Associate Professor in Digital Construction and Project Management

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
£51,034–£59,135 (Grade 9)
23 Sep 2019
End of advertisement period
18 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Location Edinburgh, GB      

Organization Name Institute for Sustainable Building Design      

About Heriot-Watt University          

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team          

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK’s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic, technical and social development and sustainability.  We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges.

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and informatics research and teaching.  Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively.

Heriot-Watt University has been named International University of the Year by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.


The School’s undergraduate teaching on our Edinburgh campus covers civil and structural engineering, architectural engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying, geography, urban studies, interior design and the biology suite.  On our Dubai campus we teach civil & structural engineering, architectural engineering, architecture, construction management, quantity surveying and interior design.  On our Malaysia campus we teach civil engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying and petroleum engineering.  We offer a high-quality educational experience underpinned by practical and laboratory teaching, and informed by contact with professional practice.  Most of our degree programmes hold the appropriate accreditation from the relevant professional body.  This educational philosophy ensures excellent employment prospects for all our graduates.

Programmes of postgraduate study are aligned to the expertise contained in each of our research institutes. Our postgraduate students therefore benefit from state-of-the-art knowledge in their chosen study area.  You can find further information about the School’s postgraduate programmes at https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/postgraduate-programmes.htm


The School is one of the leading research centres in the UK. It has sustained a high reputation for the international standing of its research.

Research within the School is organised into six Institutes:   https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/research.htm

  • Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE)
  • Institute for Sustainable Building Design (ISBD)
  • The Urban Institute (TUI)
  • Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE)
  • Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES)
  • Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE)

All academic staff based on the Edinburgh and Dubai campuses contribute to the research activities of one of our Institutes.

These Institutes support a wide range of research activities of relevance to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society. Institute staff undertake research funded by research councils of UKRI, the European Commission, industry, charitable foundations, local and national government. Research outcomes are published in leading journals and conference of international standing and key findings are widely disseminated through other media and forms of output.

Institute for Sustainable Building Design

The Institute of Sustainable Building Design (ISBD) is recognised internationally for its excellence in architectural and building systems engineering; construction informatics, construction management; and building and interior design. Our team conducts high-value, high-impact research and delivers innovative undergraduate and postgraduate training in a wide range of fields covering sustainability, design and management in the built environment. Particular areas of expertise include building energy systems, acoustics, water and drainage, building simulation, low carbon innovations, construction informatics, building conservation, construction management, circular economy approaches, as well as innovation in built environment education. Our work aims to provide new insights into the current technical, social and management challenges facing the building industry. 

Our research outcomes help with informing policy makers and providing the knowledge and tools required by building professionals. 

ISBD is a leading member of the School’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design that aims to develop and promote multi-disciplinary education for the sustainable built environment.

We are also active members of the Edinburgh Knowledge Exchange Partnership, a strategic research alliance between Heriot-Watt University (EGIS) and the University of Edinburgh (ESALA). The alliance gathers over 60 researchers from Edinburgh’s two largest universities with a breath of expertise across architecture, landscape architecture, planning and the built environment. We undertake multi-disciplinary research to address complex challenges, and collaborate with the world beyond academia, including community groups, schools, industry, practitioners and all levels of government.

Further information can be obtained at: https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/research/isbd.htm

The CPM-QS Team

The successful candidate is expected to join and operate within then CPM and QS team. The team is a mixture of experienced research active or teaching focused construction professionals committed to high quality research and teaching. As a result, the discipline is highly rated in university league tables and research is recognized as world class. 

While the applicant will join the team in Edinburgh, the CPM-QS programmes are delivered on the three main Heriot-Watt University campuses (Edinburgh, Dubai and Malaysia) as well as Online.

Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design

In collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the School is a recognised Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design. This is one of four such Centres established at UK universities that jointly form a national network to develop and exchange best practice in multi-disciplinary teaching for the sustainable built environment.

The aim is to produce undergraduate and postgraduate students in architecture and engineering that can not only demonstrate knowledge and skills within their own discipline, but are also literature about sustainability challenges and the need to take a multidisciplinary approach to shape our cities and towns effectively contribute to a wealthier and fairer, healthier and safer, and ultimately sustainable society.

At Heriot-Watt University, the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design is a collaboration between the Institute for Sustainable Building Design (ISBD), the Institute for Infrastructure and the Environment (IIE) and The Urban Institute (TUI). Our initiatives have included embedding a number of multidisciplinary student projects within our programmes, ranging from week-long intensive (full time) to semester-long collaborative projects.

The institute has growth mindset and passion in digital construction. This led to establishment of  the Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (https://www.hw.ac.uk/research/facilities/centres/smart-construction.htm ) in our Dubai campus. The post holder is expected to develop and support such initiative from our Edinburgh campus, benefiting from taking part in cutting edge research. 

Further information on institute can be obtained at: http://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/research/cesbd.htm

Detailed Description          

We are seeking to appoint a full-time Associate Professor to the Institute of Sustainable Building Design (ISBD) in the School of Energy, Geoscience Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at Heriot-Watt University to support research in Construction Informatics and Construction Project Management, and enhance BSc and MSc programmes of the Construction Project Management (CPM) and Quantity Surveying (QS) discipline.

We want to work with enthusiastic, passionate individuals who are keen to collaborate with others. The post holder will be line-managed by the ISBD Director of Institute and expected to organise teams, help develop research and teaching direction of the institute, and provide vision. Roles at this level will require high levels of forward thinking, enthusiasm and passion. The post holder must possess interpersonal skills, experience, emotional intelligence, and the ability to solve complex problems to meet the current and future needs of the University.

The successful applicant will hold a PhD degree in a construction-related subject, or can demonstrate equivalent experience, and would ideally have valuable industry experience. The candidate will also have expertise and research focus in construction informatics (e.g. BIM, IoT, data science, automation, modelling and simulation) or more generally digital construction and project management, with a respected track record or peer profile in the field.

The successful candidate will be an inspiring collaborator who has the capability to attract external funding, author high-quality publications, develop and organise an independent research team, work collaboratively with institute colleagues as well as other disciplines (internally and externally), and make positive contributions to teaching in the CPM/QS BSc and MSc programmes.

Key duties and responsibilities          

The successful applicant will be expected to make positive and sustainable contributions to the following areas:


  • Develop a vibrant research group consisting of postgraduate students and research associates conducting world-class research in construction informatics; 
  • Actively pursue and lead multi-disciplinary collaborative research funding through the submission of high-quality grant proposals to UKRI and other funders; 
  • Publish research through high-quality journal and conference papers; 
  • Supervise and train MSc and PhD students through individual research projects;


  • Develop and inspire the vision, as well as outstanding operational and logistical support for ISBD’s flagship BSc and MSc programmes in Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying; 
  • Provide high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate teaching through the delivery of lectures, seminars, practical sessions and tutorials on the Edinburgh campus, with independent learners around the globe. We have campuses in Malaysia and Dubai, so it might be necessary to undertake teaching in these locations, typically temporarily in shorter durations. 
  • Design, prepare and develop a range of learning materials appropriate to the subject area in support of teaching, or update and improve existing teaching materials, in collaboration with other CPM-QS teaching staff; 
  • Conduct assessment and moderation across the discipline area, ensuring this is rigorous, fair, clear and undertaken within the policies established by the School and University; 
  • Be responsible for providing effective, well documented and timely feedback, both formative and summative, to students; 
  • Contribute to the organisation, development and quality monitoring of the BSc and MSc programmes in which you are involved in; 
  • Provide effective pastoral support, recognising the varied cultural backgrounds of the student cohort; 

Collaboration and Leadership

  • Represent ISBD with integrity in a professional capacity at national and international conferences, with industrial partners, in professional societies, etc.; 
  • Work with ISBD colleagues on the Dubai and Malaysia campuses to ensure a consistent, effective, and high-quality delivery of the CPM/QS programmes, as well as to develop international collaborative research; 
  • Work with ISBD colleagues to suggest, setup and deliver new successful BSc and MSc programmes; 
  • Work with industry and related external bodies to expand ISBD’s industry-facing networks; 
  • Establish collaborative research and teaching links within and outside the University; 
  • Contribute to service duties for ISBD, EGIS and the University; 
  • Mentor and coach research associates and junior academic colleagues. 

Please note this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve. You will be measured against the essential criteria, not by the key duties and responsibilities.

Education, qualifications and experience          


  • First degree in a cognate discipline;
  • PhD in construction-related field, or can demonstrate equivalent (industry) experience;
  • Demonstrable knowledge, experience, passion and respected track record in construction informatics;
  • A clear personal research focus and ability to develop an independent research team;
  • Demonstrable capability to attract external funding, and a keen sense of emerging industry trends;
  • Ability to develop and support collaborative University bids for research, consultancy and other additional funds, including partnerships with other Schools or institutions;
  • Demonstrable capability to author high-quality publications;
  • Ability to deliver excellent teaching with experience of teaching in a higher education environment;
  • Ability to work in close collaboration with other disciplines (both internally and externally to Heriot-Watt) relevant to the construction industry, and more particularly the CPM and/or QS disciplines;
  • Emotional intelligence, with an excellent collegiate attitude and interpersonal skills;
  • Experience of motivating colleagues, and encouraging innovation and resilience in teams
  • Demonstrably excellent oral and written communication skills.


  • Relevant industrial experience in construction or informatics;
  • Ability to operate at the cross-disciplinary boundaries of construction informatics and related fields;
  • Experience of motivating colleagues, and encouraging innovation and resilience in teams
  • Experience in or enthusiasm for teaching innovation and novel pedagogical approaches, for example in the context of online learning.

How To Apply          

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 18th October 2019.

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Please use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value ofbenefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Minimum Salary 51034      

Maximum Salary 59135      

Currency GBP                  

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