Internationally Respected US Academic Professor Chimay Anumba as Keynote Speaker to the Construction Management Colloquium

The Centre for Smart Modern Construction hosted internationally respected US academic Professor Chimay Anumba as keynote speaker to the Construction Management Colloquium

Professor Anumba’s current visit to Australia was too good an opportunity for the Centre not to invite Chimay to share his insights in the field of Cyber-Physical Systems in Construction with the University’s academic team and invited guests.

The Centre’s Director Professor Srinath Perera and Industry Engagement Lead Adjunct Professor David Chandler OAM used this occasion to show Professor Anumba over the Parramatta South campus of the university including the many historical buildings which feature as part of the high-quality experience students and academics enjoy. Chimay is the Professor and Dean of the College of Design, Construction and Planning at the University of Florida in the United States. Amongst his many distinguished achievements Professor Anumba (opens in a new window) is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was very impressed with Western Sydney University’s campus and facilities.

Professor Anumba reacquainted with Professor Simeon Simoff, Dean of our School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics and home of the university’s Construction Management Program.  The Dean outlined the many cross discipline centres of excellence that exist at the University, spanning Data Sciences, Technology Entrepreneurship, Health Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Design, Law and Urban Transformation Architecture. Professor Simoff outlined the unique opportunities that Western Sydney University was now embracing like those of the Centre for Smart Modern Construction, which was especially focused on leading-edge construction developments in the region. Professor Simoff invited possible future collaboration between both universities.

Professor Anumba also reacquainted with Professor Kerry London, Deputy Dean, of School of Computing Engineering & Mathematics. To commence the colloquium Professor London presented the profile of research at the school and how these connect with other work across the University. Chimay was also introduced to Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Holmes. He also met Mr. Scott Lyall the Development Manager in the Office of Advancement, who support the Centre.

Professor Anumba’s keynote presentation: Cyber-Physical Systems in Construction – Development Lessons and Future Directions contributed to the Centres goal to bring leading-edge smart modern construction insights to the university and to share these with the teaching and research team.

Cyber-Physical Systems (opens in a new window) (CPS) enable the synergistic integration of virtual models and the physical environment which are now being increasingly recognised as vital for improved construction project information management, more efficient project delivery, and enhanced facilities management. A critical aspect of the deployment of CPS in construction is ensuring bi-directional coordination between the physical components and their virtual representations. Professor Anumba’s presentation offered many applied examples from research prototypes to highlight the key features and benefits of these systems, and the steps involved in their development. He discussed the lessons learned from developing a variety of these systems for various stages of a constructed facility’s life-cycle. Following his presentation, the academic team discussed the future directions for CPS in modern construction.

Professor Anumba has authored over 450 scientific publications. His work has received over US $150 million in investment from a wide variety of supporters. These achievements show that the Australian construction industry has some way to go to support the sector’s growing need for quality research and academic knowledge. The c4SMC initiative now enters 2018 with a clear mission to close this gap.

Professor Srinath Perera, also used the colloquium and Professor Anumba’s visit to present a status report on c4SMC achievements, and to point to the strong correlations between the many developments that are now defining the modern construction era. Professor outlined the scope of five PhD scholarships that the University and Industry were now able to implement. The colloquium was an ideal start to the Construction Management research and academic activities for 2018. The occasion was well attended and Professor Anumba was impressed with the Centre’s work.

Written by:
David Chandler OAM
Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University
18 January 2018