Ioannis Brilakis

Structuring Your Research    


Dr. Ioannis Brilakis


Your Current Institutional Affiliation

University of Cambridge


Biography of Presenter

Dr Ioannis Brilakis is a Laing O’Rourke Reader in Construction Engineering and the Director of the Construction Information Technology Laboratory at the Division of Civil Engineering of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He completed his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in 2005. He then worked as an Assistant Professor at the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2005-2008) and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (2008-2012) before moving to Cambridge in 2012 as a Laing O’Rourke Lecturer. He was promoted to University Reader in October 2017. He has also held visiting posts at the Department of Computer Science, Stanford University as a Visiting Associate Professor of Computer Vision (2014) and at the Technical University of Munich as a Visiting Professor, Leverhulme International Fellow (2018-2019), and Hans Fischer Senior Fellow (2019-2021). He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, the 2019 ASCE J. James R. Croes Medal, the 2018 ASCE John O. Bickel Award, the 2013 ASCE Collingwood Prize, the 2012 Georgia Tech Outreach Award and the 2009 ASCE Associate Editor Award. Dr Brilakis is an author of over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, an Associate Editor of the ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering, ASCE Construction Engineering and Management, Elsevier Automation in Construction, and Elsevier Advanced Engineering Informatics Journals, and the past chair of the Board of Directors of the European Council on Computing in Construction.


Description of Presentation

In this session, we will dive into the deep dark abyss of the hourglass structure. We will explore how to scope down your research for feasibility, how to derive your research framework and activities scientifically, and how to scope the outcomes up to impact. We will discuss the differences between bibliography versus literature review and presenting research versus deriving a story. We will explore the process and value of discovering gaps in knowledge. Then we will sharpen our focus on how to achieve good writing flow and pace and discuss common issues that are entirely avoidable. The session will also discuss how to develop your research project from concept to submission, how to choose the right topic within your area of interest, and how to plan your research activities around a personal development plan.


Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation students will be able to:

  • Understand the hourglass concept;
  • Understand how to develop a research topic in line with a career development plan; and
  • Understand key research writing principles.


Presenter’s Website

Ioannis Brilakis – University of Cambridge

Presenter’s LinkedIn

Ioannis Brilakis | LinkedIn