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Personal profile

Biography

Dr. Alavi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering at Northumbria University. Prior to joining Northumbria University, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Construction Simulation research group at the University of Alberta. Dr. Alavi earned his PhD in Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Alberta in 2016, where he received two prestigious academic awards in 2013 and 2014.

Dr. Alavi’s previous work and research has often involved engaging closely with industry leaders in the construction engineering and management field. Spending five years working as a project management consultant with SMA Consulting in Edmonton, Canada, he had the opportunity to lend his expertise to a number of significant infrastructure projects, including LRT, tunnel, and drainage projects. Among his most notable contributions was his work as a project analyst on the Management Support Team for the Valley Line Southeast LRT and Valley Line West LRT, Edmonton’s largest infrastructure projects to date.

As an academic, Dr. Alavi’s research interests lie in resilient, sustainable and smart infrastructure and cities, simulation-based digital twin, Building Information Modelling (BIM), and artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics for construction automation. He has published his research in, and acted as an award-winning reviewer for, highly respected publications such as American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) journals and Automation in Construction.

The selected current research projects are:

  • Robot simulation for construction automation
  • A framework for site layout planning using BIM & Simulation
  • Real-time analytics and visualisation of construction safety data generated through a custom H&S auditing application
  • Evaluation of construction industry preparedness for business interruptions

Rather than keeping his industry and scholarly practices separate, Dr. Alavi values applying academic knowledge and advanced technologies to real projects. These have included using simulation for tunnel construction planning, productivity improvements, and equipment maintenance enhancement, as well as developing an AI-based tool to estimate bridge construction costs for the City of Edmonton. For one of his most noteworthy projects, he developed a custom simulation model to run a failure and reliability analysis of the heating system at Edmonton International Airport. This inventive method earned the project two awards at the 2018 Consulting Engineers of Alberta Showcase Gala.

Dr. Alavi continues to have a strong interest in partnering with industry leaders to find practical and innovative solutions to issues in the field of construction engineering and management. If you are interested in collaborating with Dr. Alavi, you are encouraged to reach out to him at reza.alavi@northumbria.ac.uk. 

Research interests

  • Resilient, sustainable, and smart infrastructure
  • Simulation-based digital twin
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Applied artificial intelligence in construction project management

Education/Academic qualification

Construction Managment, PhD, University of Alberta

… → 2016

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