skip to content

Centre for Digital Built Britain

Blog - Trudi Sully from MTC reflects on the Working Together Transforming Construction event

Trudi Sully, Associate Director for Construction and Infrastructure at the Manufacturing Technology Centre reflects on the organisation’s recent Working Together Transforming Construction event that showcased game-changing processes and technologies to transform the future of construction.

There is a real buzz at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry around what the future holds for construction and infrastructure and how we seem to be on the cusp of major changes for modernisation of the industry.

While the MTC has a proven track record in developing new technologies and manufacturing systems for the defence, automotive and aerospace industries, applying and adapting technologies such as automation, robotics and virtual reality to transform the construction industry is a more recent focus.

Since September 2017, the MTC has been working on a collaborative project with the award-winning architects Bryden Wood, to showcase how manufacturing and assembly methods can be used in conjunction with platform architecture to deliver transformative changes to construction and infrastructure. 

The collaboration culminated in a showcase event, Working Together Transforming Construction, hosted by the MTC, that attracted key UK construction and infrastructure industry stakeholders, as well as government officials and academic researchers, who attended to gain insight into the MCT’s cutting-edge work, get up-close to emerging technologies and hear about the shape of future construction manufacturing. 

2018 April MTC Presenations

The day included a number of informative presentations from a range of industry figures, including myself. My presentation highlighted how, as part of the Working Together Transforming Construction programme, MTC is bringing insights from other industries - such as aerospace and automotive – to improve productivity and efficiency in construction. Neil Rawlinson, Strategic Development Director at the MTC, presented an overview of our organisation, the innovations and industry challenges.  Mike Pitts, Head of Urban Systems at Innovate UK, spoke about the Transforming Construction Industry Strategy Challenge Fund programme that supports a digitally driven manufacturing approach to built assets to optimise whole-life performance and improve construction sector productivity

Jaimie Johnston, Architecture Board Director and Head of Global Systems at Bryden Wood reflected on why this is an exciting time to be involved in construction and how the next decade will see a complete transformation of the sector. George Clarke (presenter of Channel 4 television programme, Restoration Man) explained the work of the Ministry Of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE) to inspire and encourage the next generation to take up a career in construction, and Amelia Burnett Head of Engagement at the Centre for Digital Built Britain, spoke about the work of the Centre to deliver a smart digital economy for infrastructure and construction.

2018 April MTC Tour

Alongside the presentations there was an exhibition and tour to see a range of demonstrators prepared by Bryden Wood and the MTC that showcased:

  • a riser design using the platform design approach
  • component handling using robotics and a JCB Hydradig
  • a demonstrator for the technology that can be used in off-site manufacturing
  • a demonstration of on-site sub-assembly using manufacturing and assembly methods

The MTC, Bryden Wood and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) launched two new publications at the event: Platforms: Bridging the gap between construction and manufacturing (Bryden Wood, CDBB) and Transforming Performance and Productivity in the Construction Industry  (MTC). The MTC publication is an output of the Digital Built Britain and Innovate UK funded work on the Prison Estates Transformation Programme and will be followed by a series of handbooks on how to apply manufacturing methods on construction programmes to be published in July this year. 

2018 April Blog MTC school awardThe day culminated with an award being presented to the Nottingham Girls Academy, winners of the MOBIE Home Design Challenge, by George Clarke, who said the 14 year-old winners had “one of the most innovative home designs the MOBIE team had ever come across”. This was a fitting way to end the day showing that, as well as manufacturing technology and smart design thinking, we need to foster talent at an early stage to really change the future.

All of the presentations and publications have been uploaded to the MTC website.