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Mark Bew leaves URS Scott Wilson to focus on BIM

The chairman of the government’s BIM group has left his position as director of business information systems at URS Scott Wilson to focus on chairing the government’s shift towards mandating BIM in contracts.

Construction News can reveal that Mark Bew, who has previously held positions as business systems director with Costain and worked at John Laing Construction, has established his own company - Engineering Construction Strategies Ltd - which is expected to primarily focus on delivering the government’s BIM strategy.

Mr Bew left his position at the consultancy in December, shortly before he was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List with an MBE for services to the construction sector.

He told Construction News he was delighted to receive the recognition and paid tribute to the team at URS Scott Wilson where he was working when he was informed of the honour, and the work being done by the construction industry to improve BIM capability.

Speaking about his departure, he said: “I just wanted to spend more time working on BIM and less time working corporately nursing a machine rather than spending the time working with clients and on projects.

“It got to the stage where I have a fantastic opportunity to work on activating the BIM strategy and I had achieved a lot of the corporate goals I had set myself [at URS Scott Wilson].

“This is a one-off opportunity to work with the public sector on what it is doing to be better through the likes of sustainability and the tools are there now and mature enough for [the BIM strategy] to be viable.”

Mr Bew (pictured speaking at the Institution of Civil Engineers 2011 BIM conference) paid tribute to the work being done on BIM across the construction sector and being pushed by the goverment’s chief construction adviser Paul Morrell.

“My immediate focus is to deliver the government’s vision as a result of 18 months of hard work being done from the team [within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Treasury].

“I think Paul Morrell’s commitment and the BIS team’s commitment to BIM and improving standards is crucial but also that of more than 200 people working on BIM across the industry.”

The government is expected to unveil its early-adopter BIM projects in the spring and work is already being done to identify and shape those projects which will first have BIM capabilities demanded of contractors within their contracts.

A contract has also been let through the British Standards Institute to write BS1192 part 2 which will be used for the early adopter projects as the document for which BIM information will be integrated throughout the supply chain.

Mr Bew said his company will initially focus on BIM but he may look to expand it to focus on the strategic end of construction and engineering.

He added: “I am keen to be involved at the strategic end of things and to develop the capabilities of the industry in BIM. This was a decision to divert from a corporate career path but it is a one-off opportunity so why wouldn’t I take it?”

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