The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


AECOM and UCL sign partnership to transform the science in major programme management

26 June 2023

At the frontier of the built environment and programme management, AECOM and UCL are united by a common purpose of delivering a better world, with sustainable legacies for future generations.


An innovative philanthropic partnership will address some of our most urgent and complex societal challenges through programme management.    

The partnership launches the AECOM Infrastructure Scholarship Programme, supporting the next generation of infrastructure researchers through PhD scholarships.  The scholarships will advance the science in topics related to infrastructure and programme management and improve our ability to deliver complex infrastructure projects more sustainably, unlock value, and transform societies around the world.  

The researchers will be based at The UCL Megaproject Delivery Centre in The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction. Under the direction of Dr Juliano Denicol, The UCL Megaproject Delivery Centre develops research to change the way we think about the delivery of major infrastructure projects, not only advancing strategies and metrics to improve project performance, but also emphasising the societal benefits of infrastructure development. 

The researchers will work closely with AECOM’s Programme Management leadership to disseminate cutting-edge scientific findings and improve the delivery of major infrastructure projects globally. 

Programme management leaders are often required to integrate expertise located in several silos (teams, technology, systems) across multiple organisational levels (client, programme partner, supply chain organisations), and phases of the project (development, delivery, operations). Integration and collaboration are key to unlock value in such complex and fast-paced environments. 

The creation of such an integrated environment is essential to incorporate the right expertise from different teams at the right time. Such a combination of expertise is fundamental to address the urgent need to deliver major infrastructure projects sustainably, with net zero as a strategic driver and at the heart of decision-making. 

Drew Jeter, Chief Executive of AECOM’s Programme Management global business line, said: “It is a privilege to partner with UCL and embark on this scholarship programme which will have an impact on the future of infrastructure programmes. What excites me about this opportunity is to truly make a significant and positive difference in how the next generation will approach and deliver programmes with an evidence based, solution-oriented, outcome driven and sustainable mindset. AECOM and UCL have a shared vision and commitment and I can’t wait to begin this journey with such a great partner.” 

Dr Juliano Denicol, Director, Megaproject Delivery Centre, said: “AECOM and UCL are writing history with this partnership to advance the science in Programme Management. It will support a diverse cohort of future leaders and create a platform to address global societal challenges through infrastructure delivery. I’m absolutely thrilled with this effort to transform our industry through science and look forward to working closely with AECOM’s Programme Management leadership over the next years.” 

Professor D’Maris Coffman, recent Director of The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction and incoming Vice Dean Innovation and Enterprise, said: “We are thrilled to partner with AECOM and very grateful for the generous support for doctoral students in major infrastructure delivery and programme management at BSSC. I am very pleased about the strategic alignment between AECOM’s vision to address the challenges of the 21st century through programme management and the research agenda of the UCL Megaproject Delivery Centre.” 

Professor Christoph Lindner, Dean, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, said: “The partnership between AECOM and UCL promises to transform sectors and communities through advancing the science of infrastructure projects. Bringing together organisations at the forefront of the built environment and infrastructure programme management, AECOM’s generous gift will accelerate knowledge creation and dissemination, bringing significant benefits to society and to the planet. The Bartlett is delighted to be part of this innovative partnership, united by a shared vision to build a better future.” 

AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm. UCL is one of the world’s top ten universities, ranked the eighth best university globally according to the 2023 QS World University Rankings. The Bartlett is ranked 1st in the world for Architecture and the Built Environment, in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023. 

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