Spotlight on construction scholars’ innovation

IMPLEMENTING and delivering new technologies were the topics of focus at the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) scholarship presentation recently.

George Holder from Costain and Alex Stephens from Bouygues UK were awarded the Sir Ian Dixon Scholarship (SID) to produce and present findings to benefit the construction industry, themselves and their company.

The scholarship, delivered by the CIOB in partnership with the Worshipful Company of Constructors, is a £3,000 one-year research fund focusing on any area of construction management with support from a company mentor.

George Holder, Costain, focused his project on innovation management, a relatively new and yet vital concept to the construction industry.

The research examined the current use of innovation management standards and the role that these standards could play in improving how projects are delivered.

The findings showed standards are critical when creating an environment to support innovation and organisations benefit from implementing them.

Innovation has led to the use of new technologies in the construction industry, an area Alex Stephens chose to research for the year.

His project looked at the use of additive manufacturing technologies (technologies which build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material) in construction through literature review and case studies.

More demanding construction programmes are driving the industry to seek alternative methods to build and his findings show that these new technologies can produce complex geometries at a relatively low cost compared to conventional processes.

‘These research projects reflect the changing landscape of construction as we learn to imagine, invent and implement new ways of working and building,’ said Bob Heathfield, past president of the CIOB and chair of the SID Scholarship Panel.

‘We need to continue, as an industry, to be forward thinking. We need to make space for new ideas and innovations to streamline our processes and improve the quality of the built environment.’