Bird’s Nest stadium engineer joins Salford as visiting professor

Bird's Nest Stadium

The Bird's Nest Stadium. From user Peter23 on Wikipedia

An engineer who took technology from the aerospace industry and applied it to the construction of the iconic Beijing Olympic stadium has been appointed as a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Innovation at the University of Salford.

Martin Simpson (pictured here), who works as an Associate Director for Arup, will be specialising in the University’s drive to promote building information modelling (BIM) to the construction industry ahead of major government reforms that will require up to three million workers to be retrained in the technology. His appointment is part-funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

BIM is a system which incorporates detailed technical information relating to all areas of a building’s design, construction and operation. Using digital technology, major efficiency savings can be made throughout the construction process and design errors significantly reduced.

Martin will be joining the University’s School of the Built Environment, which has the UK’s largest team of researchers devoted to BIM and one of the UK’s only courses dedicated to the subject. At Salford he’ll be spending the majority of his time linking businesses to this research as they prepare to meet a government requirement that all public sector building projects must use BIM by 2016. He’ll also use his industry knowledge to influence the teaching of students and the design of courses.

Martin brings a wealth of experience of using BIM in some of the world’s most iconic buildings. He particularly specialises in sports stadia, including the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, Euro 2012 venue the Donbass Arena and more locally the City of Manchester Stadium.

He said: “I am very enthusiastic about taking this role as a Royal Academy of Engineering Professor of Innovation with the University of Salford.

“I’m passionate about the philosophy and technology of BIM, as it is emerging as a new paradigm to reduce waste and increase efficiency within the construction industry. I am looking forward to working closely with the BIM experts at the University of Salford and bringing in the knowledge and experience of Arup as a world leading consultant in the built environment.

“Together we can build many links with the construction industry in training and research, which will ultimately lead to improvements within the built environment and make the UK more competitive globally.”

Head of the School of the Built Environment, Professor Mike Kagioglou, said: “Martin’s skills are going to be a major addition to the existing expertise at Salford. We’re working hard to take a lead in helping industry realise the benefits of BIM and this appointment is a major step along this path. We’re very much looking forward to working on the many opportunities that this appointment will create.”

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