All-In-One Construction Accounting Software

Making the Most Out of Technology: A Conversation With Dr. Paul J McKeown

The construction industry in the Middle East is on the brink of significant transformation in recent years.

With the integration of digital technology becoming increasingly crucial, construction professionals are embracing innovative tools and solutions to enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and foster collaboration among stakeholders.

In this interview, we will explore Dr. Paul J McKeown’s perspectives on digital transformation, sustainability, and the latest technological trends shaping the construction landscape.

Q & A Dr. Paul McKeown

Who Did We Interview?

Dr. Paul McKeown is an accomplished professional with over 25 years of experience in the engineering sector, currently serving as CEO at a construction firm in the Middle East. A fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Saudi Arabia ICE Committee Chairman, his background spans both the private and public sectors. Dr. McKeown's expertise is in governance, project management, digital transformation, and full life cycle analysis for infrastructure change.

He has been committed to optimizing process management and delivery throughout his career. Dr. McKeown attained a PhD and authored the publication "Water Resilient Communities" in 2013. Presently, he chairs a steering committee focused on strategic growth, HSE, QAQC, and risk management.

As the ICE Chairman of Saudi Arabia and Country Representative, Dr. McKeown plays a central role in highlighting the value of professional engineers to government clients. Through his involvement, he demonstrates best practice activities that complement Saudi Arabia's goals outlined in the KSA 2030 vision.

As CEO of a construction company, Dr. McKeown spearheads business development and operations, building strategic relationships for successful implementation. He maintains an outstanding commercial, industrial, and residential portfolio, showcasing extensive knowledge of contract, construction, cost, risk, quality, health and design management, and services.

Let Us Quickly Get To Our Expert’s Point Of View.

Question 1: How do you see the construction industry in the year 2023? Do you think this year will be a “digital year” for construction professionals?

From 2023 to 2024, the construction industry will continue to experience significant growth and development. The integration of digital technology is becoming increasingly important in this sector. PM companies embrace digital tools and solutions to enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and improve stakeholder collaboration. Therefore, it would be accurate to say that this year and next will see significant development and the changes needed to reinforce digital transformation into a “digital year” for construction professionals in the Middle East.

Question 2: The construction industry has undergone dynamic changes over the years. What do you consider the biggest challenge for this industry now?

The biggest challenge facing the construction industry today is the need for sustainable and green practices. As environmental concerns continue to grow, construction professionals must find ways to reduce waste, promote energy efficiency, and adopt eco-friendly materials and construction methods. Balancing economic viability with environmental sustainability is a key challenge the industry must address. Ownership, accountability, and education are key, backed by legislative drivers.

Question 3: What potential do you see in the latest construction technology trends? Are they capable of boosting the productivity of construction professionals?

The latest construction technology trends show great potential to boost the productivity of construction professionals. Building Information Modelling (BIM), advanced robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Twins, and artificial intelligence (AI) are just a few examples. These technologies enable better project visualization, optimize resource allocation, improve safety measures, and enhance overall project efficiency. By leveraging these trends, construction professionals can save time and cost.

Question 4: Where do you see the construction industry in the next five years? Please share your valuable insights with our readers.

Over the next five years, the construction industry is expected to undergo further transformations. We can anticipate increased adoption of digital solutions, augmented reality (AR), and 3D printing for construction. The industry will also see a stronger emphasis on sustainability, focusing more on green building practices and renewable energy integration. International collaborations and (AI) smart city initiatives will provide new growth opportunities for construction professionals. We at HanmiGlobal Saudi are in the process of launching a new approach that will revolutionize the AI smart city industry.

Get to Know Our Influencer

Question 5: In four words or less, what’s your prediction about the transforming construction industry?

"Dynamic transformation through technological innovation."

Question 6: What's your success mantra?

My success mantra is never to stop learning and adapting. The construction industry constantly evolves, and professionals must stay updated with the latest trends, techniques, and best practices. Embracing innovation, fostering effective communication, and building strong relationships with clients and stakeholders are critical elements for success in this field.

More Details

Dr. McKeown's experience includes leadership positions at several reputable organizations, such as Jacobs, Hill International, Saudi Industrial Property Authority "MODON," the Department of Regional Development, and Atkins. He successfully executed infrastructure, transportation, and environment projects in these roles by utilizing Capital Budgets, Public and Private Partnerships (PPP), and managing multi-disciplinary teams.