A professor from Northumbria University has received an award for outstanding service to the computing community in the realm of construction.
The European Council for Computing in Construction (EC3) bestowed Mohamad Kassem – a professor of Digital Construction and Engineering in the university’s Mechanical and Construction Engineering department – the 2021 Scherer Award for outstanding service to the computing community in the context of EC3.
The organisation comprises construction professionals, academics, researchers, and national professional bodies from across Europe who unite to advance professional knowledge and improve engineering practice in the built environment through research, and by informing education and policy in current and emerging computing and information technologies.
The Scherer Award was established in 2018 in honour of Professor Raimar Scherer, the founder of the European Conference on Product and Process Modelling, which hosts regular conferences to showcase the latest research and innovation developments for construction.
Commenting on his award, Professor Kassem – who is chair of the EC3 Human Data Interaction technical committee – said: “I’m honoured to receive this award and thank all those who have supported me, including the award committee led by Dr Ioannis Brilakis, Laing O Rourke Reader in Construction Engineering at the University of Cambridge.
“The EC3 organisation has grown quickly over the last four years from a desire to create an international community to advance understanding of all of the subjects surrounding computing in construction, and to form links with the professional associations in those areas.
“We do this across the whole of Europe, from east to west and north to south, and I am very proud to be part of it.”
Professor Kassem’s work involves a unique approach to merging technical research on digital construction with strategic aspects of digital transformation in the built environment.
He has published more than 110 articles covering the topics in international journals, delivered more than 25 keynote addresses in countries across the world, and secured more than €6m in research and innovation grants as a principal or co-investigator.
Since 2013, Kassem has worked on Building Information Modelling (BIM) consultancy projects in Brazil with the European Commission, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Mexico, and in the UK with the Centre for Digital Built Britain.
In 2018, he was appointed by the UK government’s Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as an independent evaluator.
Dr Esin Ergen of Istanbul Technical University in Turkey, and vice-chair of the EC3 board, said: “The contribution of EC3 members such as Professor Mohamad Kassem to support and inspire others should rightly be recognised at the highest level.
“He provides outstanding service to the computing community by highlighting and promoting the value of BIM via transferring BIM to industry, both nationally and internationally with worldwide impact.
“Professor Kassem’s outstanding service is a fantastic example for others to look up to.”
Professor Laurent Dala, head of department for Mechanical and Construction Engineering, added: “This award is due recognition for the dedication Mohamad has shown through his work and role in the EC3, to advancing new digital construction technologies and processes for addressing some of the key challenges facing construction and engineering today.
“All of his colleagues at Northumbria are delighted.”
At Northumbria University, Kassem is head of Subject for Construction Project Management and helps lead the Built Environment: Digital Futures research group.
Image: Kassem Mohamad, professor of Digital Construction and Engineering, Northumbria University. Credit: Northumbria University
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