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Meet the

Directors behind IHT Lab

Dr. Vicente Gonzalez

Co-Director of the Lean Construction 4.0 Area

Dr. Vicente Gonzalez is a world-leading expert at the interface of Lean Construction and Computer Science, and has recently published the Lean Construction 4.0’s book that illustrates the potential of this combined research approach to tackle the pressing issues of the AEC Industry. His research work spans over 13 years, including 12 years at The University of Auckland - New Zealand.


The standing of his research work has been recently acknowledged with the award of a prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Digital Lean Construction. Dr. Gonzalez has published 87 journal papers, 75 conference papers, 1 book, 2 book chapters, curated 5 conference proceedings and secured $63+ million in research and teaching grants and corporate sponsorships over his career. He has supervised to completion 100+ undergraduate (thesis-based) and graduate students, including 13 PhD students.


Dr. Gonzalez has worked in construction projects in Chile, developed CEM consultancy for engineering and construction projects in Chile, NZ and Australia, and founded 2 technology-based startup companies. The outcomes of his team’s research have been applied to projects totalling over CAN$3.9+ billion over the world, including some of the largest transport infrastructure projects in New Zealand.

Dr. Gaang Lee

Co-Director of the Computer-Driven Behavioural Area

Dr. Gaang Lee has extensive research experience in monitoring workers’ behavioural and psychophysiological responses during their ongoing work to improve construction tasks and environments in a way that ensure worker safety, health, and productivity. To this end, he has applied and advanced knowledge in different domains, such as wearable biosensing, signal processing, machine learning, neurocognitive science and psychophysiology. He has published 9 papers in highly reputable journals and 10 conference proceedings based on those studies. 

In addition to his academic achievements, Dr. Lee possesses practical knowledge gained from five years of experience in the construction industry. He served as a licensed site engineer, a BIM coordinator, a BIM consultant, and a corporate strategy manager.


During this time, he successfully completed various prestigious building projects, such as the Shangri-la high-rise hotel (Mongol) and the Samsung proton therapy centre (South Korea), serving the roles of a licensed site engineer and a BIM coordinator for Samsung C&T. He also consulted for BIM strategies of two turnkey bids. Furthermore, Dr. Lee took charge of corporate technology management and BIM adoption strategies at Samsung C&T for one year.

Dr. Qipei (Gavin) Mei

Co-Director of the Sensing and AI Area

Dr Qipei (Gavin) Mei is an expert in AI technologies. His research centres on the application of sensing technologies and machine learning to develop smart and sustainable infrastructure systems for the future. So far, he has secured $3+ million in research grants exploring the application of AI, XR and Robotics for improving the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure and buildings. He has published over 30 journal and conference papers, including numerous articles in top-ranked journals in his field.


Currently, he is supervising 10+ undergraduate students and 10+ graduate students. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Mei has spent two years working as a structural engineer, in charge of the structural design of stadiums, floors, and bridges using composite materials. He is currently a registered PEng with Apega. Furthermore, he has a continuous interest in entrepreneurship and has co-founded a company valued at $2 million CAD out of his research work.

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Dr. Ali Golabchi

Co-Director of Entrepreneurship and Industry Engagement

Dr. Ali Golabchi is a researcher, innovator, educator, advisor, and tech enthusiast. His expertise lies in the transformation of cutting-edge research into practical, real-world applications, driven by his commitment to bridging the gap between academia and industry. He has over a decade of experience in managing and facilitating research endeavors between academia and industry, contributing to successful planning, execution, and uptake of various research projects.


Ali holds a PhD from the University of Alberta and an MSc from the University of Michigan, and actively oversees the development and implementation of technology-based, data-powered, science-driven solutions aimed at enhancing safety and productivity across various sectors. He has vast experience in spearheading and contributing to various research and innovation initiatives and projects, reflected by a proven record of scientific contributions and achievements.


Ali actively collaborates with tech start-ups, multinational corporations, universities, standardization bodies, and government agencies. He is also an Adjunct Professor and has years of experience mentoring and training students in academic and industrial settings.

OUR MOTTO is to..

Harness the power of cutting-edge digital and smart technologies to solve pressing construction and infrastructure challenges, with a strong emphasis on human-centred solutions.

OUR AIM is to develop..



Inclusive solutions

 .. designed to enhance safety, productivity, and efficiency in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, grounded on solid engineering science and a predilection to focus on end-user’s needs to solve industry problems.

Graduate Researchers

Meet our student researchers supervised by Dr. Vicente Gonzalez, Dr. Gaang Lee and Dr. Qipei (Gavin) Mei

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