An important mission of the Colorado State University Department of Construction Management is to address industry challenges and problems through research. Multiple CM faculty and graduate students are working with national, industry, and state agencies on funded research grants. A few of the highlights include the following efforts and awards:
Transportation Research Board (TRB), 2022 Best Poster Award, first place for, “Causes, Implications, and Strategies for Project Closeout Delays in Highway Construction.” – received by: Manideep Tummalapudi, Christofer Harper, Timothy Taylor, Steven Waddle, and Rachel Catchings, January 2022 at TRB’s 101st Annual Meeting.
Overview: In highway construction, completing projects on time is very critical. However, when projects are not completed on time, one of the aspects that is often neglected by the state departments of transportation, which causes delays in highway construction is project closeout. The project closeout phase, if delayed, not only causes consequences to transportation agencies and contractors, but also leads to substantial social costs to the public. Despite the magnitude of impact, there is limited knowledge regarding the factors that cause project closeout delays and strategies for timely highway construction project closeout. Therefore, this study identifies the causes that delay highway project closeout, creates awareness regarding the implications of delays, and provides recommendations for efficient highway project closeout practices. The findings from this study provide recommendations for state DOTs to mitigate closeout delays and help ensure timely finalization of highway construction projects.
“I feel privileged having attended TRB 2022 with distinguished researchers and academicians from around the world,” said Tummalapudi. “It instilled in me the desire to learn more about global challenges, and to become familiar with the current, ongoing research related to transportation in the construction management and civil engineering arenas.”
Jean Claude Roumain Memorial Scholarship recipient, Ph.D. student, Mohammad Teymouri; awarded from the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Concrete Institute. It is a one-time grant offered to an engineering or construction management student who shows an interest in concrete as a sustainable construction medium.
Jean Claude Roumain, FACI, was a sustainable concrete activist and enthusiast locally with the Rocky Mountain Chapter ACI, and internationally, in the cement industry. His groundbreaking and inspiring work in sustainability lives on today through the many he mentored and inspired. This scholarship was created in his memory to inspire future generations in the exploration of sustainable concrete construction and materials.
Teymouri also received funding for his Dean’s Fellowship proposal entitled, “Long-Term Performance of Concrete Infrastructures Exposed to De-icing and Anti-icing Salts.” Eligible proposals were required to articulate: 1) significance and innovation of the proposed work, 2) a coherent and achievable plan and milestones, 3) fit with the primary mentor’s research program and expertise, and 4) share the degree to which this research will advance the priorities of the college mission.
The Editorial Board of the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 2021 Best Paper award: Farzad Minooei (not pictured), Paul M. Goodrum (4th from left), and Timothy R. B. Taylor (3rd from left), all coauthors of an article entitled “Young Talent Motivations to Pursue Craft Careers in Construction: The Theory of Planned Behavior,” which appeared in the July 2020 issue of the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. The Award was presented at the 2022 CI & CRC joint conference in Arlington, Virginia, March 9-12.
The paper’s abstract defines the main goal of this research is to understand the underlying factors that influence career selection of the next generation of craft workers to help the industry overcome those challenges. The authors designed a survey based on the Theory of Planned Behavior. The survey was distributed across the US among individuals between the ages of 15–24 who were exposed to Career Technical Education or participated in construction training programs. A total of 778 completed questionnaires was received. The statistical analysis shows that having work experience in construction-related jobs can significantly improve intention to choose a career in the industry. There is also a strong correlation between self-confidence and intention. The results of this study helped the researchers make several recommendations on how to attract the next generation of craft workers to the industry.
ASCE Outstanding Student and Young Professional Award
Also receiving an award from the American Society of Civil Engineers joint conferences of the ASCE’s Construction Institute and Construction Research Council, was CSU’s Construction Management’s doctoral student, Manideep Tummalapudi, who received the Outstanding Student and Young Professional Award. This award recognizes students and young professionals in the construction industry who are engaged in their communities, work to advance the profession, and exemplify integrity and regard for the industry.
CM graduate student and teaching assistant, Karen Gupta, received the AGC Education and Research Foundation scholarship. She also completed the NCEES Civil Engineering professional engineer exam, becoming a licensed professional engineer for the states of Illinois and Colorado. Gupta also became a sustainability professional with accreditation from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, based on the Envision sustainability framework.
Relative to her Ph.D. work that will concentrate on a systems approach to energy and water in the construction industry, Gupta applied for and was selected as an unfunded trainee for the Colorado State University InTERFEWS program cohort for fall 2022. “This is an exciting opportunity,” said Gupta, “to engage in multidisciplinary approaches to complex problems in the water, energy, and food nexus.”
Additionally, Gupta had a paper published in the ASCE Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction Journal. She presented her paper, entitled, “Financial Remedies for Personal Property Damage in Water Main Breaks” at the joint conference of the Construction Institute and Construction Research Congress.
CSU College of Health and Human Sciences Research Day poster awards: Manideep Tummalapudi received the Distinction in Graduate Research award in the Applied Science category and Mohammad Teymouri was recognized with the Distinction in Graduate Research award in the Basic Science category.
MURALS, which was held March 25, involves students from diverse backgrounds and a variety of disciplines and introduces students to a broad array of research opportunities. Students presented their scholarly work in fields like creative writing, visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, STEM, social sciences and humanities, while graduate students and faculty provided feedback. Faculty also served as mentors.
Construction management junior, Joel Ibarra, won first place in the Service Learning and Leadership category. His entry was entitled, “Construct, Build, Assemble Diversity.”
Ibarra’s experiences as a first-generation student are what motivated his project. In it, he outlines his plan to create a mentorship program for first-generation and institutionally minoritized students within construction management.
After submitting their abstracts, on the day of MURALS, students delivered oral presentations and displayed their work in a poster gallery. Mentoring, presenting scholarly work, networking, and learning about multicultural leadership are the main pillars of the program.