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The CEM programme was launched in 2011 with industry partner Laing O’Rourke to fulfil a shared vision of transforming the construction industry through innovation, education and technology.

CEM PROGRAMME RESIDENTIAL WEEKS Fundamental thinking 1: Built environment 2: Design for value 3: Research & innovation

Applied skills 4: Advanced construction tech. & materials 5: Advanced construction management 6: Finance, planning & procurement

Thought leadership 7: Future of construction

Ongoing programme to develop research & communication skills Year 1

Year 2



The Construction Engineering Masters (CEM) programme is a Master of Studies (MSt) course offered by the Department of Engineering in association with Cambridge Judge Business School, and in collaboration with academics from the Departments of Sociology and Economics.

Students spend a total of seven compulsory residential weeks in Cambridge - four weeks in the first year and three in the second. A typical residential week includes:

The CEM explores the future of construction, seeking new paradigms and innovative models that draw on the latest research in management, construction technologies and processes. The programme aims to revolutionise construction by challenging widely held assumptions in the planning, organisation, delivery and management of infrastructure. The CEM is a two-year parttime research degree targeted at students who have a minimum of five years’ professional experience and have already attained a leadership role or been identified as potential leaders in their organisations. The part-time format enables students to continue with their professional careers whilst studying. The programme prepares students to act as agents of change in the industry, helping them to improve the performance, efficiency and sustainability of the construction sector by applying state-of-the-art knowledge, skills and techniques. It is designed to contribute to the students’ own career development and consequently enhance the performance of their companies.

lectures, seminars and workshops group projects and presentations individual meetings with Supervisors and the Director of Studies The CEM is primarily assessed through students’ written work, which is completed between residential weeks. Assignments are as follows:


one 5,000-word case study Year One two 3,000-word essays one 15,000-word dissertation – Year Two Topics may be based on an individual’s interests, experience and current employment, and are selected with guidance from the student’s Director of Studies, who will be one of the core CEM academic team members. The CEM is delivered by a combination of academic staff and industry experts. Students become full members of Queens’ College. The College provides accommodation for the residential weeks and offers pastoral support.



Prof. Cam Middleton

Mark Bew Chairman, BIM Task Group

Dr Kristen MacAskill

Andrew Bowen Engineering Director, Dubai Ports

Dr Mohammed Elshafie

Tim Chapman Director, Arup

Dr Ioannis Brilakis

Prof. Keith Clarke CBE former CEO, Atkins

Dr Graham McShane (Queens’ College – Graduate Tutor)

Steve Gooding Director, RAC Foundation


Prof. Peter Hansford Past UK Chief Construction Adviser now Professor of Construction and Infrastructure Policy at UCL David Higgins Chairman HS2

Dr Brendan Burchill University of Cambridge

Prof. Christoph Loch Judge Business School

Dr Julian Huppert former MP, Director of the Intellectual Forum at Jesus College University of Cambridge

Heiko Meyer VP Strategy/Portfolio Management, Wintershall

Prof. Alistair Gibb Loughborough University

Dr Darryl Murphy Global Infrastructure, Aviva Investors

Prof. Paul Goodrum University of Colorado Boulder

Liam O’Keefe MD, Credit Agricole and Calyon

Prof. Peter Guthrie OBE University of Cambridge Dr Benn Lawson Cambridge Judge Business School

Nick Raynsford former MP and Honorary Vice-Chairman of the Construction Industry Council

Prof. Eve Mitelton Kelly The London School of Economics

Professor Lord Robert Mair University of Cambridge

Dr Judith Plummer Former World Bank Financial Analyst

Richard Saxon CBE Consultancy for the Built Environment

Prof. Phil Purnell University of Leeds

Andrew Wolstenholme CEO, Crossrail

PROGRAMME THEMES The CEM programme focuses on the following themes: 1. The built environment: Explores the wider context of the built environment with a focus on the United Kingdom but recognising the international nature of the industry. This week provides a strategic overview of the current state of the construction industry, the state of infrastructure in the UK and abroad, and the economic and political framework within which the industry currently operates. This module also covers management of risk and uncertainty. 2. Design for value: Provides an overview of how the construction industry equips itself to achieve value and, through exploring value in different contexts, how the industry attempts to address the needs of clients in the public sector, private sector and society at large. Students are introduced to complexity theory and how it can be used to understand organisations (and the value they deliver). 3. Research and innovation: Covers the fundamental principles of developing, implementing and managing effective innovation techniques, processes and procedures. Examples of innovation that are emerging from current research in the department are explored. 4. Advanced construction technology and materials: Explores (at a high level) analysis methods, modelling and the development and use of different types of materials. This module provides an insight into the state-of-the-art for common materials, special novel materials, key areas of advanced construction

Prof. John Miles Cambridge University

technologies and how these materials and technologies (such as robotics, artificial intelligence and the use of big data) might contribute towards advances in construction practice. 5. Advanced construction management: Covers advanced concepts and methods used to manage construction projects/ businesses (as opposed to teaching basic project management processes that may be covered in more traditional construction management degrees). Challenges of management and the methods for planning operations and improving productivity are explored as well as key aspects of leadership. 6. Finance, planning and procurement: Students are familiarised with different models of financing construction projects in the UK and globally. They will learn about the necessary elements required to support project finance and procurement including contractual agreements, sources of capital and financial structuring. Some elements of construction law are also covered. 7. The future of construction (through policy): This week seeks to create greater links between construction engineering and policymaking. It will advance students’ skills in advocacy on relevant policy issues on behalf of the construction industry.

“Since starting the course I’ve noticed I tend to question a lot of current practices…” CEM student 2014 – 2016

“This course is a great alternative to an MBA and feels more relevant to our field of work.” CEM student 2014 – 2016

PROGRAMME BENEFITS The Construction Engineering Masters (CEM) is multidisciplinary and equips students with the knowledge, leadership and communication skills that will help them effect change in the construction sector. The fundamental goal of the CEM is to further educate and inspire the emerging leaders in the industry. The structure of the programme encourages students to challenge the status quo and gain insight into how to improve the performance, efficiency and sustainability of the construction sector, while promoting innovation and new technologies. The programme: Broadens each student’s knowledge base and perspective of the industry by exploring a range of construction activities, including buildings, major civil works, transport, energy and water. Supports the career progression of the students. Employers benefit through development of their staff and from the knowledge students gain through attending the course and conducting their own evidence-based projects. Offers participants access to a unique network of high-flying, like-minded thinkers that have been hand-picked by the sponsor organisations to advance the transformation of the construction industry.

This degree is accredited by the JBM (the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and the Institute of Highway Engineers) as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.

“My second essay … has been circulated to our strategic design partners … It has been widely used internally and is being considered in shaping our new consultant appointments” CEM student 2014 – 2016


HOW TO APPLY To apply for this programme you will need to have:

RESIDENTIAL WEEKS Students spend a total of seven residential weeks in Cambridge during the two years of the programme. Residential weeks 2018 – 2020 2018

9-14 September 10-14 December


25-29 March 1-5 July 9-13 December


a first or upper second class UK honours degree or overseas equivalent in a construction related discipline at least five years’ professional experience. If you have alternative experience or qualifications, you should contact the Centre Manager at the Laing O’Rourke Centre for advice. We are looking for people who are passionate about making a difference. You should consider carefully your capacity for balancing personal and professional commitments before submitting your application.

1-20 April 13-18 September

Applications for the CEM programme are managed online by the Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge. To apply online please go to and click the ‘apply now’ link.

PROGRAMME FEES The fees for the entire two-year CEM programme are as follows: Costs University and College Fees Accommodation† and meals (based on an average of £250 per residential week) Programme total (for the entire two years)

Total £22,853 £1,750

“A programme like this can unlock this industry. The Construction Engineering Masters can open doors for you…” Andrew Wolstenholme OBE, CEO Crossrail


Please note accommodation rates are set independently by Queens’ College.

Most of our students obtain full or partial funding from their employer. Where this is not possible, bursaries may be available for a proportion of the tuition fee. Please contact the LOR Centre Manager for more information.

FIND OUT MORE Visit our website: Email: Telephone: +44 (0) 1223 332812

The Construction Engineering Masters (CEM) degree programme is run by the Laing O’Rourke Centre (LOR Centre) for Construction Engineering and Technology in the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering in partnership with the Cambridge Judge Business School.

LOR Centre Manager LOR Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology Department of Engineering Trumpington Street Cambridge CB2 1PZ United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 1223 332812 Email: Website:

@CEMCambridge CEM Cambridge

CEM Prospectus 2018-2020  
CEM Prospectus 2018-2020  

The Construction Engineering Masters (CEM) programme is a Master of Studies (MSt) course offered by the Department of Engineering in associa...