Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction

Female Arab architect with plan

The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction is undertaking internationally recognised research and industry engagement from our Dubai Campus, providing a creative environment for collaboration between multidisciplinary research teams, industry and UAE government to solve challenges facing the construction sector.

To see the latest CESC research, read our August bulletin.

Collaboration with Heriot-Watt will provide access to our academics from multiple programmes who are experts in their respective subjects, our existing research centres and prototyping and test equipment.

CESC will be a hub for stakeholder engagement, a platform for discussion and a model for collaborative research and business engagement. Industry-led academic research will focus on the following objectives:

  1. Enabling Technologies - Improve the efficiency of the construction industry by promoting and sharing information relating to the latest trends and technological developments leading to improvements in productivity, quality and reliability and reduction in project variations, duration and cost.
  2. Sustainability - Increase levels of (social, economic and environmental) sustainability of the construction industry, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions across the full life cycle of a project.
  3. Health and Safety - Enhance the industry’s health and safety performance and workforce welfare standards.

Industry-academia collaboration

Industry partnership succeeds when both parties have a shared goal. Together we aim to overcome challenges facing the sector and to prepare the next generation of qualified construction professionals with appropriate skills and knowledge to meet the challenges facing by industry. We will do this by undertaking funded research that is aligned to the needs of industry. We will ensure the curriculum is informed by academic research and that we collaborate to set student projects that are defined and assessed by research-led academics and industry experts.

Main research themes

Our research themes will be aligned to the key sector challenges and underpinned by leading academics at our global campuses. Research themes include:

Research Themes
Enabling Technologies Sustainability Health and Safety
Building information management systems Smart/connected cities AI and Health and Safety
Building performance/data analytics Prefabrication methods Autonomous robots
BIM Level 4 Environmental comfort control Wearable technologies
Emerging agile procurement tools/models Energy capture, usage and utilisation Assisted living spaces
3D printing Carbon neutrality Operational efficiencies in the construction sector
Digital supply chain management UAVs/drones and their impact on building technologies Energy positive homes Smart devices
Virtual, mixed and augmented reality Predictive maintenance  
Neural control of onsite robots Building re-purposing  
Automation The future of smart houses and energy performance  
Logistics – route optimisation Facilities Management  
Blockchain procurement Cyber Build  
Digital twins Digital surveying and building monitoring (drones)  

Industry Partnership opportunities

Voted Forbes Best University in the Middle East 2019, we will provide access to our extended networks, executive education training and provide access to future talent. Engaging in joint research initiatives, establishing new networks, creating and exchanging new knowledge are just some of the advantages of industry-academic partnerships. Collaborative partnerships can also have important benefits for the economy and local communities. Industry-sponsored university research is often developed into practical applications that can have tangible benefits for business and society. Opportunities also arise for university spinouts that develop new products and services and create employment opportunities. 

Collaboration with Heriot-Watt will also enhance your company's reputation, through joint publicity initiatives, co-authored journal articles, research papers and other forms of publication. Partnering with Heriot-Watt will strengthen internal research culture and development initiatives, help in identifying innovative solutions for challenges in construction practice and aid the adoption of new research and innovation techniques.  

Through our joint research initiatives, conferences, ongoing dialogue and mutually beneficial publicity we can improve company performance, sector efficiencies and competencies and support the government in the development of innovative policies and legislation for the benefit of all stakeholders in the construction sector. 

To find out more, please contact:

Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda,

Centre Manager, Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) 


Key information

Olisanwendu Ogwuda