Engineering centre will develop sustainable solutions

Laing O’Rourke and Oxford University are to establish a new centre for engineering that will concentrate on interdisciplinary research relevant to construction.

The Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering will build on existing expertise at Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science and other university departments to improve construction methods and processes.

Ray O’Rourke, Laing O’Rourke’s chairman and chief executive, said: ‘The global trends influencing the built environment over the next 25 years will demand new and radical approaches to how we engineer and construct buildings and infrastructure in the future.

‘This collaboration with Oxford University will play a vital role in the research and development of viable and sustainable solutions to meet this challenge.’

Prof Guy Houlsby, head of Oxford University’s Department of Engineering Science, said: ‘This new centre represents a completely new way for the construction industry to engage with research in engineering.

‘We hope to work closely with Laing O’Rourke to bring new manufacturing and automation techniques to the construction industry, as well as working in other areas of common interest.’

In association with the founding of the centre, a framework agreement has been drawn up for the university to provide professional development services through the Department for Continuing Education, assisting Laing O’Rourke with the development of its staff.