FOBE Home > People: Adjunct Professors

Professor Dr John Orr

Dr John Orr is based in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Orr's teaching and research are closely linked to sustainable construction, and improving construction sector productivity. He works in concrete structures, creating new methods for analysis, optimisation, and automation in construction.

Dr Orr has secured research funding totalling £11.2M. He was the first EPSRC Early Career Fellow in Structural Engineering in the UK, and in 2022 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Engineering.

He has built a team around his vision for the design optimisation and lightweighting of existing and future infrastructure by learning from real performance.

Dr Orr graduated with a first class MEng (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Bath in 2009, winning three University Awards. He subsequently completed a PhD in flexible formwork, graduating in 2012.

Before joining the University of Cambridge, Dr Orr was Director of Research and Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Bath Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

Dr Orr provides expert consultancy to leading engineering and construction firms.

Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam Kong Choy 


A visionary doyen of multiple industries, Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam Kong Choy, is the Past President, Patron and current National Council Member of REHDA. On 8th March 2022 he was appointed as the Champion of the Construction & Built Environment Nexus by the Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC) which is part of MITI. He is currently the Chairman of the Triterra Group of Companies and several other investment holding companies.

Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam has an illustrious career, spanning over 40 years in the construction, real estate and corporate sectors, not only in Malaysia but also in the UK, South Africa and Australia. He had helmed two award winning public-listed property companies as Managing Director and CEO prior to his early retirement in 2008 and served in blue chip corporations such as Bahman Consulting Engineers, Works Department of UK’s National Health Service, Landmarks Berhad, Peremba Malaysia, Country Heights Holdings Berhad and Sunrise Berhad in the past.

He was at various times between 2009-2022 appointed as the Senior Independent Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Paramount Corporation Berhad and CMS Berhad while also serving as Independent Non-Executive Director of Sunway Berhad, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad and Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad. Concurrently, he had also served as Chairman of the Risk Committee of the Bank, Finance & Investment Committee of Malaysia Airports, Eraman Duty Free, Sama Sama Hotel and Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of EPF.

In June 2023 he stepped down as the 119th President of the Chartered Institute of Building leading a global professional membership of 48,000 and also as Chairman of InvestKL Corporation after 11 years tenure at the helm of this Government Investment Promotion Agency. Other appointments he had held in the past include being a 3 term member of the Advisory Board of the City of Kuala Lumpur, director of the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, director of the regulator Construction Industry Development Board and Construction Labour Exchange Berhad. He is currently trustee of REHDA Institute, a director of GreenRE and is the Chancellor of the University of Wollongong Malaysia.

Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam graduated in Building and also Management Studies from the University of Westminster in 1979 and subsequently obtained his professional qualifications as a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building where he made it to be the second non-British President in its 190- year history. He was conferred a Fellowship of the Construction Industry Development Board in 2015, Honorary Member of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents in 2017 and earlier this year, the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Engineering, Construction and Property Industry by Balai Ikhtisas Malaysia. In 2021, coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Heriot-Watt University, he was conferred the Honorary Doctorate of the University. Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam is an Adjunct Professor and guest lecturer at various institutions of higher learning including UTAR’s Master’s Degree Course in Real Estate Development (MRED). 

Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam was named the CEO of the Year 2001/2002 by American Express and Business Times and won the OP of the Year 2014 award by his alumni, the Royal Military College. He is the current President of the Old Putera Association of the Royal Military College and a Honorary Member of the Rotary Club which also honoured him with a Paul Harris Fellowship for his charitable and contribution to the community. In recognition for his services and contributions to the economic development and well being of the nation, he was conferred the Darjah Dato’ Setia Negeri Sembilan (DSNS) by DYMM Yang Di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan in 2022 and the Darjah Seri Mahkota Wilayah (SMW) by DYMM Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in 2011.