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Tony Burke and Rob Garvey

Tony Burke and Rob Garvey

Premier Award Winner 2016
The First Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Digital Construction

Research Abstract

The construction industry is one of the last industries to be influenced by the digital revolution and everyone from architects through to the suppliers involved in production, and facilities managers engaged with operating the built assets, will be affected.  Raising awareness and educating the industry about digital construction represents a significant challenge for the industry and for educators. It is estimated that there are more than 3 million people engaged within the architecture, engineering and construction sector in the UK alone.


The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Digital Construction ran over a five-week period in June and July 2016. It was open to anyone, free of charge and was completed entirely online. The objective was to create an experience that would have wide appeal to anyone engaged in construction. The emphasis was on understanding the benefits, drivers and enablers of a digital working environment and on recognising how the University of Westminster can equip itself to participate in digital construction. 


The MOOC attracted over 1000 participants worldwide. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and indicates that the flexible approach to learning was appreciated, and also that the content challenged participants to consider what digital construction means.

Winner's Bios

Tony Burke

University of Westminster

Tony is a Principal Lecturer and University Teaching Fellow at the University of Westminster. As Programme Leader for the Undergraduate Construction Studies Programme for over ten years, he was responsible for a large suite of professionally accredited degree courses, including construction management, quantity surveying and building surveying. He then led a university-wide project to transform learning and teaching practices across the institution. The outputs from this project have provided the basis for the University’s new Centre for Teaching Innovation. Tony is an enthusiastic advocate for the effective use of learning technologies in higher education.

Rob Garvey

University of Westminster

Rob is a Senior Lecturer and University Teaching Fellow at the University of Westminster.  Teaching on the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Department of Property and Construction, Rob is responsible for the Faculty’s MSc in Building Information Management as well as ensuring that BIM is embedded within the Faculty’s curriculum. Rob is on the Leadership Group for the UK BIM Alliance; Chair of the London BIM Region and Core Team Member of BIM4SME. In addition, he is also part of the UK Government Trial Projects Working Group for procurement.  He is working towards a doctorate investigating the influence of government policy in the adoption of BIM.

Fred Mills

The B1M

Fred is co-founder of The B1M, the world’s leading video channel for construction. Having worked with two of the UK’s leading main contractors, Fred initially established The B1M to help educate and upskill the construction industry on BIM. The B1M’s award winning “BIM for Beginners” series has gone on to be used by organisations and project teams across six continents and is deeply embedded within HS2’s BIM Upskilling Portal. The B1M now cover a broad range of construction topics sharing documentaries, interviews, live streams and explanatory videos every week. Their content is watched in 144 countries by over 110,000 people a month. Fred’s passion is to inspire a better construction industry through engaging video content.


Judge's comments

“This innovation is a practical, online course which has generated significant interest and enthusiasm in digital construction - at a time when the industry is required to modernise and fully embrace the opportunities for digital construction and technology. This innovation is timely and cleverly demonstrates the value of utilising social media, video and other on-line content to conceive, develop and deliver educational needs at a pace that matches the rate of change in the industry.”