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DMU academic links up with national firm on new research project


A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) academic is joining forces with Pick Everard, a leading independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy, on a new project to look into critical problems facing the industry - and the results are likely to benefit students in the future.

Dr Birgit Painter, course leader for MSc Engineering Management at DMU, will be working with Pick Everard having successfully secured a Royal Academy of Engineering’s industrial fellowship scheme.


The fellowship enables academics from the field of engineering to carry out their own collaborative research with industry. It creates new partnerships, informs student teaching and offers first-hand experience for researchers.

Dr Painter is set to evaluate how construction management communicates information about a building’s design and operation to all groups involved in a project.

Once a project is completed, analysis sometimes reveals a gap between predicted and actual building performance, partly due to a lack of integration between the different parts of the design and construction process.  

Pick Everard has identified an industry need for a better understanding about how Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other tools can be used more effectively.


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Dr Painter said: “The BIM system should improve how the process is managed and ensure that everyone can access information about each stage of the build.

“When the building is handed over, the information on how it should be run must be communicated. But what Pick Everard has noticed is that, while these tools are used more and more widely, they are not always utilised to their full potential. So there is an interesting area for research on how this can be improved in order to reduce the gap between design-stage predictions and actual building performance.

“For me, it’s an opportunity to work with the industry while Pick Everard is very keen to have an academic evaluate the process. The other benefit is that it will feed back into teaching, so students will benefit from my research.”

Dr Jose Hernandez, Director at Pick Everard, said: “We see this Royal Academy of Engineering industry fellowship as a great opportunity to analyse, develop and put to the test methods for continual improvement in the delivery of sustainable buildings throughout their whole life cycle and maximise the potential of current design methodologies.


“Being a fully multi-disciplinary consultancy firm, we believe we have a significant opportunity to deliver those improvements and continue our goal to be the most highly-regarded consultant in the property and construction Industry.”

Pick Everard’s head office is based in Charles Street, Leicester. The firm is a member of the DMU Faculty of Technology’s Industrial Liaison Committee. It also has a strong focus on sustainability and has a close relationship with DMU’s Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development.

The research programme is being developed by Pick Everard and Dr Painter.



Posted on Thursday 31st August 2017

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