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Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology

Construction Engineering Masters Dissertation Research Directory

CEM student dissertations merge academic rigour with practical industry knowledge to develop an evidence base to support change in industry practice.

Explore dissertation abstracts listed below by topic area. Electronic copies of the full dissertations may be requested via the CEM Administrator. Since 2011, dissertation research has focused on the following key areas:



   Data and digital technologies 



Exploitation of Automation for Large-Scale Rebar Prefabrication: An Investigation of Design and Equipment Factors at Hinkley Point C. Pratt, D (2022)
3D BIM model adoption in Facility Management: An exploratory case study. Chilman, T (2021)
Elementary Digital Twin Construction. Ferreira, H (2021)
Mapping Asset Monitoring to Failure Modes: A New Proposed Infrastructure Risk Management Framework. Seco, M (2021)
Cybersecurity Risk in Healthcare Exploratory Research of Hospital Building Services. Gillin, S (2021)
Material management systems for UK reinforced concrete building frame projects – why are they not being used? Gajjar, K (2020)
Improving construction schedule risk analysis with machine learning. Fitzsimmons, J (2020)
Mobile information communication technology in the construction phase of infrastructure projects: application in practice. Atkinson, E (2020)
Using biofeedback to identify and capture client experiences during the early design evaluation stage. Almagor, A (2020)
Exploring the potential improvement of quality control in the construction industry with the use of digital technology. Staples, C (2019)
Vegetables and vehicles, the value of secondary use data. A cross-sectional correlation case study approach. Rennison, D (2019)
Digital competence for a digital era: A construction design-sector practitioner perspective. Robson, K (2018)
BIM in higher education in the UK and future industry requirement. Redman, J (2018)
An assessment of the potential for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the construction of Large Nuclear Power Plants. Van Aaken, S (2018)
Exploiting music and dance notation to improve visualisation of data in BIM. Broekmaat, M (2018)
The role of digital technology in creating a new ‘smart’ road user charging system that is publicly acceptable. Henry, R (2018)
BIM as a concept to overcome corruption in the CIS region construction industry. Perez, J (2016)
A digital methodology for dimensional inspection of reinforcement cages from point cloud data with the aid of an as-designed BIM model. Thorpe, J (2016)



    DfMA - Offsite manufacturing



Applying the principles of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) to the design of bridge construction projects. Traill, A (2022)
Early Design Decisions for Modern Methods of Construction: How designers at concept stage can set the groundwork for flexible and efficient use of MMC. Stec, M (2021) 
Evolving the Design Process in the House Building Industry using Design for Manufacture and Assembly. Hayward, N (2021)
Productisation in Construction; Identification of Productisation Opportunities. Etherington, J (2021)
People Factors Influencing DfMA Design Integration; A Product or Service? Martin, R (2020)
The value of offsite construction to clients; a building services case study. Plummer, M (2019)
Use of large design for manufacture and assembly concrete components in nuclear construction. Walford, C (2015)
A study into the reasons for varying approaches to the implementation off-site construction in the UK water sector. Hand, S (2014)
Is DfMA Carbon Friendly?. Paul, J (2014)
Manufacturing location decision making: how to know where to go? A proposed decision making framework and case study of the precast concrete buildings market. Kotecha, R (2014)
What is the significance of DfMA adaptive challenges?. Jones, A (2014)
The applicability of off-site manufacturing strategies in the UK housing market. Ince, S (2013)






Study of factors impacting households in fuel poverty in net-zero transition. Ma, Z (2022)
The Demand for Air Source Heat Pumps. Doe, N (2021) 
Understanding lighting energy performance in the contemporary hospital environment. Coey, T (2018)
Megawatts to Negawatts: the barriers to unlocking a pull market for demand side response in the UK. Claase, R (2017)
The public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing in County Leitrim. Dolan, E (2015)
Lessons learned from the construction of Flamanville nuclear power station and how they will influence the construction of Hinkley Point C. Mc Nulty, A (2014)
The European Supergrid - Blue sky to reality: Lessons learned from current market developments. McInstray, C (2013)



   Finance and investment



The Sharing Economy and Civil Plant Utilization. Chubb, B (2021) 
Investigating Cost Performance of Transport Infrastructure Delivery. Henderson, J (2020)
The TCPI; a valuable tool for Portfolio Managers or just another metric?. Knights, M (2018)
British buildings made in China – the Future?. Cassidy, D (2016)
Private investment in baseload power generation; what experience can South Africa gain from the UK. Lazar, J (2014)
Risk perception and funding of large scale construction projects. Larcey, P (2014)
Analysis of the bidding costs of a global construction company when tendering construction projects. Hannah, J (2013)
Construction cost differential between infrastructure projects. Kelly, S (2013)
Renewable energy: enabling private sector investment. Northwood, C (2013)



   Health and safety



Exploring the role of ground investigation in managing ground risk on infrastructure projects. Bennett, C (2021)
To what extent do correlations exist between quality defects and health and safety incidents. O’Shea, F (2021)
An exploratory study into construction employees’ perceptions on empowerment associated with a Health & Safety initiative. Wright, G (2020)
The Application of Complexity Theory to Address Safety Critical Design Errors in Precast Manufacturing Enterprises. Knight, S (2020)
An investigation into the management and communication of health and safety risk to site operatives on a UK construction project. Triggs, H (2017)
Perception of risk during lifting operations. Bradley, T (2017)
Safety performance implication of construction using offsite manufactured products: a study of risk perception and behaviour. Pike, M (2016)
A post games review of health and safety knowledge transfer from the London 2012 Olympics. O’Brien, J (2015)
Does the UK construction industry need to develop a plan for the future of temporary works?. Cooke, N (2015)
Eyes in the top of your head? (Measuring the risk and impact of glass falling from a building due to spontaneous breakage). Wilkinson, M (2015)
How is construction health and safety considered upstream of the construction stage?. Wilkinson, K (2015)
Leading indicators of oil and gas construction safety. Salas, R (2015)
Risk management: is a risk register an efficient tool for managing risk in construction projects?. Key, R (2013)






An examination of the site factors which affect modular housing delivery - A UK perspective. A mixed method approach. Tucker, S (2021)
Housing as a platform. Design and implementation of a generative housing design tool for the mass customisation of housing. Lloyd, K (2017)
The impact of deregulating the water sector on household water demand. Raute, S (2017)
The future role of the SME sector in housing supply: a study of the housing market in England. Davis, G (2016)






The climate for innovation in the construction industry: a construction context for West’s 4-factor model. Higginson, R (2021)
Unlocking Engineering Design Team Innovation in Construction. Morris, A (2020)
Barriers to innovation in the UK construction industry. A case study of exoskeletons to boost productivity in the specialised trades. Allan, B (2019)
Innovation capability of the UK infrastructure sector supply chain. Dunne, S (2019)
Mind the gap: enabling creativity and innovation in public-sector infrastructure design. Hall, K (2018)
Magnesium oxide as a solution to aesthetical cracks in precast concrete. Muff, P (2015)
3D printing – A viable construction aid?. Tomkins, R (2014)



   Legal and contracts



The effect of CDM arrangements on the delivery of Major UK Infrastructure Projects. Prince, K (2023)
Conflict, Cost, Construction: Are Clients and Main Contractors Destined for Conflict from the Outset? Lee, J (2023)
Legal challenges and public procurement in construction in Northern Ireland. Mitchell, M (2022)
Improving the reliability of expert evidence in construction litigation. Whaley, A (2022)
The Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Construction Industry: Case Studies in Hong Kong. Yeung, M (2022)
Contracts for megaprojects; do we need to change for success? Croughton, J (2021)
An unenforceable award (Why Construction Sector Adjudication Awards of England & Wales, including those
utilising the Statutory Right under ‘The Construction Act 1996’, are Deemed Unenforceable)
. Charlesworth, W (2021)
Gaining a social licence to operate: an enquiry in the Australian natural gas industry. Horton, A (2017)
What causes construction litigation?. Shaw, D (2015)
Can BIM level 3 operate within multiple bipartite contracts, or is a move to multiparty contracting essential?. Ladwa, K (2014)




  Performance, productivity, construction and design process



Exploring the formal communication trends and efficiency on delayed largescale projects. A retrospective analysis on three projects in Saudi Arabia. Elahi, A (2023) 
Improving the quality of as-planned programmes for effective project control. Kathivaran, V (2023)
The integration of facilities management specialists in the design process to enhance operation and maintenance. Sharif, B (2022)
Tower Cranes – Telematic Data Analysis to Unlock Their Full Potential in the Modern Era of Construction. Canty, M (2022) 
Project Outcome Prediction Using Machine Learning. Hunston, E (2022)
Understanding the barriers that hinder knowledge sharing in the offshoring of infrastructure projects – A consultant’s perspective. Khor, J (2022)
The Relationship between Productivity, Scheduling, and Data Analytics. Killerby-Smith, S (2022)
What active measures are adopted to effectively manage defects and rework in UK construction projects? Monaghan, R (2022)
The Client’s Problem Space, Construction, and Artificial Intelligence. Pirila, S (2021)
Productivity in construction; to what extent can a focus on Construction SMEs transform industry productivity? Condon, O (2021)

Optimising the design and management of falsework and formwork to increase productivity and cost certainty. Westwell, C (2021)

What Role may Drawing and 2D Representation Play in a Digital Future?. Thomas, M (2021)
An investigation into the relationship between schedule quality and project success in the UK construction industry. Stott, D (2021)
A Quantitative Study of Building Shm Data Using Reliability and Bayesian Analyses to Improve Design Efficiency. Smith, B (2021)
Exploration of the building design process and design documentation errors in a large architectural organisation. Ng, T (2021)
An exploration of the causes of delays in the detailed design of multi-disciplinary bridge projects. Stacy, M (2021)
Digital technologies effect on labour productivity in reinforced concrete frame building construction. McGeeney, M (2021)
How Changes in the Construction Industry are Impacting on a Consultancy Business Model. Kenyon, C (2021)
Considering Constructability in the Design Process: A Review of Current Practice within the UK Construction Industry. Nolan, P (2020)
Quality in the construction industry: Do frontline delivery staff enhance the possibility of project success. Farden, S (2020)
Construction productivity and its relationship to construction type, employment type and health and safety. Chawla, J (2020)
Understanding how 3D vs 2D design information influences skilled operatives' productivity through a series of field trials. Corlett, B (2019)
Effective reporting of rework in the UK construction industry. Connolly, S (2017)
Beyond design & build: use of a finance, design & construct model in the UK construction market. McFarland, G (2017)
Benchmarking empirical methods of prediction of ground movement for deep excavations. Bologna, P (2017)
From “Master Builder” to having the “Right Stuff” – Can the use of checklists help construction follow aviation and medicine into the era of discipline?. Adoniadis, M (2017)
Co-located design teams for major infrastructure projects in the UK:  An investigation into industry perceptions of current practice. Finnegan, S (2016)
Knowledge based construction: Creating a scalable and flexible production model. Mundle, C (2016)
Quantifying the opportunity to reduce material use in insitu reinforced concrete frames. Forster, P (2016)
Onsite design; can the UK improve communication between design and construction teams?. Edwards, M (2015)
Building performance and big data – A triangulated approach to continuous improvement in operation. Walters, D (2015)
Maritime infrastructure - ‘asleep at the helm’. Will the maritime infrastructure asset of small to medium sized ports in the south west of England meet the demand for the next 50 – 100 years?. Littlejohn, A (2014)
An investigation into the factors behind the adoption of Topdown Construction. Lankshear, R (2013)
Do existing rules for designing gusset-connected struts assure conservative design? Does the construction industry learn effectively from structural safety failures?. Gradwell, J (2013)
Can we lose a one horse race? Selecting a principal contractor by negotiation to improve construction project performance. Staehr, M (2013)



   Procurement and collaboration  



The horse, the jockey and the trainer: What makes a successful ConTech venture? Torttila, K (2023)
How does Project 13 influence behaviours in the construction industry? Examining its practical application with an early adopter, Anglian Water. Lucey, P (2022)
Alliances as learning vehicles: how inter-firm learning enables partnership evolution. Evans, M (2021)
Public-private collaboration to address ‘last mile’ connectivity to ports in the UK. Arteijo Lopez, P (2021)
Collaboration within Engineering Design Teams. Stonehill, H (2020)
Understanding Collaboration effectiveness and its links to digitisation in the Construction Industry. Rice-Jones, J (2020)
Procurement methods and contractor competitions: a catalyst for construction industry change. Hayley, T (2020)
Exploration of conflicting supply chain objectives. Hale, S (2020)
Do partnering contracts deliver on their promises? A review of partnering versus traditional project outcomes in the UK construction industry. Ernest, A (2020)
Collaboration: the elusive ideal. Exploring the drivers and barriers to the use of collaborative contracts and collaborative approaches in the UK social infrastructure domain. Crea, M (2019)
Marriage counselling for the construction industry: what is subverting our aims to be more collaborative in the construction industry?. Pryor, J (2019)
Collaboration and interdependency: exploring the relationship between designers and contractors. Villa, A (2017)
Do collaborative approaches to procurement lead to improved project outcomes?. Mawbey, E (2017)
Early contractor involvement in the UK construction industry: a study of participant experiences and the implications for the future. Considine, C (2017)
Selection of engineer, procure, construct (EPC) contracts for energy infrastructure using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). Green, R (2017)
Competitive strategies for international construction. Case of UK transnational contractors in the Singapore rail sector. Ramos Sabug, B J (2016)
Project cost impact of a hybrid Design-Build / Design-Bid-Build contractual scheme. Brihac, A (2014)
Shattering behavioural barriers to enable more successful outcomes for all within major infrastructure delivery. Tarrant, P (2014)
The buying game - Managing risk and opportunity during the procurement stage on large scale infrastructure projects. Beckwith, A (2014)
Improving collaborative working in construction to enable projects to be delivered successfully. Ahmed, A (2013)
The feasibility of Government soft landings in the English healthcare sector by 2016 – An industry perspective. O’Reilly, A (2013)



   Skills, EDI, workplace and education



Re-organising in a changing world: Planning for emergence. Palmer, J (2023)
Managing decision dependencies to improve design process efficiency in nuclear construction projects: a case study on precast module design. Lie, KM (2022)
How was it for you? A case study of construction office workers’ experience of working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jin, S (2021) 
Digitisation: A review into the effect of leadership on culture and data driven procurement teams in UK Main Contractors. Gosney, A (2021)
Barriers to progression for Black women in the UK construction industry. Westmaas, N (2021)
Multiskilling in the UK Construction Industry. Morrison, C (2021)
Exploring the teaching of structural failure cases to civil engineering students in Australia. Kwan, Cheuk Hei (Billy) (2020)
The Status of Job Quality and Wellbeing in the Engineering Consultancy Sector. James, P (2020)
The marginal status of the CAD/BIM technician: a case study in an engineering consultancy. Hennessy, P (2020)
Engagement and motivation within a construction workforce. Auld, R (2020)
The comparison of learning curves in different methods of construction. Dowling, M (2019)
The future of the bridge designer profession. How the profession may change in the next 15 to 20 years in the era of automation and artificial intelligence. Tabet, L (2019)
Virtual teams: Effective leadership attributes for project managers. Walker, J (2019)
Equality, diversity and inclusion in construction: Exploring the effectiveness of change programmes in shifting the industry’s culture from the LGBT+ perspective. Sieledczyk, K (2018)
The status of job quality in UK construction; an analysis of the sixth European working conditions survey. Craig, L (2018)
The susceptibility of Structural Engineering to automation and its potential implications for the future of the profession. Patalia, R (2018)
Power relations of corporate and personal branding: insights from managers and collaborators in a professional service firm. Henley, S (2017)
Are we bridging the gender gap? Retention, career progression and gender in the UK construction industry. Hillman, K (2017)
Distributed leadership as a model for high performance within the construction industry. Mosey, G (2017)
The skills and attributes of managers and executives in the UK construction industry. Mananghaya, S (2017)
The effect of increasing autonomy on wellbeing in a highly constrained construction environment. Vezey, J (2016)
Investigating the relevance of management and leadership training for construction site supervisors. Cutler, N (2016)
Reinventing the wheel? How knowledge transfer can benefit the delivery of major infrastructure projects. Pritchard, A (2016)
Understanding workforce motivational factors to incentivise improved productivity in pre-cast concrete construction. Mullens, T (2016)






Reducing embedded carbon during the construction phase of infrastructure projects. Day, P (2022)
Embodied carbon forecasting: A methodology for harnessing cost data to improve decision making. Lewin, B (2022)
Structural Frame Lifecycle Assessment: Bramley Moore Dock Stadium. Townsley, B (2022)  
Accelerating the Pace of Infrastructure Solutions to Climate Change in Defence. Hayakawa, M (2021) 
Understanding the perceived barriers to BIM use for the measurement of embodied carbon. A mixed-methods approach. Ganju, N (2021)
Unexploited embodied carbon in a net-zero built environment: exploring the potential of embodied carbon of existing buildings using the Delphi method. Donachy, C (2021)
The Journey to NET ZERO - the Case of Airports. Corte, G (2021) 
Achieving a net-zero city: An exploratory case study into technical barriers. Wilkie, P (2021)
The relationship between environmental commitments and environmental performance indicators in construction projects - a case study approach. Bernal, C (2021)
Factors preventing engineers from implementing the sustainable development goals on UK infrastructure projects. Stewart, A (2020)
A comparison of the embodied carbon of prefabricated bathroom pods and site-built bathrooms. Burvill, J (2019)
Bringing eco-innovations into service: the challenges in adopting waterless urinals in the commercial sector. Chang, J (2019)
Organisational citizenship behaviours directed towards the environment (OCBE): a model for main contractors in the construction industry. Stearn, A (2018)
Feeling the Heat?: the design of precast concrete facades to meet UK energy efficiency requirements. Banks, M (2016)
Embodied water of construction materials - The next footprint to be made?. Fentiman, J (2014)
The effectiveness of smart metering and feedback systems at encouraging occupants to reduce energy consumption. Chizari, H (2014)
Assessment of the potential for structural steel reuse in the UK construction industry. Vukotic, L (2013)
The urban lung - identifying today's barriers for green roofs in London. De Villiers, J-P (2013)