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Next Generation Construction in Ireland: Education, Research and Training as Key Enablers


Thursday, November 24, 2022, 09:30 - 17:00


Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2


Booking essential: €25. Members of the Academy contact

One-day conference exploring how education, research, training and industry can enable the success of next-generation construction.

Construction Industry Transformation

Hear from thought leaders in the sector including those from leading construction companies, outstanding researchers, representatives of the national Construction Technology Centre and the Build Digital Project, along with a keynote address from Minister Simon Harris. See the full list of speakers here.

Worldwide, the construction industry has evolved significantly in recent years with a re‐organisation of traditional teams, the arrival of disruptive technologies, a more complex regulatory environment and the requirement for a wide variety of new competencies. The dramatic evolution in the sector is being driven by the need to improve competitiveness, whilst meeting the challenges of accelerating climate change, environmental issues and the need for a vast improvement in sustainability.

The success of the construction sector over the next decade and beyond is dependent on the adoption of a wide range of recent developments which include: Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) such as off-site construction and robotics, Digital Adoption for construction such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), augmented reality and robotics and New Technologies and Policies for Sustainability.

To meet these challenges, the Irish construction sector must continue to evolve through the adoption of new methods of construction; the digitisation of the construction process from beginning to end and with an increased emphasis on research and development.

The Challenge for Education, Research and Training

The transformation of the construction sector in Ireland is critically dependent on the provision of a sustainable and diverse human capital pipeline. Individual employees will need to possess a wide variety of new skills, talents and knowledge, in particular the ability to contribute effectively to multi-disciplinarity teams of construction professionals made up individuals coming from a diverse range of disciplines and skill set backgrounds. The Education, Training and Research sector in Ireland needs to evolve in collaboration with the Construction sector to help deliver this human capital pipeline.

Why should I attend?

This conference will give you the opportunity to contribute to:

  • Identification of the key skills, knowledge and research needed to underpin the successful evolution of the Irish construction industry over the coming decade and beyond.
  • A sharing of knowledge and practice amongst professionals from across education and industry.
  • The development of a series of suggestions on how best the education, research and training sector in Ireland can support the emergence of a vibrant Next-Generation Construction sector in Ireland.

Who should attend?

This conference is aimed at wide audience that includes companies in the construction industry, higher education, training and research organisations; along with state entities involved in policy development and coordination for the construction sector and construction related industry representative organisations and professional bodies.

What is the Conference Format?

The conference will involve a variety of thought leaders and experts who will address the conference theme through presentations and panel discussions. The schedule is deliberately designed to provide for substantial audience involvement and discussion time, along with networking opportunities over breaks and lunch.

Conference Fee and Conference Report

The conference fee is €25 which includes refreshments and a light lunch. After the conference all attendees will receive a conference report summarising the conference and messages for action to industry, higher education, policy-makers, government, industry representative organisations and professional bodies.

There is a limited capacity at this conference. We expect registrations to close one week before the conference date. Please sign up soon.

This conference is organised by the RIA Engineering & Computer Sciences and the Geography & Geosciences committees and the Construction Industry Federation and sponsored by the Higher Education Authority, SEAI and Enterprise Ireland.

Conference organising committee:

  • Professor Gerald Farrell, TU Dublin (co-Chair)
  • Professor Padraic O’Donoghue, NUIG (co-Chair)
  • Dr Avril Behan, TU Dublin
  • PJ Rudden, Aengus Consulting Ltd
  • Sean Downey, Construction Industry Federation
  • Trish Flanagan, Construction Industry Federation
  • Dr Richard Manton, Engineers Ireland #
  • Dr Marguerite Nyhan, UCC

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