Qian Chen

(She, Her, Hers)

Assistant Professor

Civil, School of Engineering
Office: EME3281
Phone: 250.807.8629
Email: qian.chen@ubc.ca

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

• Construction Automation
• Building Information Modeling
• Supply Chain Integration
• Data Analytics
• Circular Economy

Student opportunities:
Dr. Chen is looking to recruit MSc and PhD students in the field of digital construction engineering and construction circular economy. Interested candidates can email Dr. Chen, providing their motivation letter and CV.

Courses & Teaching

• ENGR 433 & ENGR 533 - Construction Engineering and Management
• ENGR 331 - Infrastructure Management I
• ENGR 409 & APSC 509 - Construction Digitalization and Informatics


Qian Chen is an assistant professor in Civil Engineering at the School of Engineering at The University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus). She uses digital and immersive technologies, optimization algorithms and fabrication-aware design methods to enable integration of stakeholders while accelerating the digital transformation of construction projects.

Dr. Chen completed her Doctor of Science degree in Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Her previous research was focused on a systematic approach to enabling digital supply chain coordination in construction projects when utilizing lean production methods, BIM techniques and optimization algorithms. Her research outputs have brought to the industry additional insights about the BIM-based digital information and material flows among designers, material suppliers, and contractors and encouraged them to standardize communication interfaces and speed up design-to-construction decision-making processes. Her academic journey has spanned many countries including the United Kingdom, Italy, China, Switzerland, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining UBC, Dr. Chen worked at the University of Cambridge supporting the UK Construction Productivity Taskforce in undertaking a construction performance measurement and benchmarking project. Since UBC, Dr. Chen established the Construction Integration and Digitalization lab and her research group has collaborated with prefabrication industry stakeholders and municipalities to develop digital circular economy strategies, configurator designs and digital fabrication processes to improve the performance of industrialized construction.


CID Group website: https://cidlab.ok.ubc.ca/

IAARC@Canada Student Chapter: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iaarc-canada-9816b0263/


Doctor of Science – ETH Zurich
Master in Management Science and Engineering – Politecnico di Milano & Tongji University (double-degrees)
Bachelor of Engineering – Harbin Institute of Technology

Selected Publications & Presentations


Selected Publications:

  1. Ayyagari, R., Chen, Q., & de Soto, B. G. (2023). Quantifying the impact of concrete 3D printing on the construction supply chainAutomation in Construction155, 105032.
  2. Yogeeswaran, K., Chen, Q., & de Soto, B. G. (2023). Utilizing augmented reality for the assembly and disassembly of panelized constructionJournal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon)28(30), 571-584.
  3. Zumstein, M., Chen, Q., Adey, B. and Hall, D.M. (2022) A preliminary investigation of the potential benefits of using the ASTRA Bridge for short-span bridge deck refurbishment projects in Switzerland. Journal of Structure and Infrastructure Engineering.
  4. Chen, Q., Feng H. and Garcia de Soto, B. (2022) Revamping construction supply chain processes with circular economy strategies: A systematic literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production. Volume 335, Article No. 130240
  5. Ng, M., Chen, Q., Hall, D.M., Hackl, J. and Adey, B. (2022) Designing for digital fabrication: an empirical study of industry needs, perceived benefits and strategies for adoption. ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering. Volume 38, Issue 5
  6. Kedir, F.N., Chen, Q., Hall, D.M., Adey, B. and Boyd R. (2022) Formative scenario analysis of the factors influencing the adoption of industrialized construction in countries with high housing demand – the cases of Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa. Journal of Construction Management and Economics. Volume 40, Issue 9, page 690-710
  7. Chen, Q., Garcia de Soto, B. and Adey, B.T. (2021). Supplier-contractor coordination approach to managing demand fluctuation of ready-mix concrete. Automation in Construction. Vol 121, Article No. 103423
  8. Chen, Q., Adey, B.T., Haas C.T. and Hall, D.M. (2021). Exploiting digitalization to improve the coordination of change requests in engineer-to-order materials flow management. Construction Innovation. 22(1), pp. 76-100
  9. Esfahani, M.E., Rausch C., Sharif, M.M., Chen, Q., Haas, C.T. and Adey, B.T. (2021). Quantitative investigation on the accuracy and precision of Scan-to-BIM under different modelling scenarios. Automation in Construction. Vol 126, Article No. 103686
  10. Chen, Q., Adey, B.T., Haas, C. and Hall, D.M. (2020). Using look-ahead plans to improve material flow processes on construction projects when using BIM and RFID technologies. Construction Innovation, 20(3), pp. 471–508

Selected Grants & Awards

  • CMHC Housing Supply Chain Challenge Award
  • Hampton New Faculty Award
  • UBC Collaborative Research Mobility Award

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

  • Certified Cost Technician (ID:00950), Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Board, AACE International
  • Academically Qualified Person (ID: 13783588), Construction Skills Certification Scheme, United Kingdom
  • Board of Directors, International Association on Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Urban Lifeline
  • Faculty member of UBC CREATE Program in Immersive Technologies
  • Program Committee Member of CONVR2022 (The 22nd International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality)
  • Track co-chair of ASCE CI & CRC Joint Conference 2024 (Track of Computer Applications, Information Modeling and Simulation)
  • Track Chair of 2023 ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering (Track of Built Environment Construction, Operations, and Maintenance)
  • Reviewer for ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Journal of Engineering Construction and Architectural Management, Canadian Society of Civil Engineering, International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, Journal of Automation in Construction, Journal of Developments in the Built Environment, etc.


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