The need for the construction industry to innovate and embrace new technologies will be discussed at a half day event this week, exploring how the pressure to improve cost efficiency and sustainability is driving innovation at a pace not seen since the industrial revolution.

‘Innovation in Construction’ on Wednesday 11 January will examine the innovative capacity of the construction industry to influence its long-term competitiveness and look at the importance of new technologies and processes, research and development as well as other key drivers behind the accelerated evolution of the construction industry.

Organised by the  Institution of Civil Engineers  (ICE), the  University of Cambridge’s Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction 3 and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the event will address the issue from a number of perspectives, with presentations from construction companies, academics, as well as the Chief Construction Advisor to the UK Government, Paul Morrell.

Senior academics from the University of Cambridge will examine the applications and developments in sensor technologies and data management tools for construction, plus industrial engineering in smart infrastructure. The event will also feature presentations and Q&A sessions with prominent representatives of Costain and BRE about innovative infrastructure and innovation through sustainability.

Bill Hewlett, Technical Director of Costain, will call for radical and market-changing innovation in the construction industry to cut the cost of transport, power and water for consumers, while Ray O’Rourke KBE HonFREng, Chairman and Chief Executive of Laing O’Rourke, will present the company’s Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) strategy. He will also highlight the importance of passing R&D innovation lessons learnt on individual projects, on to the rest of the industry.

Notes for editors

  1. ‘Innovation in Construction’ will be held on 11 January (1:30pm – 5:45pm) at the Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AA. For the programme, visit:
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  3. The University of Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636; email: Jane Sutton