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Professor HaiJiang Li

Professor HaiJiang Li

Professor - Chair in BIM for Smart Engineering

+44 (0)29 2087 5133
S2.10C, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


Professor HaiJiang LI (BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA, FBCS, FICE) 
Chair in BIM for Smart Engineering
Research Group Head - Computational Mechanics & Engineering AI

Editor-in-Chief: Construction Innovation (ESCI, CiteScore 5.9, Q1 top10%) 
Associate Editor: Automation in Construction (IF - 10.517, No.1 in Civil Engineering, CiteScore 15, Q1 top10%) 
Vice Chair - European Group of Intelligent Computing in Engineering (EG-ICE) 
Standards Committee Technical Executive - buildingSMART 
BIM for Smart Engineering Joint Centre - 

Research Areas - For more than 20 years, Prof. Li has been working towards a new generation smart computational engineering platform underpinned by super power computing, big data and machine learning, inter-linked domain knowledge, artificial intelligence algorithms and BIM based standardization across sectors throughout project life cycle, to support large scale engineering data / information / knowledge processing, smart engineering optimization and holistic decision making to help to achieve sustainable and resilient infrastructure system and built environment.

Prof. Li has been intensively working in civil, structural, hydraulic and maritime engineering, through digital twinning along with smart design, modelling, analysis, simulation, reasoning, optimization & management in support of smart energy in buildings, district and cities; water distribution and urban water management; sustainable and resilient cities and built environment development including emergency response and management.

Research Focuses -
(1) Fundamental life cycle and across domains complex data, information and knowledge processing 
(2) Large scale data driven engineering computing, data analytics and optimization
(3) Knowledge based and artificial intelligence supported holistic and systematic decision making

Funding and Team: Prof. Li has secured significant research funds from UK, EU and China, as a Principal/Co-Investigator, the total project value is about £38M (£8M as PI, funding sources include EPSRC, NERC, EU FP7/H2020, InnovateUK, WEFO and industry funding). He has established the BIM for Smart Engineering research theme in Cardiff University since 2006, leading the BIM for Smart Engineering Research Group, Centre, Lab (focusing on HPC, BIM, VR/AR/MR, Digital Twins) and MSc programme, working with a team of more than 50 research fellows/associates/PhDs in total since 2006. Prof. Li has secured more than £1.1M industry investment (2018-2023) to support BIM and Smart Engineering related research projects.

Academic Impact - Prof. Li has produced more than 200 publications (papers, books, patents and official reports), and currently is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Construction Innovation (ESCI - CiteScore 5.9; Q1 top 10% ), and associate Editor for the Journal of Automation in Construction (IF - 10.517; No.1 in Civil Engineering; CiteScore 15; Q1 top 10%); He also serves as editorial board members for other 5 international journals; and reviewers for EPSRC (UK), NSERC (Canada), EU, China, Singapore funding applications and 50+ international journals and conferences (as scientific committees / chairs); delivered 50+ invited / keynote speeches in UK, EU, China and USA. He is a Fellow of British Computer Society, member of EPSRC Peer Review College. He has actively been engaging with most of the major international associations regarding BIM and ICT in AEC domain, e.g. EG-ICE, ICCCBE, CIBW78, ECPPM and ASCE. He has been leading/participating UK, EU FP7 / H2020 research projects intensively and created a significant international base for academic and industry collaboration; he is the Vice Chair for EG-ICE: European Group of Intelligent Computing in Engineering, which is a highly established international academic association in BIM and intelligent computing area.

International BIM standards & policy - Prof. Li has been working with open BIM buildingSMART since 2010, serving first as a committee member of BuildingSMART UK technical group, together with BRE (Building Research Establishment), advising the UK government on their BIM policy making and industry implementation agenda; and now as a Standards Committee Technical Executive (SCTE) – buildingSMART international, overseeing international open BIM standards developments and personally leading IFC Ports & Waterways standards development project. In China, Prof. Li serves as a guest BIM scientist for China State Construction Engineering Group & China Communications Construction Company. A BIM policy book was published in 2019 - "CHINA, USA & UK BIM STANDARDS AND POLICY" (China Construction Industry Publisher) to comprehensively introduce and compare the BIM standards and policies in China, USA and UK.

NEWS - We Computational Mechanics and Engineering AI (CMAI) group is recuriting a new Lecturer, if you are interested, please contact me...  (position offered)

Cardiff University (Prof. Haijiang Li) works with UCL (Prof. Tim Broyd; Dr. Qiuchen Lu) to host EG-ICE 2023 in London - please visit the website for more information - 


















  • Li, H., Miles, J. C., Stevenson, G. and Poulter, R. 2008. Web enabled 3D collaborative conceptual design and facility management. Presented at: Intelligent Computing in Engineering (ICE08), Plymouth, UK, 2-4 July 2008 Presented at Rafiq, Y. and Sternad, M. eds.Intelligent Computing in Engineering 2008 conference. Plymouth: American Society of Civil Engineers pp. 250-259.






Prof. Haijiang Li has been playing the leading role for promoting BIM research, teaching & training in Cardiff since 2006.

BIM has been enabling a revolutionary way of working for the worldwide construction industry since it was first coined in 2003. It now triggers a worldwide tipping point to completely transform the oldest while still with the lowest productivity construction industry. At present, there are urgent demands for BIM graduates at all levels from UK & worldwide in AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry. 

In 2018, Prof. Li developed a MSc programme - BIM for Smart Engineering  to welcome master students all over the world who are interested in BIM in Engineering. The programme has put Cardiff into the front tier for BIM training and education in UK and worldwide.

A new research oriented MSc Programme -- Engineering AI is currently under development, and expected to open in 2023/24. if you are interested, please contact Prof. Li via - 

Module Leader for three BIM core modules:

BIM Computing and Information Processing (ENT516)
Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (ENT768)
Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (EN4308)

Other modules involved:

Integrated Building/Infrastructure Design
(ENT510 & EN4102)
Engineering Case Study (ENT725)
Dissertation (Civil, Structural, Geo-environmental, Water) (ENT509)


I am the Group Head for Computational Mechanics and Engineering AI (CMAI) in Cardiff Engineering School.

CMAI has established their international stands on developing next generation smart computational engineering solutions to enable the digital transformation for built environment. CMAI’s physics and mechanics informed Engineering AI, which is data-driven, enabling smart materials, structure and digital twin development, aligns well with major funding priorities. The research substantializes domain-oriented AI algorithms, to make a breakthrough towards generic, responsible and explainable AI, to enable human-centered digitalization for the built environment.

CMAI focuses on three main areas:  

  1. Computational models for advanced smart materials 
  2. Computational models for advanced structures and meta-structures 
  3. Advanced BIM and Physics informed Digital Twins 

The first one, in short, Smart Materials, involves state of the art topics such as modelling of micro- and nano-structured materials and composites, electroactive materials, biological materials (*), quasicrystals (*) and architected meta-materials (*), which means we can produce bespoke manmade new materials to help achieving net-zero sustainable built environment.  

Regarding the second, in short, Smart Structures, the topics are composite aerospace structures, finite elements method for multiscale problems (*), robust aircraft design optimisation, uncertainty quantification and management in engineering applications (*), smoothed-particle hydrodynamics for modelling flow of particulate composites, modelling of meta-structures for elastic waves (*), structural dynamics (*), dynamical systems, elastic waves propagation and absorption (*), structural optimization, topological mechanics (*), which means we can understand and produce novel and sustainable structural at all scales to help achieving long lasting and sustainable built environment. 

The third area, Digital Twins,  focuses on the pioneering physics informed data driven engineering AI and their applied smart engineering applications,  including Symbolic Mathematics, Game Playing, Neutral Networks, Expert Systems, Fuzzy Logic, Robotics and Natural Language Processing (*); multi-dimensional BIM data, information and knowledge processing (*); Large scale smart engineering computing, data analytics and optimization (*); and Knowledge based / cognitive modelling and artificial intelligence supported holistic decision making (*), which means we can understand super complex engineering issues and produce holistic and systems approach to enable human centred digitalization.  

In all those topics the group is present at a level recognised as at least internationally excellent. Those indicated with the (*) are trendy topics that are attracting most of the attention of the world-leading research centres. 


Project title


Value to Cardiff

DIGIBRIDGE: Physics-informed AI Digital Twins supported Smart Bridge Structural Safety, Funding: WEFO

Nov. 2021-Dec.2022


DIGIBRIDGE: BIM and Digital Twins in support of Smart Bridge Structural Surveying, Funding: Innovate UK



Digi-Transportation - Digital Construction and Asset Management for Transportation Infrastructure - standards, key technology and knowledge transfer  

01/01/2021- 31/12/2023


MetaBIM: Smart BIM Meta-Standards and Quality Assurance Research and Development  



IFC-Harbour: Open BIM IFC standard and supporting platform for water transportation infrastructure - stage 2 


Total value:¥12M 

IFC-Harbour: Open BIM IFC standard and supporting platform for water transportation infrastructure - stage 1  


total value ¥3M  

IFC-Harbour: Open BIM IFC standard and supporting platform for water transportation infrastructure - preliminary research


total value ¥1M 

BIMEET: BIM-based EU - wide Standardized Qualification Framework for achieving Energy Efficiency Training  Funding: EC H2020


total value

BIM4QA: BIM governance framework supporting multi-facet project and organization quality assurance  Funding: KESS2 & Enterprise Ltd.



Green Construction – Funding: Ministry of Science and Technology, China

2016- 2020

total value: ¥90M

Future BIM: Enhancing the key understanding future BIM and its roadmap development Funding: Royal Academy Engineering



REACH: Resilience to earthquake induced landslide risk in china Funding: NERC& NSFC - National Science Foundation of China


total value £1M 

BIM4VET: Standardised Vocational BIM Training in Europe Funding: EC - ERASMUS+


total value

BIM4EA: Facilitating the release of geographical and built asset data Funding: UK Environmental Agency



GovernBIM: BIM execution governance across lifecycle and supply chains Funding: EPSRC & Dawnus, Ferrovial Agroman JV



OptiCloudBIM - Research on key technologies of Cloud, BIM and energy big data processing framework for Shanghai City, China Funding: Education Committee in Shanghai City China


total value ¥1M 

WISDOM: Water analytics and intelligent sensing for demand optimised management Funding: EC FP7


total value

BIM4Highway: Developing a BIM based Real Time Decision Making System for Highways Asset Management Funding: EPSRC & AEC3



OntoCrowd - Knowledge mining based on massive simulation Funding: EPSRC & ENGIN



BIM4H&E: Using BIM to enhance construction safety Funding: China Scholarship Council

01/10/2014 -30/09/2017


PERFORMER: Portable, exhaustive, reliable, flexible and optimized approach to monitoring and evaluation of building performance Funding: EC FP7

02/09/2013 - 1/09/2017

Total value
€8.2 M   

CloudBIM: To develop an innovative private cloud system to support multi-business collaboration, utilizing governance and versioning, for the construction industry using building information modelling Funding: KTP and Wakemans Ltd

01/02/2013 -31/01/2015


Wanda: Developing a real time abstraction & Discharge permitting process for catchment regulation and optimised water management Funding: Innovate UK

01/08/2013 -31/07/2016

Total value 

Infrastructure-BIM: A Contractor’s perspective of Infrastructure Information Modelling  Funding: EPSRC & Alun Griffiths Contractors, Ltd.

01/07/2013 -31/12/2016


RESILIENT: Coupling Renewable, Storage and ICT'S, for low carbon intelligent energy management at district level  Funding: EC FP7

01/09/2012 - 1/08/2016

total value

SPORTE2: Intelligent Management System to integrate and control energy generation, consumption and exchange for European Sport Recreation Buildings Funding: EC FP7

06/07/2012 - 8/02/2014

total value

RegBIM: BIM- based Regulatory Compliance Design Environment, Funding: Innovate UK

01/02/2012 - 1/01/2014

Total value 

KNOWHOIEM: Knowledge based energy management for public buildings through holistic information modelling and 3D visualisation, Funding: EC FP7

01/09/2011 - 1/08/2014

Total value:€4.5M 

SCriPT: Sustainable Construction Service Platform Funding: Welsh Assembly Government (A4B)

01/01/2010 - 0/06/2013


Digital building - From conceptual design through to life-long management Funding: EPSRC CASE & ActivePlan Solutions Ltd.

01/07/2006 -01/10/2009





There are several research associate / assistant roles and several fully funded PhD scholarships available (from industry / China Scholarship Council) for applications in the area of BIM supported Smart Engineering. If you are interested, email, and application link is - click to submit your PhD application

PhD Researchers  

    1. Graph driven Digital Twin in support of dynamic tunnel design and maintenance, Sicheng Zhao  
    2. Micro-services based Digital Twin supporting smart bridge maintenance, Chengzhang Chai 
    3. Connected Digital Twins And Explainable Ai Supporting Collaborative Emergency Response, Kehong Chen 
    4. Machine learning supproted self-compact concrete performance prediction, Tianyi Cui
    5. MetaBIM – smart BIM compliance Checking and supporting platform development, ZHU Xiaofeng
    6. Theoretical framework on Information Processing, AN Yi
    7. IoTs for Digital bridge Infrastructure surveying, XIONG Guanyu
    8. BIM & Digital Twins for smart bridge asset management, GAO Yan
    9. BIM4QA - Governance Framework Supporting Multi-facet Project and Organization Quality Assurance RAWDIN Alan
    10. Machine learning and Knowledge engineering in support of comprehensive comfort building design, BIE Sisi
    11. Mechanics informed Digital Twins for bridge design and maintenance, SONG Honghong
    12. Ontological BIM supporting smart bridge design and analysis, JIANG Yali 
    13. Overheating risk reduction in UK buildings, Mousa Alrasheed 
    14. BIM data fusion engine in support of holistic building design, XIANG Lini 
    15. Damage identification and maintenance decision optimization of bridges based on Digital Twin, YANG Siyao
    16. BIM4H&E: Using BIM to enhance construction safety GAO Shang
    17. BIMChain - BIM & Blockchain, ARTHUR Steven
    18. Infrastructure-BIM: A Contractor’s perspective of Infrastructure Information Modelling, BRADLEY Alex 
    19. BIM Supported Smart Manufacturing for Construction Digitalization, SU Tengxiang 2018-2022
    20. Holistic design based on knowledge processing and surrogate modelling, KHUDHAIR Ali 2018-2022
    21. Knowledge-based AI to supporting parametric railway tunnel design and optimization, LING Jiaxin 2021-2022 
    22. Ontology modelling for road maintenance, ZHANG Rujie, 2019-2020
    23. Holistic design for Pile system, MENG Kun, 2019-2020
    24. Resilient and sustainable urban infrastructures CERE Giulia, 2016-2020
    25. Zero carbon housing in Iraq SHALLAL Balsam Alwan, 2015-2019
    26. Govern-BIM: BIM execution governance across lifecycle and supply chains, GOONETILLAKE Jaliya, 2015-2019
    27. BIM based Collective Decision Support for Value for money evaluation in PPP, REN Guoqian,2015-2019
    28. BIM supported Sustainable Structure Design, ZHANG Jisong, 2017-2018  
    29. Knowledge mining for holistic design decision making by leveraging information models for crowd behaviour analysis, BOJE Calin, 2014-2018 
    30. Ontological representations for integrated smart cities modelling & data analytics HOWELL Shaun, 2013-17
    31. The Development of Urban Sustainability Assessment Framework for Iraqi cities AMEEN Raed, 2013-17
    32. A Proposed Framework for Resilience to Biological Disasters; The Case of Mers-COV Threat in Transient Mass Gathering Event ALSHEHRI Saud, 2012-2016
    33. BIM based combined optimization and reasoning for smart building and district energy management JAYAN Bejay, 2012-2016
    34. A Consensus-based Framework for The Sustainable Urban Planning Development of The City of Riyadh ALI Alqahtany, 2011-2015
    35. End User Oriented BIM Enabled Multi-Functional Virtual Environment Supporting Building Emergency Planning and Evacuation WANG Bin, 2011-2015
    36. BIM-Based Smart Compliance Checking to Enhance Environmental Sustainability KASIM Tala, 2011-2014
    37. A Strategic Decision-Making Framework for Organisational BIM Implementation CHEN keyu, 2011-2015
    38. BIM based holistic approach for multi-objective integrated design using ontology HOU Shangjie, 2011-2015
    39. HPC / Cloud computing based engineering optimization YANG Chunfeng, 2012-2014
    40. Dynamic Cloud computing platform development for engineering optimization LI Zhaojun, 2013-2014
    41. Managing Innovation in Public Research and Development Organisations Using A Combined Delphi And Analytical Hierarchy Process Approach MEESAPAWONG Pawadee, 2009-2013
    42. A Comparative Study of Operating Theatre Management Systems, AL OJAIMI Abdulkarim, 2009-2012
    43. Digital building - From conceptual design through to life-long management DIBLEY Michael, 2007-2011
    44. Governance and assessment framework for BIM based highway asset management, LAMB Simon
    45. Data governance network for life cycle BIM execution, Mohamed Binesmael
    46. BIM for structural Engineering, Scott Knight

    Research Assisstants / Associates / Fellows   

    1. Kai Zhao - Physics-informed AI Digital Twins supported Smart Bridge Structural Safety 
    2. Guanyu Xiong - BIM and Digital Twins in support of Smart Bridge Structural Surveying
    3. Ali Khudihair - Smart Structural Health Minitoring for critical structures
    4. Alex Bradley - IFC Ports & Waterways Standard and Platform Development 
    5. Tom Bower - MetaBIM - Smart BIM Certification (automation) Project
    6. Guoqian Ren - Digital Twins - for Cities and Harbours Project
    7. Alan Rawdin - AutoBIM - BIM processes automation
    8. Ioan Petri - SCRIPT & SPORTE2 Projects (completed)
    9. Baris Yuce - SPORTE2 Project (completed)
    10. Tom Beach - REGBIM Project (completed)
    11. Jean-Laurent Hippolyte - RESILIENT Project (completed)
    12. Yang Liu - WANDA Project (completed)
    13. Wanqing Zhao - REACH Project (completed)
    14. Michael Dibley- KNOWHOIEM Project (completed)
    15. Ian Wilson - SCRIPT Project (completed)

    Past projects