Project & Construction Management

Overview

The study of project management spans the entire life cycle of a project. To be an effective project manager requires having a strong understanding of the qualitative and quantitative principles of management, economics, computer science and engineering. The development of this understanding constitutes the focus of the graduate program in project and construction management at UBC.

Research

Dr. Sheryl Staub-French

Building Information Modeling (BIM): As the construction industry becomes more and more digitized, and as new technologies are introduced to support this shift, new challenges emerge. These challenges include working collaboratively in digital environments, managing, coordinating and ensuring the quality of facility data and digital deliverables, and extracting useful data to assess performance. The overall goal of BIM research is to address these challenges by developing tools and techniques for BIM use that support project teams with the digital delivery of sustainable buildings through the collaborative use of BIM and related processes and tools.

Dr. Omar Swei

Infrastructure and Asset Management: Canada faces an aging infrastructure problem. The estimated replacement value of its municipal roadways stands at $330 billion, while current reinvestment rates are only half of those required to maintain the system in its current condition. Roadway transportation also represents 20% of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions, which can be reduced through the effective design and maintenance planning. These economic and environmental realities have prompted federal, provincial, and municipal agencies to adopt asset management principles to plan and prioritize their investment strategies. The overarching goal of this research focus is the integration of data analytics, reinforcement learning, and stochastic optimization principles to enhance the sustainable management of infrastructure systems.


Construction Economics and Productivity: The rising price to build and deliver infrastructure poses significant challenges to engineers, builders and policymakers alike. We leverage econometric methods to help explain this phenomenon. We work with construction firms and governmental agencies to use our findings to improve their operations and planning. This research particularly emphasizes measuring and improving productivity growth in the construction sector. Productivity growth is the driver of long-term economic growth. Invariant of country, time-period, or industry, higher productivity producers enjoy better incomes and improved quality of life standards relative to their competitors.

Dr. Zhengbo Zou

Design, Construction and Maintenance of Responsive Environments:

With the rapid development of internet-of-things, biometric sensing and machine learning, the reality of responsive environments (i.e., built environments automatically transform in form and function based on human needs and desires) has never been closer to our grasp. Research in this area integrates sensing, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and machine learning into the design, construction, and facility management of built environments on both building and urban infrastructure level. The vision of responsive environments enables the abstraction of the built environment and its occupants through sensors embedded in civil infrastructures and worn by occupants. This vision also bridges the gap between the information gained from the sensors and the actions taken by the decision makers (e.g., occupants or computer programs controlling the building systems). Active topics in this research area include (1) design and construction of responsive buildings through machine learning and construction robotics, (2) optimal control of systems in buildings using historic sensor data and machine learning, and (3) plan and development of smart cities and connected communities through internet-of-things and city-scale digital twins.

Academics

The project and construction management program at UBC provides students with a holistic understanding of the tools and frameworks required to be successful project managers. Our core curriculum covers key competencies in project scheduling, economics, computer and simulation methods, management, law, and leadership. The core program is complemented by elective offerings both within Civil Engineering and across campus (e.g., Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration and the Department of Computer Science).

Key Areas

  • Standardized data models for describing fundamental project information
  • Stand-alone computer applications
  • Developing flexible coding structures
  • Facilities life cycle cost analysis
  • Maintenance management

Media Highlights

Specialization Requirements


Undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing the Project & Construction Management specialization are directed to the following courses:

  • CIVL 425
  • CIVL 426
  • CIVL 478

Note that specializations represent recommended course groupings only. The designation of the selected specialization does not appear on the transcript or in any other way.


Elective requirements

Electives may be taken from the list of Approved Electives below, or other electives may be taken with the approval of the Specialty Advisor / Supervisor.

DegreeCoreElectives Thesis
MEng1911
MASc13512
PhD129 (min.)0

Core Courses and Approved Electives

Core Courses – MEngNameCreditsTerm
CIVL 520Construction Planning and Control31
CIVL 521Construction Methods And Performance32
CIVL 522Project and Construction Economics32
CIVL 523Project Management for Engineers32
CIVL 524Legal Aspects of Project and Construction Mgmt31
CIVL 526Virtual Design and Construction32
CIVL 597-005Graduate Seminar (Construction Management)11 & 2
 Total core-course credits, MEng:19
Core Courses – MAScNameCreditsTerm
CIVL 520Construction Planning and Control31
CIVL 523Project Management for Engineers32
CIVL 524Legal Aspects of Project and Construction Mgmt31
CIVL 526Virtual Design and Construction32
CIVL 597-005Graduate Seminar (Construction Management)11 & 2
 Total core-course credits, MASc:13
Core Courses – PhDNameCreditsTerm
CIVL 597-005Graduate Seminar (Construction Management)11 & 2
 Total core-course credits, PhD:1
Approved Graduate Elective CoursesNameCreditsTerm
CIVL 598ERisk and Decision-Making (recommended)31
CIVL 5XXAll other Civil Engineering 500-level courses 
URSY 540Urban Systems Project Delivery and Economics         
Approved Undergraduate ElectivesNameCreditsTerm
COMM 398Introduction to Business Processes and Operations31 or 2
COMM 457Fundamentals of Financial Accounting31
COMM 458Fundamentals of Managerial Accounting32
COMM 465Marketing Management31 or 2
COMM 473Business Finance31 or 2

Questions?


Students interested in our graduate project and construction management program who have questions around eligibility, course offerings, etc. should reach out to Civil Student Services.

Prospective MASc and PhD students interested in conducting research under the supervision of specific faculty members should reach out to them directly.

Accepted and enrolled students who have questions around their program and progression should reach out to Dr. Omar Swei.

People


Facilities


MASc and PhD students enrolled in our program have access to dedicated research facilities and space. Our research facilities include the “BIM Trailer”, a construction trailer outfitted with large-screen interactive displays, which is used to support our BIM-related engagements with industry. Learn more.