Construction Division News
President's message 

Dear members,
I am happy to report that we had a very successful conference in Reno, Nev., last May. The construction division's offerings went well - we had a good turnout for the Construction Research sessions in the IERC Research program. We also did well with the Construction solutions presentations. I would like to thank Dr. Laura Ikuma of Louisiana State University for doing a great job with the IERC program - the track included several interesting research papers. Special recognition goes to Mr. George Gardner, membership chair, for helping us to assemble a successful series of presentations for the Solutions track. More from the president


Membership chair's message

By George P. Gardner, state partnering coordinator, Virginia Department of Transportation


Hello, members!


I did not attend, but I have heard some crazy fun stuff about the conference that many of you attended - go construction division members! This month, we will feature reports from our president, Lincoln Forbes, and student liaison Bobby Smyth on their conference experiences. 


Aside from conferences, another excellent service that IIE offers is their training program. Several different courses are offered in Atlanta and also at various locations around the country. Larry Aft has really taken this program to the next level. More from the membership chair




Inspiration at conferences!


By Matt Horvat, P.E., Industry Liaison


Conferences are to be a place to meet and discuss ideas. Prior to IIE's annual conference in May, I had thought that publishing in the proceedings was a big goal. It was the experience I was promised - a forum to talk over many ideas in the industrial engineering domain. I gained much from being with like minded individuals and presenting my interpretation than I ever would have had I only published.


During the conference I met a concrete contractor in a region not far from another who I know has experience with training within industry and lean construction. I was able to introduce them to each other. There were great discussions during the presentations and a lot to be learned from industrial engineering techniques being used and currently promoted in the construction industry.



Student liaison's message


What incredible opportunities IIE conferences have to offer. Where else can a student attend multiple town hall meetings, learn from some of the top leaders in the world, and meet all kinds of new friends? As a student attendee, your network of people instantly explodes, and you are enlightened to all of the excitement surrounding your discipline.


From a construction division standpoint, they absolutely do offer insightful presentations and opportunities for unmatched exposure, scholarship, and ways to get ahead. More from Bobby 




Improving construction quality by combining three-dimensional models and visual recognition software


By William Croll, University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering


One of the primary sources of disputes in modern construction projects is deviation from the project plans. This difficulty arises from the most widely used method of error-checking: on-site inspection by construction managers and supervisors, which is inefficient and potentially inaccurate. To remedy this, it is proposed that the use of visual recognition and analysis software be expanded in the construction industry to automatically identify inconsistencies between plans and physical structures in real time. The necessary technology is available and, if implemented properly, has the potential to increase both the quality and efficiency of work on construction projects of any scale.


To read entire paper, click here.


Announcement of student competition for presentation - 2012 Annual Conference, Orlando, Fla.


Thanks to the CONAM Group of Companies, we are pleased to announce the Student Paper Competition for 2011-12. The CONAM Group of Companies is a builder and developer of residential projects throughout the United States, and is sponsoring a student competition for papers and projects demonstrating or describing the use of industrial engineering tools in a construction environment.


The papers should demonstrate or describe the use of techniques such as lean construction methods, green technology/sustainability, quality management, Six Sigma, simulation, optimization, automation, and basic IE tools/applications. Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit papers. The winner will receive a cash gift of $1500 and up to an additional $1000 for air/hotel/miscellaneous travel expenses. The winning paper will be presented at the 2012 IIE Annual Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.


Papers will be due by March 9, 2012, and the winner will be notified by March 30, 2012. Papers must be no more than 10 pages in length and follow the requirements summarized in the Competition Guidelines. As this is a student competition, papers co-authored by professors are excluded from the competition, but your professor's assistance is welcome.


For more information, including Competition Guidelines, click here.


To ask questions and submit papers via e-mail, contact Bonnie Cameron or you may reach her at 1-800-494-0460, extension 105.



Developing a sense of urgency


By Gary Orr


There are many maxims that warn us to put thought into design before we built.

  • Putting the cart before the horse
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
  • A stitch in time saves nine
  • Prevention is better than cure

Why then are performance (I.e., quality and productivity), maintenance and safety not considered on par with function in design? My experience has been that the design engineers spend most the budgeted time and money ensuring the design meets the operational criteria. We can all agree that a refinery that cannot produce gasoline or a paper mill that does not make paper the customer can use would be a disaster, but once the design budget is spent, then performance, maintenance or safety enhancements get shifted into the construction and operations budget. The construction manager of a new facility is already stretched to meet labor, overhead, raw material, transportation, start up and other costs.


To read more of this article, click here.



Wanted: Construction articles for Industrial Engineer magazine 


The Construction Division invites members to submit articles on construction topics through our publications committee for publication in the monthly Industrial Engineer magazine. We would like to see IE-related articles about construction included in the Industrial Engineer magazine on a regular basis, and we are starting by determining which members are interested, and the topics that they would like to write about. At this point, we would just like to see a brief outline of the topic(s) that you wish to write about. Following that we plan to provide you with the detailed publication requirements, such as the format and length to be observed for each article. By working together, we can organize our articles in a sequence that will be most interesting and informative for our readers. Please contact our newsletter editor, Paula Eick.



Wanted: International correspondents


The Construction Division has a special opportunity for members who wish to serve as international correspondents. Our members reside in several different regions of the world, and it is always refreshing and informative to hear what is going on in those countries with regard to the construction industry. We would appreciate hearing reports about construction in such regions as Canada, Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Australia and the Caribbean to name a few.


The Construction Division is committed to sharing knowledge and information among our members to enable us to have a significant positive impact on the Design and Construction industry in all regions of the world. You do not have to be a professional writer! Just give us the basic ideas and we can work with you to make their presentation as easy to read and interesting as possible.


Please let us hear from you as soon as possible; contact Lincoln Forbes or Pam Patterson. Your thoughts and ideas will give our newsletters an international perspective that represents our membership in different parts of the world. Get in touch and let us know of your interest!



August 2011 
Construction Photo
In This Issue
President's message
Membership chair's message
Inspiration at conferences
Student liaison's message
Improving construction quality by combining three-dimensional models and visual recognition software
Announcement of student competition
Developing a sense of urgency
Wanted: Construction articles for Industrial Engineer magazine
Wanted: International correspondents

Mentoring and Internship Opportunities for IE Students in the Construction Industry


We are actively seeking members who work in the construction industry to serve as mentors.

Interested parties, contact Al Attah.

For more information

Sign Up to Join The Construction Division!
1. Go to this link
2. Select "Update Your
Member Record"

3. Set up username and password (if you don't already have one)

4. Under "Societies and Divisions," select "Edit" and click on the
Construction Division

Call Robyn Dowdall at
(800) 494-0460, ext. 102, for assistance.

It's fast, free and simple.


Construction Division Committees

Please consider joining one of the following committees and helping the division through your expertise.



Continuing education



Industry liaison

Discussion board/Website support


To get involved, contact
Construction Division Board

Lincoln Forbes

George Gardner
Membership Director


Matt Horvat, P.E.

Industry Liaison

Paul Ray
Education Chair

Al Attah
Program Chair

Paula Eick
Newsletter Editor

Bobby Smyth
Student Liaison

International Correspondents
Farook Azam - India
Brent Robertson - Canada
Sammy Wan - Hong Kong
Volunteer leadership is the heart of IIE and its technical divisions.
Doug Long - Corporate Partnership