Emlyn David Qivitoq Witt is professor of construction risk management in Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, School of Engineering, starting frim May 1st.
Please introduce yourself.
When my family moved to Estonia from UK in 2004, our priority was a stable life and good education for our daughter while I expected to continue my career in construction management. I found my way to TalTech to teach Project Management in Construction and begin doctoral research. This was a role and an atmosphere in which I immediately felt at home and still do.
What kind of knowledge and experience do you bring to tenure?
After graduating as a civil engineer in 1994, I worked for construction contractors, civil engineering designers and consultants and for government agencies, all in different countries. This gave me a good appreciation of the different perspectives of construction industry stakeholders.
My teaching has focused on the management and economics of construction projects and this has given rise to an active research interest in engineering education and competence development.
Most of my working life since 2010 has been dedicated to international research projects aimed at civil engineering syllabus development, at making the built environment resilient to disasters and at the application of digital technologies in the construction sector. But my favourite topic remains risk which was the subject of both my masters thesis and doctoral dissertation.
What are your goals as a tenure professor at TalTech?
Risk-related issues in construction and the built environment is a newly created area of study in TalTech and my overall goal is to demonstrate that knowledge of risk in the built environment is valuable to society.
My most immediate objective, however, is to engage students and fellow researchers in the subject, through research, teaching, supervision and developing links with local, regional and international research networks.
One surprise regarding your new position?
The new position began in May and the opportunity to focus on risk and build up a programme of research and development around that has given me a surprising boost of energy and enthusiasm at a time of year when one is usually just trying to survive until the summer break.