Construction Research

Construction research at Oregon State focuses on a wide variety of topics related to the design and construction of infrastructure projects. Construction faculty have extensive expertise and experience in the following signature research areas:

  • Human Factors in Construction – addressing the needs and abilities of humans involved in the construction process
  • Advanced Methods and Materials – efficient use of materials, equipment, and labor to optimize construction operations and project success
  • Virtual Design and Construction – utilizing technology to plan, manage, maintain, visualize, and simulate the project design and construction process
  • Management Science – scientific investigation and understanding of the project delivery and management process

Construction faculty lead and participate in research sponsored by a variety of local, regional, and national organizations including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Construction Industry Institute (CII), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and PacTrans.

Construction faculty and research interests: 

Assistant professor of construction engineering: Research interests include construction equipment fleet management, pollution production during construction activities, and construction methods improvement to reduce environmental impact.  Her previous research included the estimation and forecasting of pollution emissions from construction equipment fleets. Dr. Arocho’s teaching interests include cost estimating, project management for construction projects, and advanced topics in project controls.

Senior instructor II: Extensive industry experience both nationally and internationally, with particular focus on historic building restoration and conservation, retaining walls and hardscape work, and other building renovation and maintenance projects. During his career he has worked for several engineering and construction firms, primarily focusing on mechanical and electrical systems. Mr. Fradella’s teaching interests include mechanical and electrical construction, cost estimating, planning and scheduling, project management, and professional development.

Professor of construction engineering: Technical and research interests include construction safety, work zone design, constructability, sustainability, design-construction interface, temporary construction structures, construction site operations, and systems engineering.  Current and recent research projects address issues related to construction worker health and safety, design of construction and maintenance work zones, Prevention through Design (PtD), formwork risk and reliability, and the impacts of lean design and construction on safety. Dr. Gambatese’s teaching interests include designing for safety, construction site systems, temporary construction structures, planning and scheduling, and construction contracts and specifications.

Assistant professor of construction engineering and Robert C. Wilson Faculty Scholar: Research interests lie at the intersection of simulation, visualization, and automation within the context of construction operations. He draws upon concepts in these areas to provide construction managers with better means of planning, monitoring, and controlling their operations to improve safety, maximize productivities, and minimize equipment idle times. Dr. Louis’s teaching interests include undergraduate and graduate classes in heavy civil operations and equipment, and analytical techniques for construction encompassing construction simulation, visualization, and risk management.

Instructor: Research interests lie the area of project management, including lean management and risk management. Her research interests focus on the enhancement of the performance of production systems and products in different stages of their life-cycle and supply chain in the AEC industry. Current research addresses multi-criteria risk-based decision methodologies to identify and validate improvements to processes and on-site operations in the AEC industry. Dr. Pestana’s teaching interests include scheduling and planning, construction contracts, heavy civil, building construction, and lean construction courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  As an academic, who has spent years in the field, Dr. Pestana creates conditions for students to learn, bringing real world problems to the classroom and guiding students to organize information in a personally meaningful way, helping them grow and prepare for their career ahead.

Assistant professor of construction engineering: Research interests are centered on the areas of remote sensing, automation, and information technology applications for construction engineering and management, infrastructure asset management, and transportation. Her recent research projects have focused on building information modeling (BIM) for visualization and facility energy management; bridge information modeling (BrIM) for bridge inspections; and investigating how 3D laser scanning, and virtual design and construction (VDC) technologies can help improve project controls. Dr. Turkan’s teaching interests include virtual design and construction, engineering planning, project management in construction, planning and scheduling, and construction contracts and specifications.

Construction Graduate Program Alumni

Following their time at Oregon State, our students are often recruited by leaders in academia, government, and industry in order to make a positive impact around the globe. Here are a few of our recent graduates and their current positions:

  • Serey Raksa Moeung, Staff Engineer, Civil West Engineering Services, Inc. (MS, 2022)
  • Ziyu Jin, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University, (PhD, 2021)
  • Ola Al-Saffar, Baghdad, Iraq (MS, 2020)
  • Ali Karakhan, Faculty Member, University of Baghdad, Iraq (PhD, 2020)
  • Mohammed Azeez, Baghdad Governorate, Iraq (PhD, 2020)
  • Ding Liu, Lecturer, Qingdao Technical University, China (PhD, 2019)
  • Chukwuma (Chuma) Nnaji, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University (PhD, 2018)
  • Kasim AlOmari, Associate Professor, University of Thi-Qar, Iraq (PhD, 2017)