Academics at Teesside University are working with a roofing specialist to develop a unique system that uses artificial intelligence to streamline technical drawing processes.

Stockton-headquartered TaperedPlus is collaborating with researchers from the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies on a Innovate UK - Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) project to develop design tools which use Natural Language Processing.

NLP is a branch of artificial intelligence that enables computers to comprehend, generate, and manipulate human language.

The project will play a crucial role in TaperedPlus’s mission to digitise its processes, enabling the scaling of product manufacturing and consultancy services in new markets by targeting inefficiencies within its business processes. Once it has been fully evaluated there is the potential to roll it out to the wider industry.

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TaperedPlus is a national leader in the design and supply of flat roofing and insulation systems across multiple sectors, including health, education, and retail, as well as additional services in technical specifications such as BIM, acoustic, thermal measuring, and surveying.

The potential impact of the AKT promises increased efficiency in the technical drawing process, leading to a quicker extraction of essential technical details and ultimately contributing to higher turnover and net profitability.

Dr Alessandro Di Stefano, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, and Professor Farzad Rahimian, Relevant Knowledge Base Supervisor, will utilise their expertise in machine learning, AI, and predictive modelling to support the project.

Ghazal Salimi and Donatus Okonta, PhD students at the university, will be the AKT Research Associates to work on the project.

Aman Chahal, CEO of TaperedPlus, said: “I believe that the future of building and construction lies in such innovations, and we are proud to lead the way in digitising and optimising industry standards.”