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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 the winning submission in last year's student paper competition. If you feel lead to read the entire paper, it can be found here.

Competitive bidding is the main mechanism for allocation of construction projects and consequently price determination of the construction services in the A/E/C industry. While different aspects of construction bidding have been studied in the literature, there is still a need for developing a comprehensive model that captures the complex dynamics of bidding environment by considering interactions among its components, most importantly construction contractors. The advantages of agent-based modeling in simulating the construction bidding process over the previously applied methodologies is discussed. In the paper, the construction bidding environment is simulated using an agent-based approach.

The model is used to compare the effectiveness of major quantitative methods, known as Friedman, Gates and Fine methods, in the bidding environment under a variety of scenarios including low to high level of uncertainty in the estimated cost. This study shows that agent-based modeling is a powerful methodology for simulating and analyzing complex construction bidding environment. In particular, the result suggest that risk attitude has considerable impact on bidding performance of contractors and moderate risk averseness is the optimal policy in a long run. Also, using Friedman model can result in higher market share whereas using Gates model can result in higher profit per project.

Message from the Editor

I enjoy meeting other members of our division. It affords me the chance to see the varied experience and background of other members. I think this experience and understanding allows us to bring a diverse and sometimes innovative look at problem solving. Since we may work in different aspects of the industry, we are exposed to various construction related publications. So, in the hope of spreading knowledge across the different areas of construction, please send me information related to any articles or publications that you think members of the division may find helpful. I would really like to introduce the information to our members.

Also, I would like the newsletter to be an outlet to spread news related to the division. Whether it be about an upcoming event or about the accomplishments of a fellow member, please feel free to send the information to me and I'll try to include it in the upcoming newsletter. And speaking of announcing upcoming events, the Construction Division is holding the annual student paper competition again this year. So, please spread the word to any student, graduate or undergraduate, who may be interested in submitting a paper for consideration. More information about the competition will be published in the next newsletter.

Kristopher Harbin, Newsletter Editor

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.

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