Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Construction Engineering and Management – Research

Construction Engineering and Management (PhD Only)



Faculty members in both departments pursue applied research opportunities by maintaining a close association with the needs of the regional, national, and global Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry. In pursuing this applied research, the faculty has identified three core Research Alliance areas that span research, teaching, and outreach activities and provide a common ground for interaction between faculty and students. As the demands of the industry change over time, these Research Alliance areas may evolve and additional areas may be established.

The current research alliance areas include:

  • Construction Education and Workforce Development: Education research focuses on increasing K-12 student interest in CM disciplines and the development of undergraduate and graduate curricula. Workforce research deals with recruiting, retaining, promoting, continuing education, knowledge and skills, and training of the current and future construction workforce across all project personnel from the skilled craft workers to the project management team.
  • Infrastructure Systems: This research area looks at advancing the design, construction, operation and management of critical civil infrastructure systems at local, regional and national scales (e.g., asset management, traffic and work-zone safety, transportation project management, asphalt and concrete paving, , smart cities, smart grids, extreme event analysis, building capacity All Pagesafter disasters, post-disaster reconstruction, healthy neighborhoods).
  • Project Delivery and Management: Research in both project delivery methods and project management practices aims to provide solutions that influence the productivity and profitability of projects. Project delivery research includes areas such as alternative contracting methods (e.g., IPD, DB, CM at Risk), procurement, and construction contracts. Project management research includes areas such as financial management, lean construction, construction safety, scheduling, estimating and cost control, quality and quality management, risk management, and productivity.
  • Sustainability and Resilience: Sustainability research focuses on the environmental, economic, and social impacts of construction projects during their life cycle. This research area also aims to understand better how current and future community’s infrastructure adapt and evolve into configurations that more resilient. (e.g., energy-efficient buildings, sustainable design and construction, LCA, renewable energy sources, historic preservation, social sustainability, net-zero and -positive buildings/communities).
  • Virtual Design and Construction: VDC research involves the use of information technology to model and analyzes the design, construction, and operation and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure projects (e.g., Building Information Modeling (BIM), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), laser scanning, drones, digital fabrication).  VDC research also focuses on understanding the implementation and use of technology at the project and company levels.