The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction

Dr Ling Ma

Dr Ling Ma

Associate Professor

The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Feb 2019

Research summary

My research promotes smart and resilient infrastructure with digital capabilities

Working with Wuhan Metro in China I developed a safety early-warning system to achieve zero-incident in 6-year constructions of tunnels over 200 kilometres
· Non-linear description of ground settlement over twin tunnels in soil.
· Wavelet prediction method for ground deformation induced by tunneling.
· Safety risk analysis based on a geotechnical instrumentation data warehouse in metro tunnel project.
· Wavelet Analysis for tunneling-induced ground settlement based on a stochastic model.
· A Safety Risk Management Database for Metro Construction Project.

Working with the insurance association in Israel I developed a system that digitise damaged buildings to help S&R teams find victims in 72 hours post-disaster
· Preparation of Synthetic As-Damaged Models for Post-Earthquake BIM Reconstruction Research.
· Towards generation of as-damaged BIM models using laser-scanning and as-built BIM: First estimate of as-damaged locations of reinforced concrete frame members in masonry infill structures.
· Information modeling of earthquake-damaged reinforced concrete structures.
· A computational procedure for generating specimens of BIM and point cloud data for building change detection.
· Mapping the structural frame of a damaged reinforced concrete building using as-damaged scans and as-built BIM.

Working with Georgia DoT in the US and Network Rail in the UK I developed a system that can digitise 15,000 highway bridges and 30,000 railway bridges for informed asset management
· 3D Object Classification Using Geometric Features and Pairwise Relationships.
· SeeBridge as next generation bridge inspection: Overview, Information Delivery Manual and Model View Definition.
· Semantic Enrichment for Building Information Modeling: Procedure for Compiling Inference Rules and Operators for Complex Geometry.
· Building Model Object Classification for Semantic Enrichment Using Geometric Features and Pairwise Spatial Relationships.
· SeeBridge information delivery manual (IDM) for next generation bridge inspection.

We have investigated the role of BIM across the project life cycle
· Evaluating Social Housing Retrofit Options to Support Clients’ Decision Making—SIMPLER BIM Protocol.
· Integrating BIM with building performance analysis in project life-cycle.
· An Automated System for Projection of Interior Construction Layouts.
· A cloud-based BIM platform for information collaboration.
· A framework for BIM-enabled life-cycle information management of construction project.
· From Building Information Modeling to city Information Modeling.

We have explored different use cases of immersive technologies
· Extended Reality Approach for Construction Quality Control.
· Rapid 3D Reconstruction of Indoor Environments to Generate Virtual Reality Serious Games Scenarios.
· Exploring Virtual Reality in Construction, Visualization and Building Performance Analysis.

We have investigated text mining and knowledge graphs for identification of construction safety risks
· Extracting the Domain Knowledge Elements of Construction Safety Management: A Rule-based Approach Using Chinese Natural Language Processing.
· Knowledge graph for identifying hazards on construction sites: Integrating computer vision with ontology.
· A Hybrid Approach for Dynamic Simulation of Safety Risks in Mega Construction Projects.

Teaching summary

  • BCPM0067 Technology Studies
  • Course leader of MSc Dissertation


Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2013
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2008


I have worked with researchers from culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse background. 

I received my PhD in Construction Management at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China in 2013. Then started my postdoctoral research and became a adjunct lecturer at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology until 2017. I also worked as a visiting research fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology in the US in 2015. It was partially supported by the Marie Curie IRSES program. 
I started my lectureship at the University of Huddersfield in the UK in 2017 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2018. I also had a short-term visit to the University of Hong Kong in 2018. I joined the University College London in February 2019.