The construction industry is in desperate need of transformation, says UJ’s Prof Innocent Musonda

Professorial Inaugural address: Prof Innocent Musonda

The construction industry is in desperate need of transformation, especially in this fourth industrial revolution (4IR) era, bearing in mind the imperative of meeting sustainable development goals (SDGs).

This is according to Innocent Musonda, a Professor in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Prof Musonda was speaking at his official inauguration held on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at the Ubuntu Chambers, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus.

The 3P model: People, process, and product

Prof Musonda gave a keynote address titled “Digitalisation, Safety and Sustainability: A Roadmap to build better in the 4IR era” where he discussed infrastructure development and its effect on those for whom it is intended.

Reflecting on the history of the construction industry, Prof Musonda argued that the industry is to build better infrastructure. “We have to consider safety, digitalisation and sustainability as seen through the lens of the 3P model of people process and product,” he said.

Prof Musonda explained that the digitalisation, safety, and sustainability roadmap is a way to build better infrastructure. “This roadmap implies that there needs to be a paradigm shift in how the industry views people, processes and infrastructure.”

He stressed that the industry needs to revisit the cost-benefit analysis model of infrastructure evaluation where profit can no longer be the only assessment criterion.

Transforming the industry through education and training

Prof Musonda contends that the industry should transform, starting with education and training, by adopting more collaborative approaches to teaching and learning and be more problem-based.

He concluded: “People and the process are just as crucial as the product when it comes to infrastructure development. The industry should therefore transform starting with education and training. More collaborative approaches that are problem-based should be promoted. This way there will be more interactions between all built environment professionals and the people for whom the infrastructure is intended. I do believe we can build better.’’

Professor Musonda’s credentials and research contributions

Professor Musonda is a C2 NRF-rated researcher in South Africa, a registered Civil Engineer (Zambia), a Construction Manager (South Africa), a full member of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB-UK) and the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB). He has worked for both the public and private sectors in Southern Africa. He is a full Professor of Construction Project Management, researcher, invited speaker, founder and director of the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in the Built Environment (CARINBE) based at the University.

He has supervised to completion eight doctoral students and over 20 master’s degree students. Together with the students and his own research, he published over 60 journal articles, four book chapters and over 50 conference proceedings. His current google scholar H-index is 13 and has been cited over 600 times.

Professor Musonda addressed UJ Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, Professor Saurabh Sinha and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Professor Daniel Mashao as well as invited guests.

Following his address was a brief response by Professor Nuno Gil, Visiting Professor of the University of Sydney, Professor of New Infrastructure Development, Alliance Manchester Business School and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE).

Watch the inauguration here:

Share this

Latest News

All News