Abstract: Complex engineering projects consist of different interconnected networks of processes, activities, stakeholders, resources, and information. The traditional project management paradigm, which identifies complex engineering projects as monolithic systems, has failed to capture the interdependencies and dynamic interactions at the interfaces between different entities and networks in complex projects. In this research, a system-of-systems (SoS) framework is proposed towards creation of tools and techniques for integrated management of complex engineering projects. Two principles (i.e., base-level abstraction and multi-level aggregation) are used to develop the proposed framework. At the base level, complex engineering projects are abstracted as different entities (i.e., human agents, information, and resources). At higher levels (i.e., activity level, process level, and project level), different entities are aggregated via their dynamic interactions and interdependencies. Using the proposed SoS framework, new dimensions of engineering project assessment and management filed, such as the impacts of attributes of base-level entities, and project-level emergent properties can be explored. The application of the proposed framework is shown in a complex construction project. The findings highlight the capability of the proposed framework in providing an integrated approach for bottom-up assessment of performance in engineering projects under different uncertain scenarios.
Bio: Jin Zhu is a Ph.D. candidate of Civil Engineering at Florida International University. In her Ph.D. research, she investigates emergent properties in complex construction projects using system-of-systems thinking. Her research aims at better assessment and management of performance in complex construction projects.
Dr. Ali Mostafavi is an assistant professor at OHL School of construction in the College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. His research expertise is in the area of sustainable and resilient infrastructure systems, system-of-systems modeling, and construction engineering.