Case study: Eliminating Uncertainties and Improving Productivity in Mega Projects using Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

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Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some case studies of our academic research from across the Bristol Business School. This case study looks at Professor Lukumon Oyedele and the power of big data in relation to Mega Projects. 

Written by Jeremy Allen:

A series of projects at the Bristol Business School combining cutting-edge digital technologies could potentially revolutionise the way industry tackles management of Mega Projects at the bidding stage. These innovative technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Professor Lukumon Oyedele and his team of developers have created software that harnesses the power of big data and artificial intelligence to help companies accurately plan and execute Mega Projects (large-scale, complex ventures that typically cost hundreds of millions of pounds).

The software uses advanced analytics to predict a whole range of complex project parameters such as three-points estimates, tender summaries, cash flow, project plans, risks, innovations, opportunities, as well as health and safety incidents.

The project, whose flagship simulation tool is called Big-Data-BIM, is part of a partnership with leading UK construction contractor Balfour Beatty, to help it plan better power infrastructure projects involving the construction of overhead lines, substations and underground cabling. By using the software, the company is able to improve productivity and maximise profit margins.

“When planning a tender for a project, companies often plan for a profit of 10 to 15 percent, but on finishing the project, many struggle to make two percent profit margin,” says Professor Oyedele, who is Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Chair Professor of Enterprise and Project Management.

“The reason is that there are many unseen activities, which are hard to capture during the early design stage. Besides, the design process itself is non-deterministic. This is why when you ask two quantity surveyors how much a project is likely to cost; they often produce different figures.

“With Big-Data-BIM, we are bringing in objectivity to plan the projects and taking care of uncertainties by engaging advanced digital technologies, so that a tender estimate remains accurate until project completion, with minimal deviation from what was planned at the beginning.”

The tool taps into 20 years of Balfour Beatty’s data on power infrastructure projects and learns predictive models that inform the most optimal decisions for executing the given work. The tool informs the business development team at the beginning of the project whether it is likely to succeed or fail.

One of the functions of the software is to create a 3D visual representation of project routes to understand complexity, associated risks (like road and river crossings) and opportunities (such as shared yards and local suppliers). For this purpose, the software taps into Google Maps data and integrates data from the British Geological Survey and Ordnance Survey to discover automatically the number of roads, rivers, and rail crossings.

The tool performs extensive geospatial analysis to find out the optimal construction route and measure distances between route elements with a high degree of accuracy. “This all happens within a twinkle of an eye. Without leaving your office, you can determine the obstacles on the planned route of the cables, or whether there is a river in the way,” says Professor Oyedele.

By mining the huge datasets of health and safety incidents, the software can also determine what kind of injuries might occur on a project, and even produce a detailed analysis of the most probable body parts that could be prone to injury. This can help prepare an accurate health and safety risk assessment before the work begins.

The software provides an intuitive dashboard called “Opportunity on a page” where all predictions are visualised to facilitate data-driven insights for designers to make critical planning decisions.

As a contractor, Balfour Beatty uses the tool to enable it to submit the best bids to clients so that it can have a high chance of winning them. The software is also set to be provided for other industries carrying out linear projects. These are to include water distribution networks, and the rail, roads, as well as oil and gas sectors.

 

Global network celebration dinner in Kuala Lumpur

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On Friday 5th October, the UWE Bristol International Office organised an appreciation dinner in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate our global network of partners and to show appreciation for their efforts in recruiting and supporting our international students.

More than 80 representatives from key strategic dual award and progression partners, as well as leading Malaysian recruitment agencies attended the event.

Amongst the attendees were representatives from one of our partnerships institutions, Taylor’s Univeristy, with whom we run a number of dual awards.

The event was also attended by  representatives from HELP University and INTI International College who send a large number of final year students to our Business, Accounting, Economics and Finance and Law Undergraduate programmes.

Thanks to all involved for organising such a wonderful event.

 

Introducing the Trailblazer programme: Free CPD for Bristol Business School alumni

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Bristol Business School are offering our alumni a pioneering and exclusive complimentary professional development programme, relevant across disciplines, regardless of when you graduated.

Launching in September 2018, our Trailblazer Programme will blend face-to-face sessions with webinars and social events. You will be motivated to maximise personal impact, boost effectiveness and develop leadership skills.

Facilitated by experienced academics, seasoned practitioners, and inspirational speakers, this programme echoes the mantra of learning by doing what is integral to our Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School.

Who is it for?

Offered exclusively to UWE Bristol alumni on a complimentary basis, this is a chance to continue the learning that you began when you were a student. The programme enables you to take advantage of your lifelong connection to our expertise and community.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this programme, however places will be offered exclusively to UWE Bristol alumni from our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Content

The programme incorporates four face-to-face sessions alongside online learning through webinars and two social events per a cohort.

Session 1 – Leading Self for Personal Effectiveness: Learn how to adapt your behaviour and actions when dealing with different individuals, tasks and situations. Acquire the skills to deliver exceptional performance, authentically.

Session 2 – Leading Others for Impact: Practical tips on creating high performing teams focusing on; healthy team dynamics, influencing and communicating.

Session 3 – Coaching and Mentoring: Transform your personal management style in this practical session by developing your coaching and mentoring skills to enhance performance and encourage self-exploration.

Session 4 – Design Thinking: Experience the creative process of finding new and transformative solutions to problems whilst also generating innovative ideas and opportunities.

Webinars: Webinar topics will be decided at the start of the programme to ensure these are relevant to the current business environment.They will be available live or pre-recorded.

Graduation: Graduation event for the year’s cohorts.

Professional accreditation

We are seeking to get this programme approved by the CPD Certification Service, meaning you will receive a certificate to demonstrate your CPD hours through completion of this programme*.

The growing network of participants will benefit from lasting relationships with likeminded professionals.

*subject to approval being granted.

Places for the course are limited to 40 participants per cohort. For more information and to apply for your free place, please see here.

 

Future Impact Webinar Series: Social Media and Body Image: Finding the positives

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The Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) in conjunction with Bristol Business School is proud to launch our Future Impact Webinar Series. This webinar series will feature exciting new developments in technology, science and management practice and highlight their impact on the future of business and society. Thought provoking yet practical, you will develop a better appreciation of what these advances will mean for you, your business and community.

Our inaugural webinar, presented by Dr. Noordin Shehabuddeen, with panellists from the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) will focus on social media and body image. The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) is the world’s largest research group focusing on the role of appearance and body image in people’s lives. Dr. Amy Slater, Deputy Dicrector, CAR and Professor Diana Harcourt, Director, CAR will share their expertise, cutting edge research and knowledge.

Register here.  

Synopsis:

Social media has become an integral part of life for most young people, with over 90% using at least one social networking site, and almost half spending over 2 hours per day on social media (Tsitsika et al., 2014). Despite having many potential benefits, research has identified that greater social media use is associated with poorer body image, which is concerning given body dissatisfaction is linked to a wide range of negative psychological and health outcomes. This webinar will focus on what we know so far about the role of social media and body image, with a particular focus on looking for the potential positive role that social media could play in how we think about ourselves and our appearance.

Dr Amy Slater

Amy Slater is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England.  Her research interests lie in the area of body image, specifically body image in adolescents and children.  Her research has a particular focus on the role of social media and social networking services in the body image and wellbeing of young people.  Amy completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Flinders University in South Australia, and in addition to her research, is also experienced with working with children and adolescents in community and hospital settings.

Professor Diana Harcourt

Diana Harcourt is Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE, Bristol, the world’s largest group of psychologists researching issues around body image and appearance.  Her research interests focus on the psychosocial aspects of altered or unusual appearance, particularly those associated with cancer or burn injuries.  She completed her PhD at UWE, Bristol, exploring women’s experiences of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Her work includes developing and evaluating interventions to support people who are negatively affected by visible difference and those facing decisions about treatment that will alter their appearance

Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen

Noordin is Director of UWE’s Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) and Associate Professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His remit is to lead a range of ambitious programmes aimed at further strengthening UWE’s role as a provider of cutting edge business-relevant education and solutions, and as a thought and practice leader in innovation. He was Director of Business Engagement as well as Director of Business Incubator at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, and prior to that, Director of the University of Liverpool’s Innovation Academy. He was also a Visiting Professor with the Government of Malaysia.

Noordin has presented numerous global webinars as a keynote speaker, and over 25 K people have taken his MOOC on innovation.  He is the author of a practitioner handbook ‘Innovation in real life: a hands-on guide to genuine innovation’. He is Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

 

BA Accounting and Finance student receives prize from Grant Thornton

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Cherily Lim, a BA Accounting and Finance student, has been awarded a prize by chartered accountants Grant Thornton for scoring the highest in the Audit and Corporate Governance exam.

Cherily is a student from Taylor’s University in Malaysia. Taylor’s is one of our partner universities and because of that Cherily had the opportunity to study for her final year of her degree at UWE Bristol.

Cherily commented:

“ I found it interesting and enjoyable to study at UWE Bristol. I really enjoyed how each lecture was taught, especially for the Audit & Corporate Governance module.

The audit simulation helped me a lot in understanding every procedure of an audit. I worked really hard for the exam so I’m so pleased all the hard work paid off and I achieved the highest grade”

Cherily will be awarded the prize at her graduation ceremony.

Congratulations Cherily!

International Women’s Day at UWE Bristol

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Come help us celebrate the entrepreneurial, political, social and cultural achievements of women, and their acts of courage and determination in the pursuit of gender parity in their workplaces, communities and countries.

To mark the day, we have planned a series of events and workshops at UWE which are all free to attend and open to all.

Alongside the events there will be stalls set up through the Atrium showcasing the amazing work that women in our region produce.

There will be a charity raffle with prizes including a Spa day from The Gainsborough Bath Spa, two tickets to the Affordable Art Fair in London, a coaching session from Sequoia Bridge as well as many more. All proceeds from the raffle will go to Bristol charity one25 who reach out to women trapped in, or vulnerable to, street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction. Further information can be found here!

There will be a free lunch provided by Bini Fine Foods for all attendees.

In order to register for this event, please email: fbl.execsupport@uwe.ac.uk 

Agenda

Arrival & Refreshments

10.00 – 10.15

Welcome

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10.15 – 10.45

Female entrepreneurs: Inspirational case studies 6X269
Refreshments

11.00 – 12.00

Panel discussion: ‘Barriers to and opportunities for enabling more successful women in business’

·         Professor Jane Roscoe (Chair) – Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, ACE

·         Kalpna Woolf – Award winning ex BBC Head. Author -Spice Yourself Slim

·         Sado Jirde – Director of Black South West Network (BSWN)

·         Vashti Seth – Success Redefined Coach

·         Professor Sue Durbin – Professor in Human Resource Management

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Lunch

International Women’s Day Choir

Stalls ran by female entrepreneurs

Raffle announcement

Drop in sessions

Available between 12.00-14.00

Screening of Barefoot in Business

This is a film created by BAFTA award winning film maker Carol Cooke about female entrepreneurs in Uganda.

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13.15- 14:15

CV Surgery

Careers Space X Block

13.15-14.15

Speed Mentoring

Speed mentoring (with a focus on enterprise)

TE Space

Workshops

14.20-15.00

Athena SWAN Workshop

The Role of Athena SWAN in engaging gender equality in UK university settings: Accreditation or lever of change?’

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14.20-15.15 Creating and Telling your Leadership Story

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15.20-15.50 Difficult Conversations

‘Based on one of UWEs Learning and Development Centre courses, this will workshop will leave you with some tips on how to better handle difficult conversations.’

 

2X116

 

 

Zainab Kahn’s Visit to Amman Jordan

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Dr Zainab Kahn is UWE’s Leader for Continuous Enhancement (Law) and works closely with overseas partner institutions to engage international students in postgraduate roles here at UWE. She is extremely passionate about ensuring an outstanding international student experience and capturing external engagement to the fullest.

Dr Zainab Khan’s most recent visit was to Amman, Jordan for a week, to take part in exhibitions and meet with a number of agents as well as Faculty Management at some of the local universities. She had a full packed schedule that included productive meetings with the University of Jordan, Al – Ahliyya University and the Applied Science University. Furthermore, Zainab also delivered promotional presentations to students interested in coming to the UK for postgraduate studying opportunities. UWE offer international students a number of ways in which they can study and earn a postgraduate degree which they may not be able to do in their home country. Zainab’s trip was to assess the potential for international partnerships for business and law. These partnerships will aid the exchange of both students and information. The positive reception and interest in UWE and our provision in postgraduate opportunities is great news from this trip.

Zainab and UWE are looking forward to future collaborations and increased student numbers from the Middle East. Universities like, UWE are constantly looking to develop and extend the external engagement and enhance each student’s experience.

Honorary Degree for Peaches Golding OBE

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Peaches Golding OBE is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University (Hon DUniv) by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) in recognition of her contribution, service and commitment to Business.

Peaches Golding OBE is Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County and City of Bristol. Appointed in 2017, she will retire at the end of 2028.

Peaches is a highly experienced, award winning director and non-executive director having gained experience in sectors such as utilities, media, health, education and recruitment sectors. Her areas of specialism include corporate responsibility and strategic marketing and communications. She is a persuasive public speaker, trusted and respected campaigner and business leader.

Peaches established a marketing and communications consultancy in 1992 and for 17 years she was commissioned by one of HRH The Prince of Wales’s Charities, (the UK’s leading corporate responsibility charity), to focus on leadership development, diversity and change management. Her consultancy clients included Government Office for the South West, Office of Deputy Prime Minister, Business Link, Environment Agency, EDF Energy, Bowater Pharmaceuticals, British Steel, among others.

Peaches was a Non-Executive Director of the North Bristol NHS Trust and of GWR West Limited (where she was a member of the Board that won the franchise from Ofcom, the communications regulator).

She was the Independent Chair of the Regional Advisory Council of ITV West (1997 to 2006), Independent Chair of the Viewer’s Advisory Panel of ITV West Country (2006 to 2017), a member of the Ethnic Minority Business Forum (2004 to 2006), the Home Office representative on the Avon & Somerset Police Authority (2000 to 2008), an Independent Governor of the University of the West of England (2000 to 2008) and a member of the General Chiropractic Council (1996 to 2004).

Peaches is currently Independent Chairman of the Bristol Water Challenge Panel (the committee that assures the regulator Ofwat that the customer’s priorities are central to the business and investment programme), a Board Member of Moon Consultancy (an executive search, selection and recruitment consultancy for senior executive and Board level posts) and a Trustee of the ss Great Britain.

Peaches was appointed by The Queen to the ancient and historic role of High Sheriff of the County and City of Bristol 2010-2011. She was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to minority ethnic people in the South West and was recognised by the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle in 2015 for her ‘Outstanding Contribution to Business in Bristol and Bath’ in the Women in Business Award.

Peaches graduated from the University of N Carolina, USA with a BA (Biology) degree and awarded an Honorary MBA by the University of West of England in 2010. She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Responding the award Peaches said, “I am thrilled and deeply honoured to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University. To receive this tremendous honour is far beyond my expectations and an enormous pleasure for my family, colleagues and me. Bristol is a city that I dearly love and I shall cherish this Honorary Degree in recognition of my contributions to it. Thank you so very much”.

She is married to Bob Golding (a former Zoo Director of the Zoological Gardens at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, Executive Director of Cotswold Wild Life Park and Founding Director of Natural Habitats Ltd). Peaches and Bob have one son Charles (who was awarded a Foundation degree at the University of the West of England before graduating from the London College of Printing).

This Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University (Hon DUniv) will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law at Bristol Cathedral on Friday 14 July at 10:30.

Entrepreneur Luke Johnson to be awarded Honorary Degree

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Luke Johnson is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration (HON DBA) by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) in recognition of his service to entrepreneurship.

Luke Johnson is a leading figure in private equity and the restaurant industry and the pioneer behind several instantly recognisable high-street brands.

An Oxford medical graduate, he began his career as a media analyst at Grieveson Grant, before being appointed as Chairman of PizzaExpress PLC in 1993. The business grew from 12 to over 150 restaurants during his tenure.

In 1999, he started Signature Restaurants, which owned The Ivy, Le Caprice and the Belgo chain, before establishing the Strada restaurant concept. The total proceeds from these two disposals were in excess of £90 million.

Luke is the Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded in 2001, as well as Chairman and part owner of Gail’s bakeries, Neilson Active Holidays and Patisserie Holdings PLC.

He also serves on the board of Brompton Bicycles and is chairman of the Gaucho restaurant business. He also chairs Brighton Pier Group PLC. He was appointed Chairman of StartUp Britain in 2012 and, a year later, he created a think tank called The Centre for Entrepreneurs.

During his time as the Chairman of Channel 4 Television (2004 – 2010) the organisation enjoyed record ratings and revenues. He has also previously served as Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts and as a Governor of the University of the Arts. As well as being the Chairman of the Institute of Cancer Research and the Almeida Theatre, Luke writes weekly for The Sunday Times, and, until 2015, he contributed a weekly column to The Financial Times for seven years.

Commenting on his award Luke said, “I am very grateful to UWE Bristol for this honour. Every effort all of us can make to encourage more entrepreneurs matters. They generate new companies, jobs, innovation, tax and exports. Entrepreneurs are the future, and the more of them there are, then the better off we will all be.”

The Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration (HON DBA) will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law at Bristol Cathedral on Wednesday 12 July at 14:00.

New £55 million building will change how UWE Bristol does business

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Staff and students working and studying at Bristol Business School (BBS) and Bristol Law School (BLS) at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have moved in to a new state of the art £55million building.

The building is the jewel in the crown of a significant £300m capital investment programme across all campuses and will enable UWE Bristol to offer a new way forward in Business and Law Education to benefit students and businesses in the region.

Designed to foster formal and informal interaction between businesses the new facility promises to bring many benefits to the regional economy.

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of BBS and BLS says,

“This will be a live environment where staff and students and business work together – with collaboration at its core.

“We consult with our advisory board of key business figures who challenge us to make our provision meet the needs of employers and the latest developments in the business world.”

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Professor Steve West, President and Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said,

“It is wonderful to see this flagship build fully occupied. But it’s not really about the building, it is about what will happen inside it.

“At UWE Bristol we teach business differently. A UWE education goes beyond getting industry accreditation, important though this is.

“We are harnessing relationships with thousands of businesses across the region, nationally and internationally helping us to shape our courses so that our students develop the skills that are needed to help the economy thrive.”

Donna Whitehead continues,

“Already UWE Bristol students are demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit through our Team Entrepreneur course where a degree is earned by students collaborating in teams to create and run a business over a three year period under the guidance of mentors.

“We foster an enterprise mindset in all our students. Last year Bristol Law School students doing pro bono work gained £1 million in welfare benefits for people wrongly declared fit for work.

“They also advise start-ups and tech businesses though our Business Clinic, which will diversify into digital marketing, finance and tax advice over the next year. This service has been set up in collaboration with Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Ltd and international legal practice Osborne Clarke LLP and is based at the Future Space Centre on Frenchay Campus.

“Activities like these keep us in touch with what is happening in the region and provides students with relevant work and placement opportunities as they interact with business, owners and developers.”

Features of the new building include two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a 300 seat lecture theatre, two Harvard lecture theatres, an incubator for our Team

Entrepreneurs, technology enhanced and flexible learning spaces, IT suites, meeting facilities and parking for business, an external business engagement space, a central social space and a café.

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Key professional organisations will have a base in the new building enabling barristers, accountants, small business owners and start-ups to mix with staff and students in the learning and social areas.

Throughout the building there are flexible workspaces that staff, students and visitors can use.

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See also a 3D-modelled film showcasing the internal design, layout and infrastructure and also a YouTube 360 degree video visualisation of the new building.

Bristol Business School recently achieved the prestigious European programme accreditation (EPAS), placing it in an elite and internationally recognised group of modern Business Schools.