The overall objective of our research program in Term 4 is to enhance the competitiveness of our partner companies, and subsequently, the Alberta construction industry at large, through research that utilizes simulation models for studying and understanding issues related to competitiveness, and through deployment of tools that can support performance improvement. To achieve this overarching goal we will pursue three research themes under the Industrial Research Chair in Construction Engineering and Management, each with a specific set of objectives:
- Modeling construction company performance. The objective of this theme is to develop an integrated simulation model of a company’s interrelated processes, operations, systems and resources in the course of construction product delivery so that performance can be analyzed and quantified, and competitiveness can be gauged. Development of such a model entails many interrelated research activities that will result in better understanding of performance issues within the course of delivering a construction product.
- Improving the performance of on-site construction processes. The objective of this theme is to study and improve the performance of frequently repeated processes which will be jointly identified with the collaborating companies (e.g. scaffolding, hydro-testing, fitting/welding, mine preparation and reclamation, turnaround plant rehabilitation, tunnelling/shaft drilling, and paving) through a systematic and structured approach whereby candidate processes with potential for performance improvement are identified with industry, studied, analyzed and potentially redesigned using simulation technologies.
- Simulation modeling strategies and constructs suitable for construction. The objective of this theme is to advance the simulation framework that was developed in Term 3 of the Chair to support the activities of Themes 1 and 2, creating and enhancing tools, strategies and constructs to facilitate better representation of the construction process and the construction supply chain. Our foundation in this regard was built in Term 3 of this Chair through advancements of the COSYE framework (AbouRizk and Hague 2009) and its implementation in several construction simulation constructs.
Under the Canada Research Chair in Operation Simulation, our research strategy has been coordinated with our achievements under the NSERC IRC to move toward our long-term vision: to achieve a fully integrated, highly automated construction execution environment across all project phases and throughout the facility’s life cycle. To achieve this overarching goal, the objectives of the research program are to:
- Analyze the requirements of large scale, complex systems from a modeling perspective and determine the most suitable methods for representing them.
- Develop a modeling framework that is suitable to achieve the long-term goal.
- Demonstrate the framework through practical implementations within the industry.