Welcome Professor Jennifer Whyte


The Centre welcomes Professor Jennifer Whyte

Laing O'Rourke / Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Systems Integration
Systems integration and innovation. Vision is of radically improving delivery of complex infrastructure projects in an era of big data. Ambition for the next five years is to identify risk in and build resilience into engineered systems by developing new ways to visualize and understand relationships between parts and the systemic consequences of changes in complex product systems. I am seeking to develop a team that brings mathematicians and computer scientists together with scholars of engineering to develop the basis for a new generation of tools and techniques for managing change through the life of complex product systems. I anticipate this bringing learning and innovation from other industries into construction; and exploring fundamentally new approaches that will utilise a range of machine learning, graph theory, systems dynamics and scenario planning techniques. I am working with the Laing O’Rourke Engineering Excellence Team to shape this trajectory of research on systems integration techniques to examine system verification methods with information models; and design in cyber security and system resilience from the beginning.
Previously Professor of Innovation and Design in the School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading and Director of the Design Innovation Research Centre. This research team had a vision of a new mode of design in the digital economy, and  worked with the largest building and infrastructure projects, including London 2012 Olympics and Crossrail; and with other complex product settings, such as Airbus and CERN, to develop new understanding of systems integration; bringing that learning back into the laboratory to develop the next generation of digital tools and practices. The £1.25m investment from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPRSC), which was a Challenging Engineering grant for future research leaders, was leveraged through £572,220 in studentships; and £385,279 in additional post-doctoral research income, as well as substantial in-kind contributions from industry partners. The work contributed to the government BIM initiative, in particular to shaping debates on ‘level 3 BIM’ and the 3D-Mobile Visualization Environment (3D-MOVE) developed through this grant, is now in use in Crossrail offices as part of a follow-up collaborative research project.
I was Shimizu Visiting Professor at Stanford University (April-June 2015). I am on the Editorial Board for 5 international journals (highest impact factor is 6.862); have presented in America, Asia and Europe in the last 2 years; and joined American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees. I sit on external advisory panels for Crossrail and High Speed 2 (HS2); serve on the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Information Systems Panel; and work with infrastructure owners through the Infrastructure UK Client Working Group “Collaborative Project Teams” Programme. I was a founding member of the Innovation Studies Centre in Imperial College London, leading the design and visualization theme (2003-2007); having done post-doctoral work with the team in SPRU, University of Sussex.
Sacks, R., Whyte, J., Swissa, D., Raviv, G., Zhou, W. and Shapira, A. (2015) Safety by design: dialogues between designers and builders using virtual reality, Construction Management and Economics, available ahead of print:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01446193.2015.1029504
Whyte, J., Lindkvist, C. and Stasis, A. (2015) Managing change in the delivery of complex projects: configuration management, asset information and 'big data', International Journal of Project Management, available ahead of print:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263786315000393
Ramalingham, S., Lobo, S., Mahalingham, A. and Whyte, J. (2014) Achieving reliability in transnational work on complex projects: New directions for research, Engineering Project Organization Journal, Vol. 4 (4), pp. 193-208.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21573727.2014.947269
Larsen, G.D. and Whyte, J. (2013) Safe construction through design: perspectives from the site team, Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 31 (6), pp. 675-690.
Whyte, J. (2013) Beyond the computer: changing medium from digital to physical, Information and Organization Vol. 23: 41-57.


Ms Alexandra J Williams

Ms Alexandra J Williams
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 5995
Email: alexandra.williams@imperial.ac.uk

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