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Borja García de Soto

(Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Borja García de Soto is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and a Global Network Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University (NYU). He is the director of the S.M.A.R.T. Construction Research Group at NYUAD and conducts research in the areas of automation and robotics in construction, cybersecurity in the AEC industry, artificial intelligence, lean construction, and BIM. He is also the General Secretary of the International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC).

Borja has extensive experience in the industry as a structural engineer, project manager, and construction consultant. He is a Professional Engineer (PE) with licenses in California and Florida and has international experience in multiple aspects of construction projects.

Borja received his PhD from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He also holds an MSc in Civil Engineering with a concentration in engineering and project management from the University of California at Berkeley, an MSc in Civil Engineering with a concentration in structural design from Florida International University (FIU), and a BSc in Civil Engineering (graduated cum laude) also from FIU.

Cybersecurity in a digital construction environment

The modernization of the AEC industry includes new technologies such as building information modeling (BIM) and common data environments (CDEs) that increase the efficiency of construction tasks and make the industry more connected. It also facilitates the convergence of information technologies (IT) (e.g., digital data storage, generative design) and operational technologies (OT) (e.g., 3D printing, Internet of Things (IoT)). As a result, connectivity and collaboration in construction projects are reinforced, ultimately improving the efficiency, sustainability, resilience, and productivity of our built environment. These are all great things for a sector that is finding automation as a solution to address productivity issues. However, this increased connectivity (e.g., the use of digital twins) opens the door to significant vulnerabilities, which can influence the different stakeholders in an industry unaware of the cybersecurity implications of such digital transformation.

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