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 Construction Industry Institute, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Oregon Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Center for Construction Research and Training, and PacTrans.
Construction faculty and research interests:
Ingrid Arocho, 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.
Joe Fradella, 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.
John Gambatese, 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.
Joseph Louis, 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.
Catarina Pestana, 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.
David Trejo, professor of construction engineering and Hal Pritchett Chair: Research focuses on the design and development of materials and systems for efficient construction processes and products. His interests focus on the design and development of systems that allow for accelerated and durable construction. Specific research projects have included development of precast overhang systems for safe, rapid, and durable bridge construction, assessment and modeling of segmental, post-tensioned bridges exhibiting strand corrosion, development of refractory materials for NASA’s launch complex, modeling and performance assessment of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) concrete reinforcement, and many others. His teaching interests include heavy civil construction methods and processes, cementitious materials and systems, and rapid and durable construction. With almost 10 years of experience in the field, Dr. Trejo brings real-world applications into the classroom.
Yelda Turkan, 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.
Graduate Student Spotlights: Learn more about the students who call the school home.
Recent Research Papers, Presentations, and Projects
“Energy-based Safety Risk Assessment: Does Magnitude and Intensity of Energy Predict Injury Severity?” Hallowell, M.R., Alexander, D., and Gambatese, J.A. (2017). Construction Management and Economics, Routledge, 35(1-2), 64-77.
“Impact of Advisory Signs on Vehicle Speeds in Highway Nighttime Paving Project Work Zones,” Gambatese, J. and Zhang, F. (2016). Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., No. 2555, pp. 65-71.
“Alignment between Lean Principles and Practices and Worker Safety Behavior,” Gambatese, J.A., Pestana, C., and Lee, H.W. (2016). Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, 143(1).
Alves, T.C.L., Pestana, A.C., Gilbert, E., Hamzeh, F. (2016). “Lean Principles and the Management of Construction Documents.” Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, ASCE.
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 most recent graduates and their current positions:
- Kasim Alomari, University of Thi-Qar, Iraq (PhD, 20117)
- Catarina Pestana, Instructor, Oregon State University, (PhD, 2016)
- Fan Zhang, Assistant Professor, University of Southern Mississippi (PhD, 2016)
- Ali Moghaddam Vahed, Safety Risk Analyst, McKinstry, Seattle, WA (MS, 2015)
- Shreyas Panduranga Setty, estimator, Traylor Brothers (MS, 2015)
- Nicholas Tymvios, Assistant Professor, Bucknell University (PhD, 2013)
- Matthew Hallowell, Associate Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder (PhD, 2008)
- Sathy Rajendran, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Safety and Health Management Program, Central Washington University (PhD, 2006)