High-ranking keynote speakers from academia and industrial sectors will participate in CIB W78 - LDAC 2021:

  • Dr. Edward Curry, Maynooth University Hamilton Institute (IRL)
  • Dr. Tamer El-Diraby, Professor, Dept. of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto (CAN)
  • Mark Enzer, Head of the National Digital Twin programme and Chief Technical Officer of Mott MacDonald (UK)
  • Dr. Renate Fruchter, Founding Director of the Project Based Learning Laboratory (PBL Lab), Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Stanford University (USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Abdul Samad (Sami) Kazi, Research Team Leader, Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, VTT (FIN)

Other keynote speakers will be confirmed soon!

More details

Dr. Edward Curry is a Professor of Computer Science in the Hamilton Institute at Maynooth University. He is a Principal Investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics (www.insight-centre.org) and a funded investigator at LERO The Irish Software Research Centre (www.lero.ie). His research interests are predominantly in open distributed systems, particularly in the areas of incremental data management (e.g. dataspaces), approximation and unstructured events types, with a special interest in applications for smart environments and data ecosystems. His research work is currently focused on engineering adaptive systems that are a foundation of smart and ubiquitous computing environments.

Edward has published over 200 scientific articles in journals, books, and international conferences. He has presented at numerous events and has given invited talks at Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. Edward has worked extensively with industry and government advising on the adoption patterns, practicalities, and benefits of new technologies. He is Vice President of the Big Data Value Association (www.BDVA.eu) a non-profit industry-led organisation with the objective of increasing the competitiveness of European Companies with data-driven innovation. In 2010, Edward was a guest speaker at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium to an audience of 600+ CIOs and senior IT executives.

Dr. El-Diraby is a Professor at the Dept. of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada. He is also the Coordinator, Ctr
for Info. Sys. In Infrastructure & Construction; and the Director of the Intelligent Buildings Digital Twin at the University.

He uses social and semantic network analysis, machine learning and data management tools to explore new horizons in project
management. The aim is to use project development and operations as means to empower communities to innovate new sustainable

He serves on serve on several international committees, including:

  • Member, regulatory Room, buildingSmart International (1/2019-Present)
  • Chair, metadata subcommittee, Transportation Research Board (2010-2012).

He holds several patents, including: El-Diraby, T. E., Papagelis, M., and Krijinen, T. (2018). “System and methods for online sociotechnical
analysis of buildings”.

Presentation: Can IFC (mentality) be the basis of digital twins? No.

Digital twins will not be interoperable BIM-based systems. Digital twins are not just data repositories. They also incorporate descriptive
models, which capture the status of a facility; and prescriptive models, which encompass future scenarios. The objective of digital twins
is to support decision making, both for technical and business activities. Digital twins will, therefore, rely more on unstructured data
analytics (rather than attempting interoperability).

The keynote proposes and shares case studies on the use of “no-model” analytics to support business intelligence services. In this
approach, the key objective is to discover knowledge and support knowledge exchange; develop predictive analytics and support
decision making. In the proposed definition, the process of digital twining is more important than the digital twin itself, because perpetual
learning is the most important objective of digital twins. In fact, the essence of digital twinning is to transfer the building into a platform
for innovation and discovery.


Mark Enzer is a keen champion of innovation in the context of collaborative delivery models and he is particularly interested in the transformation of the infrastructure industry, including: systems-thinking, digital transformation, connected digital twins, data infrastructure, low-carbon sustainable solutions and the circular economy in the built environment.

As the Head of the National Digital Twin programme within the Centre for Digital Built Britain, Mark is contributing to the leadership of this ambitious programme.  As Mott MacDonald’s Chief Technical Officer, Mark is accountable to the Executive Board for technical excellence across the Group.  In addition, he is a co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council’s Digital Network and he is the Digital Transformation workstream lead for the Infrastructure Client Group, which represents the UK’s major infrastructure client organisations.  Mark was the Lead Author of the Infrastructure Carbon Review, published by HM Treasury. 


Mark Enzer, Head of the UK National Digital Twin programme, will deliver an overview of the work program and progress.


Dr. Renate Fruchter is the founding director of the Project Based Learning Laboratory (PBL Lab) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at Stanford University. Her R&D focuses on emergent collaboration technologies in support of global project teamwork in education and corporate settings. She is a designer of physical and virtual interactive learning and workspaces. She studies the relation between technology-people-place-process. She is the developer of the innovative "Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) Global Teamwork" course launched in 1993 engaging university and industry partners worldwide. Her latest efforts focus on: (1) big data analytics and visualization towards harmonizing occupant well-being and building sustainable performance; and (2) accelerating creativity and engagement in global teamwork through AI, VR, and parametric modelling optimization.


Presentation: When 21st Century Technologies Meet the Oldest Engineering Discipline

Builders represent the oldest engineering disciplines. Since the dawn of humanity people have built shelters, cities, and infrastructure. These constantly shape and reshape our built environment and the way we live.

What role can 21st Century technologies play in the building industry as enablers of a more ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable future built environment?

We will explore scenarios how emerging technologies become an part of innovative holistic approaches in the building industry to address challenges such as climate change, globalization, digitalization, and skilled workforce shortage.

We are amid the 4th industrial revolution that is transforming the building industry as well. It is a time when the physical and digital worlds merge; where the world becomes a big data set as everyone and everything that is connected to the Internet becomes data source; where AI, machine learning, VR/AR/MR/XR, robotics, autonomous mobility will continuously reshape how and where we live. How will they transform the building industry and empower us to explore broader solution spaces, augment co-creation and collaboration, and make evidence-based, agile, joint decisions?

Prof. Dr. Abdul Samad (Sami) Kazi, is a Research Team Leader for Smart Cities and Intelligent Buildings at VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.,  Adjunct Professor of Project Management at the Hanken School of Economics, and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology. Sami has industrial experience and maintains close links with the industry throughout his research. He has been involved in more than 50 international research and development projects (each project having a budget ranging from 500,000 to 25,000,000 Euros) on strategic roadmapping and implementation action planning, smart cities, intelligent buildings, construction IT, virtual organisations, ICT for energy efficiency, nature-based solutions, and knowledge management.

Sami has authored/co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, including more than ten books in the areas of smart cities, knowledge management, systemic innovation, service innovation, ICT for construction projects and processes, energy efficient buildings, and open building manufacturing. Sami has vast experience as a mentor and coach on matters of team management, positivity, academic excellence, project management, etc. An inspiring speaker, Sami likes to bring joy to all those around him in a collegial, and constructive manner.

Presentation: Digital Built Environment – From Challenges to Breakthrough Impacts

The Built Environment has been one of the main contributors to global emissions with increasing demands of not only new housing and infrastructure, but of maintenance and refurbishment of ageing buildings and infrastructures. With many industrial different sectors, and stakeholders involved in the building, maintenance and demolition of built environment assets, the flow of information between these entities and supporting applications has been a continuous challenge and bottleneck to minimising emissions in a systemic manner. A transition towards a digital built environment to support the physical built environment in streamlining information flows and systemically minimising emissions has been identified as a key catalyst by the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) and its Digital Built Environment (DBE) committee.

This keynote presentation highlights some of the main challenges and barriers towards a true digital built environment and identifies key opportunities and transitions pathways towards a true digital built environment. It presents key insights on future trends and priorities in the application of digital technologies to the built environment, the importance of twin transition, the role of stakeholders in the digital transition, and highlights key Horizon 2020 research, development, and innovation projects contributing towards this digital transition. Most importantly, the presentation highlights key breakthrough impacts and their role in addressing the global emissions challenge.

Bibliographical references

  • Lavikka, R., Rehman, H.U., Reda, F., and Kazi, A.S. (2022) Positive Energy Buildings: Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities, Springer, ISBN: 978-3-030-87701-9 (Print); ISBN: 978-3-030-87702-6 (Electronic), 115 pages.
  • Kazi, A.S., Wohlfart, L., and Wolf, P. (2007) Hands-On Knowledge Co-Creation and Sharing: Practical Methods and Techniques, KnowledgeBoard, ISBN: 978-951-6350-0 (Print); ISBN: 978-951-6351-7 (Electronic), 580 pages.
  • Kazi, A.S., Hannus, M., Boudjabeur, S., and Malone, A. (2007) Open Building Manufacturing: Core Concepts and Industrial Requirements, ManuBuild, ISBN: 978-951-38-6352-4 (Print); ISBN: 978-951-38-6353-1 (Electronic), 336 pages.
  • Kazi, A.S., Hannus, M., Zarli, A., Bourdeau, M., Martens, B., and Tschuppik, O. (2006) Towards Strategic Actions for ICT R&D in Construction, eWork and eBusiness in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (editors: Martinez, M., and Scherer, R.), pp. 31-39, Publisher: Taylor & Francis/Balkema (ISBN 978-0-415-41622-1)
  • Kazi, A.S. (2005) Systemic Innovation in the Management of Construction Projects and Processes, Combining Forces – Advancing Facilities Management and Construction through Innovation Series, ISBN: 952-5004-64-3, 410 pages.
  • Kazi, A.S. (2005) ICT in Construction and Facilities Management, Combining Forces – Advancing Facilities Management and Construction through Innovation Series, ISBN: 952-5004-67-8, 194 pages.

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