Professor Nuno Gil

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Profile photo of: Professor Nuno Gil Email: Show Email Address
Position: Academic Director, Centre for Infrastructure Development
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Academic unit: Innovation, Management and Policy

Research Interests

Design and Organization Design Theory, Commons Theory, New Infrastructure Development; Megaproject leadership and governance


Which structures bring the best of people in voluntary, consensus-oriented collaborations? This is the central question at the heart of my research. I arrived at it after a decade studying how democratic societies produce long-lived infrastructure and coming to the conclusion that long-lived infrastructure is produced by consensus-oriented collaborative networks that involve public and private entities and are characterized by a relatively egalitarian core and a closed periphery. This in turn suggests a complex and hybrid form of organizing that is subjected to collective action problems as typical of pluralistic organizations which cannot rely on authority hierarchies, market mechanisms, meritocracy-based authorities, and clan structures to coordinate work.

My research develops theory, cognitive frameworks, and methods for communicating with key stakeholders the structure of collaborative networks as those formed to produce long-lived infrastructure, and how these networks can perform effectively and efficiently, and how to define and measure performance itself. Specifically, I investigate development processes, design structures, contracting and procurement strategies, governance structures, and the practice of leadership.

Recently, I have started to become interested in studying other consensus-oriented collaborative networks that must be formed to tackle major societal problems such as poverty relief, climate change, health care provision, and drug resistance.


Nuno is Professor of New Infrastructure Development, the world's first professorial handle of this nature in a B-school. Nuno coined the term New Infrastructure Development to designate an intellectual framing that encompasses the intertwined socio-political, financial, and technical challenges characterizing the leadership, management, and governance of large infrastructure (so-called mega-projects), and more broadly, portfolios of megaprojects hold by corporations, cities/regions, and nations. Nuno earned a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley, and interdisciplinary certificates in the Management of Technology and in Logistics with the Haas Business School. He had professional practice stints in structural engineering and project management, following completion of a 5-year degree in Civil Engineering in the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal.

He joined the Manchester Business School in October 2004. Nuno has worked, or done research, with various organizations around the globe notably in the USA: CH2M HILL and Intel; in the UK: Rolls Royce, BAA (now Heathrow), BP, Constructing Excellence, Manchester City Council, Network Rail, Beetham Organization, Crossrail, London2012, High-speed 2, and L.E.K. Consulting; in Portugal: EDP-Energy, Crossrail; in India: Larsen & Toubro, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL); in Nigeria: Lamata; in Uganda: Road Fund. He has several years of executive education experience, namely on planning to the Rolls Royce Project Management Professional Development Program, on lean construction to the North-West Development Agency, on contracting and procurement strategy to the BP Managing Projects College; and on mega-project leadership and governance. Nuno was the lead editor of the 2009 special issue of California Management Review Infrastructure meets Business: Building New Bridges, Mending Old Ones. Nuno is the co-founder and research director of the Centre for Infrastructure Development (CID). In 2013, Nuno jointly with Professor Carliss Baldwin (Harvard Business School) coined the term design commons.

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Working papers

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Showing 41 publication(s)



  • Gil, N., & Biesek, G. (2016). Collective Development of Flexible Capital Designs: The case of Future-proofing Infrastructure. I E E E Transactions on Engineering Management. . Publication link: 0355a9a3-cfb3-4e3c-8563-e93e6874ed21
  • Gil, N. (2016). Achieving Collective Ends with Limited Resources: Insight's From Africa's Struggle to Bridge the Infrastructure Gap. Cambridge press.. Publication link: 002b191d-4e21-42dc-9d52-328683930114
  • Gil, N., & KIVLENIECE , I. (2016). ‘Winning’ in Pluralistic Settings: Balancing Co-optation and Adaptation by Design. Strategic Management Journal. . Publication link: 3dd6ca90-76b3-4593-a6af-9ddcd5f07b36


  • Gil, N. (2015). Collective Action at the Front-end of Complex Systems Projects: The Case of Planning Large Infrastructure Projects in the UK.. Publication link: 3cea2db6-64b6-476a-89c7-dc42c61138c6


  • Gil, N. (2014). Sustaining Highly-Fragile Collaborations: A Study of Planning Mega Infrastructure Projects in the UK. Unknown Journal. . Publication link: 3fdd9264-8a67-482e-85e7-940fbf95a125
  • Lundrigan, C., Gil, N., & Puranam, P. (2014). The (Under) Performance of Mega-projects: A Meta-organizational Perspective. Unknown Journal. . Publication link: 1ee0d708-0092-451c-b319-fc61ff5a4b3a




  • Gil, N., Pinto, J., & Smyth, H. (2011). Trust in Relational Contracting and as a Critical Organizational Attribute. In Handbook on the Management of Projects. (pp. 438-462). Oxford: Oxford University Press. . Publication link: 1761b3ab-f729-4627-8a63-21821ea158a2



  • Gil, N. (2009). Evolvable or 'Future-proof' Infrastructure Design: Integrating Modularity and Safeguards. In Open Building Manufacturing: Key Technologies, Applications and Industrial Cases: book2. VTT: Manubuild. . Publication link: de60850e-428c-4e80-b75a-a5d6cb6ad1ca





  • Gil, N., & Beckham, S. (2005). Stakeholders Interests and Project Management: ties to implementing design reuse and redundancy. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, tbc. . Publication link: a3bfa10d-73d2-475e-b35f-e34f819b9de1


  • Gil, N., & Kahn, H. (2004). Intelligent Construction Components for Integrating Product Design, Delivery Process, and Life-cycle Performance. In 20th Annual ARCOM Conference.. Publication link: 8f73dc52-9ac4-4f5a-b5a0-3faa70ee1f4c
  • Gil, N. (2004). The Role of Specialist Contractors in Project Innovation: limitations and insights from analysing construction industry data. In British Academy of Management (BAM) Annual Conference.. Publication link: 5242f08f-6ab9-4508-be41-1ad1deb9c9fa
  • Gil, N., & El-Tayeh, A. (2004). Beyond Tacit Knowledge Conversion: turning project extranets into social web-based systems. In British Academy of Management (BAM) Annual Conference.. Publication link: c95bc239-2453-4fb0-a682-9ad442bdd980


  • Gil, N. (2003). Using product and process flexibility to cope with project delivery uncertainty. In 19th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM).. Publication link: 9875113b-95e5-44ef-849b-6fa529bd86dd
  • Gil, N. (2003). Understanding Scheduling Unreliability: case study on a factory tooling project. In 21st International Conference of the System Dynamics Society.. Publication link: 0d48eec1-f435-4a86-816a-17344b6e9ceb


  • Gil, N. (2002). Can know-how be signalled? In 10th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC-10).. Publication link: 37eb0ec6-c6c3-478e-ae15-7eb411c53176
  • Gil, N. (2002). Product-process Simulation to Support Project Delivery Choices. In ASCE Specialty Conference on Fully Integrated and Automated Project Processes.. Publication link: 73595c95-b5a5-4d2a-a54b-6f8cb7c42e57


  • Gil, N. (2001). Modelling the Design-Build Development Process for a Facility Component. In 9th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC-9).. Publication link: a24dfd23-246d-4728-8db6-b90fe24b5fe9
  • Gil, N., & Ballard, G. (2001). Leveraging Specialty Contractor Knowledge in Design. Engineering, Construction, and Architectural Management, 5, 5/6. . Publication link: bb7f2905-5ef2-48e6-8df3-d208b60b767c
  • Gil, N. (2001). Comparison of Simulation Modelling Techniques That Use Pre-emption to Capture Design Uncertainty. In Winter Simulation Conference, Arlington, Virginia, USA.. Publication link: 937176ef-d526-441f-b287-dcb210eacf11
  • Gil, N. (2001). Modelling Design Development Processes in Changeable Environments. In Winter Simulation Conference, Arlington, Virginia, USA.. Publication link: 4267116c-6b65-4e43-a4dd-ffb39562937d