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Construction Curriculum of the Future: Changes and Challenges

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ConstDiv Technical Session 5 - Pedagogy & Accreditation II

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Ihab Mohammad Hamdi Saad P.E. Northern Kentucky University

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Dr. Ihab Saad is Professor of Construction Management and an alumnus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington where he received his Ph.D. in 1996 from the department of Civil Engineering and Construction. He has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry primarily in the civil/construction project management area.
Dr. Saad received his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Cairo University in his native country Egypt in 1984, and 1993 respectively, in addition to a higher diploma in construction project management (equivalent to another M.Sc. from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt). He has worked for a top 10 worldwide project management firm, and offered training in Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, in addition to the United States.
He has taught at his Alma Mater, the University of Kentucky, in addition to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and most recently at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio where he was voted “Faculty of the Year” by construction science students in June 2011.
His work experience includes roles as a field engineer, cost engineer, senior scheduler, and project manager. His research interests include project sustainability, innovative project delivery systems, multimedia applications in project documentation, and construction organizations’ behavior and lessons learned. He has published in peer reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences.

Dr. Saad is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a registered Professional Engineer in Egypt and Qatar. He has received university and national teaching awards and coached several 1st place winning teams in national and regional construction competitions.

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The construction industry is witnessing major changes ranging from a leadership generational change, to the emergence of new techniques, materials, methods, and contractual relationships, all coinciding with domestic and international market instability. Construction academia is facing similar changes with a leadership change from seasoned faculty to a newer generation of junior faculty who recently completed their graduate studies, but in many cases lack the industry experience. The face of construction education will have to adapt to the changing environment by adopting and ideally leading the change in the industry. This paper represents the results of a survey of construction academics and professionals about the direction a construction management curriculum should follow in the next few years to play a proactive role in shaping the next generation of construction leaders. A Structured approach is suggested following the established practices of change management to update construction management curricula periodically, with a complete cycle not exceeding six years to coincide with the programs’ accreditation cycle. The paper addresses some of the challenges faced during the curriculum change, together with suggested solutions to ease the transition and provide a strong foundation for the change, in addition to structured measures for regular program maintenance, assessment, and update. Keywords: Construction education, change management, best practices, construction leadership.

Saad, I. M. H. (2019, June), Construction Curriculum of the Future: Changes and Challenges Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32542

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