Technical Program Abstracts

(IT) IT/IM in Project and Cost Management

NOTE: Program Subject to Change

(IT-3394) Use of Drones and Emerging Technology in Mega Project Supply Chain

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Dr. F. Fred Rahbar; Musaab Al-Rushood


Project stakeholders go through painstaking exercise to identify required and to expedite them for timely delivery to the site in avoiding project delays creating complicated warehousing and logistics challenges of having the right material at the right time and location.

This paper presents an analytical model to manage the mega project warehousing issues. Drones equipped with streaming video capability can help survey the site, identify optimal location for warehouses, and monitor the job site for suspicious activity allowing the project team to easily monitor locations and quantities of assets and materials at a glance, to ensure it will be there when you need it. When the request for a particular material arrives, an optimal path is digitally mapped for the drone to travel based on mapping done previously.

The paper will discuss an optimization model for warehouse management through the use of drones and artificial intelligence (AI). An analytical model of warehousing management with huge potential cost and schedule savings will be presented.

(IT-3449) Creating Synergies in the Flow of EPC Data

Author(s)/Presenters(s): John J. Aucoin, PSP


By establishing common bits of data between project stakeholders in the engineering, procurement and construction environment this paper will explore how owners of Capital programs can manage a group of projects more efficiently as well as improve cost & schedule forecasting.

To their detriment, some owner operated facilities have chosen to remain steadfast in their belief that their cumbersome legacy project controls systems are to remain unchanged. This paper will challenge the status quo and demonstrate how an owner's project controls team can become more flexible and benefit from transferring customized project data.

By researching and analyzing past program failures owners can improve their chances at gaining a competitive edge by using some of these techniques.  Regular communication and the consistent transfer of accurate data are key to maintaining and forecasting relevant project information.

This is not an exhaustive list of project data that can be shared between teams. Rather it demonstrates how sharing only a smaller subset of key project data between stakeholders can improve overall Capital program results.

(IT-3509) Smart Contracts and Blockchain: A Technological Solution to Late Payments in Construction

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Anthony Caruso


The construction supply chain is complex, contentious and characterized by a large number of stakeholders with varying degrees of leverage over one another with regards to the transfer of funds. Parties furthest down the supply chain are at the greatest financial risk because there are more entities through whom funds must flow and therefore more potential causes of payment delay. Late payments impose financing costs on those further down the construction pyramid while at the same time providing an unwarranted financing gain to those higher up. Construction costs are therefore higher, even on projects that maintain a prompt payment cycle, because contractors must factor into their bids the financing costs and the risk costs associated with late payments. Furthermore, these delays increase tensions between the general contractor and his subcontractors which often negatively impacts work progress, results in schedule delays and increases the risks of claims.

This paper proposes a solution to the problem of late payments in construction through the implementation of blockchain technology and smart contracts. The integration of technology is harmonized with conventional construction processes to minimize operational disruption. The implementation of this innovative solution would reduce project costs, minimize the risk of late payments and reduce the potential for claims.

(IT-3568) Evolution of Project Controls: Survival of the Data Analyst

Author(s)/Presenters(s): Suzanne A. Crider; Robert Thiede


One of the nation’s largest water reclamation and re-use agency was buried in a paper-based project management reporting system requiring a dozen project controls analysts to produce and maintain.  Budget cuts happen.  The challenge now was how a severely diminished staff could not only maintain that data requirement but then make that data more accurate, timely and applicable for the strategic planning of the agency.  This paper will highlight the collaborative efforts of internal project controls and information technology to produce a comprehensive real-time project management data solution.

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