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Research Assistant

Birmingham City University
West Midlands, Birmingham
Up to £17.01 per hour
Closing date
23 Apr 2024

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Job Details

Birmingham City University (BCU) are seeking to appoint a Research Assistant in the broad area of software development and Generative AI. We seek to hire a research assistant to work on ambitious, high-impact research that anticipates the influence of generative AI (GAI) on supporting construction companies in merging the features of BIM with GAI for cost-planning productivity and accuracy through the automation of document production. You will work closely with the data science and analytics teams to develop, implement, and optimize AI/ML models and data-driven solutions that drive business insights and strategic initiatives.

The project

The project, titled "BIM-enabled Generative AI Platform for Productivity and Accuracy Enhancement of Construction Cost Planning (BIM-GAIcost)," is a collaborative effort between Leeds Beckett University (LBU), London South Bank University (LSBU) and Birmingham City University. Funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the project will also involve various local and multinational construction, consultancy, accountancy, and IT organizations.

The primary objective of the project is to leverage Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Generative AI (GAI) technologies to enhance the accuracy and productivity of construction cost planning. By automating document production and utilizing advanced computational techniques, the project aims to more accurately estimate the costs of construction projects. Through this innovative approach, the project seeks to drive efficiency, reduce errors, and streamline the construction cost estimation process, ultimately benefiting the construction industry as a whole..

The key objectives include:

  • To critically review existing policies on BIM and GAI standards and protocols and identify prevalent gaps in BIM's current systems for businesses to develop a holistic system architecture for the BIM-GAIcost platform.

  • To design an intuitive GAI user interface for integrating a BIM cost structure aligned with ISO-19650 standards optimised for a productive cost-planning experience.

  • To establish a 5D BIM protocol for GAI, enabling the development of an accuracy highlighting feature for project cost planning and implementing diverse options in comprehensive cost predictions and analyses.

  • To design, test and implement a UI/UX for automatically generating BEP cost documents by seamlessly integrating with the TIDP document related to cost planning.

  • To develop and deploy a BIM-GAIcost commercial and a continuous improvement feature.

Main activities and responsibilities:

As a Research Assistant your main duties will include:

  • Writing reports, undertaking literature reviews and preparing papers for publication, with guidance as necessary;
  • Working both independently and as part of the project team and stakeholders;
  • Supporting research activities, including contributing to research results and outputs and to systems implementation framework for BIM-GAIcost development, ensuring a successful programme of investigation;
  • Coordinating regular meetings with external stakeholders on this project.

Joining our team as a research assistant offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge data science projects, make data-driven decisions that impact the organisation's growth, and work with a talented team of academic and business professionals.

Skills and experience

You should have a good first degree and post-graduate degree in Computer Science or Data Science, or a related discipline, excellent programming skills, and great communication skills and experience of successfully working as part of a team. We expect the post holder to have the following technical knowledge and personal skills:


  • Minimum of 2.1 and ideally a Masters degree in Computer Science, Data Science, or a related field (e.g., artificial intelligence).
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement deep learning algorithms in at least one area of Artificial Intelligence, i.e., natural language processing, reinforcement learning, or computer vision
  • Advanced programming skills and proficiency with deep learning libraries (i.e., TensorFlow or PyTorch)
  • A commitment to following the best methodological practices in computer and behavioral sciences, such as pre-registration of studies, sharing of well-documented computer code, version control, such as Git, writing reproducible research reports, open sharing of data whenever feasible, etc.
  • Proven familiarity with cloud computing platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP) and their services.

Personal Skills:

  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, with the ability to work with and convey technical concepts to academics and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Able to work effectively under pressure and meet targets and delivery outputs within time and budget
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment, as well as independently on projects
  • Excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities, with a keen eye for detail.
  • Able to undertake independent research and to communicate this research comprehensively and accurately through journal papers, conferences, workshops/seminars.


Manpower have teamed up with Birmingham City University to offer you the unique ability to work for OpportUNIty, the Student Jobs on Campus Scheme - this will enable you to gain valuable, paid work experience whilst you study!

Company info
Birmingham City University

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