Institution of Structural Engineers > Events & Awards > Conferences and lectures > Digital Design & Computation Conference

Digital Design & Computation Conference

Date: 28 March 2019
Time: 09:30 - 16:30
Cost: £225 + VAT - Non members
£145 + VAT - Members
£65 + VAT - Student Members
Venue:  The Institution of Structural Engineers HQ, 47 - 58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS  

About the conference

Showcasing the latest developments in computational design, digital workflows and digital manufacturing.
Through expert presentations on new techniques and workshop sessions on new computational design tools, this conference will demonstrate the value of new techniques in structural design.
Practical guidance will help you disseminate the processes and techniques in your organisation and achieve buy-in across a team.
Explore the benefits and challenges of managing computational design teams.

Benefits of attending
  • Learn about the latest developments in digital and computational design tools and how you can use them to design structures
  • Hear how experts in the field are taking structures from the digital drawing board to automated design, manufacture and installation on-site
  • Take away a new perspective on structural design for the 21st century
  • Learn how to manage risks and avoid pitfalls when using digital technologies and computational design tools
  • Preview cutting edge structural optimisation techniques
  • See how you can augment and adapt your practice to the 4th industrial revolution
Who should attend?

The conference is open to engineering professionals with varying levels of experience in using digital design tools.

For those leading teams, there is a focus on managing the use of digital tools – maintaining quality in design and communication and managing design responsibilities.

For those looking for insight into the practical aspects of computational design, three workshop channels encourage delegates to participate at their level of computational knowledge, providing hands-on experience.

If you are new to this area of structural engineering, the conference will help you understand the future of the profession and how powerful computational tools can better equip your engineering teams to tackle daily design challenges.

Sponsored by
Logotype_classic-(1).png       Trimble-logo-with-trademark.png  

Programme (subject to change)



Registration and Refreshments



Chair's Welcome and Opening Address

David Knight, Director, Design & Engineering, Cake Industries



Keynote Address: Integration and Differentiation

Francis Aish of award-winning design practice Foster + Partners shares his perspective on design computation, solving complex multidisciplinary design problems and the future of architecture and engineering. Delegates will gain a unique perspective from the Aerospace Engineer turned distinguished designer who has worked on a wide range of competitions and high-profile projects including 30 St. Mary Axe and Beijing Capital International Airport.

Francis Aish, Partner - Head of Applied Research and Development, Foster + Partners


Digital Fabrication in Structural Engineering - From Concept to Production

Hear the story behind the design of complex sculptures and structures, as well as the ups and downs of detailing geometrically complex projects for 'manufacture' using only the power of volunteers and simple hand tools.

Stephen Melville
Founder & Director, Format Engineers

Arthur Mamou-Mani
Founder & Director, Mamou-Mani Ltd



Panel Discussion: Interoperability in Computational Design - "The best data is the data you already have"

Members from the Institution's Digital Workflows and Computational Design Panel and developers of Salamander and Buildings and Habitats object Model will discuss:
  • Is there a better way of extracting more from the data we produce during structural design?
  • Are we using the data we have the best way we can?
Paul Jeffries
Associate & Computational Design Lead
Rob May
Group Director (Bath)
BuroHappold Engineering
Carla Silva
CSi Britain & CSi France
Madi Taylor
Senior Structural Engineer


Question & answer session - morning speakers






Design Workshops

Select one of three workshops aimed at giving hands-on experience of a range of computational design techniques. All levels of skill and experience are catered for.



Workshop 1

Workshop 2

Workshop 3 


An Introduction to Algorithmic Modelling with Grasshopper, Rhino and Tekla Structures

(Trimble Sponsored Workshop)

Optimisation-Driven Creativity in Structural Design

Innovative Open Collaboration in Structural Analysis & Design

  • Get started with the basics of computational design tools
  • See how you can streamline scheme design using algorithms and data
Aimed at:
  • Beginners who want to start using new design tools
  • Senior designers and team leaders looking to streamline their team’s design work
  • Anyone wishing to refresh their knowledge of algorithmic modelling
  • Trial a Grasshopper plug-in using layout optimisation to identify efficient structural forms
  • Use state-of-the-art methods developed via the BUILD-OPT project

Aimed at:
  • Designers, engineers and architects wanting to add a new design tool to their workflow
  • Users comfortable with Rhino and Grasshopper, wishing to trial a cutting edge method of structural scheme design
  • Practitioners and researchers looking to expand their understanding of structural optimisation
  • View a new Open BIM project aimed at improving workflows between structural modeller, analysis and design engineer.
  • Learn about how the project addresses problems in converting structural models to analysis models and back again
Aimed at:
  • Practising engineers, modellers & technicians
  • Those wishing to streamline their structural design work to reduce time, errors & improve the responsiveness of their design teams
  Stuart Campbell - Engineering Segment Business Development Manager, Trimble

Sebastian Lindholm - Advanced BIM Consultant, Trimble
Matthew Gilbert - Professor of Civil Engineering, The University of Sheffield

Linwei He - Research Associate, The University of Sheffield

Paul Shepherd - Senior Lecturer & Deputy Director, Institute for Mathematical Innovation, University of Bath
Herman Oogink - Head of Strategic Alliances, SCIA Nederland B.V.  


Networking Lunch



The Institution of Structural Engineers' Computational Future

The Chair of the Insitution's Digital Workflows and Computational Design panel shares the panel's aims and how the Insitution is looking to help the profession adapt to modern techniques and technologies.

Jon Leach
Chair, Digital Workflows and Computational Design Panel & Director, Building Engineering, AECOM


Computational Design is Nothing Special

Geoff Morrow shows how computational design tools can augment and develop a small practice's work without disavowing traditional design techniques.

Geoff Morrow, Founder and Director, StructureMode


Nurturing Digital Talent - The Computational Future of the Profession

With the digitisation of structural engineering, new ways of managing the development of engineers will be required. Steve McKechnie speaks about his experience nurturing talent within the industry and how traditional engineers' training can adapt to a changing technological landscape.

Steve McKechnie, Director, Building Engineering, Arup


Question & answer session - afternoon speakers


Feedback, Summary and Open Forum




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