Professor Alan Penn to give the JCT Povey Lecture 2019

Alan Penn, professor of architectural and urban computing, The Bartlett, UCL, will give the JCT Povey Lecture 2019, entitled “Our digital future: space and place in a digital world” at the Local Government Association on Wednesday, 20th November 2019.

Professor Alan Penn’s Povey Lecture will discuss the relationship between the real world of space and place and the virtual world of the digital, and how the successful alignment of these two realms across the construction supply chain are vital for the industry’s future. BIM, and in particular, Blockchain, are two examples of technologies used to bring about cultural change.

This timely consideration of the impact of digital technologies on the construction industry comes as the UK Government drives to export the UK’s expertise in smart construction, where it is aiming for the UK to take a global lead on BIM, DFMA (design for manufacture and assembly), and other technologies.

JCT is playing its own part with a range of new digital contract services, aimed at providing flexible, transparent, and secure online drafting options for construction professionals in dealing with contractual matters.

In addition to his professorship, Alan Penn has recently been appointed as chief scientific advisor to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. In September he stepped down after serving ten years as dean of The Bartlett, the largest comprehensive faculty of the built environment in the UK.

Alan Penn was chair for the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008 and the Research Excellence Framework in 2014 for the subject area of architecture, built environment, and planning – the quinquennial review of university research in the UK. He is a founding director and chair of Space Syntax Limited, a technology firm that uses advanced computing to assist in urban and building design and masterplanning projects.

He has recently founded the Construction Blockchain Consortium, an industry academic collaboration which is investigating the application of distributed ledger technologies in built environment applications.

The JCT Povey Lecture is an annual event, where an eminent person is invited to give their thoughts on significant matters that are relevant to the construction and property industry. The purpose of the lecture is to stimulate thought and encourage ways of continuing to improve the quality and value of construction output.

The event was inaugurated in 2003 to acknowledge and pay tribute to Philip Povey, who served JCT for fifty years. More information, including videos and past lectures can be found at