March 31, 2023

#032 – John Orr – Designing for a Sustainable Future: Insights from Academia

#032 - John Orr - Designing for a Sustainable Future: Insights from Academia

Show Notes

What is academia's role in ensuring the industry is fit for the future?

On today's podcast, we have John Orr – Professor of Structural Engineering At Cambridge University.

As a top-tier university ranked in the world's top 5, Cambridge is a powerhouse of knowledge, and we are privileged to have John share his expertise with us.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why interdisciplinary education can help solve complex problems
  • The future of design for structures
  • Collaboration and its importance in both innovation and climate change
  • How to become a Cambridge University Professor


John Orr

Professor of Structural Engineering. Chartered engineer, academic, industrial consultant in embodied carbon. Aiming to transform real estate and construction.


Today's Sponsor: Beta Construction and technology network platform – connecting the tech industry with traditional partners.




(00:00:00-00:01:50) – An Exciting Introduction and a Word from Our Sponsor

(00:01:50-00:03:46) – From PhD to Cambridge Professor: John Orr's Journey in Structural Engineering

(00:03:46-00:04:42) – Why Now is the Perfect Time to Be in Structural Engineering

(00:04:42-00:06:51) – What Makes Cambridge-Trained Engineers Stand Out from the Rest?

(00:06:51-00:09:42) – How to Make Structural Engineering More Attractive and Accessible

(00:09:42-00:11:31) – The Role of Structural Engineering in Reducing Carbon Emissions

(00:11:31-00:13:12) – Strategies to Improve Structural Engineering's Sustainability Impact

(00:13:12-00:17:46) – Tackling the Thorny Issue of PI Insurance in Structural Engineering

(00:17:46-00:19:45) – A Glimpse into the Future of Construction

(00:19:45-00:23:25) – The Revolutionary ACORN Project and its Integration with Robotics

(00:23:25-00:24:52) – Predicting the Most Significant Developments in Structural Engineering's Future

(00:24:52-00:26:19) – John Orr's Vision for the Future of Construction

(00:26:19-00:27:34) – Balancing Academia and Practical Applications in Structural Engineering

(00:27:34-00:29:32) – Understanding the Impact of Part Z in Structural Engineering

(00:29:32-00:30:04) – Insights into the Fascinating Work of Part Z

(00:30:04-00:31:23) – The Potential Effects of Part Z on Structural Engineering

(00:31:23-00:32:15) – John Orr's Key Message on Structural Engineering's Role in Building a Sustainable Future

(00:32:15-00:34:15) – Navigating the Intersection of Individual Action and Regulatory Frameworks

(00:34:15-00:38:11) – How to Become a Cambridge Professor in Structural Engineering

(00:38:11-00:39:07) – John Orr's Diverse Range of Hobbies and Interests

(00:39:07-00:39:31) – Get to Know John Orr a Little Better

(00:39:31-00:39:48) – A Memorable Outro and Final Thoughts.

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