Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

April 2017    |    Volume: 49    |    Number: 4

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Construction Division

President's Message

The accomplishments of an organization are the results of the collaborative efforts of its members. It is both an honor and a privilege to serve as the President of the construction division for 2016‐2017 term. I was introduced to the construction division during my graduate education and my ties with the division got stronger when I was awarded the first place in the construction division's annual student paper competition in 2008. I have been part of the division since then as a regular and/or board member.

The association of industrial engineering with the field of construction goes way back in time. Frank Gilbreth, a pioneer of motion study - one of the classical Industrial Engineering concepts -derived his famous "Therbligs" to improve efficacy of bricklaying tasks. The technology and the ways of operation of construction industry has changed tremendously over the years but application of industrial engineering to improve construction competitiveness, safety, and stakeholder satisfaction remained the same, if not increased. The construction division of IISE is dedicated to the promotion and adoption of industrial engineering techniques in the construction industry through interdisciplinary collaboration of academicians, researcher and industry practitioners. We focus on enhancing existing construction industry practices through a sound application of industrial engineering tools and techniques such as process simulation, optimization, stochastic modelling, project management, safety and ergonomics. In the last annual IISE conference, construction division hosted two high quality sessions in which several researchers presented their work on similar topics. Our student paper competition also received several excellent papers and Sadegh Asgari of Columbia University and Ali Shafaat of Purdue University were the winners of the 2016 student paper competition for their paper "Simulating Construction Bidding Using Agent-Based Modeling."

As we move forward in our 2016‐2017 year, the construction division must prepare itself to address current and future challenges. There are several emerging issues that call for our attention: aging workforce, accelerated changes in information technology and social media, skilled worker shortage, safety liability and toxic buildings, and cost-time-quality trade-offs. The construction division is alert of these emerging changes and is continuously rethinking and adjusting its goals and priorities. In addition to publishing regularly scheduled newsletters, the division is revamping its social media presence, our new board member, Becca Keller, is leading the efforts on this front. The division is also planning to schedule at least two webinars addressing new and emerging issues in construction and industrial engineering. I would like to encourage the members to participate in the division's activities by proposing topics for the webinar, sending articles for newsletter and most importantly by submitting work for the next IISE conference scheduled on May 20-23, 2017, in Pittsburgh. The call for paper is scheduled to come out very soon and we welcome your submission!

As for the operational activities, the regular election of the division was held on time, and another dedicated group of members were selected for carrying on the division ahead. It will be the priority of the construction division board to not only maintain our current status but to improve it by keeping active in increasing our visibility and membership. So let's work together to make our division better and bigger - invite students, researchers, practitioner, and managers from local organizations to get involved with the construction division; visit division's website to learn about our activities and participate; follow us on social media, start a discussion and post news, and hopefully, let's meet in 2017 in Pittsburgh!

In the Headlines


The following is a brief introduction to:

Eaves, S., D. E. Gyi, and A. G. F. Gibb. "Building Healthy Construction Workers: Their Views on Health, Wellbeing and Better Workplace Design." Applied Ergonomics 54 (2016): 10-18.

The purpose of the article was to report on good working practices and behaviors that were encountered on construction sites and describe ideas for workplace design given from actual workers. The article framed these issues in the context of an aging workforce but portions of the paper covered aspects of construction that is important beyond the age of the worker. Information regarding musculoskeletal symptoms in construction workers is also included.The authors wanted to view the research from a participatory ergonomics approach. Interviews were used to collect data from workers in the study. The study found that construction workers had a high occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms. Many of the participants of the study held the thought that these occurrences were an effect of the construction work. Even though participants reported higher numbers of symptoms, they also reported that they felt that it did not affect their ability to work. The age of the worker did not affect this finding. Although I found it interesting that knees were the only part of the body that showed a significant difference in the reporting of symptoms with respect to time in the construction industry. Over 250 ideas related to the health and well-being of workers were mentioned and some are already being used on job sites. Participants also reported an effort to live healthy lifestyles and stay fit. This was seen as an effort to be involved in the outcome of their ability to work for as long as possible. The authors noted the worker's use of non-mainstream PPE. It would be interesting to see a study addressing the effect of adapting PPE or using non-mainstream PPE on the overall safety of construction workers.

The full article can be found here.

Message from the Editor

Hello members of the Construction Division,
I hope everyone enjoyed reading our last newsletter. As you may recall I asked you to send me any interesting articles you thought other members might find helpful. Well, I did receive some interesting articles from members, and I have spotlighted one of them for you in the "In the Headlines" section of the newsletter. The articles submitted had a variety of topics and hopefully you will keep the articles coming. I would like to spotlight at least one article every time the newsletter is released.We are trying to reach more members, and one way the Construction Division is doing that is by using social media. We currently have Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. So look for some interesting articles to be posted on our social media sites and feel free to share your comments online.In other news, we have an upcoming webinar scheduled for April 11 on Modeling Projects' Enterprise Using Integration Definition for Function Modeling (IDEF0) by Ali Shafaat, Ph.D. I hope everyone has a chance to attend the webinar. Please check the upcoming webinars section of the IISE website for more information.

Lastly, please let the division know if you are interested in getting involved. Elections are coming up, and we would like to see anyone with an interest apply. So please let us know in what areas you would like to serve.

 Thanks for your dedication to the profession.

 

Sincerely,

Kristopher Harbin

Newsletter Editor

IISE Annual Conference & Expo

Plan to attend the IISE Annual Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh, May 20-23.

Look for the Construction Research Track in the program. Our track looks forward to a number of high-quality presentations at the 2017 conference.
A reminder for our presenters: Final papers are due no later than March 6.

Please see the speaker information page for more dates and information.

Conference events will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

We are looking forward to seeing you there.

  Registration link

  Hotel and travel information link

About the Division

IISE's Construction Division brings together members who are involved in all facets of the construction industry, such as design, value engineering, project management, research, safety and ergonomics. With these combined resources, we hope to bring to the construction industry a rich supply of knowledge, innovation and experience that can have the kind of positive impact that IEs have long used to bring the manufacturing and service industries to superlative levels of performance.

Review the Construction Division mission statement and the Construction Division Bylaws.

Meet the Construction Division Board 2016-2017.

Please join and interact with our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages!

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