Mon 21 September to Fri 25 September
Science Engineering Information Technologies

Introduction to Prefab Modular Design and Construction


Mon 21 September to Fri 25 September
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
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Join this short course to discover a smart, innovative construction technique that delivers projects with reduced duration and wastage, as well as improving safety and quality.


Prefab Modular Construction is a smart, innovative construction technique which delivers projects with a reduction in project duration, minimised wastage, improved safety, and high quality. This short course aims to introduce prefab modular construction and design to engineers, architects, and builders to enhance their knowledge and skills and apply the technique to their next project.

Course structure

This is the first short course in a three-part series. The following two courses will be more advanced and build on the knowledge gained in this introductory course.

The first course introduces Prefab Modular Construction including conceptual design through lectures, tutorial examples and case studies. Content will be spread across five days comprising 2.5 hours each day.


Professor Jay Sanjayan, introduction.

Professor Shan Kumar, Course Convenor

Shan Kumar, professorial fellow at Swinburne University of Technology.Shan is a professorial fellow at Swinburne University of Technology and the Current National President of Concrete Institute of Australia. As the head of innovation team at Hickory from 2013 to 2019, he was responsible for the production of smart innovative prefab technology at Hickory Building System (HBS).

George Konstandakos

George Konstandakos, has a background in mechanical engineering and an accomplished career in the automotive industry.With a background in mechanical engineering, George comes from an accomplished career in the automotive industry. Through his roles as CEO at Hickory Building Systems and General Manager at Timber Building Systems, which he led as a start-up company, George has become a key spokesperson for prefabrication. Most recently, as Head of Design Make, George lead a team responsible for delivering prefabricated mass timber building solutions for Lendlease projects around Australia.

Joyce Ferng

Joyce Ferng, adjunct industry fellow at Swinburne University of Technology.Joyce has been delivering complex and challenging projects across Australia, United Kingdom and Singapore for over 20 years as a chartered professional engineer. With her experience and expertise in Systemised Technology, Joyce is currently leading the AECOM modular initiatives. She is working closely with digital disruptors to integrate technologies from Industry 4.0 with established lean methodologies in the construction prefabrication space. Joyce is an adjunct industry fellow at Swinburne and an Industry Technical Advisor to Melbourne University CAMP.H initiative.

Dr Scott Menegon

Dr Scott Menegon, research fellow at Swinburne University of Technology.Scott is a research fellow at Swinburne. Scott has significant industry experience as a consulting structural engineer working on building projects in the health, government, education, transport and residential sectors. Scott’s primary research interests include precast concrete structures; the design and experimental assessment of reinforced concrete walls and columns; and the seismic behaviour of reinforced concrete buildings in Australia and other regions of lower seismicity.

Simon Hughes

Simon Hughes, oversees Westkon Precast's technical department and recently started Precast Concepts. Over the past 25 years, Simon has been involved in all facets of precast design and construction Simon joined Westkon Precast in January 2015 and oversees Westkon’s Technical Department, as well as recently starting Precast Concepts Pty. Ltd, primarily involved in offering independent technical advice and conceptual design. Simon is a past president of the Concrete Institute of Australia (Victoria Branch), he is an Australian representative on Commission 6 of the Federation International Beton on Prefabrication, and is the CIA representative and deputy Chair of BD-066 responsible for drafting the Australian Standard AS3850: Prefabricated Concrete Elements.

Tim Newman

Tim Newman, General Motors Holden.Tim is an experienced, professional engineer with a career focused on designing, developing, and validating products for large scale production. During his 18 years at General Motors Holden, Tim has led a range of long-term engineering projects both nationally and across the globe, working with various industry and government stakeholders. He is an established BIM and lean manufacturing expert who has developed and implemented an efficient linear manufacturing system at TBS.

Dwain Frankel

Dwain Frankel has helped deliver a broad range of prefabricated structures.With a background in automotive (defence), Dwain has helped deliver a broad range of prefabricated structures both within Australia and abroad. Dwain’s specialty is not in traditional structural engineering, but in developing structures for the demands of prefabrication, from manufacturing requirements, transport loads and limitations, through to assembly onsite.

Professor Emad Gad, closing remarks.

Note: link to the sessions will be provided prior the course start date.

  • Full fee: $500 plus GST
  • Student fee: $400 plus GST
  • 1-2 day registration: $350 plus GST

The registration fee includes the course and lecture slides.

Session 1, Monday 21 September

  • Introduction to prefab modular construction | Shan Kumar
  • Tutorial: Basic concept of modular design | Dwain Frankel

Session 2, Tuesday 22 September

  • Precast structures and the importance of AS3850 | Simon Hughes 
  • Use of precast elements and joints in prefab modular | Scott Menegon
  • Tutorial: Precast lifting/joint design | Simon Hughes and Scott Menegon

Session 3, Wednesday 23 September

  • Use of timber elements in prefab construction | George Konstandakos
  • Introduction to lifting, transportation and placement | Dwain Frankel 
  • Tutorial: Lifting and transportation and placement | Dwain Frankel and George Konstandakos 

Session 4, Thursday 24 September

  • Case Studies: Steel and timber prefab buildings | George Konstandakos 
  • Case Studies: Precast Prefab Buildings | Shan Kumar

Session 5-Friday 25 September

  • Future of prefab modular design and construction | Joyce Ferng
  • Case Study: Timber modular building | Tim Newman
  • Research work on prefab modular construction

Examples of modular buildings to be discussed during the course

Pepper King (HBS)

Pepper King, a modular building.

Penrith (tbs)

Penrith, a modular building.

St Mary Office (tbs)

St Mary Office, a modular building

Daramu House in Sydney (Lend Lease)

Carlton Connect, a modular building in Melbourne.

La Trobe Tower (HBS Hickory)

La Trobe Tower, a modular building.

Stella Apartment (UB-Hickory)

Stella Apartment, a modular building

Contact Information

Maria Han
+61 3 9214 8455