While momentum builds in the property and construction sectors to embrace the benefits that digitisation and automation can bring, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon believes the pace of change remains too slow and has made significant alterations to its leadership cohort to address what it’s calling ‘an industry in catch-up mode’.
The company has appointed John McGuire as global managing director to lead its built environment team worldwide. In addition, global director of excellence and expertise Dr Kourosh Kayvani’s role will be extended to include full responsibility for innovation across the company.
“No industry is immune to change and the impacts of digital transformation, but some industries have been faster than others in embracing the benefits that digitisation and automation can bring. By comparison, the building industry has been a slow mover and is now feeling both the disruptive impacts of digital, as well as the benefits it can bring for those who embrace it and innovate,” said Giam Swiegers, Aurecon’s global CEO.
“The construction industry needs to catch up quickly to such an extent that, in future, buildings will be assembled, not constructed, and likely with minimal human hand. Robotics, autonomous vehicles and cranes, drones or even 3D printing on site will become commonplace. However, that’s only half the story,” said Mr McGuire.
“For a building itself to be successful and differentiated in a crowded market, it will also need to be customised to each business’ specific needs – and those needs will be defined by disruption. This is what companies and designers are not seeing. We need to make quick advances in digital construction, but at the same time, we also need to focus on the personalisation and customisation that will make the business operating from the building different to their competitor’s.”
Mr McGuire added, “One of the key differences between a building and a product is that a product is disposable. Mass production makes sense because of the product’s short lifespan. The lifespan of a building, however, is 50-100 years or more, meaning the ability to adapt to changing requirements and functions over time is paramount. This paradox is where engineers can play a key role in developing elegant solutions at the nexus of those complex, conflicting parameters.”
Meanwhile, Mr Kourosh (below) has played a pivotal role in mobilising Aurecon’s global pool of leading experts to focus their cultivated skills, deep insight and professional passion towards solving the critical and complex problems the clients need solved. He will now extend his focus to company-wide innovation and take up his role as managing director – design, innovation & eminence, giving the company’s technical experts a voice at the main table.