University of Huddersfield

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Chinese contractor BCEG teams up with UK university on digital construction

5 February 2016 | By GCR Staff | 0 Comments

A large Chinese contractor with a foothold in the UK will form a partnership with the University of Huddersfield to tap into research on building information modelling (BIM) and other topics, while offering work placements, research opportunities and possibly jobs to graduates.

The University said the MoU will offer “major opportunities” for research staff and students, including work placements and possible employment for graduates

Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) will sign a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the university to develop the company’s use of new technology, the university has announced.

Ranked as one of the world’s largest 50 contractors, BCEG launched a UK division when it joined a consortium investing in and building the new $1.2bn (£800m) business district near Manchester Airport, known as Manchester Airport City, in 2013.

The MoU has been drawn up between BCEG UK and Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture, where staff and students have been researching BIM, a technique for developing a detailed digital model of a building before construction begins.

Proponents of BIM say it will streamline the construction process, and in 2011 the UK government mandated the use of BIM on central-government projects starting this year.

The University’s Dean of Art , Design and Architecture Professor Mike Kagioglou (right) welcomes BECGI Construction (UK) Ltd's Leading Director Mr Yewcheong Lau

Song Wu, professor of surveying and IT at Huddersfield, was instrumental in setting up the MoU. He works with China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology on computer modelling of buildings.

“BIM improves collaboration at the design stage, reduces changes during construction and also improves facility management at the operational stage,” he said.

The University said the MoU will offer “major opportunities” for research staff and students, including work placements and possible employment for graduates.

As well as BIM, the the MoU is also intended to give BCEG expertise in lean construction and healthcare infrastructure through workshops and joint projects.

The School of Art, Design and Architecture launched a new MSc course, Design Integration and Building Information Modelling, in September 2015.

Top image via The University of Huddersfield