Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Laing O'Rourke/RAEng Chair in Systems Integration



+44 (0)20 7594 9245j.whyte Website




Mr Tim Gordon +44 (0)20 7594 5031




436Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Laing O'Rourke / Royal Academy of Engineering Professor of Systems Integration

Director, Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation

My research focus is on systems integration in civil infrastructure. Infrastructure projects are organizationally complex and deliver both physical assets and digital asset information. The vision is of developing next-generation tools for and approaches for systems integration. Research activities support the transformation to an advanced manufacturing industry with digital engineering capabilities, with decision-support tools for engineers and managers working on complex engineering projects. 

I am Director of the Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation a Faculty of Engineering initiative located in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. The Centre aims to bring systems engineering and innovation to built infrastructure. It is a Faculty of Engineering initiative, drawing together researchers from across disciplines. Industry members and partners of the Centre include Laing O'Rourke, Mott Macdonald, Bentley Systems, EDF Hinkley C and the Project Production Institute. Research themes includeproduction systems, infrastructure inter-dependencies and the transition from project to operation.

There is a broader ambition to bring together expertise in infrastructure and computing to rethink infrastructure systems engineering.  I lead a strategic challenge on 'Data-Driven Engineering Design Under Uncertainty' in the Alan Turing Institute/Lloyds Register Foundation Programme on Data-Centric Engineering. I co-authored a second edition of the book on 'Virtual Reality and the Built Environment', published in 2018.

My current trajectory of research involves work with major infrastructure clients and projects to visualize and understand complex product systems; identify risk and build in resilience and support collaborative working.  The work builds on a trajectory of EPSRC-funded research, including the  Design Innovation Research Centre (2010-2015), which had a focus on new modes of design in the digital economy and was funded through a Challenging Engineering grant. 

I am active in a number of external roles. I am a member of Construction Leadership Council and a co-investigator on the Transforming Construction Network Plus. I co-curate the World Economic Forum (WEF) Engineering and Construction Transformation Map. I am a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Social media presence includes researchgate and twitter (tweeting in own capacity and retweets don't mean agreement).



K Soman R, Whyte J, Codification challenges for data science in construction, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ISSN:0733-9364

Nikolić D, Maftei L, Whyte J, 2019, Becoming familiar: how infrastructure engineers begin to use collaborative virtual reality in their interdisciplinary practice, Journal of Information Technology in Construction, Vol:24, ISSN:1400-6529, Pages:489-508

Zhang R, Zhou A, Tahmasebi S, et al., 2019, Long-standing themes and new developments in offsite construction: the case of UK housing, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Civil Engineering, Vol:172, ISSN:0965-089X, Pages:29-35

Whyte J, Nussbaum T, 2019, Transition and temporalities: spanning temporal boundaries as projects end and operations begin, Project Management Journal, ISSN:1938-9507

Hall DM, Whyte JK, Lessing J, 2019, Mirror-breaking strategies to enable digital manufacturing in Silicon Valley construction firms: a comparative case study, Construction Management and Economics, ISSN:0144-6193

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