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School hosts senior government and industry delegation from Hong Kong

5 March 2019

The Bartlett welcomed a senior delegation from Hong Kong to share knowledge on digital innovation and work collaboratively towards industry transformation.

Hong Kong visit

On Wednesday 27 February 2019, The Bartlett hosted 22 delegates from Hong Kong at The Bartlett Real Estate Institute at Here East as part of their UK study tour, ‘Time to change’. 

The delegation consisted of senior government officials and industry leaders from various organisations and sectors, including surveying, healthcare, engineering, architecture and technology.

The delegation was led by Mr C L Wong, Director of Water Supplies with the Hong Kong Government, and coordinated by Dr Wei Pan, Director of Hong Kong University’s Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Development (CICID), and his team. 

The aim of the visit is to improve industry performance in Hong Kong with areas of interest including: 

  • Modular construction and design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA)
  • Digital project delivery and building information modelling (BIM)
  • Robotics and automation

Dr Pan has secured $14 million for the project Modular Integrated Construction – MiC 2.0+ funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC). This project will look ahead to the next decade of development of MiC in Hong Kong and beyond, with three Universities, five departments, 12 professors, and 10 government/industry partners all working together. The delegation also visited Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge

Professor Jacqueline Glass, Professor in Construction Management at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, co-ordinated the UCL visit. A series of talks and tours were arranged to demonstrate how The Bartlett, with colleagues from across UCL, together with UK industry is making significant, collaborative contributions to these areas. 

  • Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki and Dr Ilias Krystallis from The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management presented on the digital and enterprise portfolio at the School, including our substantial role in shaping industry policy 
  • Dr Vijay Pawar, Senior Research Associate at UCL’s Department of Computer Science, presented on automation and robotics, highlighting the capabilities of UCL’s Robotics Institute and the highly-collaborative nature of their work 
  • Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s expansion programme director, presented on Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s £14bn expansion plan, explaining how the expansion’s delivery model is a catalyst for digital, manufacturing and performance change
  • Joseph Poole, Business Development and Marketing Executive, and Eoin Bailey, Innovation Manager, represented Celsa Steel UK. They presented on the ambitions of Celsa Group, their commitment to sustainability, including in manufacturing their products using 100% recyclable steel scrap metal. They also noted the major projects that Celsa Group have been involved in, including the Northern Line Extension in London
  • Jamie Holling, Business Development Manager, and Martin Young, Technical Manager, represented steel reinforcement company Express Reinforcements Ltd. They presented on the company’s use of 3D modelling, their own in-house product and delivery concept MODEX, and their contributions to large-scale projects such as Heathrow T5, the Olympic Stadium and Crossrail. They explained how the business is committing significant sums to automating production – in line with Industry 4.0 

Led by Professor Stuart Robson, Professor of Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning at the UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, delegates had the opportunity to tour the unique prototyping facilities at Here East in the robotics lab, viewing students at work.

The visit culminated with Dr Wei Pan presenting Prof Jacqui Glass with a gift to thank her and UCL for hosting the event. 

Prof Jacqui Glass commented:

“It was an honour to host such a senior and wide-ranging delegation at The Bartlett Real Estate Institute, as part of their UK study tour entitled ‘Time to change’. The government and industry representatives appreciated the range of research and testing activities under way at UCL, and particularly enjoyed the combination of presentations and laboratory visits focusing on greater automation and the use of advanced robotics. We discussed the many challenges facing construction businesses in the UK and Hong Kong, concluding that there were many issues in common. I am very optimistic about the possibility of future collaboration with CICID at the University of Hong Kong around an important common goal - industry transformation.”

The visit was supported by the Development Bureau in Hong Kong and partially funded by the Hong Kong University Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Development (CICID).

The School would like to thank Heathrow and Celsa Steel UK for their support and contribution to this visit.