Two postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Mohammad Raoufi and Dr. Phuong Nguyen, continue to work with the IRC in SCMD.
During his doctoral program at the University of Alberta, Dr. Mohammad Raoufi researched and developed best practices for planning and management of power plant turnaround projects that proved to be particularly valuable for our industry partners, who adopted our developed best practices for their projects. He also developed a novel fuzzy agent-based model of construction crew motivation and performance, which examined the diversity of crews, crew interactions, variations in crew motivation over time, and the situations in which crews perform. The resulting computerized model provided our industrial partner with an advanced simulation tools for project planning, execution, monitoring, and control that lead to improvement in project productivity. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, Dr. Raoufi has conducted research involving artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, and simulation to improve labour motivation and productivity and other studies of advanced work packaging, workface planning, risk, productivity database development, and big data analytics.
Dr. Phuong Nguyen joined the IRC as a Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2020. Dr. Nguyen holds a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, his M.Sc. in Construction Management from California State University, East Bay, and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Kansas. Dr. Nguyen’s research interests include project delivery and procurement methods, engineering decision-making under uncertainty, fuzzy logic, fuzzy cluster analysis, fuzzy pattern recognition, machine learning, and lean construction. Dr. Nguyen was selected as a scholar of the California State University Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP).
Three doctoral students are conducting research with the IRC in SCMD: Hamed Fateminia, Nebiyu Kedir, and Yisshak Gebretekle.
Hamed Fateminia is a Ph.D. Candidate in construction engineering and management at the University of Alberta, where he is pursuing further studies in project and portfolio risk management. He holds a B.Sc. in industrial engineering and an M.Sc. in project management. Hamed worked with IRC in SCMD programmer Andrew Johnston to develop and release the first version of Fuzzy Risk Analyzer© (FRA©), a software tool for determining construction project contingency using natural language, and he is currently incorporating simulation methods into artificial intelligence and optimization techniques to improve risk management at the project and portfolio levels by managing contingency reserve throughout the life cycle of projects that suffer from lack of numerical data in quantity or quality required for successful modelling.
Nebiyu Kedir’s research focuses on exploring the application of fuzzy hybrid techniques in the development of solutions to construction issues, primarily on productivity modeling and analysis. This work addresses the compound problem of human behaviour modelling (e.g., crew motivation and performance) using fuzzy agent-based modelling, dynamic interactions between inputs (e.g., multi factor productivity) using fuzzy system dynamics), and a decision-making platform that enables feedback mechanisms to improve productivity metrics in an environment of subjective and probabilistic uncertainties.
The focus of Yisshak Gebretekle’s dissertation work is fuzzy hybrid multilevel modeling of competency and performance in construction. His other areas of research interest include: fuzzy machine learning techniques for modeling interrelationships between construction competencies at different levels; integrating fuzzy system dynamics and fuzzy agent-based modeling to develop multi-level construction competency and performance assessment models; creating and linking multi-level competency models to performance measures; and linking performance measures at different levels.
One staff member is continuing with the IRC in SCMD, our Technical Writer, Renata Brunner Jass. Renata holds an M.Sc. in Quaternary Sciences, an interdisciplinary natural sciences discipline, for which she conducted research in paleoecology. Before joining the IRC in SCMD, Renata worked for more than 20 years as a publishing professional, developing academic, educational, and professional development content for STEM and English language learning materials.