In 2012 Alistair was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering ECI Chair and heads up the European Construction Institute.
He joined Loughborough University in 1993, following a career in engineering and project management with John Laing, Taylor Woodrow and Sir Robert McAlpine. Since 1993 he has developed a significant portfolio of funded research projects alongside the management of the sponsored Construction Engineering Management degree. In 2004 he became chair in Construction Engineering Management following achieving his doctorate in construction innovation by the publications route in 2001. Over the last decade, Alistair has won and managed projects valued at more than £10M, funded by UK & overseas governments, charities and industry. Alistair’s work falls primarily into two main areas: occupational safety & health (OSH) and construction innovation.
In OHS, Alistair leads Loughborough’s Construction Health and Safety Research Unit, working closely with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and industrialists, maintaining a leading role in UK, European and international networks in health and safety. His work has made significant impact with commissions from the HSE and USA Government’s NIOSH. He led a team to provide the research for the UK Secretary of State’s inquiry into the underlying causes of construction fatalities. There has been a series of projects on OHS implications for vulnerable workers, covering both ageing and migrant workers.
Since 1995 he has been project director of ECI’s Safety, Health and Environment task force. He has been a member of numerous committees and task groups including the Association for Project Safety (co-opted board member) and the Institution of Civil Engineers H&S expert panel.
Recent projects have included studies on OSH knowledge across large networked organisations and in SME & micro enterprises. His team has recently completed a study into the OSH implications of nanotechnology in construction and demolition.
The latest project is an IOSH-funded, multi-disciplinary, longitudinal study of the implementation of OSH strategy on Tideway, a major infrastructure project in London.
Much of the innovation work has been in offsite production where Alistair was bid author and sole academic partner in the Pii prOSPa Programme and its follow-on ‘buildoffsite
’. The innovation work has expanded to include Freeform Concrete Printing, applying additive manufacturing techniques to construction. The Adaptable Futures integrated project explored extending the life-cycle of the built environment by designing in more adaptability.
Alistair's research has been in close collaboration with industry (a significant feature in his academic career) and many other academics, within the School of Civil & Building Engineering, in other Loughborough schools and from other institutions across the globe. He has successfully supervised 23 PhDs and leads a team of research associates, both Post-Grad and Post-Doc, as well as supervising 6 full time, part time PhD students and EngD Research Engineers. He has been external examiner for 19 PhDs and MPhils and has served on promotion and recruitment panels for senior academics across the world.
Alistair has also developed his academic track record, publishing more than 80 refereed journal papers, more than 190 refereed conference papers authoring and editing more than 20 books, major reports and conference proceedings. He is regularly invited to present keynote papers at both industrial and academia-focussed international and national conferences.