New digital chiefs for top contractors

VolkerWessels UK has appointed Simon White (above right) as its chief digital officer, as the company moves to embrace the digital transformation in construction.

It comes as Felipe Manzatucci (above left) has been appointed director of digitalisation at Skanska. He fills the role vacated by innovation director Sam Stacey, who departed last month for a position with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Manzatucci will take over Stacey’s responsibilities, with the goal of boosting Skanska productivity in the UK through adoption of new technology.

He will be responsible for the implementation of the contractor’s digitalisation strategy, application of digital processes and tools, plus the deployment of specialist knowledge throughout the business.

Manzatucci was previously an operations manager with Skanska, where he has worked since joining the firm as a graduate design engineer in 2006.

Stacey is leading UKRI’s Transforming Construction Challenge, a £170m research and innovation fund, which aims to identify innovative new construction processes and techniques.

Meanwhile Simon White has been tasked with accelerating the company’s digital programme through exploration of the opportunities offered by emerging technology. He was previously digital director at Atkins Infrastructure UK.

White said: “Technologies ranging from automated plant and machinery, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, through to next level BIM systems, reality capturing, data visualisation, and virtual and augmented reality all have applications which can help move our industry to the next level, and at VolkerWessels UK we intend to merge our digital, innovation and construction expertise to benefit our business and our clients.”

Alan Robertson, chief executive at VolkerWessels UK, added: “We believe that we must act now and lead our industry into a new digital revolution that will fundamentally alter and improve the way we work. 

“By harnessing the power of data and technology, and combining this with our own skills as a leading contractor, we can take advantage of unlimited possibilities for new ways of connecting our people and our clients, and sharing knowledge.”

VolkerWessels UK’s parent company in the Netherlands (Royal VolkerWessels) last year launched DigiBase, a centre for digital construction, focused on cutting-edge knowledge and applications, including BIM systems, IoT, GIS, reality capturing, and virtual and augmented reality.

VolkerWessels UK is also creating innovation and digital transformation spaces in its key offices and intends to work with its DigiBase colleagues in the Netherlands to accelerate technology awareness and adoption in 2019.

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