Systems integration in digitally enabled modular building: Capacity Building in the Nottingham-Derby-Sheffield Region Royal Academy of Engineering – Regional Engagement Award

Opportunity and Value: Supply Chains and SMEs in Modular Construction webinar – Summary of the Day 

We held our webinar, Opportunity and Value: Supply Chains and SMEs in Modular Construction last Wednesday 4 November 2020. The event was very successful. Thank you to the speakers and attendees for making such an engaging conversation possible. We had a very varied and international audience with attendees coming from industry, academia, and policy-making bodies. We were extremely fortunate to have a very distinguished group of speakers who explored the challenges SMEs in supply chains face at this juncture, and what is needed to engender new possibilities to create opportunity and value. To read a full report on the day click here.


Opportunity and Value: Supply Chains and SMEs in Modular Construction 

Are you an SME? Do you work in construction? Would you like to hear about opportunities to create value? Then, our event is for you! As part of the project’s multi-pronged approach to tailoring effective tools for SMEs, we are holding a highly relevant webinar on 4 November 2020, from 16:00 to 17:30. The webinar will tackle topics such as supply chains, opportunities, skills, and how large companies work with, and integrate, SMEs in their supply network. Through a mix of academic reflection, industry and policy insights, we will look at how we think about supply chains, particularly in relation to immediate challenges facing regional SMEs, with a focus on improving their capabilities for modular building. The webinar is co-sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, Laing O’Rourke, the AMRC, and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. For more details and to register click here. If you have any questions, contact Jeni Giambona.


Systems Engineering for Prototyping Modular Construction Systems Checklists

These checklists are part of a more comprehensive Toolkit developed by the Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation (CSEI) at Imperial College London as part of the Impact award associated with the Royal Academy of Engineering and Laing O’Rourke Chair in Systems Integration. The Toolkit is work in progress and aims to provide Systems Engineering principles, tools and pointers for developing configurable product platforms for Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) in infrastructure. In particular, we focus on teams who are working across projects prototyping components for DfMA.

  • Checklist for modelling systems and identifying systems issues

This checklist is work in progress. To access it, click on the link below

SE for Prototyping Modular Construction Systems 

  • Prototyping – identification of roles and responsibilities, review stages, interface risk managemen

This checklist is work in progress. To access it, click on the link below

Prototyping – Identify and Manage

Comments and feedback on both checklists are welcome. Email us on

The framework on which the checklists are based can be viewed here SE toolkit_v.2.0.0. Like the checklists, the framework itself is work in progress. Feel free to contact us with comments and feedback.

Follow us on Twitter @CSEI_Imperial


Research Chair

This project is aligned with Professor Jennifer Whyte’s Royal Academy of Engineering and Laing O’Rourke Chair in Systems Integration. The focus of the Chair is on developing new technologies and methods that will form the basis for a new generation of tools and techniques. Specifically:

1. Consolidate disparate but related systems techniques proliferating in different engineering disciplines into a form that moves forward systems integration management with a focus on infrastructure applications;
2. Improve integration of system requirements and performance criteria, systems assessments, change control, work control and documentation control in a heavily digitised, geographically dispersed working environment;
3. Develop assisting technologies and processes for the commissioning, acceptance and handover of large complex projects;
4. Outreach of modern systems engineering principles to the engineering profession.

For more information on the outcomes of the Research Chair click here, or email Prof. Whyte, putting “System Integration Research” in the subject line.


Impact Award Project goals

The goal is to gain impact from our research to benefit local economies in the region bounded by Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield by improving capabilities for the systems integration in digitally enabled modular building through the construction supply base. This is a leading UK region for innovation in the delivery of modular buildings, with good transport links and a strong manufacturing base.

Objectives include:

  • Tailoring emerging tools and processes for systems integration to the SMEs in this regional supply chain; and
  • Disseminating best practice on the use of tools for systems engineering in infrastructure, drawing on recent research and developments in the international research community.

Supporting the Construction Leadership Council strategy of restart, reset and reinvent, this work is particularly timely. There is significant potential to support economic recovery by up-skilling the supply-base.

We are working with key stakeholders in the region – Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park; Rolls Royce; the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC); the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and East Midland Chambers as well as local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

For more information on what we are doing or to get involved click here.