Teesside University is set to expand its research workforce after a professor was awarded a $900,000 (£587,000) grant to lead analysis into construction processes which could save the Qatari economy billions of dollars.
Professor Nashwan Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem have been given the grant from the Qatar Foundation under the Qatar National Research Fund, to fund research work into Building Information Modelling (BIM) and how it can be used to improve construction processes in the Middle East state.
The research will be a partnership between Teesside and Qatar universities with 60% of the funding being spent in the gulf state and the remaining 40% – ï¿½234,000 – being spent in Middlesbrough, and the money being used to employ several researchers in the three-year project.
Professor Dawood’s Centre for Construction Research and Innovation at Teesside University is leading the field in BIM which uses a whole life cycle approach to information flow integrated to 3D visualisation to track the cost, time, use of materials and execution space utilisation of building projects.
His team has collaborated on projects all over the world to rehearse builds on major projects including bridges and gas rigs.
By analysing where problems and delays may occur before construction has even started, Professor Dawood said BIM can cut the cost of building projects by up to 10%, potentially saving billions of dollars in Qatar which is predicted to spend $100bn (£64.4bn) on construction over the next 10 years, including on stadia for the 2022 Football World Cup.
The grant has been awarded as part of the Qatar National Priorities Research Program which is the flagship funding programme of the National Research Fund.
Professor Dawood: “There is a lot of international competition for grants for research in this particular area. Qatar only works with elite institutions and this proves that the work that we are doing is internationally recognised. “We’ve got some major partners signed up to collaborate with us on this.