Keynote speakers

 We are pleased to announce the keynote speakers of the eg-ice 2017 workshop.  

Dr Burcin Becerik-Gerber, University of Southern California (USC), USA

Burcin is an Associate Professor and Stephen Schrank Early Career Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She received her D.Des (Doctor of Design) degree from Harvard University in 2006 and joined University of Southern California (USC) in 2008. Burcin is the founding director of the Innovation in Integrated Informatics LAB,  Her research focuses on acquisition, modeling, and analysis of the data needed for user-centered built environments, and the development of novel frameworks and visualization techniques to improve built-environment efficiency, while increasing user satisfaction. She is currently advising eight Ph.D. students, several masters and undergraduate students in the “Informatics for Intelligent Built Environments” focus area.

The keynote will focus on adaptive and responsive built environments by understanding existing and enabling novel human-building interactions with the goal of reducing energy consumption while increasing occupant satisfaction in buildings. The keynote will cover innovative methods for continuous and real-time sensing of building and user behaviors in a non invasive manner, autonomous learning and behavior modeling using subjective user and objective building data, as well as, building trust between building users and automation. The keynote will include demonstrations of specific approaches and recent research results of the Innovation in Integrated informatics LAB's ongoing work.


Mr Philip Robinson, Laing O'Rourke, UK

Philip is a Chartered Engineer and is part of the Civil Engineering leadership team within Laing O’Rourke’s Engineering Excellence Group, focussing on innovation within the infrastructure sector and beyond. As part of his role within the Engineering Excellence Group Philip works closely with clients, technology partners, centres of education, and Laing O’Rourke’s own internal supply chain, and has developed an understanding of the needs and challenges that face the industry as we move forwards into a new digital age of construction. Since joining the business three years ago he has worked closely with project teams on the A453 widening in Nottingham, the Northern Line Extension and Thames Tideway Tunnel. More recently Philip has been working on a research and development project to develop a new digital platform for the design, manufacture, construction and maintenance of bridges. Prior to that, as part of over 12 years of wider experience, Philip worked for Alan Baxter & Associates, a highly regarded Civil & Structural Engineering design consultancy, and spent over 5 years on the redesign of London Bridge Station as part of the Thameslink Programme.

The keynote is entitled "The Construction Industry: A Digital Future". The construction industry is under increasing pressure to build faster, cheaper, greener and safer. This was reinforced by the clear targets set around these headings in the Governments Construction 2025 report. How do we as an industry respond to this challenge? How do we utilise and leverage the increasing array of digital tools, software platforms, technologies and data to our advantage? It is not good enough to simply state that BIM is the answer, without either understanding the challenges that we face in deployment on real projects, or without fully grasping the opportunity that it presents to us. It is important that we first understand the obstacles that are inherent within our current traditional design, procurement and contractual processes. Let’s explore some of these issues, discuss how technology is deployed on projects today, and how digital component libraries and off site manufacturing techniques can be combined in the near future to drive change in our industry for the better.


Prof Jennifer Whyte, Imperial College London, UK

Jennifer is Laing O’Rourke/Royal Academy of Engineering Professor in Systems Integration in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London and Director of the Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation  Her research examines digital delivery of complex infrastructure projects and develops indicators, visual interfaces and decision-support tools for collaboration across engineering disciplines. She works closely with leading industry and is on external BIM advisory panels for Crossrail and HS2. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), a member of the ICE Information Systems Panel and an advisory board member for the 2017 ICE ‘State of the Nation’ on ‘Digital Transformation’. She has been a Shimizu Visiting Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.

The keynote will focus on the digital transformation of the construction sector, and in particular the changing relationship between project delivery and operations. I will argue for the importance of 'starting with the end in mind' and seeing projects as interventions into infrastructure systems, where interventions may range from maintenance to a new megaproject. Drawing on work with the London 2012 Olympics and Crossrail, the keynote will discuss research on the handover of digital information from the project into operations, and the associated challenges of collating and maintaining sets of digital asset information; managing change in large data-sets; and using immersive visualization to collaboratively discuss and review designs in the production process.


Conference venue

The University of Nottingham
University Park