Aurecon strengthens presence in Asia with Centre of Excellence for Digital Engineering

As Asia’s appetite for more future-ready buildings and infrastructure expands, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon aims to play a major role in the birth of new ideas to feed this hunger, through its new Singapore-based Regional Centre of Excellence for Digital Engineering.

Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Aurecon’s new Regional Centre of Excellence for Digital Engineering serves as an extension of the company’s Digital Futures team. This Centre is the first-of-its-kind for Aurecon and is dedicated to solving client challenges with emerging digital technologies and alternative business models.

“The engineering and construction industry is not spared from digital disruption, which is changing the way we work and live. The decision to extend the Digital Futures team into Asia was driven by increasing regional demand for digital transformation in the building and construction sector. Singapore’s strategic location places our new Centre of Excellence at the epicentre of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and within touching distance of North Asia,” said Paul Lombard, Managing Director, Middle East and Asia.

Aurecon will invest SGD3 million over the next three years and will focus on three areas: Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics; the Internet of Things; and Visualisation & Digital Collaboration. Each area of focus will have a dedicated Digital Specialist in charge of consolidating ideas and lessons to support priorities such as urban mobility and infrastructure within Singapore. Once adopted locally, these ideas may then be exported to other parts of Asia, or even the world.

Referencing Singapore’s Smart Nation push, Lombard cited the country’s “openness to embrace innovation and its willingness to be a testbed for new ideas” as the reason for choosing the city-state as the base for the Centre.

The launch of the Centre of Excellence in Singapore is an integral part of Aurecon’s near and long-term business goals in Asia. On the more immediate front, the Centre accelerates the development of digital engineering capabilities for Singapore and the wider Asian market. Building these capabilities in the heart of the Asian landscape will help the company strengthen its leadership position, while offering innovative and practical project support to developers.

Aurecon’s latest investment is aligned with Singapore’s Professional Services Industry Transformation Map, which looks to accelerate the development of innovative and exportable solutions from Singapore, to support regional infrastructure boom. which looks to accelerate the development of innovative and exportable solutions, from Singapore, to support regional infrastructure boom.

Commenting on Aurecon’s expanded presence in Singapore, Ms Fong Pin Fen, Director, Cities, Infrastructure & Industrial Solutions, EDB, said: “We are pleased that Aurecon has chosen to establish its first Regional Centre of Excellence for Digital Engineering in Singapore. This reflects the company’s commitment to deepen digital engineering capabilities among its Singapore talent base. The Centre will also support the increasing opportunities for companies, developers and individuals to co-develop new innovative digital solutions and business models in the engineering and construction industry.

Headquartered in Singapore, the Centre of Excellence will be headed by Phil Lazarus, Digital Practice Leader, Asia.

“To thrive in the digital future, organisations need to fundamentally rethink their planning, strategy and business processes, create connected digital platforms, and improve their analytics and collaboration. Aurecon’s new Centre will help clients improve productivity and value from their asset portfolios through digital transformation. Not only will this future-proof their businesses but, importantly, it will enable them to exploit the opportunities a digital future presents,” said Lazarus.

To deliver tangible outcomes, Aurecon has identified four key competencies for development. The first is 3D collaborative design and BIM (Building Information Modelling) to support the coordination of construction projects. The second is based around enhancing personal and emotional connections using technologies such as virtual reality. The third is a proprietary design collaboration and project delivery portal called GeoDocs, that allows secure file access from anywhere.

The fourth is the Smart Centre, which aligns with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and uses sensors to collect data from multiple points.

“To develop a Smart Nation, we need to reimagine engineering so as to shape and design a better future. In many ways the advancement of humanity depends on the engineering and infrastructure we create. That’s a responsibility we take seriously and it’s also something that requires some unconventional thinking,” added Lazarus.

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