#COMIT 2019 Day 1


Dr. Ravi Margasahayam,

NASA Docent and Ambassador

Keynote 10:00

Success through Failure: The Paradox of Innovation

Innovation involves seeing the unseen, hearing the unheard, and knowing the unknown...


NASA is all about rocket riders taking moon shots on extraordinary missions, projects and programs. From faster air travel, conquest of space, ability to humans to live and work in space, and robotic missions, were all made possible at NASA taking extreme measures of innovation. NASA has had its share of accidents, mishaps, near-misses and total failures. Of significance is on the importance of lessons learned from failures is highlighted to emphasize that fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and risks not taken nor well understood. While the corporate world encourages Innovation, it discourages risky behavior, abhors failures or lessons learned thereof, and seldom addresses impact of fear - probably because it has negative connotations, overtones, weakness, lack of capability or leadership.

Lessons learned from failures is highlighted to emphasize that fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and risks that are always there. Using space exploration analogies and metaphors, this lecture examines the factors that drive innovation, influence creativity, role and impact of fear and how NASA manages silent and hidden risks. He who risks and fails is better than he who decides to do nothing. Everything in the world is unknown until you try. Taking risks and overcoming fear to develop possibilities is the stepping stones of innovation.

Biographical Information:

After his full retirement from NASA, Dr Ravi Margasahayam, supports NASA as a Docent, giving VIP tours and public lectures. He worked at NASA KSC for more than 28 years on the Space Shuttle and the ISS programs. He has supported over 100 rocket launches, sent 700 astronauts to space, and orchestrated 400 payloads to the ISS. Before joining NASA, he embarked on a decade long journey working in such diverse industries as railroads, mining, helicopters and commercial airplanes.

He received NASA's prestigious Silver Snoopy award for exceptional engineering and safety on the space shuttle program. As a VIP tour guide and public speaker, he has provided technical and historic years of KSC to astronaut families, foreign ambassadors, government officials and international visitors. He was dubbed NASA's global goodwill space ambassador by Roy Bridges, astronaut and Center Director. He has traveled to more than 40 countries and 50 universities for invited lectures.

Dr. Ravi has authored more than 60 peer reviewed technical papers internationally and organized the International Congress on Sound and Vibration conference at NASA KSC in 2009 wherein 600 people attended. His photograph standing on NASA's moon pad, Complex 39A, is permanently displayed in the museum built for Space Shuttle Atlantis at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.


Sarah Dorey,

R&D Electrical Test Engineer

Keynote 10:35

Cross-functional Working Defines our Future

Cross-functional working defines our future in our personal career, in a business sense and ultimately in the way in which our world evolves.  As an Engineer in the Automotive sector I need, as opposed to want, diversity.  I don’t just need a cross-functional automotive team, if I’m going to make the impact and change that is demanded of me with the quality and reliability expected by the customer I need a cross-functional engineering team.  Ignoring this stunts growth in me, my business and how my work impacts the world.

Biographical Information:

Sarah has 6 years’ experience working at Nissan as an R&D Electrical Test Engineer. Projects she has worked on include the latest generations of Micra, Leaf and Juke from concept through to production.  She  works on business process analysis to ensure working practices are efficient, reliable and robust.  Her skills are in technical analysis, communication and cross-functional team leadership.  She has worked for the MoD and FCO but trained as a Mechanic in the British Army where she served in Afghanistan.  She took her degree through the Open University which meant she could combine work, being a Mum to 3 children and education all in one go.  She runs ultra-marathons and coaches others in their running experience.


Colin McCreadie,

Managing Director,

PODFather Ltd


Tim Copping,

Tarmac Connect Project Manager, 


Presentation: 11:35

Electronic proof of delivery & vehicle tracking


Maxine Beadle,

BIM Manager, 

Willmott Dixon

Presentation: 11:50

VR to Aid the customers decisions


Mark Peckham,



Presentation: 12:15

Real world Driving Emissions from diesel and petrol vehicles


Jonathan Norman,

Knowledge Manager

Presentation 12:40

Social Technology - Tools and Techniques for Co-creation and Learning Between Project Teams

Digital technology has created new opportunity for learning, sharing and co-creating. Why is this now fundamental for major projects and how can you design and facilitate simple but meaningful virtual events and activities for distributed project teams using technology such as online video conferencing, Zoom, Slack and QUBE?

Biographical Information:

Jonathan Norman manages the Major Projects Knowledge Hub. This involves finding and engaging with individuals, organizations and networks to curate, share and disseminate insight on how we can develop the initiation, delivery and innovation of major projects. Working in the associated Major Projects Community involves building knowledge sharing activities and our understanding of social learning in organizations.


Sarah Fox,

Contract Strategist and Consultant

Presentation 13:05

Digital Contracts - The Emperor's New Clothes?

One-third of UK construction projects start without any contract, and even when the parties sign on the dotted line, those contracts often cause more problems than they solve. Digital contracts can sweep aside existing bad practices relating to contract creation, negotiation and administration, to create tools that are created by and work for the benefit of the industry.

Biographical Information:

Sarah Fox is a lawyer, speaker and author of a series of books on how to write your construction contract in just 500 words. She blogs, vlogs and trains people to stop using jargon, complexity and structure to obfuscate. Having spent over 20 years reading reviewing and negotiating construction contracts which are shoved into a drawer, she believes digital will be the driver of simpler contracts that build trust and avoid disputes.


Richard Bath,


Presentation 14:30

Using Drones to Survey Our Past at HS2 London Sites

CSJV have been utilising drone technology to produce photogrammetry records of entire archaeological sites. These surveys have provided a record of the site conditions and they’ve been crucial in tracking the daily progress of the site teams whilst they excavate 10,000’s of bodies. Richard will cover the development of photogrammetry on site and show how it has been used in place of a traditional survey within the challenging environment of a compact London construction site.

Biographical Information:

Richard has been based at the HS2 Enabling Works South project at Euston station for 2 years, in that time he has been working on developing the drone capabilities and other non standard survey techniques.


George Holder,

Innovation Manager


Presentation 14:55

Making the Most of the Construction Tech Funding Boom

Following numerous reports of the record breaking amounts of money being injected into Construction Tech Startups, I’ll share insights on the recent rise in construction tech funding & what this means for the industry. To include a few select case studies & takeaways for both sides of Startup/Corporate engagement to help the industry take advantage of this huge opportunity

Biographical Information:

An innovation manager at Mace, George works with industry partners to continuously investigate, develop and embed new technology that enables and accelerates digital adoption at Mace. Taking an ecosystems approach to innovation, George is passionate about working with an ever growing number of construction tech start-ups to deliver change in the industry. With prior experience on the Crossrail programme, George understands first-hand what it takes to trial and deploy a variety of novel, construction technology solutions in a construction environment.

Mark Lusher.png

Mark Lusher,

Chief Sewer Rehabilitation Engineer / Project Manager


Presentation 14:55

Kings Scholar Pond - The Bridge in a bottle

In 2010 a major sewer bridge was found to have moved when the supporting structure below subsided. Due to its location a very innovative solution was required to build a new bridge from within the sewer via a single manhole. This required the use of complex design techniques plus tolerances and materials that would not normally be used with this type of infrastructure. While it was possibly only a one off project the methods and system employed on this award winning scheme will undoubtedly have use elsewhere. The discussion will reveal what worked, what didn’t and what would we do differently if we ever did it again.

Biographical Information:

Mark has worked in the waste water and railway sectors for 35 years as a client manager, consultant and contractor so has wide experience of managing projects from all sides of the fence.


Mark is currently working for Thames Waters Eight2o Alliance, as well as for Atkins, providing specialist trenchless sewer rehabilitation advice both in the UK and oversees. He has won eight national and international trenchless technology awards for innovation and innovative projects and specialises on complex, difficult access projects in built up areas.


Andy Givens,

Senior Applications Engineer


Adam Box,

Business Development Manager,


Presentation 15:45

New technologies & Techniques in Remote Surveying

Biographical Information:

Andy is currently working as senior applications engineer on geospatial product for Topcon Positioning Great Briton, providing product support on survey grade positioning technologies and solutions, including total stations, GNSS, 3d Laser scanning, mobile mapping and UAV's, along with associated software packages. He has over 20 years’ experience in the survey industry providing a high level of customer service and training to many companies who require the use of positioning sensors and software.


Andy started his career working in the service centre repairing instruments and then qualified as an electronics engineer with a BEng in electronic engineering and later obtained an MSc in satellite positioning technology from the University of Nottingham. He is passionate about finding workable solutions with both current and future technologies for those people who have a need for it, from single points to photogrammetry, 3D models and all things point cloud related


Fran Rabuck,

Technology/Strategy Research Analyst, Futurist, BIM for FM

Presentation: 16:10

Wizardry - Creating Magical Changes in the full lifecycle of Infrastructure