BAM capability developed to “print” buildings, helping address housing shortage and net-zero carbon target.

 

Laurence Foster

Company Platinum Electrical Engineering

University: Northumbria University

Funding Innovate UK

The Project The project focus is exploiting the BAM (Building Additive Manufacturing) system potential for social and bespoke high value residential housing. The new BAM capability requires creating a unique 3D printing machine capable of in situ manufacture of two-storey structures and eventually a row of terraced houses, reducing build costs and times with the goal of addressing the UK housing crisis. In-situ Building Advanced Construction (IBAC) represents a major innovation for UK construction in its approach towards net-zero carbon by 2050. 

Platinum Electrical Engineering* designs and manufactures bespoke electrical machinery and equipment. Its strategy is to exploit its unique engineering expertise working collaboratively to develop innovative solutions for industry and societal challenges. Its approach of combining engineering expertise, market insights, IOT and partnership building underpins the KTP. 

The Future Innovator – about Laurence Foster

Laurence Foster, BEng, leads a multi-disciplinary project requiring expertise in mechanical, electrical, control, IOT, construction, commercial, and people-management skills. Laurence drove the project from the start, determining vision and direction, with close support and expertise of the partners (core team of 3 with an extended team of 5), including local and multinational companies such as Cemex and Bespoke Concrete.

  • Developed a valuable network of significant contacts;: leading talks with Gateshead Council and Homegroup for future collaborative development projects similar to Gateshead’s Green Innovation Village. Laurence has also maintained relationships with; Plastech Innovation, Cemex and Bespoke Concrete with the  aim of reducing environmental impact of materials usage in concrete structures.
  • Currently leading proposals for In-situ Building Advanced Construction (IBAC) project funding likely to amount to upwards of £2m. This development adopts a disruptive approach for pioneering a significant innovative industry advancement in construction methodology through advanced integrated automation, following centuries of near-unchanged practices and materials, Laurence has developed valuable insights and influential contacts in this sphere. 
  • The prototype BAM system developed by Laurence is a framework for Platinum to further develop and exploit its Industrial 4.0 IIOT strategy integrating the latest technology for operation and maintenance, generating interest and sales outside the framework of the KTP.
  • Laurence has developed a test platform for cementitious mix designs (one of only two known of in the UK) capable of CNC deposition of construction materials via additive manufacture, which has also inspired and supported two research PhD programmes along with multiple final year Undergraduate projects at Northumbria University. 
  • Disseminated his innovative work at conferences and in an article to be published in Journal Proceedings. 
  • Currently mentoring a student in late stages of higher education through the Social Mobility Foundation mentoring programme to provide University and career advice and support. 
  • The Associate is maintaining constant professional development through completion of part-time MSc modules, supporting IMechE accreditation, post-KTP. As well as enabling adoption of Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) 3D printing methodologies across multiple applications across the company for rapid functional prototyping capabilities. 
  • Laurence’s work on the  KTP has facilitated development of a centre of excellence for Digital Construction in the North East of England, involving local authorities, manufacturers, housebuilders and construction sector professionals, where, as in many parts of the UK, urban renewal and social housing is the drive for regeneration and innovation. 

My project has opened my eyes to the huge potential benefits to industries and wider socio-economic implications through development of newly emerging innovative systems. I’ve honed my CAD design, 3D printing and project management skills to enable realisation of what may be only the second additive manufacture system in the UK capable of printing concrete. I believe this to positively disrupt the construction industry and its traditional methodologies by adaptation of advanced automated manufacturing technology to provide new and alternative ways for structures to be built with safer practices, and with significantly reduced costs, emissions, wastage and timescales to the existing industry norms” commented Laurence.

This project received funding from Innovate UK.

Winners of this category will be announced in advance of the KTP Virtual Awards Ceremony which is at 4-5pm on Wednesday 9 September. Join us in our virtual world to celebrate all the winners – register here.

See below for a profile of each of the 18 finalists in the Future Innovator category of this year’s KTP Best of the Best Awards:

Muddasar Anwar  Delivering innovation for Sustainable Drainage System to prevent flooding.

Blessing Mbipom Creating online learning for GPs.

Laurence Foster: Innovations to “print” structures, transforming house building.

Declan Bryans: Creating greener energy with innovations in flow batteries.

Elle Perschke: Applying B2C methodologies to launch a new product within a B2B company.

Mark Gilmore: Development of new class of greener ionic liquid, with multiple potential applications.

Khai Nguyen: Inventing a new silicone composite for consumer fixing brand, Sugru.

Swapnil Khadke: Creating new liposome formulations for application in drug delivery

Leona McGirr: Creating an Antibody Library for fully human antibodies.

Dan Hicks: Developing a new design and testing process for electric trails bikes.

Dmitry Bogachov: Advancing Materials Science for Anilox technology.

Andrew Grounds: Transforming business models for Social Enterprise.

Lyndsey McKirdy: Enhancing data science capability at Aggreko.

Jack Tallant: Transforming reporting and delivery of Charity’s activities.

Xi Liu: Using AI to develop fraud detection and prevention services for law firm.

Alex Komninos: Transforming spreadsheets in to cognitive models at IBM

Harvey Kangley: Delivering exceptional NPD for rail electrification

George Harris: Developing advanced engineering for intruder detection systems.

The Future Innovator category of the KTP Awards is supported by Ashorne Hill – a specialist training company which runs training programmes for all KTP Associates.

Want to find out more about working as a KTP Associate? More information here, and see the latest vacancies here.

 

 

 

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