Research and expertise
I am a civil engineer and construction manager with over 40 years of experience in engineering research and practice. My research interests are broad and I have published over 180 refereed publications and supervised 40 PhD students in the areas of construction management/ construction IT ( now commonly referred to as “digital construction”). Much of my early research was on developing applications for contractors’ management functions: estimating; planning; and cost control. Later my work revolved around data capture – using bar coding, RFID tags, and wearable computers and the data standards that were necessary to achieve “data integration”. This issue of standards remains an interest as the industry embraces BIM technologies. The integration of BIM with the developing areas of off-site construction and automation, and the impact of digital technologies on the construction supply-chain are my current areas of interest.
Current research activity
- The application of model-based systems engineering requirements to a BIM centric virtual railway network ( EngD project; researcher Joseph Murphy)
- Embedding circular economy in the Building Sector ( PhD project; researcher Katherine Adams)
Recently completed research projects
- Becoming Collaborative ( EngD project; researcher Eloise Grove)
- Grove, E, Dainty, A, Thomson, D, Thorpe, A(2018) Becoming collaborative: a study of intra-organisational relational dynamics, Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, 23(1), pp.6-23, ISSN: 1366-4387. DOI: 10.1108/JFMPC-06-2017-0018.
- Adams, K, Osmani, M, Thorpe, A, Thornback, J (2017) Circular economy in construction: current awareness, challenges and enablers, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Waste and Resource Management, 170(1), pp.15-24, ISSN: 1747-6526. DOI: 10.1680/jwarm.16.00011.
- Adamu, ZA and Thorpe, T(2016) How universities are teaching bim: A review and case study from the UK, Journal of Information Technology in Construction, 21, pp.119-139, ISSN: 1874-4753
I contribute to learning and teaching activities across the Schools programmes including:
- CVB041 – Construction Plant and equipment
- CVB030 – Construction Organisation and Management
- CEM Part C year tutor
Having worked at Loughborough University for over 40 years there are few roles which I have not undertaken at some time or other. From 2003 to 2017 I was Dean of the School and was able to oversee a major expansion of our activities and facilities, which continues today.
- Institution of Civil Engineers
- Chartered Institue Of Building
- British Computer Society
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- Recipient of the 2015 William Kemp award from the ICE
- Member of REF panel C13
- Member of REF panel for Hong Kong
My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including: