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
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
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.
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
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!