Experts explain the challenges facing today’s construction industry at the GLFCEM Forum

Experts explain the challenges facing today’s construction industry at the GLFCEM Forum


[Music] And we started this forum because in the US, construction engineering programs don’t have a… …a common group, so to say and neither was there around the world. So we said well, why don’t we just get together and form a global group? So that’s really how we came together. I organised the first two forums at Purdue. So that was in 2010 and 2011. And since then it has just gone all around the world. We have a membership of over 60 universities around the world, about 70 plus members, as active members. So this is a group of senior academics
and administrators that have the repository of knowledge of what is happening in their part of the world. What is industry requiring in terms of being competitive and having resources, train engineers, trained individuals
and how can we share that knowledge? So that when I go back to Purdue, I can bring this knowledge back to my faculty and say well this is what is
happening around the world. I also lead the Key Performance
Indicators Subcommittee and what we are trying to do is trying to benchmark, trying to identify what are the
key performance indicators that will sort of benchmark all
these programs around the world. And so, the data that I would use
to measure my program, I want to compare that
to other programs around the world. See what are they doing different, you know? My problems are unique in the US as compared to problems around the world. It is a collaboration between industry and academia that I believe, once we get together, we can answer and respond
to our mutual problems. The bottom line is how
can we make sure that we raise all the levels across the world in terms of what can you expect
from a construction engineer? What is the body of knowledge that a construction engineering
management student should have? And what are the needs of the industry and how those are being addressed? [Music] The speed at which new technologies are being developed is faster than ever… …is this having a detrimental effect
on the construction industry? Yes, and no. Yes, because there are lots of new tools,
new materials and no, because we have to be very careful,
not conservative, but careful. Our projects, our buildings, they have to last for
50, 100, even more, years. So we say well there’s a new idea,
new technology, new material, new device, new element. We have to make sure that those elements last for 30, 40, 50 years. I think that’s also a reason why
the industry, in their basis, is pretty conservative, pretty traditional.
To make sure that it lasts. You cannot throw it away,
a building, like a mobile phone. Let me just reflect on the situation in the German market, because it’s very similar to a lot of areas in the world The construction market is a small and medium companies, small and medium enterprise market and every change which we want to be accepted in the market, must address this special situation of small and medium companies. How can they get the change? Sometimes companies don’t have an engineer. How can we address and how can we prepare modern tools, modern data management, so that even a very good craftsman,
can continue his work and still work with modernised technology? [Music] What are the challenges facing
the construction industry in Hong Kong? The unique feature we have,
in Hong Kong, is high-density city. We have 7.3 million people living
in a small area of 1,100 square kilometers, so that has a lot of impact on the way we build. For example, the construction site can be very congested, very small. So you will not have a lot of space for storage of materials etc. And also the traffic. When you have all the different materials
coming to the site, that may create a lot of impact as well. The industry is still developing. I think we have a…I would say…booming industry. With a lot of construction work, not only from the public projects but also a lot of private investment. So, there is a situation that we have
a serious shortage of professional people, as well as skilled labourers, because so many projects are happening at the same time. One way to address this problem is to use
what we call M I C. Modular and Integrated Construction. That is a new way of construction. Instead of having all the materials and have so-called cost in situ construction on-site. We try to prefabricate some of the
components in factories and then transport them and assemble them on-site. By doing so, it can address some of the
problems like a labour shortage. But also trying to address the other
problem like quality issues. We can reduce wastage, tremendously
by introducing this new method. [Music] The University of Huddersfield.
Inspiring Tomorrow’s Professionals.

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