BIM Academy boosts leadership team

A successful joint venture between academia and industry, created as a centre of excellence for Building Information Modelling (BIM) has appointed a highly respected construction industry figure to its leadership team.

John Lorimer, formerly capital programme director for Manchester City Council and founding member of the government BIM steering group joins as chair of BIM Academy. BIM Academy was founded by Northumbria University and Ryder Architecture in 2010 to support industry through research, development, education and consultancy in BIM’s digital design process and manipulation of smart data.

In his role at the council until 2012, John led the procurement, management and delivery of the council’s £300million pa capital programme including the major redevelopment of Manchester Town Hall and Library and the £500million Building Schools for the Future programme, as well as major new build and refurbishment housing programmes.

John’s leadership in introducing BIM into the industry began in 2004 and he currently plays a prominent role in the government BIS BIM steering group, of which he was a founder member. Prior to his career at Manchester, John spent 30 years as a chartered engineer and contractor on a diverse range of projects in the UK, Hong Kong, China and Germany. He has been an operations director for major construction companies, led a joint venture with BAE Systems and negotiated one of the first partnering contracts with the UK Highways Agency. John is currently local government liaison officer for the government’s BIM task group and member of the Construction Industry Training Board.

BIM Academy has built a reputation for authoritative and impartial strategic advice and project implementation for clients such as Quintain, NBS, Newcastle and Cambridge Universities and Berkeley Homes (Capital), as well as clients in Hong Kong and the Middle East. The construction industry’s growing realisation of BIM’s significant business benefits, combined with the UK government mandate, has led to a surge in demand for its impartial service. Other achievements include supporting talented graduates develop their skills before moving into industry roles with the likes of FIFA World Cup 2022, Laing O’Rourke, RTKL and Turner and Townsend.

Peter Barker, BIM Academy managing director, said:

“We’re delighted to have such an experienced and respected figure as John in our team. He has been a passionate and highly articulate advocate of BIM as a force for positive change in the industry. His pragmatic and common sense approach will significantly strengthen our capability to support industry both in the UK and internationally.”

Professor David Greenwood, BIM Academy board director, added:

“There is a growing skills gap in the sector which we as a university are addressing and BIM Academy is a big part of our initiative. We’re pleased to welcome John to this senior leadership role as it will strengthen our ability to guide organisations on the road to BIM adoption.”