Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Aurecon names new global managing director

Aurecon, a leading global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, has appointed its chief innovation officer John McGuire as the new global managing director to lead its built environment team worldwide.

While momentum builds in the property and construction sectors to embrace the benefits that digitisation and automation can bring, Aurecon believes the pace of change remains too slow and has made significant alterations to its leadership cohort to address what it’s calling ‘an industry in catch-up mode’.

Under this new arrangement, the company has decided to extend the role of global director of excellence and expertise Dr Kourosh Kayvani to include full responsibility for innovation across the company, said a statement from Aurecon.

McGuire's promotion comes in line with the company strategy to drive transformation across its built environment business, it stated.

On the key changes, Global CEO Giam Swiegers said: "No industry is immune to change and the impacts of digital transformation, but some industries have been faster than others in embracing the benefits that digitisation and automation can bring."

"By comparison, the building industry has been a slow mover and is now feeling both the disruptive impacts of digital, as well as the benefits it can bring for those who embrace it and innovate," he noted.

To date, McGuire has been instrumental in developing and leading the company’s innovation strategy, the result of which saw Aurecon named among the top five most innovative companies for 2017 by the Australian Financial Review.

As an experienced mechanical engineer with a 30-year history in the building space, he has a passion for design, innovation and the built environment and is poised to transform the way Aurecon delivers to its built environment clients.

"The construction industry needs to catch up quickly to such an extent that, in future, buildings will be assembled, not constructed, and likely with minimal human hand. Robotics, autonomous vehicles and cranes, drones or even 3D printing on site will become commonplace," remarked McGuire.

"However, that’s only half the story. For a building itself to be successful and differentiated in a crowded market, it will also need to be customised to each business’ specific needs – and those needs will be defined by disruption," he noted.

"This is what companies and designers are not seeing. We need to make quick advances in digital construction, but at the same time, we also need to focus on the personalisation and customisation that will make the business operating from the building different to their competitor’s," he added.

McGuire pointed out that one of the key differences between a building and a product is that a product is disposable.

"Mass production makes sense because of the product’s short lifespan. The lifespan of a building, however, is 50-100 years or more, meaning the ability to adapt to changing requirements and functions over time is paramount," he noted.

"This paradox is where engineers can play a key role in developing elegant solutions at the nexus of those complex, conflicting parameters,” said McGuire.  

Lauding McGuire for successfully reshaping Aurecon’s innovation culture, Swiegers said: "I am delighted that he will now be at the forefront of transformation of our built environment business as its global managing director."

Swiegers also thanked the departing managing director James Bennett for his contribution to the role over the past two years and his many years of service to Aurecon.

On Kourosh's new role, Swiegers said he had been prolifically awarded for his influence in the industry, most recently winning the John Connell Gold Medal from Engineers Australia – Structural College.

For the last two years he has been playing a pivotal role in mobilising Aurecon’s global pool of leading experts to focus their cultivated skills, deep insight and professional passion towards solving the critical and complex problems of the clients, said the company in its statement.

He will now extend his focus to company-wide innovation and join Swiegers’ executive as managing director – Design, Innovation & Eminence, giving the company’s technical experts a voice at the main table, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

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