Dr Chris Millard

Technical Director, Manufacturing
Laing O’Rourke

Laing O’Rourke is the UK’s leading innovator in construction. Over the past 10 years, Laing O’Rourke has both invested in and developed a differentiating ‘Design for Manufacture and Assembly’ (DfMA) approach to construction and infrastructure.  This methodology is applied to ensure that the right choices are made to take construction from a site to a manufacturing environment, and additionally to make sure that products manufactured are designed to enable  efficient manufacture and safe, straight-forward site assembly.  This approach drives a number of benefits including improvements in safety, quality, and the certainty of cost and programme.

This is underpinned by a substantial investment in digital engineering and the use of digital tools and technologies.  This paper will outline how leading edge digitally based design and manufacturing technologies are being developed within Laing O’Rourke in design, manufacture and construction to maintain it’s leadership of the sector.

Bio: Dr Chris Millard, FICE, ACGI 
Chris joined Laing O’Rourke in January 2016 to lead the company’s Engineering Excellence Group (EnEx.G);  a team of leading construction industry experts across architectural, design and engineering disciplines, focused on the development of technology and solutions that drive the DfMA agenda – creating certainty and value for clients.  As technical director, manufacturing, Chris plays a key role developing EnEx.G’s engineering enterprise, pioneering the role of manufacturing in construction, and driving its manufactured product development programme and research with leading universities.

After obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering from Imperial College, London, Chris joined the automotive industry as an apprentice with Jaguar. He subsequently held a number of senior business and technical roles for Rover, Land Rover & BMW.  He was project director on the Land Rover Freelander, and platform director for the Rover 75.  During this time, Chris also gained a masters degree and doctorate from Warwick University.

In 2004, Chris joined BAA as Head of Engineering for the £4.3bn Terminal 5 programme, at Heathrow Airport, where he was responsible for engineering and IT systems throughout the terminal development and construction programme.  Afterwards he was appointed solutions director for BAA’s  £5bn capital programme covering it’s seven UK airports – as client lead for design, engineering and process.

Chris joined Balfour Beatty in 2011 as a member of the executive leadership team responsible for more than £3bn of transport and power construction, civil engineering and engineering services contracts. He led the completion of the Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics, along with other critical project engagements and led Balfour’s BIM implementation and innovation agenda.  He was regional managing director for the South West, before leaving to join Laing O’Rourke in January 2016.

Chris is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.


Digital Innovation in Laing O’Rourke

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