Engineering and Computing Annual Report 2015
OHL School of Construction
In its third year of existence as the first named school in the College, the OHL School of Construction made great strides in a number of noteworthy areas.
Last year the undergraduate BSCM program of the School received full re-accreditation by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE).
The OHL School of Construction organized two inaugural events last year. The Cornerstone Awards event was to honor individuals and organizations that support the school to achieve its Worlds Ahead status, and the Construction Americas Expo was a two-day long event featuring industry exposition and several symposiums.
Industry partners were involved in these events organized and sponsored by the school. In addition to regular meetings of the Industry Advisory Council, FIU 101 (presented by the FIU Facilities Management Department), McGraw-Hill Construction Outlook (presented by Cliff Brewis), and Career Expo were held. The school received cash donations and career fair fees in the amount of $49,300 from its Industry Advisory Council (IAC) members. The school has launched a new campaign for naming various facilities and laboratories.
The school continued its international internship program with OHL by selecting and sending two student interns to Madrid this year.
Our undergraduate student team won the championship prize in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) student chapter Construction Management Competition held in Miami Beach, Florida. The FIU team was competing with student teams from the best construction management programs in the country.
The fall 2014 total (undergraduate and graduate) headcount is 335 compared to 360 in fall 2013. The graduate fall 2014 enrollment is 112, and the undergraduate enrollment is 223. Both graduate and undergraduate enrollments suffered from slight decline, although at lower rate than previous years. As the economy in general and the construction industry, in particular, are experiencing a comeback it is hoped that the trend will be reversed in the near future. The total number of students graduated this year is 108, as compared with 113 last year.
OHL School of Construction faculty members were active in publishing their research findings in reputable construction journals and conference proceedings. Collectively, the school faculty published seven journal papers, two research reports and twelve conference proceedings papers.
The school did extremely well again this year in external research funding, thanks to Dr. Mostafavi, Dr. Bayraktar and Dr. Orabi.
The planned construction process laboratory was completed in summer 2013 and is now being used by students and faculty. The laboratory is intended to provide students hands-on demonstrations on real-life construction processes, construction materials, components and their assembly. Half-built walls, steel structural joints and samples of various construction components will be the features of this laboratory.
It also houses, the MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) studio on the first floor of the Engineering Center Building. This laboratory is equipped with HVAC, electrical and plumbing appliances/fixtures for demonstration to students, and computer hardware and software for instruction and training.
The school is fortunate to have Dr. Nipesh Pradhananga, a recent PhD graduate of Georgia Tech joined us in fall 2014. In fall 2015 Dr. Youngjib Ham, a PhD graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne will join the school as a tenure track assistant professor.
The school currently has 10 fulltime faculty members and employs, between 6 to 8 adjunct faculty members every term.
Enrollments and FTEs
Fall headcount (enrollment) history is shown in Table 1 and Figure 1. After a steady growth of more than six years between 2003 and 2009, the fall enrollment has been declining over the last five years. This year the total decline is close to 6.9% from 360 to 335. The undergraduate enrollment dropped to 223 from 238 (6.3%) and graduate enrollment declined from 122 to 112 (8.2%). The decline in enrollment is a nationwide trend currently as evidenced by similar declines in other major construction programs in the country. The economy in general, and the construction sector, in particular is picking up in this region and is likely to have a positive impact on enrollment figures. The enrollment numbers and trends are showing the sign of improvement already.
The annual full-time equivalent (AFTE) students, calculated as the fundable student credit hours divided by 40 or 32 credits for the undergraduate and graduate students, respectively. Figure 2 shows the AFTE history of the school since 2010-11.
Online Masters Program
The school began offering graduate courses online for its Masters students in 2004. Two sections for each online course are offered, one for the in-state students and the other for the out-of-state students. Fee structures are different. FTE credits of out-of-state students are not credited to the school. Sufficient courses are offered within a four-semester cycle enabling students to graduate by taking all courses online. The enrollment has improved this year as compared to the years before as can be seen from Tables 3 and 4, and Figure 3.
The School awarded 113 degrees last year. The historical numbers over the last five years for bachelors and masters are shown in Table 6 and Figure 4.
Our graduates are employed by all major construction companies in south Florida and nationwide. OHL/Arellano, Link Construction, Moss and Associates, Coastal Construction, Turner Construction, Odebrecht Construction, Balfour Beatty, MCM and Skanska are some of the major employers.
The CM undergraduate program (BSCM) has been re-accredited in fall 2013. The program has been awarded accredited status for six years by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) in its board meeting held in February 2014. The program’s strengths were duly recognized.
Student Chapter Activities
Four student chapters are active in the School. These are: ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors), AGC (Associated General Contractors), National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), and Sigma Lambda Chi Honor Society. ABC Student Chapter is the most active and works closely with the south Florida ABC. This student chapter participates in the National Construction Management Competition annually. Every year ABC East Florida Chapter organizes a golf tournament to raise funds for supporting the student team. Dr. Jose Faria serves as the advisor and Dr. Ayman Morad as the mentor of the team, participate in the national competition.
The team won the National Grand Championship prize in last year (2014). It should be mentioned that FIU team also won the championship in 2012, became runners up in 2013.
Online, Overseas and Professional Programs
OHL has signed an agreement with FIU for the university’s first international internship program, to be based at the company’s headquarters in Madrid. For 10 weeks in summer 2013 OHL employed two FIU students. Last year one student was selected for the program, and again this year (2015) two outstanding student interns are participating in this program.
In addition to the online Masters program, the school also runs a cohort-based weekend program for professionals. This Masters level degree program is offered only on Saturdays at the FIU@I-75 campus.
- ABC Golf Tournament, February 27, 2015 at the Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne for raising funds to support the FIU ABC student team to participate in the National Construction Management Championship competition being held in San Diego, CA.
- The School organized two Career Expos. The first was held on October 23, 2014 with twenty-two major construction companies and the second was held on February 13, 2015 with twenty-one major construction companies registered. Both included OHL/Arellano, Facchina, Kaufman Lynn, Link, Moss, Manhattan, Pirtle, Skanska, Turner, and Weitz.
Industry Advisory Council Events
- IAC Fall Lunch Meeting with Faculty Presentation held on September 3, 2014 at noon in EC 2300.
- Cornerstone Awards, Jungle Island, Miami, FL held on Sat. November 8, 2014. The OHL School of Construction at Florida International University along with its Industry Advisory Council and Alumni Chapter held its inaugural
- Cornerstone Awards. The awards were given to honor individuals and organizations that support the school to achieve its Worlds Ahead status.
- IAC Spring Meeting held on Tuesday February 3, 2015 in the Graham Center Ballrooms, MMC Campus.
- Construction Americas Expo, Miami Airport Convention Center held on Thur. & Fri. March 26 – 27, 2015. Leaders from top international companies such as Skanska, Odebrecht, Facchina and OHL-Arellano discussed the future of the business. Technology experts followed up with a panel dedicated to digital innovations that have transformed how buildings are designed and erected. An accompanying exhibit hall, which showcased large and mid-size construction firms alongside vendors who support the building industry, gave students a chance to talk with potential employers.
- McGraw-Hill Construction Forecast at 8 AM held on Friday April 24, 2015.
Research and Scholarly Activities
|Major Research Area||Faculty Member|
|Risk Management and Decision Making||Irtishad Ahmad
Jose A. Faria
|Sustainability and Green Construction|| Ali Mostafavi
|Information and Communication Technology|| Irtishad Ahmad
|Infrastructure Systems and Management|| Irtishad Ahmad
|Safety and Health|| Gene Farmer
Jose A. Faria
|Construction Education||Ron Baier
As shown in Table 7 and Figure 5, the school did extremely well again this year in external research funding, thanks to Dr. Mostafavi, Dr. Orabi and Dr. Bayraktar. Dr. Mostafavi received a grant from the Construction Industry Institute at the beginning of this fiscal year (2014-15). Dr. Mostafavi and Dr. Orabi also received a UTC (University Transportation Center) grant in collaboration with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.
Active Research Projects
- Ahmad, I. (Co-PI), Suksawang, N., and Sobhan, K., “Develop Epoxy Grout Pourback Guidance and Test Method to Eliminate Thermal/Shrinkage Cracking at Post-Tensioning Anchorages,” Florida Department of Transportation, $148,698, August 2012 – October 2015.
- Mostafavi, Orabi with Drs. Hadi and Gan, UTC-ABC, Estimating total cost of bridge construction using ABC and conventional methods of Construction, $131,289, June 2014-December 2015.
- Mostafavi, with Dr. Jaselkis, CII, Improving Project Progress and Performance Assessment, $100,000, September 2014-August 2016.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Co-PI (Mike Bienvenu), “Development of LCA and LCCA for Pavement-type selection for MDX SR 836 Extension”, Miami Dade Expressway, $109765.00, $60000.00, 2015 – 2016.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Co-PI (Mohammed Hadi and Wallied Orabi), “Estimating total cost of bridge construction using ABC and conventional methods of construction”, RITA-UTC ABC, $131289.00, $45000.00, 2015 – 2016.
- Ali Mostafavidarani PI (Mike Sukop, Jim Engelhardt (UM) Emel Gnapati, Arif Sarwat), “Integrated Dynamic Modeling and Impact Assessment of Human-Infrastructure Systems Adaptation to Evolving Flooding and Storm Surge Hazards Under Sea Level Rise”, NSF, $3000000.00, $1200000.00, 2015 – 2019.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Co-PI (Vassigh, Behzadan (UCF), Newman), “Strategies for Leaning: Augmented Reality and Collaborative Problem-Solving”, NSF, $0.00, $5000.00, 2015 – 2017.
- Wallied Orabi PI, “Stochastic Time, Cost & Enviromental Impact Optimization of Construction Processes”, National Science Foundation, $307855.00, 01/24/2014 – 06/30/2015.
- Wallied Orabi Co-PI (Mohamed Hadi and Ali Mostafavi), “Estimating total cost of bridge construction using ABC and conventional methods of construction”, US Department of Transportation (ABC-UTC), $1312
- Ahmad, I. Editorial Board Member, Journal of Management in Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers.
Refereed Journal Papers 2014-15
- Ali Mostafavidarani Mostafavi, A., Abraham, D. M., DeLaurentis, D. A., Sinfield, J., Kandil, A., and Queiroz, C. . “Agent-Based Simulation Model for Assessment of Financing Scenarios in Highway Transportation Infrastructure Systems”, ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering, Feb 2015.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Mostafavi, A., Abraham, D. M., and Vives. “Exploratory Multi-Dimensional Analysis of the Determinants of Public Perceptions of Infrastructure Financing”, Transportation Research:Part A (Elsevier), January 2015.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Mostafavi, A., Abraham, D., and Sinfield, J.. “Innovation in Infrastructure Project Finance: A Typology for Conceptualization”, International Journal of Innovation Science, December 2014.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Zhu, J., and Mostafavi, A. . “A System-of-Systems Framework for Performance Assessment in Complex Construction Projects”, Organization, Technology & Management in Construction: An International Journal, November 2014.
- Wallied Orabi Omar El-Anwar, Jin Ye, and Wallied Orabi. “Part I: Efficient Optimization of Post-Disaster Reconstruction of Transportation Networks”, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 04/02/2015.
- Wallied Orabi Omar El-Anwar, Jin Ye, and Wallied Orabi. “Part II: An Innovative Linear Formulation for Transportation Reconstruction Planning”, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 04/02/2015.
- Nipesh Pradhananga Pramen P Shrestha, Nipesh Pradhananga, Nirajan Mani. “Correlating the Quantity and Bid Cost of Unit Price Items for Public Road Projects”, KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, 2014.
Conference Proceedings Papers 2014-15
- Ali Mostafavidarani Carmenate, T., Rahman, M., Leante, D., Bobadilla,L., and Mostafavi, A. . “Modeling and Analyzing Occupant Behaviors in Building Energy Analysis Using an Information Space Approach”, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Batouli, M., Swei, O.A, Zhu, J, Gregory, J., Kirchain, R., and Mostafavi, A.. “An Integrated Methodology for Network-Level Cost Analysis in Roadway Infrastructure Management”, ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Workshop 2015.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Carmenate, T., Leante, D., Zanlongo, S., Bobadilla,L., and Mostafavi, A. . “Decoding and Simulating Occupancy Behaviors in Building Energy Performance”, ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Workshop 2015.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Zhu, J., and Mostafavi, A. “Integrated Performance Assessment of Construction Projects using Dynamic Network Analysis”, ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Workshop 2015.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Rahman, M., Carmenate, T., Bobadilla, L., Zanlongo, S., and Mostafavi, A. . “A Coupled Discrete Event and Motion Planning Methodology for Automated Safety Assessment in Construction Projects”, IEEE International Conference in Robotics and Automation.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Orgut, R., Zhu, J., Batouli, M. Mostafavi, A., and Jaselskis, E. “A Review of the Current Knowledge and Practice Related to Project Progress and Performance Assessment”, 2015 International Construction Specialty Conference.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Zhu, J. and Mostafavi, A. . “An Integrated Framework for Ex-Ante Assessment of Performance Vulnerability in Complex Construction Projects”, 2015 International Construction Specialty Conference.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Batouli, M. and Mostafavi, A. . “Assessment of Network-Level Environmental Sustainability in Infrastructure Systems using Service and Performance Adjusted LCA”, 2015 International Construction Specialty Conference.
- Ali Mostafavidarani Inman, A. and Mostafavi, A. . “Exploratory Analysis of the Pathway towards Operationalizing Resilience in Transportation Infrastructure Systems”, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2015.
- Nipesh Pradhananga Hazal Ergun and Nipesh Pradhananga. “Real-time Location Data for Automated Learning Curve Analysis of Linear Repetitive Construction Activities”, 2015 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering, Austin, TX, June 21 – 23.
- Wallied Orabi Charinee Limsawas, Wallied Orabi, and Sitthapon Pumpichet. “Estimating Fuel Consumption from Highway Rehabilitation Program Implementation on Transportation Networks”, The 2015 International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering, Austin, Texas.
- Wallied Orabi Charinee Limsawas, and Wallied Orabi. “Optimizing Environmental Sustainability and Public Benefits of Transportation Network Programs”, International Construction Specialty Conference 2015, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The school offers the following endowed scholarships to the students.
|Name of the Scholarship||Description|
|Balfour Beatty||1 for $2,000|
|Condotte America||1 for $2,000|
|CASF||1 for $2,500|
|ASPE||1 for $2,000|
|Kelly Foundation||1 for $2,000|
Industry Support Campaign
The historic achievement in 2012 was the transformational gift received from the international construction giant OHL Construction. The multiyear monetary gift in terms of endowment and operational expenses transformed the department into the newly named OHL School of Construction. In addition to this gift, the school received $49,300 from the Industry Advisory Council members as annual membership and career fair fees. The school has launched a new campaign for naming various facilities and laboratories in the school.
Future Plans and Priorities
The faculty reviewed the mission and goals of the School as well as its strategic plan developed last year during monthly meetings throughout the academic year. The plan is included in Appendix A of this report.
The School will strive towards establishing the construction program as a research intensive program. Hiring of new faculty in strategic areas to increase external research funding will continue to be a priority. Efforts will be made to hire faculty with proven strengths in research and to identify emerging research areas and funding agencies. Although, two faculty members left the school this year, one new faculty member is joining this fall.
Marketing of programs (website, visits, brochures, newsletters, postcards, mail campaign)
The School will continue its efforts in attracting students from other states and countries as well as from governmental and corporate entities. With the help of the new assistant director of marketing hired by the School, it will publish redesigned brochures, program descriptions, newsletters and other print materials. Advertisements will be placed in trade magazines and industry association publications to market the programs.
Maintain Accredited Status
The School will continue to retain its accredited status of the bachelors program with the highest order of approval. Preparations in terms of outcomes assessment, satisfying curriculum requirements, providing oversight of instruction, achieving program goals, involving the industry in curriculum development and improvement are underway.
The School Alumni Association will be encouraged to undertake activities such as annual gathering, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Alumni will be invited to participate in outcomes assessment survey, contribute to newsletter articles, and fund-raising.
Construction process laboratory
The Construction Process Laboratory is now functional in OU 104. It is intended to provide students hands-on demonstrations on real-life construction processes, construction materials, components and their assembly. Half-built walls, steel structural joints and samples of various construction components will be the features of this laboratory. This laboratory is required to satisfy the accreditation criteria set forth by American Council for Construction Education.
- Staff support for expanding overseas and online programs.
- Additional faculty lines.
- Expansion of international and online programs at the Master’s level; other areas for expansion could be joint BS and MS degree programs in construction engineering together with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the concrete industry management (CIM) program in collaboration with the concrete industry.
- Seminars/conferences/workshops – The school can organize seminars and workshops for the industry professionals, contractors and their employees. There is a critical need for such programs as the industry needs to keep its employees updated with new knowledge and techniques in the field.
Organizational Growth and Development
- Recruitment of two additional faculty members within two years.
- Recruitment of a support staff for expanding online and overseas masters program
Curriculum Improvement and New Program Implementation
- Both undergraduate and graduate curriculum will be reviewed by the faculty with input from the industry advisory council members for relevance, currency and incorporation of new knowledge. Curriculum modifications will be made as determined necessary by the faculty.
- If approved, implement the new programs, including Bachelors and Master of Science in Construction Engineering in collaboration with Civil and Environmental Engineering and enact improvements as necessary.
- Re-evaluate the admission policy for the undergraduate and graduate programs to address the quality of students being admitted to the program and the high demand on the discipline.
- Hire faculty with proven strengths in research and identify emerging research areas and funding agencies to capture external funding.
- Complete the ‘naming of the facilities’ campaign and begin to envision future fundraising goals. Recruit additional IAC members.