Project Details

Description

Academic Leader
Dr Zhen Chen

Vision
The Digital Construction research unit dedicates to convergence research into the theory and praxis of digital construction for the dependable built environment. It catalyses and facilitates initiatives and collaborations in research and knowledge exchange to inform sustainability-driven practices and research-led education.

Focuses
This research unit aims to develop research strength and knowledge in the following areas:
• Acquisition and use of data, information and knowledge for decision intelligence and optimization
• Advanced informatics for the design, construction and operation of buildings and infrastructure
• Education, training and learning for professional excellence
• Evidence-based learning for the best practices, policy, regulation, and standardisation
• Interdisciplinary methodologies for convergent research and practice under complexity and uncertainty
• Resources efficiency in the built environment
• Strategic, tactical and operational decision-making support in mega project management
This research unit is the host of MSc Advanced Construction Technologies & BIM in the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde. It also has expertise to lead multidisciplinary modules to support research informed/led learning, and this has been shown in the following ones: 
• Architectural Informatics
• Advanced Construction Technologies
• Building Information Management
• Facilities Management
• Sustainability Engineering Group Project
• Dissertations

Collaborations
This research unit has established collaborations with academic and industry partners around the world, and has continued contributions to professional development at organisations, including
• ADS Group
• American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
• British Standards Institution (BSI)
• European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
• The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
• The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
• Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)
• Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
• International Project Management Association (IPMA)
• International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
• International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)
• Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
This research unit has continued contribution to the development of new research publications in the Specialty Section of Construction Management at Frontiers of Built Environment, which is a multidisciplinary open-access journal (indexed in the Web of Science (ESCI) and Scopus) providing the platform for international collaborations that aids discovery, and is at the forefront of disseminating and communicating scientific knowledge and impactful discoveries to researchers, engineers, and the public worldwide. The contribution of this research unit is made through specialty editorship and Research Topics in Construction Management at Frontiers.

Projects for Research & Knowledge Exchange 

• PPE waste identification and reduction in the Scottish construction sector during pandemic, 2021. Funders: the Scottish Institute for Remanufacturing (SIR) and Zero Waste Scotland, Scotland, UK.

• Distributed knowledge graphs, 2020-2024. Funder: the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020, European Union, Belgium.

• Adaptive disaster and emergency management for the sustainable built environment, 2014-2015. Funder: the British Council, UK.

 Optimising energy use in the National Gallery buildings in Scotland, 2014-2018. Funders: the Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) and the National Galleries of Scotland, UK.

 Developing a system prototype for rapid and accurate post-disaster damage and needs assessment of built assets (Built Assets DNA), 2012-2013. Funder: EPSRC Additional Sponsorship, EPSRC Ref.EP/J501335/1, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK.

 The effective design and delivery of megaprojects in the European Union, 2011-2015. Funder: COST, Belgium.

 An innovative theoretical framework for the research and development of intelligent buildings, 2011. Funder: The Royal Society, UK.

 Co-ordinated management of intelligent pervasive spaces (CMIPS), 2005-2008. Funders: Former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Thales Group, and Arup Group, UK.

Dr Zhen Chen is an academic participant to the following funded research projects:

• Research projects at the Centre for Digital Built Britain. University of Cambridge, UK. 2018.
• Improving Science-based Climate Policy for Flood Risk Management. University Colleague London (UCL), UK. 2018.
• Past Earth Network. EPSRC, UK. 2017.
• Challenging Radical Uncertainty in Science, Society and the Environment (CRUISSE). UKRI, UK. 2017.
• From Models to Decisions (M2D). UKRI, UK. 2017.
• Smart Cities Joint Programme. European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). 2011- .
 Future Infrastructure Forum - a network for resilient and sustainable infrastructure. EPSRC, UK. 2011-2013.
• Intelligent Monitoring, Control and Security of Critical Infrastructure Systems. COST, Belgium. 2011-2013.
• Innovation in Design, Construction and Operation of Building for People (IDCOP). EPSRC, UK. 2005-2007.

PhD Research Projects

Saleh Seyedzadeh: Modelling non-domestic buildings energy performance using machine learning methods

Prince Boateng: A dynamic systems approach to megaprojectrisk analysis and simulation

Shashwat Ganguly: An innovative controlmethod for optimising energy use in the National Gallery buildings in Scotland

JawadAl Suliman: The Management of Variation Orders in the Saudi Public Construction Projects

Sukulpat Khumpaisal: An Analytic Approach to Risk Assessment in Thailand’s Real Estate Development Industry

Mohamed A.tweijeer: A Qualitative Investigation on the Incorporation of Lean Construction Principles into the RIBA Plan of Work 2020

Ambark Bareka: A Text Mining Approach to Performance Enhancement in BIM Pervasive Major Project Delivery

Soukaina Elaouad: Assessment of Social Sustainability Using Big Data Analytics and BIM Systems

Alaeddin Etakali: An Empirical Research into Lean Agile Construction for Project Risks Management

Saiful Fazli BinRamli: HBIM Based Preventive Conservation for Historic Timber Buildings in Malaysia

Ozaer Zaed: A Framework for BIM Excellence in Architectural Education in Libya

Silpa Singharajwarapan: Automated Chiang Mai Building Code and Regulatory Compliance Audit via BIM-based Model


Call for Participation

This research unit is open for new students to pursue doctoral research in areas relating to professional excellence in the subject field of built environment. Specific research topics are among but not limited to the two themes below:

Research Theme A: Artificial Intelligence for Professional Excellence in Built Environment

This research theme aims to foster new multidisciplinary research into specific challenging issues in the subject field of built environment with regard to the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for excellence in professional practices. This project is open to applicants who have specialty interests in related areas and have ambition to generate new knowledge and advanced solutions to inform academic research and professional practices in the design, construction, and/or operation of buildings and/or civil infrastructure. 

The research areas of this research theme include but not limited to the following new analysis and/or solutions in the context of engineering and/or management for built environment projects:

• AI aided decision making across work stages including planning, design, construction, and/or operation, particularly in BIM pervasive major project delivery.
• Methodological studies on advanced AI solutions for optimization and/or optioneering with regard to people, products, processes, resources, and/or the environment.
• The enhancement of capability, dependability, efficacy, and/or resilience by adopting AI at strategic, tactical, and/or operational levels.
• The study on accidents and/or best practices through machine learning to advance the professional body of knowledge.

Research Theme B: Evidence-based Learning and Research for Professional Excellence in Built Environment

This research theme aims to foster new world class research into challenging issues in the built environment with regard to evidence-based practice for excellence in professional practices. It is open to applicants who have specialty interests in related areas and have ambition to generate new knowledge to inform academic research and professional practices in the design, construction, and/or operation of buildings and/or civil infrastructure.

The research areas within this theme include but not limited to the following new analysis and/or solutions in the context of engineering and/or management for the built environment:
• Calculated/Informed/Intelligent decision-making support in design, construction, and/or operation
• Methodological studies on advanced technical solutions for optimization and/or optioneering with regard to people, products, processes, resources, and/or environment
• The enhancement of capability, dependability, efficacy, and/or resilience at strategic, tactical, and/or operational levels
• The study on accidents or best practices to advance the professional body of knowledge

Expected research outcomes: It is expected that each PhD Candidate on a specific research topic will complete their study with, but not limited to, the following research outcmes to support career development in academic research and/or professional practices:

• Academic papers published in reputable international journals.
• One book (based on PhD dissertation) published by one reputable international publisher.
• Presentations to national and/or international audiences. 

Relevant subject areas include but not limited to: Engineering (Civil & Structural Engineering), Maths & Computing (AI & Machine Learning; Data Analysis; Operational Research), Social Science & Health (Architecture & the Built Environment; Education; History; Political Science & International Studies; Psychology), and Business & Finance (Business & Management).


StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/08/16 → …

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

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