Call for Papers

IPGRC2022: Resilience in Research and Practice

School of Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE), University of Salford, UK
4 – 6 April 2022

The school of Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE) at the University of Salford is pleased to announce the International Postgraduate Research Conference (IPGRC), 4 – 6th April 2022. The conference will take place mainly online with some on-campus events streamed to online participants.

We are now welcoming proposals for papers by doctoral candidates for the sessions described below. Each session will be hosted by a distinguished researcher in their field and a doctoral candidate at the University of Salford.

To apply, please submit a title and 300-word abstract to:

  • Abstract Submission Date: Tuesday 14th December 2021
  • Acceptance Notification: Friday 21st January 2022
  • Full paper submission date (to be included in conference proceedings): Friday 24th March 2022
  • Paper presentation submission date: Friday 24th March 2022
  • Submission of abstracts: Each abstract should have a title and be 300-words long. Sessions will be 2hrs long and each speaker will have 20mins to present their paper. Abstracts will be sent to session chairs for review and a selection of papers will be invited to submit full papers for inclusion in the conference proceedings that will be peer reviewed.
  • Venue Information: The conference will take place online and is free of charge. One day is planned to take place on campus whereby sessions will be live streamed to online participants.

Conference Sessions:

Adaptive Governance in Risk Sensitive Urban Development

Even though many types of research have been undertaken to improve disaster risk reduction, the progress of disaster risk reduction has been limited by the failure to acknowledge and address urban development processes and climate change as root courses of disasters. One of the reasons for increasing disaster risks is that disaster risk reduction, urban development, and climate change decision-making processes occur in silos, conducted by different agencies, institutions and other actors with differing priorities, perspectives, outlooks, and time horizons. Thus, it is essential to implement adaptive governance that facilitates the establishment of risk-sensitive urban development by harmonising development processes with disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Adaptive governance refers to flexible, transparent, and learning-based collaboration and decision-making management processes involving multiscale and multi-sector stakeholders. This governance promotes cross-organisational collaboration, openness, adaptability, learning, impartiality, power-sharing and public participation. Moreover, adaptive governance implementation in risk-sensitive urban development helps achieve global policies such as the Sendai framework, sustainable development goals, the Paris climate agreement, the 2030 agenda and the new urban agenda.

Therefore, this session calls for papers related to adaptive governance in risk sensitive urban development under the following topics: 

  • Importance of adaptive governance in risk-sensitive urban development
  • Barriers and enablers in implementing adaptive governance in risk-sensitive urban development
  • Framework or models that could be used in implementing adaptive governance in risk-sensitive urban development 
  • Case studies about adaptive governance in risk-sensitive urban development 

About the chair: Prof Terrence Fernando is the Scientific Director of the THINKlab that combines both physical and virtual spaces to provide innovative collaborative workspaces. He has expansive background in conducting multi-disciplinary research projects involving a large number of research teams in areas such as distributed virtual engineering, virtual building construction, driving simulations, virtual prototyping, urban simulation and maintenance simulation. 

About the doctoral candidate chair: Pavithra Ganeshu is a doctoral candidate in the Built environment. She is working on a thesis on “Enhancing Stakeholder collaboration in risks sensitive urban planning.”

The Psychology of Design: Safeguarding the Mental Health of Urban Populations

David Beevers and Dr Catherine Thompson/Dr Tanja Poppelreuter
We live in dynamic, fast-paced environments that are becoming increasingly urbanised. Navigating through these environments can be difficult and can place a strain on our physical, cognitive, and mental health. 

Is it possible that those working in fields such as planning, design, and architecture can play a role in shaping the built environment to protect health and wellbeing?

The UK is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis, made more acute by the pressures of living through the Covid-19 pandemic. A study among 14,393 adults showed a 13.5% rise in mental health problems across all age groups in the first half of 2020. Evidence shows that the built environment can have effects on emotion and wellbeing. For example, research has shown that viewing medium-height buildings led to more positive emotions than viewing very tall or very low structures, and that people living in high-rise flats are at greater risk of mental health problems than the rest of the population. Studies have also found that views of ‘awe-evoking’ buildings and settings can improve attention and enhance positive emotion relative to more mundane buildings.

In the 1980’s the phrase ‘sick building syndrome’ was coined to describe offices where staff reported higher-than-expected levels of illness. It may be argued that we urgently need a ‘healthy building solution’ to counteract this, one that takes account of the effects of the built environment on the individual and that can inform the future design of urban spaces to protect and enhance mental health. 

This session welcomes presentations that consider how the built environment can influence wellbeing and performance, and what we as researchers and planners/designers of the future can do to safeguard wellbeing and mental health.

About the academic chairs: Dr Catherine Thompson is a lecturer in Cognitive Psychology with a research focus on cognitive restoration, attentional control, and eye-tracking. Dr Tanja Poppelreuter is a lecturer in the History and Theory of architecture. Her research discusses how architects utilised theories in medicine, psychology, or sociology to inform their designs with the goal to increase the health and even elevate the mind of inhabitants. 

About the doctoral candidate chair: David Beevers is a doctoral candidate in Cognitive Psychology. His thesis discusses ‘Cognitive restoration is in the eye of the beholder: the role of individual differences in the restorative power of environments’.

Promoting Community Participation Towards Developing Risk-Sensitive Cities and Equitable Developments

Devindi Geekiyanage/Hisham Tariq and Prof Terrence Fernando
The idea of risk-sensitive urban development rides high on the global agenda, especially after the origin of post-2015 global initiatives of UNISDR Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), UNDP Sustainable Developments Goals, UNFCC Paris Agreement for Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), and the New Urban Agenda.

The goal is to ‘build back better’ by using a more inclusive and equitable approach to sustainable development in at-risk communities. Local communities are bound to developments predominantly in two ways: residents who occupy properties built in disaster-prone areas and local communities vulnerable to disaster risks due to development-induced hazards. Hence, the local public who are inhabitants and who are affected by unplanned developments in their neighbourhoods, should have a right and responsibility to participate in decision-making processes about planning and development of their built environments. Current research about community inclusive developments addresses such challenges to community representation in decision-making and seeks to empower equitable resilience. The proposed session invites papers on:

  • Community-based DRR and CCA
  • Inclusive and equitable resilient urban development
  • Community capacity building 
  • Empowerment of women and vulnerable groups
  • Risk-sensitive urban design for more resilient communities 

The knowledge disseminated through this session will contribute to the body of knowledge on making inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements that is targeting SDG 11 and the role of civil society towards achieving the four priorities of the Sendai framework. It will help to understand the diversities in community engagement practices in distinct economic, socio-cultural, and political contexts. Furthermore, the current Covid-19 pandemic situation seems to discourage community representation in development agendas. This session will therefore be an avenue to present novel and resilient approaches to community participation during the ‘new normal’.
About the academic chair: Prof Terrence Fernando is the Scientific Director of the THINKlab that combines both physical and virtual spaces to provide innovative collaborative workspaces. He has an expansive background in conducting multi-disciplinary research projects involving a large number of research teams in areas such as distributed virtual engineering, virtual building construction, driving simulations, virtual prototyping, urban simulation and maintenance simulation. 
About the doctoral candidate chairs: Devindi Geekiyanage and Hisham Tariq are doctoral candidates in the built environment. Devindi’s thesis discusses ‘The Role of Vulnerable Communities in Developing a Risk-Sensitive and Transformative Urban Development Approach’ and Hisham’s ‘Hisham Modelling Community Disaster Resilience: A Community Based System Dynamics approach to understanding Community Resilience and Disaster Preparedness.’

Frontiers and Contemporary Issues in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Sean Brierley and Dr Ian Goodhead
Microorganisms are fundamentally important to all life on earth sustaining the complex foundations of Earths ecology. Some pose unrelenting threats: The SARS-CoV-2 virus is just one of many challenges faced by microbiologists in a constantly evolving world.
Changes in both human behaviour and the environment are having cascading effects on microbial ecology and infectious disease epidemiology. Indeed, that some of the major factors thought to contribute to disease emergence: climate change, globalization, and urbanization means that more holistic approaches are required to tackle these threats. Vector-borne pathogens are likely to be benefiting from changes to the environment such as increased irrigation, warmer winters, and longer wetter summers. Furthermore, sustained antibiotic use is also leading us ever closer to a world where common infectious diseases will no longer be treatable with antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance represents one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development according to the WHO. However, novel strategies such as the use of lytic bacteriophages are providing a targeted and effective treatment solution for some antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
This session will provide an opportunity for researchers from across microbiology, be that bacteria, fungi, archaea, protozoa, algae and viruses, to come together and share their latest findings, develop their communication skills and identify future opportunities or collaborations.

The session chairs invite proposal on topics such as:
  • SARS-CoV-2 and its global impacts
  • Antibiotic resistance and the development of novel phage therapies
  • Microbial ecology and evolution
  • Microbial communities and their impact
  • The shifts in disease epidemiology caused by a changing environment and human behaviour

About the academic chair:  Dr Ian Goodhead is the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and reader in microbial genomics. Ian is a lecturer, researcher and manager with a strong academic history focused on molecular biology, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatics. Currently his research involves microbiology, marine biology, meta genomics and environmental DNA/ metabarcoding studies on a range of next generation sequencing platforms. His recent research has included the use of multi-omic strategies to better understand microbial pathogenesis, infection, host/pathogen interaction and bacterial genome evolution. Ian and his colleagues work collaboratively in many settings, most recently contributing to the SARS-COV-2 threat in Uganda, aiming to establish sustainable capacity in local sequencing expertise. His main interests include infectious disease epidemiology and vector control, but in particular the genome architecture and evolution of bacterial endosymbionts.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Sean Brierley is a doctoral candidate for the school of science, engineering and environment. Sean’s thesis discusses ‘The development and application of novel genomic tools to explore the epidemiology and genetic diversity of Anaplasma species in the UK and Uganda’. Sean also maintains research for the genomic and phenotypic characterisation of a novel Bartonella isolate D105.

Dealing with Change: Resilience in Social Sustainability and Social Procurement – Research and Practice

Rukaya Abowen-Dake and Dr Kwasi Gyau Baffour Awuah/Dr Claudia Trillo
This session invites papers on social sustainability and social procurement in the built environment. Research on social sustainability and social procurement seeks to address socioeconomic inequalities and environmental challenges such as poverty, unemployment, modern slavery, the effects of urbanisation, pollution, wildfires, and floods all of which are increasing around the globe.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic exacerbates the plight of developing economies and their populations while laying bare the structural weaknesses of the global West. Perennial climate disasters, the effects of which are evidenced in the IPCC 2021 report on climate change, are a constant reminder of the need for urgent action on the climate. Despite breakthroughs in science and technology which led to the development of Covid-19 vaccines in record time and the transition towards Industry 5.0, worrying levels of socioeconomic inequalities and environmental issues persist and are causing unbearable damage to humanity and the planet. Individuals, corporate bodies, and governments are undeniably crucial in the creation of sustainable environments. What is the role of the social science researcher in tackling these problems?  What is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on social sustainability and social procurement? How is social sustainability research and practice contributing to the ongoing discourse on sustainability? 

The overriding goal of the proposed session is to promote academic discourse on social sustainability and social procurement in the built environment informed by the Covid-19 crisis and evolving technological advancements. It is an opportunity to discuss how social sustainability research is promoting social inclusion and ecological transition. Postgraduate social science researchers are invited to present papers on social procurement, including methodological approaches and innovative solutions they may have adopted. 

About the academic chairs: Kwasi is a real estate and urban development & management/interdisciplinary academic/researcher and a practitioner with international experience spanning over 25 years in teaching, research, consultancy, and public service. His area of expertise includes real estate and development economics, urbanisation, urban growth and governance, environment, and sustainable development. Dr Trillo is an architect and reader in architecture. Her research is invested in creating innovative sustainable urban development and regeneration tools and methods to preserve local identity and cultural capital, along with the social, environmental, and economic benefits.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Rukaya is a Lecturer in Quantity Surveying in the School of Science, Engineering & Environment. Her doctoral thesis discusses: ‘Developing a Process Roadmap for the Delivery of Social Value in the Social Housing Sector.’

Exploring Strategies for the Successful Implementation of Policies Towards Sustainable Development

Kevwe Olomu and Andrew Clark
The world is facing unprecedented environmental change in the form of climate change and biodiversity loss. Meanwhile, human population continues to grow and a greater proportion of people in the future will live in cities with attendant environmental problems.

In 2015 the United Nations established a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to provide a path towards global sustainability with 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. The SDG framework promotes actions to improve human welfare, achieve economic sustainability, and enhance environmental protection. A universal action that underpins the achievement of all SDGs is the formation of strong partnerships to facilitate measures for successful implementation of the goals, including North-South and South-South cooperation of key stakeholders (SDG17). Successful partnerships require an understanding of stakeholders needs and interests, and any barriers to behavioural change towards achievement of the goals. 

This session will explore the challenges of implementing the SDGs through the lens of SDG 17 with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that is undergoing rapid economic development.  

Papers are invited that explore topics such as: 

  • measures to ensure access to clean, affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for communities
  • the role and feasibility of urban agriculture to address food insecurity or achieve sustainable production and consumption
  • measures to tackle urban environment problems such as poor air quality, pollution or inadequate waste systems
  • public participation in environmental decision-making processes and the debate on inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making

The session seeks to discuss linkages between research findings and the SDG framework, drawing insights into effective sustainable development strategies in the Global South. Participants in the session will have the opportunity to debate common themes, challenges and solutions to bring together the research presentations.

About the academic chair: Andrew Clark is a Lecturer in Environmental Assessment and Management. His research focuses on the application of knowledge to real world problems working with a range of organisations drawn from his network of contacts. His current research work involves investigation into soil contamination processes and the implications for sensitive land use, evaluation of perceptions of environmental compliance obligations in high-risk business sectors, pro-environmental behaviour in business and the potential environmental benefits of green infrastructure.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Kevwe Olomu is currently working on the thesis: ‘An Analysis of Government, Industry and Public Perception of Air Pollution and its Health Effects in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Case Study of Rivers State.’

Managing Environmental Pollution for Sustainable Development

Jajati Mandal and Prof Mike Wood
Industrial operations, mining, waste management and farming are just a few of the plethora of human activities releasing pollutants into the environment.  The resulting pollution can impact the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe, endangering both human and environmental health.

Pollution does not respect either geographic or disciplinary boundaries: pollutants affect both terrestrial and aquatic environments, and many are transported globally via the atmosphere. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) place a major emphasis on decreasing pollution (United Nations Resolution, 2015). For example, SDG 3.9 seeks to ‘substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination’ by 2030. Achieving sustainable global development requires urgent action to limit pollution exposure through effective management of both historic pollution (e.g., from industrial accidents and stored wastes) and contemporary releases of pollution. To maximise the opportunity to manage environmental pollution effectively, effective communication of the latest pollution-related research and scientific information to policymakers and other stakeholders is essential. This session will act as a platform to facilitate this communication, bringing together researchers and other stakeholders to share their latest findings and experiences.  Through this session, presenters will be able to develop their skills in communicating complex research to a diverse audience.  The session will also facilitate the identification of future opportunities for collaboration and inter-disciplinary partnership. 

The session chairs invite proposal on topics such as:

  • Pollutant sources and pathways of exposure 
  • Environmental and Ecological Risk Assessment in urban and rural areas
  • Impacts of pollutants on food production systems and on biodiversity
  • Pollution policy and regulation
  • Technological innovations and novel approaches for pollution management

About the academic chair:  Prof Mike Wood is the chair in Applied Ecology; Director of the Ecosystems & Environment Research Centre and Programme Leader for the MSc UNIGIS Programme. His research involves the application of ecological science to inform environmental decision-making, management and policy development, especially in relation to pollution and its impacts. A focus of his research is on environmental radioactivity and its impacts on wildlife.  For over 20 years, he has played a key role in the development of the international system of environmental radiation protection and the computer models that different nations use for their regulatory assessments.  Much of his recent field research has been in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, an area that provides a natural laboratory for radioecological research.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Jajati Mandal is Netaji Subhas-ICAR International Fellow. He currently works on a thesis on “Deriving Arsenic concentration guideline values for soil and irrigation water used for rice cultivation”.

State of the art technology and future challenges of flood early warning and response systems

Rankotge Srimal Priyantha Samansiri and Prof Terrence Fernando
Flood early warning and response systems play an integral part in flood risk reduction. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction emphasized the need for the development and implementation of early warning systems by 2030.

Due to the effect of climate change and increased urbanization, flood impact has been drastically increased.  A recent study has estimated a 20-24% increase of flood exposed populations at the global level between 2000-2015. Scholars such as David Seng argue that the deployment of proper early warning and response systems can reduce the vulnerability and mortality rate, whereas David Rogers reported that effective flood forecasting, and warning systems could reduce by 35% the average annual flood damages. Perera et. al. discuss the various challenges and technological advances used for detection, analysis, dissemination and response stages of flood warning and response systems. The use of satellite remote sensing, IoT, big data analytics, volunteer GIS, Artificial Intelligence (AI), crowdsource systems and social media are some of the technological advancements that significantly improve flood warning and response. However, developing and developed nations still face numerous gaps and challenges in implementing flood warning and response systems.  

Therefore, this session calls papers from empirical studies related to Flood Warning and Response Systems under the following topics. 

  • Current flood early warning and response systems used globally
  • Technological advancements that can be used to improve the effectiveness of flood warning and response systems
  • Case studies on flood warning and response systems 
  • Challenges and barriers faced by the global community in achieving the SFDRR target in relation to flood warning systems

About the academic chair:  Prof Terrence Fernando is the Scientific Director of the THINKlab that combines both physical and virtual spaces to provide innovative collaborative workspaces. He has an expansive background in conducting multi-disciplinary research projects involving a large number of research teams in areas such as distributed virtual engineering, virtual building construction, driving simulations, virtual prototyping, urban simulation and maintenance simulation.

Advances in cancer treatment

Fanni Toth and Prof Federica Sotiga
Cancer is a group of diseases in which some of the body’s cells grow abnormally and uncontrollably, spreading to different parts of the body. Despite the advancements in the field of cancer therapeutics, cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in the world.

The conventional cancer therapies, such as chemo- and radiotherapy, are still the most commonly used approaches. However, the effectiveness of these treatments is limited by drug-resistance, undesired toxicity to healthy cells and the development of cancer metastasis. The emergence of translational research, progressing from basic science to clinical validation, has transformed the development of new cancer therapies. The identification of targetable biomarkers, along with the molecular and metabolic characterization of tumours contributed to the establishment of precision medicine approach for cancer patients. Another rapidly emerging field in cancer treatment is immunotherapy, that aims to enhance the patient’s immune system to eliminate malignant cells. The latest approach to improve cancer therapy is the application of nanoparticle-based drug-delivery and antibody-drug conjugates, leading to increased specificity and decreased drug-resistance. However, the diverse characteristics of tumour cells (tumour-heterogeneity), the varying response to treatments and the potential side effects of targeted therapies, immunotherapies and nanotechnologies can hinder the clinical application of these therapeutic approaches. For these reasons, a better understanding of cancer biology and the development of more accurate laboratory models are needed to optimise these novel treatments. This session will bring together researchers to present and discuss the recent challenges in improving cancer treatment, and the new approaches and advancements to overcome these obstacles.

Topics likely to be covered by the session include:

  • Molecular and metabolic characterisation of tumours
  • Targeted cancer therapies
  • Immunotherapy
  • Application of nanotechnology in cancer treatment
  • Development of laboratory models for cancer research

About the academic chair: Professor Federica Sotgia is the Chair of Cancer Biology and Ageing. Her research focuses on the dissecting the role of metabolism in the behaviour of cancer stem cells, with the goal of identifying metabolic vulnerabilities that could be exploited for cancer therapy.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Fanni Toth currently works on a thesis on Investigating senescence and senescence-escape in breast cancer cells.

‘Are you sure?’ Adapting to Uncertainty, Error, and the Unexpected

Jamie Scanlan and Dr Francis Li
How can we ensure that our results and predictions are true? In both research and practice, we will encounter errors, uncertainty, and unexpected results. Outliers and bias in datasets can influence statistical analysis and might give misleading conclusions if not accounted for.

Experiments may also reveal non-linearity or some phenomena which might impact our hypotheses. While assumptions of linear regions or normal probability distribution can simplify these problems, real scenarios always contain some unexplained behaviour or act in ways our models might not predict. Therefore, we must know of ways to adapt our research, experiments, and models to account for these issues.

This session seeks to learn about techniques which deal with uncertainty, error, non-linearity, unknown distributions in datasets, and randomness. This can cover data and statistical analysis, modelling, experiment design, meta-analysis, theoretical work, and case studies. Practical implementation of theories is ideal. Research fields of interest are, but not limited to: 

  • Sciences: biomedical science and engineering, biology, biochemistry, and related fields, computer & data science, mathematics, physics, and statistical science.
  • Engineering: acoustics, chemical, civil, mechanical & materials, resilience, and systems

Papers on the following topics are invited for submission:

  • Uncertainty estimation of domains/datasets/experiments
  • Dataset design and analysis, focusing on bias and related issues
  • Methods to analyse non-parametric datasets and the consideration of outliers
  • Non-linear modelling methods, or novel approaches to model complex physical phenomenon
  • Experiment design methodologies
  • Papers outside of the above topics but relevant to the theme of the session.

About the academic chair: Dr Francis Li is a senior researcher in several fields of audio engineering and acoustics. He has special interest in signal processing, artificial intelligence, soft-computing, machine audition, speech technology, DSP applied to biomedical engineering, novel computer architecture, and control theory.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Jamie Scanlan is a doctoral student in acoustics and is working on a thesis on ‘Low frequency features for the determination of bone parameters and the effect of Osteoporosis on bone strength.’

3D Printing Concrete

Joseph Osamwonyi Ediae and Dr Levingshan Augusthus-Nelson
Today’s construction industry faces challenges such as cost reduction, lead time, reducing damage to the environment, and solving workforce safety concerns. 3D printing concrete, also known as layered concrete, as it is among the most innovative and current construction methods.

3D printing concrete is the manufacture of concrete without formwork, also known as Additive Manufacturing, which can potentially automate the housing sector’s construction. It offers solutions for such challenges as it is cost-effective, can reduce workforce utilisation and construction time, is environmentally friendly, and lessens material waste.

However, the current understanding of 3D printing concrete is evolving, and knowledge on, for example, interaction properties between layers is limited. This session therefore aims to characterise how 3D printing concrete as a new technology can contribute to the construction industry.

The session seeks paper on topics such as:

  • Benefits of 3D printing concrete for time reduction in the building process that does not require formwork
  • Considerations of construction of complex geometry
  • Potentials of high-quality construction with reduced waste
  • Mechanical behaviour of 3D printing concrete as dependent on print process parameters, such as time, temperature, kinematics
  • Concrete layer interaction as it is affected by the mechanical behaviour of the concrete during the printing process. 

About the academic chair: Dr Levingshan Aughusthus-Nelson is a Lecturer in Civil Engineering with research expertise in Concrete materials and structures, Fibre reinforced polymers, Dynamics of Structures, Structural Maintenance, Masonry structures and Progressive Collapse.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Joseph Ediae is working on a doctoral thesis on ‘Characterisation Interaction Properties Layers of 3D Printing Concrete and Numerical Modelling.’

The Role of Offsite and Modern Construction Methods in Lean Construction Implementation

Joseph Essuman and Dr Sara Biscaya/Dr Tanja Poppelreuter 
Lean philosophy in construction is defined as a combination of managerial principles that combines the benefits of both craft and mass production without incurring the high cost of the former and the rigidity of the latter.

It originated from Japanese manufacturing around the post-war recovery period, where they sought to manoeuvre protracted issues of budget constraints, variety demands and foreign competition.

Discussions over Lean’s applicability outside of the Japanese manufacturing context sparked debates in various academic and industrial settings on its suitability outside repetitive and discrete sectors. Its introduction to construction began in the early nineties, with the past two decades seeing a wealth of research and case applications suggesting potential for performance improvement.

Industry-wide adoption, however, has been considerably slow owing to a number of barriers facing the various sectors. These are often unique challenges or constraints that inhibit construction projects or stakeholders from implementing Lean initiatives. In order to address these barriers, this session is being proposed to identify and critically appraise ways that offsite construction and modern construction approaches such as BIM, Industry 4.0 and Digital twins, amongst others, can enhance lean implementation. 

The key objectives to be achieved in the session include:

  • Discussions on the development and types of modern construction methods in the industry
  • Analysis of the benefits of modern construction methods and offsite construction in process improvement, as well as challenges faced in their implementation.
  • Identification of solutions to implementation challenges and their wider impact on lean performance. 

About the academic chairs: Dr Sara Biscaya is a lecturer in architecture. Her research focusses on the potential of Data in developing Smart Urban Futures that integrate the urban and rural socio-economic and physical infrastructures to support communities, stakeholders and decision makers through disaster risk reduction scenarios creation.  Dr Tanja Poppelreuter is an architectural historian with expertise in social housing. Her research investigates ways in which the generation of architectural concepts is determined by political considerations, theories of social development among others.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Joseph Essuman is a doctoral candidate in the built environment. His thesis discusses: ‘Adopting Lean Concepts in Affordable Housing (AH) Schemes- Benefits, Barriers and Strategies.’

Digital Twins for The Built Environment: A Trajectory Review

Alex Mbabu and Prof Jason Underwood
A digital twin is a live version of the project or asset, which is designed to generate, evolve, and alter, utilising real-time data in the project lifecycle. The global value of the digital twin market in 2020 was USD 5.1 billion, and this growth rate is anticipated to increase by 42.7% CAGR from 2021 to 2028.

The global digital twin market is fuelled by the growing need to build systems and solutions for a whole product lifecycle in providing environmental, economical, business, and societal value in business model operations and processes.

Digital twins in the built environment are linked to the advancement of BIM development and maturity levels, establishing the foundational fundamentals for enabling the digital transformation of the built environment. For example, in the United Kingdom, industry and Government have been making significant joint progress on the BIM action plan since the Government’s mandate under Government Construction Strategy 2011-15 that made BIM Level 2 mandatory for usage on all public sector projects in 2016. This has subsequently led to the internatonalisation of the Level 2 BIM standards in the form of the BS EN ISO 19650 standards, and the overarching approach to implementing BIM (i.e.UK BIM Framework). However,the industry and Government are still yet to reach the original expectations from the 2011 construction strategy for delivering the UK BIM Framework as business as usual within the sector.

The proposed session invites papers discussing, reviewing, or analysing the development of research and industry standards on digital twins for the built environment. The session will explore and review concepts, principles, potential uses, case studies, and the way forward in the applicability for digital twins in the built environment. The session chairs encourage proposals on:

  • An exploration of the current state of the art and a future state of the art of BIM evolving to the digital twin
  • A review and analysis of digital twin use cases and case studies globally
  • Urban digital twins for intelligent cities and residents
  • Digital twin enabling technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, IoT,5g, sensor and remote assistance technology

About the academic chair: Prof Jason Underwood is Professor of Digital Built Environments & Construction ICT. He has experience in the areas of concurrent engineering, integrated and collaborative computing in construction, product and building information modelling, digital built environments, collaborative construction and behaviours, BIM maturity assessment, BIM education and training in the development of BIM capabilities, and organisational e-readiness towards delivering strategic value from ICT/BIM investment.

About the doctoral candidate chair: Alex Mbabu’s doctoral thesis concerns the topic: ‘A Digital Twin Implementation Strategy into Real-Time Built-Asset Operation.’

Poster Session

IPGRC poster presentations will be online. It will provide an opportunity to showcase and share research ideas and findings in a different context than paper presentations. 

Posters on topics discussed in all sessions are welcome.

A poster is a single page document, typically combining text and images, that embodies a succinct description of work that has been done. Presenting a poster is a good way to discuss and receive feedback on a work in progress that has not been fully developed into a paper. Like with papers, posters should not re-present previously published work.

Since the IPGRC will be held on-line and posters will be uploaded via the conference interface and presented during a dedicated time slot. This would be like how poster presenters would interact with attendees in person – attendees can visit poster presentation and ask questions. More details about presentation formats and materials will be provided once the virtual format of IPGRC is finalized. 

A poster proposal is a single page, in PDF format, explaining what the poster is about. The full proposal contains an abstract and a body that describes the poster. The proposal is used for the review process, and, if the proposal is accepted, for publication in the IPGRC conference proceedings.

To apply, please provide a title for the poster, your name, affiliation, email address and a description of the poster.

Please clearly indicate that you are proposing to show a poster.