Past Conferences | Transforming Construction with Off-site Methods and Technologies | UNB

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Off-site Construction Research Centre

Past conferences

In August 2022, the University of New Brunswick Off-site Construction Research Centre (OCRC) hosted their first specialty conference in partnership with the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE).

This specialty conference was among the first of its kind to feature presentations of peer-reviewed papers and relevant case studies from the industry, engaging attendees in discussions about new and emerging technologies in the built environment.

This conference explored topics such as:

  • Integration of reality capture with modern technologies (i.e., 3D printing, augmented/virtual/mixed reality, UAVs, etc.)
  • Laser scanning to building information modelling (BIM) generation
  • Quality inspection, condition assessment, safety monitoring, and productivity improvement
  • Resource and activity tracking
  • Surveying, visual documentation, and as-is modeling Use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

Technical program

The specialty conference was among the first of its kind with presentations that included peer-reviewed papers, workshops, and relevant case studies from the industry. These engaged attendees in discussions about new and emerging technologies in the construction industry. The topics focused on tools that were being used to enhance existing processes and inform better decisions for building, operating, and maintaining the built environment.

The conference technical program also featured state-of-the-art technologies and presentations on leading research from around the world. These sessions were used as catalysts to discuss and explore applicable recent practices and new research in the field of reality capture.

Conference papers

Keynote and guest speakers

We were pleased to hear from the following keynote and guest speakers at our 2022 conference.

Roberto Alzuarde

Roberto Alzuarde is an Innovation manager at Pomerleau for the Canadian Building Operations. Since joining Pomerleau, he has worked on many considerable projects including, among others, The UTSC New student Residence, the Block 11 Park Plan High-Rise project and the Sheridan College Phase 2 where he manages the BIM scope planning and execution as well as oversees the models coordination.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University Caracas in Venezuela followed by an MBA in Strategic Innovation from the Westfield Business School in 2020. Roberto also completed 2 postgraduate programs, one in Construction Management and the other in Building information Modelling and is an Advanced Operations Drone pilot.

Mr. Pierre Battah

Pierre has worked closely with individuals and organizations from vastly different sectors and industries and has taken his expertise on-air with the CBC / Radio-Canada. He is an award-winning author and has delivered hundreds of workshops and keynotes.

He has provided counsel to individuals, managers, and management teams to improve their performance and develop the leadership skills of tens of thousands of people. He is a long-time workplace columnist and nationally syndicated broadcaster for CBC/Radio-Canada, a TEDx presenter, and a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

Prof. Ioannis Brilakis is a Laing O'Rourke Professor of Construction Engineering and the director of the Construction Information Technology Laboratory at the Division of Civil Engineering in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He completed his PhD in civil engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in 2005. He then worked as an assistant professor at the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2005-2008) and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (2008-2012) before moving to Cambridge in 2012 as a Laing O’Rourke Lecturer. He was promoted to reader in October 2017 and to professor in 2021.

He has also held visiting posts at the Department of Computer Science, Stanford University as a visiting associate professor of Computer Vision (2014) and at the Technical University of Munich as a visiting professor, Leverhulme International Fellow (2018-2019), and Hans Fischer Senior Fellow (2019-2022). He is a recipient of the 2019 ASCE J. James R. Croes Medal, the 2018 ASCE John O. Bickel Award, the 2013 ASCE Collingwood Prize, the 2012 Georgia Tech Outreach Award, a 2010 NSF CAREER award, and a 2009 ASCE Associate Editor Award.

Dr. Brilakis is an author of over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, an associate editor of the ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering, ASCE Construction Engineering and Management, Elsevier Automation in Construction, and Elsevier Advanced Engineering Informatics Journals, and the lead founder of the European Council on Computing in Construction.

Ms. Anathea Fenton

Anathea Fenton is a purpose-driven leader with a successful history of working with client teams to deliver projects that integrate offsite manufacturing into interior fit-ups and new construction alike. Principal with Falkbuilt Halifax and past-President of the Design and Construction Institute of Nova Scotia, Anathea has spent over 20 years working with clients to incorporate pre-manufactured interior wall assemblies, electrical distribution, and millwork into their projects.

This approach allows her to combine her degree in Biology and passion for environmental sustainability, with her family history in construction. From initial consultation, through the complete design, fabrication and installation process, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, healthcare systems, education institutions, start-ups and not-for-profits in the US and across Canada. Leveraging technology has been key to delivering projects faster and on-budget, while creating long-term operational value for her clients.

Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Government of New Brunswick

Jill Green

Jill Green graduated from UNB with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1995. She has had a wide variety of professional experience over the last couple of decades working in both the public and private sectors. Through her career, Jill has had many opportunities in different areas including managing a Public Utility responsible for 23 communities, was a partner in a mid-sized engineering firm and owned her own consulting business.

Much of Jill’s experience was gained in the USA but in 2006, she returned to Atlantic Canada to start Green Imaging Technologies and commercialize technologies developed at the UNB MRI Research Centre. Green Imaging Technologies (GIT) provides innovative software solutions to the oil and gas industry. H2 Laboratories was spun out of GIT and their in-house lab provides access to some of the top MRI experts in the oil and gas sector. GIT is an export driven company with clients spanning the globe.

In 2017, 2019 and 2020, Jill was recognized as one of the top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada by Atlantic Business Magazine and received the 2017 BMO Innovation and Global Growth Award. Jill was named a Fellow in the prestigious Canadian Academy of Engineers in 2018.

In addition to Jill’s responsibilities as CEO, she was on the Board of Directors of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Fredericton Sports Investment Inc and continues to volunteer on several industry focused boards. Jill also volunteers her time assisting several youth athletic programs in various capacities including as a Director of the Hockey New Brunswick Elite Western Hockey Zone. Jill has also volunteered her time at the Fredericton Community Kitchen helping to feed those less fortunate in her city.

Taking the leap into public life in 2018, Jill lost by a narrow margin in Fredericton North for the provincial election. Feeling she still wanted to provide her perspective she once again reoffered in 2020, this time winning her current seat representing Fredericton North in the New Brunswick Legislature. Following her election In September 2020, Jill became the first engineer and only the second female to hold the position of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Dr. Carl Haas is the Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a University Research Chair at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

His interests include infrastructure computer vision, construction human-robotic systems, capital projects process analytics, construction productivity, and circular economy in the built environment. He serves on a number of editorial boards and on professional committees for organizations such as ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), NSERC and IAARC. He is a member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the ASCE. He was elected to the US National Academy of Construction in 2013.

In 2015, he received the ASCE Peurifoy Construction Research Award. In 2017, he received the University of Waterloo Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. In 2019, he received the ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering’s’ Alan Russell Award.

Dr. Amin Hammad is a full professor at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering in Montreal, Canada. Prior to joining Concordia University, he held faculty and visiting positions at Nagoya University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Tokyo. His current research interests are in the areas of automation in construction and infrastructure systems. The research aims to improve productivity and safety on construction sites, and the sustainability of infrastructure systems by developing new methods using artificial intelligence, real-time simulation, and resource optimization.

Dr. Hammad has edited one book and published six book chapters and more than 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He is the recipient of several awards including the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair award and the Japanese Monbusho Scholar award.

Sina Karimi

Sina Karimi is R&D specialist at Pomerleau where he supports robotic application development to be implemented in Pomerleau’s construction projects. Before joining Pomerleau, he was an architect and then, assistant project manager involved in many projects where he found construction automation, the domain that can bring the AEC industry many values, most importantly, higher productivity.

He obtained Architectural Engineering Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tehran followed by a master’s degree in Construction Engineering from École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal. He is passionate in robotic, AI, and AR/VR in the AEC industry. His papers are published and submitted to academic journals and conferences namely: “Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering”, “Journal of Information Technology in Construction” and “The International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction”.

Dr. Derek Lichti

Derek Lichti received his Bachelor’s degree in Survey Engineering from Ryerson University, Toronto, in 1993 and MSc and PhD degrees in Geomatics Engineering form the University of Calgary in 1996 and 1999, respectively. He is currently is Professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary, which he joined in 2008. He served as Head of the Department for the period 2013-2018. Following the completion of his PhD in 1999, he worked as an academic at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, until 2007. He has held visiting academic positions at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, Curtin University, the University of Newcastle, Australia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

His research program focuses on imaging metrology, which is concerned with precision 3D reality capture from imaging sensors, principally terrestrial laser scanners and digital cameras. It touches a wide range of applications in support of his goal to enable non-experts to use geomatics technologies to solve real-world problems that require accurate 3D spatial models. Some of his research projects include documentation of at-risk cultural heritage sites, as-built modelling of electrical substations and industrial sites, wear and damage assessment in structures and industrial machinery and dimensional control.

He has served the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) in a number of capacities over the past two decades. This includes two terms (2004-2008; 2008-2012) as Chair of the ISPRS Working Group on Terrestrial Laser Scanning and organization of the ISPRS Laser Scanning 2011 Workshop held in Calgary. Between 2013 and 2020, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. He is currently ISPRS Congress Director, responsible for organization of the 2026 ISPRS Congress in Toronto, and a member of the ISPRS Council.

Dr. Brenda McCabe

Brenda McCabe conducts her research in the field, collecting data to develop analysis tools to make the construction site and construction process safer for workers and site visitors. Her work has involved providing consultation to the Toronto Airport Authority on the major renovations recently made to Pearson International Airport and collaborating with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to assess the impact of highway construction on traffic. A variety of construction firms apply her research findings to improve the safety and efficiency of their construction processes.

Professor McCabe is also the director of the Building Tall Research Centre (BTRC), a newly developed partnership between academia, industry and government that will act in an advisory capacity to the profession. The express mission of BTRC is to cluster, highlight, and promote research related to tall buildings from multidisciplinary technical perspectives. These areas include, but are not limited to, building science, construction, environment, geomechanics, materials, resilience, structures, sustainability, and water resources.

Daniel Meissner is EllisDon’s Director of the Digital Asset Delivery team, which focuses on the creation of digital representations of physical reality. Daniel started his career with an engineering consulting firm in Bogota, Colombia. Upon discovering the potential of 3D modeling and BIM workflows, he championed the new technology across the firm, leading various company-wide implementations while gathering project management experience on mixed-use development projects.

After working alongside EllisDon in Bogota, he moved to Canada in 2020 to join the company as a lead for their VDC operations in the GTA and London area. His current role focuses on promoting and facilitating reality capture and data handover on projects, helping clients and teams to know the state of any build at any point in time. Daniel and his team work to leverage real-time data, provide up to date analytics, and ultimately improve the business operations of EllisDon, their clients, and the ROI for all stakeholders.

Dr. Gunho Sohn is an associate professor at the Department of Earth and Science and Engineering at York University. A two-time recipient of York’s Research Leadership award and the PEO York Chapter Engineering Research Project of the Year Award, Dr. Sohn is actively leading a multidisciplinary research team in spatial data analytics, computer vision and machine learning. The research group has extensive experience in augmented urban space modeling, mobility mapping and autonomous transportation, with applications to various areas of smart digital twin technologies, critical infrastructure mapping and disaster management.

Since he joined York University in 2008, the research groups that Dr. Sohn is part of have attracted an impressive $19.6 million in research grants, while his work alone has gathered $6 million individually. This has allowed him to participate in a number of large-scale research projects (CFI, NSERC CREATE, ORF-RE and ORF-Infrastructure), through which he has collaborated with multiple universities, international institutions and industrial partners. His pioneering works of physical twining urban systems has been successfully commercialized through his industrial collaborators.

Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Government of New Brunswick

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor is a Certified Engineering Technologist who brings over 20 years of diverse experience in the public service and private sectors, crown corporations and the consulting world. Rob spent 12 years of his career with Manitoba Infrastructure and served as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Infrastructure Capital Projects from 2020-21 prior to his appointment as Deputy Minister with the Government of New Brunswick.

Rob spent almost four years with the City of Winnipeg as the Manager, Major Capital Projects Oversight in Infrastructure Planning where he managed significant components of the city’s capital budget. He also brings a strong project management background from his experience with Manitoba Hydro.

Throughout his career, Rob has gained significant leadership experience working in complex, multi-stakeholder organizations. He has led a large number of high-profile construction, building, maintenance and transportation projects and has extensive experience working with all levels of government and varying stakeholders. Most notably, Rob has a strong record of driving change within complex organizations during uncertain and shifting times.