CSEI 2017 distinguished lecture


CSEI 2017 distinguished lecture

CSEI 2017 distinguished lecture

On Wednesday 4 October the Centre for Systems Engineering & Innovation hosted Professor Raymond E. Levitt, Stanford University for our 2017 distinguished lecture.

Swimming Across Lanes: Addressing Barriers to System-Level Innovation in the Construction Industry

Imperial College London - SLIDE DECK DOWNLOAD

The slide deck from Prof Levitts counterpart lecture at UCL’s keynote series can be viewed here.

Productivity increases since the 1950s in the US and other developed country construction industries have lagged far behind those in automobiles, aerospace, semiconductors biotechnology and other industries. At the same time, one can observe numerous innovations in both in the components (e.g., lights or windows) and work processes of this industry. How do we explain this apparent contradiction? This lecture will distinguish between two kinds of innovations: those that affect only a single component or module and its “swim lane” in the highly fragmented supply chain of the industry, versus those that cut across multiple components and multiple “swim lanes” of the supply chain, impacting both the designs of multiple components and their manufacturing and installation processes and sequences. The former can diffuse relatively easily through the industry, while the latter, more systemic innovations with the greatest potential for productivity enhancement are extremely difficult to diffuse in this and other mature industries. We discuss the many structural barriers facing both kinds of innovations in construction and other mature industries, and propose some governmental policies and corporate strategies that can help to overcome these barriers.

Speaker Biography:
Dr. Raymond Levitt is Kumagai Professor of Engineering Emeritus at Stanford University. He teaches classes and conducts research on organization, governance and entrepreneurship in construction in Stanford's Sustainable Design and Construction program. Dr. Levitt founded and directs Stanford’s Global Projects Center (GPC), which conducts research and executive education focused on the financing, governance and sustainability of global building and infrastructure projects. In 2017, he launched a new GPC initiative to explore and create disruptive business opportunities arising from the collection, integration and analysis of “big data” from multiple, public and private sources in emerging “Digital Cities.” Dr. Levitt was elected as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Member of the US National Academy of Construction. He served as Chair of Stanford’s Faculty Senate from 2012-13.



Tim Gordon

Tim Gordon
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 5031
Email: t.gordon@imperial.ac.uk

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