Balfour Beatty appoints chief technology officer

13 December 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Chris Johnson

Balfour Beatty has installed Chris Johnson in the newly created role of chief technology officer.

The move, which Balfour said showed its growing focus on technology and innovation, will support the company’s Site of the Future programme, which envisions human-free construction sites by 2050, with robots working in teams to build complex new structures with new materials.

Johnson will report to chief executive Leo Quinn. Previously, he has served as group chief information officer and procurement director. He will retain overall accountability for IT and procurement.  

Under his leadership at Balfour Beatty since 2015, the group has changed and improved its operational and back office processes within the first two phases of its Build to Last Programme. The company now plans more change in the areas of: project delivery through technology, digital project information, and engineering excellence.

Quinn, said: “Our industry is probably a generation behind manufacturing in deploying technology to drive efficiency and innovation – as well as historically resistant to learning and applying lessons from other sectors.

“As a market leader, Balfour Beatty must lead this change to drive continuous improvement across our business and ensure we are the best positioned to deliver for our clients, despite skills shortages in all aspects of construction and engineering. Combining this with our ongoing procurement cost management underpins our vision of profitable managed growth.”

Johnson added, “With enhanced BIM modelling, virtual reality, drones and laser scanning to name but a few, new technologies and data, when adopted, embedded and utilised effectively, have the power to transform the infrastructure and construction industry through lowering cost, improving quality and transparency and enhancing safety.

“Across Balfour Beatty, there are unrivalled opportunities for real step changes that will help drive improvements and innovation for the infrastructure and construction industry as a whole.”

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