Managing Change in Complex Projects: Configuration Management, Asset Information and Big Data

1 July, 2015 | 13:00 - 14:00

Managing Change in Complex Projects: Configuration Management, Asset Information and Big Data

About this event

This webinar will describe new opportunities and challenges that engineers and managers face in managing change in complex projects as we enter an era of 'big data'. Researchers argue that digital technologies are breaking the mould of 1960s approaches to project management enabling rapid, flexible forms of project organizing.

However, infrastructure providers operate in regulated, safety critical industries and need to establish and maintain integrity in large data-sets.

Find out how Airbus, CERN and Crossrail approach through-life asset information, and why they find 'configuration management' more rather than less important.

Ever wondered how new technologies might be harnessed to ensure the integrity of engineering data?

The webinar will discuss the evolving nature of configuration management and potential use of analytics in managing change on projects.

Topics covered in the webinar:

  • Examples of change management from Airbus, CERN and Crossrail
  • Managing Change in Project Delivery
  • Reuse of information and data linkages in the era of 'big data'
  • Configuration management in Airbus, CERN and Crossrail
  • Managers delivering asset information, as well as assets


Jennifer Whyte, introduced by Simon Murray, with Miles Ashley, TfL Programme Director of Crossrail and Stations for the Questions and Answer segment.

Webinar timeline:

13:00 Introduction from Simon Murray, Chair (5 mins)
13:05 Presentation from Jennifer Whyte, (30 Mins)
13:35 Questions, fielded and presented to Jennifer Whyte and Miles Ashley by Simon Murray (20 mins)
13:55 Wrap up summary, by Simon Murray (5 mins)

Collaboration webinar series

This is the second in a series of events to be held on collaboration. In this series:

  • Lean Construction Management and BIM: How to speed up construction Held on 27 April, 2015, by Patrick Theis, DS Consulting, and Martin Cowell, TfL. [Recording available here, Login username: RecordedLecture (put where the email address is requested), password: recordedlecture]
  • Managing Change in Complex Projects: Configuration Management, Asset Information and Big Data Jennifer Whyte, Wednesday July 1st 1-2pm
  • The role of the owner Graeme Winch Thursday July 9th 1-2pm


Jennifer Whyte

Jennifer Whyte
Jennifer Whyte

Jennifer Whyte is a Professor in Innovation and Design at the School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, UK. She is Shimizu Visiting Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, USA from April-June 2015. Her research is on the delivery of complex projects in the era of 'big data' She has conducted research in Heathrow Terminal 5, London 2012 and Crossrail.

Jennifer leads the Design Innovation Research Centre at the University of Reading. Through the Centre, post-doctoral researchers have worked in the field to understand the capabilities project-based firms need for digital delivery, their visual practices, and how digital information is handed over to and used by the owner-operator; and in the lab to develop new methods for 'Building Safely by Design' and a Mobile Visualization Environment (3D-MOVE). This 3D-MOVE was 'highly commended' by CIOB in the Digital Innovation category.

Jennifer convenes an MSc module on Building Information Modelling (BIM), supervises BSc, MSc, PhD and EngD projects and hosts undergraduates as EPSRC Vacation Bursary and UROP students in the research team. She is a research member of the Infrastructure UK Client Working Group Collaborative Teams Programme, and has conducted pilot work and a run workshop with their industry members, the major infrastructure owners and operators.

She is also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Information Systems Panel (2008- ); Crossrail Building Information Modelling (BIM) Industry Panel (2012- ); Construction Industry Council (CIC) BIM Forum (2012 -) and HS2 BIM External Advisory Group (2014-).

Miles Ashley

Miles Ashley
Miles Ashley

Mr Miles Ashley, Programme Director of Crossrail and Stations, Transport For London

Miles Ashley began his career setting out the centre line of the M25 Motorway in Leatherhead whilst working for Balfour Beatty.

He graduated in Civil Engineering at Kingston, and worked for Lovell Construction across a wide range of projects; eventually managing its business with London Underground and Rail track.

He became MD of Heritage Property Group in 2000 and soon after also joined the board of project manager, Clarson Goff Ltd, as part of a management buy-in.

Today he runs the Crossrail and Stations Capital Programme at London Underground, and including the complex urban projects at Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street, Victoria and Bank stations.

Miles is a member of the Infrastructure UK Infrastructure Client Group and is managing implementation activity on Risk, Contingency and Optimism Bias, as well as being involved in workstreams around Alliancing, Collaborative Project Teams and Industry Transformation.

Simon Murray

Chairman, Geoffrey Osborne, Director, acumen7

Simon Murray
Simon Murray

Simon is a civil engineer specialising in infrastructure development. He has been a senior manager in the aviation and railway industries and the client for several large projects including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. He has a particular interest in modern methods of construction and in improving the industry's performance. Simon is a founder member of acumen7.

Skill detail, track record and services provided

Simon has been a director of an engineering consultancy, on the board of a FTSE-100 infrastructure company and chairman of a privately owned construction company. This experience has given him a rare perspective and deep knowledge of how infrastructure is developed and how the construction industry works.

Since 2001 Simon has been an independent consultant specialising in infrastructure development and modern methods of construction. His clients include Transport for London, Anglian Water and Parsons Brinckerhoff. His work has been in developing viable strategies for companies in the infrastructure sector and in managing organisational change.

Simon developed his passion for improving construction whilst working for John Egan at BAA in the 1990s. Simon led the transformation of BAA's construction programme and the preparations for the construction of Terminal 5. He worked closely with John Egan on the Government's task force on the construction industry and the drafting of Rethinking Construction.

Career details and achievements:

  • Chairman, Geoffrey Osborne Ltd
  • Trustee, Christ's Hospital Foundation
  • Non-executive director, Manchester Airport Developments Ltd
  • Non-executive director, Ascot Authority Holdings Ltd
  • Director Major Projects and Investment, Railtrack Plc
  • MD Group Technical Services, BAA Plc
  • Director, Ove Arup & Partners