. This is something I can look back on fondly and it’s very exciting to see it being built. I also had a very memorable time going through villages with a local on Halmahera giving out much needed AIDS medicine and praying for AIDS victims who had lost almost all hope, without any proper care.”


Michael duck house 2

A section of the planning done by Michael for the duck house in Indonesia.

“I’ve definitely grown from the time I’ve spent overseas. Having time away grows independence and opens your mind to international careers. I’ve learnt that my work can have an influence internationally. I also learnt that I can be myself and don’t need to uphold a certain image to be respected in a professional environment.”

“I touch base with those at Hohidiai to see how things are progressing with the construction of the duck house. I look forward to being able to go back to this place, reconnect with friends, and see how the duck house works once it is filled with up to 1000 Muscovy ducks!”

“I know these experiences will help distinguish my job applications amongst others in many ways. However, I do believe the character development that comes with an overseas experience will be more of an advantage when job interviews are on the cards. I have been able to construct a detailed resume and am proud of my achievements to date, and will continue taking up the opportunities I am offered. I have been very blessed to have these opportunities and have had incredible teachers that have encouraged and helped me along the way.”

Since completing his time in Indonesia, Michael has worked in construction and has been able to do a few road trips up and down the east coast.


Michael boat

“I was enrolled last year in the Master of Disaster, Design, and Development course at RMIT University, to equip me with the specialist knowledge and skills to work in management or leadership roles in the international humanitarian and development sectors. However, I deferred as I was quite overloaded and was becoming burnt out. I then proposed to my girlfriend, and am currently planning a wedding. I’ve also been able to follow up on small post-graduating opportunities, such as attending a workshop on a new building simulation software, which has led to an opportunity to do tutoring work at the University of Adelaide throughout May in 2019.”

“I have discovered that it’s very easy to strive for a certain career and neglect giving yourself time to rest, time to express your own ideas and choose what’s important to invest in at present. Sometimes you lose sight of what’s around you when you’re too fixated on achieving something, and then you can lose the very passion that led you to strive for it as you become burnt out. I’m happy at the moment to try out new things, and keep my eye out for an opportunity to gain more exposure to the profession of Architecture. I am eager to learn more so that my future work can pioneer progressive and innovative concepts, and I look forward to working in this field.”

“In the next 6 months I would love to be continuing in study, whether it be in the academic research field, or in the Master of architecture post-graduate course at the University of Adelaide. I am also looking to work at an architecture practice in Adelaide focused on smart, environment focused and purposeful design.”

Tagged in self-reporting, research, short programs, United States, Indonesia