Paul Thorpe


Paul Thorpe
Home / People / Paul Thorpe

Paul is experienced in managing the digital delivery of large scale construction and infrastructure projects across the globe. Paul joined the BIM Academy team on his return to the UK after living and working in Hong Kong for several years.

Paul has specialisms in information management, BIM execution, digital twin development and delivery, and digital transformation. Paul is a Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

With a proven ability to build and lead high performing teams across major projects, Paul brings his experience in developing digital business plans and executing company wide digital strategies to BIM Academy.

How would you summarise your new role at BIM Academy?

My role is to make sure the UK and wider global industry knows about the great offering BIM Academy can provide for clients. BIM Academy have a great pedigree of past projects and uniquely ties together academia future thinking with industry hands on experience. My focus is to ensure that both our existing and new clients are aware of the wide experience and skill we have and help tailor our services to best fit their needs.

What do you believe are the current challenges in our industry, and how can we overcome them?

The construction industry is one of the largest contributors to climate change, there is an urgent need for it to adapt to more sustainable ways of working, to reduce that impact. Coupled with a global housing crisis and new infrastructure requirements of emerging economies leading to the global demand for construction being at an all time high. To solve these challenges new approaches to design, delivery and operation of the built environment will need to be implemented. The adoption of MMC and Digital enablement of projects will be needed to solve these challenges and it is now time for the industry to work on how to implement and achieve those results. I think there has never been a more exciting time for the construction industry.

What added value do you bring to your projects?

I would say my greatest skill has always been in ensuring the complex becomes simple. Any new process to an industry will introduce new terminology and endless new acronyms. I always focus on breaking down the new concepts and relating them back to existing processes in the industry.

What’s going to be the next big thing for the digital built environment?

I think the next major digital change for the industry will be the wide scale adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices across the delivery and operation phase of a built asset. We are already seeing how we interact with the digital world is become more seamless with the rise of the Metaverse for example. With the introduction of 5G networks the foundation has been laid for an always on and always connected world. This improved interaction for a highly complex industry such as construction could start to make a massive impact.

Name any project worldwide you wish you had worked on and explain why.

The WikiHouse project was something I’ve always seen as impressive for its approach to democratise the production of sustainable, low impact housing. The project provides open source, customisable components that can be cut by any simple Computer numerical control (CNC) machine and assembled without any specialist skills or tools. While not a typical construction project in the traditional sense, I think it would have been truly inspirational to be part of the team brainstorming and defining the design principles for this project.