Innovation in Research and Industry Symposium (IRIS) - Guest Speakers

Our guest speakers are pioneers in their respective fields and have been invited to share their wealth of knowledge and experience. The programme of talks will cover a diverse range of topics including (but not limited to): sustainability and the circular economy, digitalisation and information technology, and infrastructure development

Professor Tony Thorpe

Date: Date: 8th October 2021

Title of presentation: Construction IT – a personal odyssey

Professor Thorpe is a civil engineer and construction manager with over 40 years of experience in engineering, research and practice.  From 2003 to 2017, he was Dean of the School of School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering. His research interests are broad and he has published over 180 refereed publications and supervised 40 PhD students in the areas of construction management/ construction IT (now commonly referred to as “digital construction”). Much of his early research was on developing applications for contractors’ management functions: estimating; planning; and cost control. Later his work revolved around data capture – using bar coding, RFID tags, and wearable computers and the data standards that were necessary to achieve “data integration”. This issue of standards remains an interest as the industry embraces BIM technologies. The integration of BIM with the developing areas of off-site construction and automation, and the impact of digital technologies on the construction supply-chain are his current areas of interest.

Mr. Richard Crosby

Date: Date: 15th October 2021

Title of presentation: Production led Construction, putting the theory into practice

Richard specialises in efficient construction management and project leadership of major projects and programmes. With Blacc, he has successfully helped to deliver programmes such as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and established the Department for Educations off site component frameworks which influenced the government's decision to procure in favour of off-site construction. Richard is recognised as an industry leading evangelist for production led construction process techniques. He has overseen the Blacc team and key industry specialists in pioneering an industry changing product (Seismic) to develop both a physical and digital platform for the design and manufacture of buildings. Richard champions Blaccs Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) strategy in housing, healthcare and education and he has advised central government and the Construction Leadership Council on MMC. He is also a Director of the off-site alliance promoting MMC across all sectors.

Ms. Lanre Akinola and Ms. Sarah Pullen

Date: 22nd October 2021

Title of presentation: Birmingham Healthy City Planning Toolkit

Lanre Akinola is a Public Health Graduate Officer at Birmingham City Council and supports the delivery of the Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme. Lanre supports the food system team in developing innovative action to tackle childhood obesity at a local level. This includes the Birmingham Healthy City Planning Toolkit, The Spiral Curriculum and The Birmingham Basket. With a background in Biological Sciences and a Master’s in Public Health, Lanre implements her knowledge and experience in creating better health outcomes for her local community.

Sarah Pullen is the lead of the newly formed Public Health Food Service at Birmingham City Council. The Food Team's aim is to develop and strengthen the food system across Birmingham, and to work with departments across the council, and organisations and communities throughout the city, to embed changes that will improve public health outcomes. Sarah has a Master's in Health Psychology and broad experience of applying behavioural science in real world settings, as well as creating strong cross-sector partnerships to tackle a variety of public health challenges and the wider determinants of health.

Associate Professor Nicholas Chileshe

Date: 29th October 2021

Title of presentation: Reverse logistics and construction supply chains – Opportunities and research agenda

Dr Nicholas Chileshe is an Associate Professor of Construction and Project Management at University of South Australia, within the UniSA STEM. He was nominated to the College of Expert, Australian Research Council (ARC), and Australian Government in 2020. He received his Ph.D. in construction management from the School of Construction, Faculty of the Built Environment at Sheffield Hallam University, U.K in 2004. His principal research interests lie in the areas of construction and project management; more specifically risk assessment and management practices, reverse logistics, supply chain management, sustainable construction, knowledge management, public-private partnerships, and sustainability including social housing. Associate Professor Chileshe is actively engaged in scholarly research work and has authored and co-authored more than 310 refereed journal and conference publications since joining academia in 1999.

In recognition of his scholarly and reviewing efforts, he has been a recipient of multiple awards such as the ‘Outstanding Reviewer for Journal of Management in Engineering (JME)’, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Outstanding Reviewers Program in 2016, 2017, 2018; ‘Outstanding Reviewer for ASCE/ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Outstanding Reviewers Program in 2017, 2018; and Outstanding Reviewer for Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Outstanding Reviewers Program in 2020.

Associate Professor Chileshe currently serves on a number of Editorial Boards such as the ‘International Journal of Project Management’, ‘Journal of Engineering Design and Technology’, ‘Sustainability’, and ‘International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation’ and since January 2019 as one of the Deputy Editors of the Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management Journal, and from 2021 as an Associate Editor for the Built Environment Project and Asset Management Journal

Dr. Vladeta Stojanovic

Date: 5th November

Title of presentation: 3D Point Clouds and Machine Learning applications for their semantic enrichment and processing

Dr. Vladeta Stojanovic is currently a researcher at HafenCity University Hamburg, working with the Department of Hydrography and Geodesy. Vladeta does research in interactive visualization, data science, software systems engineering and computer graphics. The applications of his research focus on built environment visualization, applications of machine learning for AECO domains, digital twins of indoor environments, semantic enrichment of indoor 3D point clouds and sensor data analytics. Dr. Vladeta Stojanovic originally comes from a computer games and real-time 3D graphics programming background, and has been working professionally in academia since 2012. He completed his Bachelor and Masters studies in Computer Games Technology and Computer Science at Abertay University, Dundee, Scotland, UK between 2008 and 2016, and obtained his Doctoral degree in IT Systems Engineering from the Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany in 2021.

His other professional and hobbyist interests include interactive 3D graphics programming, game prototype development and rapid application development of 3D visualisation solutions – with strong focus on researching, developing and testing real-time programmable graphics pipeline rendering techniques.

Professor Joseph Lai

Date: 12th November 2021

Title of presentation: 3D Point Clouds and Machine Learning applications for their semantic enrichment and processing

With a first-class honours degree in building services engineering, a master’s degree in environmental management, a PhD in facility management (FM) and over a decade of professional practice, Dr Joseph Lai combines professional and academic roles as Leader of the Postgraduate FM Programme in the Faculty of Construction and Environment, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The honours Dr Lai has received include Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Academic Programme Development, and Distinguished Educator Award of the International Facility Management Association. Dr Lai is Co-Editor of the Facilities journal and Associate Editor of the Smart and Sustainable Built Environment journal.

Professor Roger Flanagan

Date: 19th November 2021

Title of presentation: Quality in the construction sector-can we fix it?

Roger Flanagan is Professor at the School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, UK. He is an Honorary Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and Guest Professor at Chongqing University, Guiyang Institute of Technology. Previously Visiting Professor in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, USA, Sweden, Norway, Kenya, South Africa, Turkey, and Croatia. He was President of the Chartered Institute of Building in 2007.

Roger’s industrial experience includes previously being a member of the Board of Directors of Skanska AB for 10 years and a non-executive member of the Board of Directors of Halcrow Group (now Jacobs). He has been a member of Board of Directors and Advisory Board member of companies in UK, USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland, China, and Canada.

He recently co-authored the CIOB Guide to Quality Management in Construction.

Mr. Paul Holt

Date: 26th November 2021

Title of presentation: Dynamic construction to drive the health and wellbeing agenda

Paul Holt (MCIOB, MBA) has 30 + years’ experience - 10 years as an Estates, Facilities and Capital NHS Director working primarily in the NHS and more laterally in the Higher Education sector leading a £ 350m estates strategy. He is currently the Director of Healthcare/Public Sector at MAC Construction Consultants. He brings to MAC the strategic leadership and insight into how the public sector operates, having held the self-sufficient freedom to act in the delivery of his employers’ strategic objectives, managing an NHS revenue budget of £ 40m, managing over 1000 staff. As part of his current role, Paul is Project Director for the development of a £ 105m 600 unit intergenerational ‘Wellbeing’ housing project in the North West of England – primarily offering affordable housing for those in most need.

Paul is keen to ensure that the construction process puts the ‘Person is at the Heart of Everything we do’. With that in mind he ensures teams adopt a holistic response promoting both their technical expertise and their clear understanding of the qualitative ‘softer’ issues critical to their Public Sector Client.