My AI vision for mega projects

Octant AI

My vision for building an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system for the mega projects and major programme community started years before I co-founded Endeavour Programme.

My AI invention, Octant AI, helps mega project and major programme deliverers, sponsors, owners and financiers everywhere to reduce time and cost overruns. Octant AI does this by using powerful machine learning technology that finds patterns in huge volumes of project data to spot problems earlier and more accurately than human experts. The technology then advises leaders how to bring the project back on track.

My journey with AI started over 20 years ago. I first saw the commercial potential to implement AI in mega projects when I solved engineering problems using machine learning for mega oil and gas projects in Australia in 2014.

In 2016, my AI research at Oxford University inspired me to look beyond engineering. I saw how planning, predicting and preventing cost overruns using AI could benefit all major programme stakeholders. As modern policy instruments, I also saw how major programmes could negatively affect millions of lives in societies around the world. My research showed me new ways that AI could potentially benefit governments, project finance and development banks by tackling the root causes of project failure. It also demonstrated how AI could apply to all types of projects; from IT, development and aid projects through to civil and civic infrastructure major programmes.

I was excited by AI’s potential from both my commercial work and research. I was further encouraged by its commercial potential when a major US construction firm offered to both sponsor and later buy my research. I declined their offer however, mainly because I wanted greater control.

What I needed was a vehicle for commercialising what I knew.

That’s when I discovered Endeavour Programme, a start-up at Oxford independently founded by my classmate, David Porter. I brought along my AI vision for the mega projects community and later became its first Director. Soon after, we made a dramatic pivot from being a consulting company to a technology company.

Today, I am proud that Endeavour Programme is a technology firm with world-class AI capability servicing the major projects community all around the world. We have formed strategic global partnerships with Mott MacDonald and WT Partnerships to use my AI technology, delivered an AI system for a billion dollar construction company in Queensland, and delivered an AI concept study for a major Asian government managing a project portfolio in the tens of billions. We are also partners with two companies formed by leading Oxford University academics, Oxford Global Projects and DeepReason.ai who are world renowned experts in mega projects and AI respectively.

I am excited to be part of a generation that wants to drive change in my field.

My company is striving for ways we can increase the benefit of AI for society through improving major programme performance everywhere. As Endeavour Programme’s Executive Director of Technology and as an Associate Scholar at Oxford University, I look forward to the challenges of serving major programme deliverers, sponsors, owners, financiers and the communities they affect around the world.