Rafael Sacks‘ research interests are focused on the synergies of BIM and Lean Construction, two related areas that are revolutionizing the tools and practices used in Construction, Civil Engineering and Architecture. He established the BIM and Virtual Construction Laboratories at the Technion’s National Building Research Institute, whose research includes development of BIM-enabled lean production control systems; BIM systems for earthquake search, rescue and recovery including reconstruction of building information models of damaged buildings from laser scans; innovative approaches to interoperability for BIM; and design for safety using virtual construction models. The VC Lab’s ongoing KanBIM and iKAN research projects are a novel attempt to bring process and product information to the job face.
In the area of Lean Construction, Prof. Sacks has undertaken several projects for industry and government. In the course of his work, he and his students devised the ‘LEAPCON’ management simulation game, widely recognised by academics and practitioners and used at 65 universities and 38 companies in 37 countries worldwide.
Prof. Sacks earned his bachelor’s degree in 1983 from the University of the Witwatersrand, his master’s in 1985 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his doctorate in 1998 from the Technion – all in Civil Engineering. He has worked as a structural engineer, CAD software developer, and construction project manager, and was a consultant to major industry and government clients. He joined the Technion as a member of faculty in 2000 and served as Head of Structural Engineering and Construction Management in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2012-2015.
He has received numerous awards for research and teaching, most recently the Thomas Fitch Rowland prize of the ASCE’s Construction Institute. Prof. Sacks is the author or co-author of a book (the “BIM Handbook”, a leading text on Building Information Modeling), 70 papers in international peer-reviewed academic journals, 85 peer-reviewed conference papers, and numerous research reports.