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Innovation in Construction: New Course Development Within a Construction Management Curriculum

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

New Course Development Concepts in ET II

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.756.1 - 24.756.10



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Paper Authors


J. William White AIA Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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J. William White AIA is a lecturer with the Construction Engineering Management Technology program within the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis. He is a registered architect who has more than 23 years of varied construction industry experience. Mr. White has undergraduate degrees from Indiana University and Ball State University and a masters degree from Purdue University Indianapolis. He is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and the Construction Specifications Institute. His professional interests include great architecture and all things related to construction innovation.

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Veto Matthew Ray Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Mr. Matt Ray is a lecturer for the Construction Engineering Management Technology Program offered through the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He currently provides instruction for Soils and Foundations, Construction Cost and Bidding, Construction Project Cost and Production Control as well as managing the Certificate of Training in Asset Management. He is a graduate of Purdue School of Engineering and Technology receiving degrees in Construction Technology, Architectural Technology, and a Masters in Facility Management. His field experience includes residential construction and light commercial. He has been an architectural designer as well as a superintendent for single and multi-family construction projects. Mr. Ray worked as an engineering and design manager in the Building Component Manufacturing Industry for over fifteen years.

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Dan D. Koo Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Dr. Koo is an assistant professor in the department of engineering and technology at Indiana University and Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Dr. Koo is also a registered PE. Dr. Koo’s research and professional activities are primarily focused on heavy civil infrastructure system, underground infrastructure system management and development, trenchless engineering, and sustainability. Dr. Koo received a Ph. D in Civil and Environmental Engineering and MS in Construction Management at Arizona State University in 2007 and 2003 respectively; and a BE degree in Civil Engineering in 1999.

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Innovation in Construction: New Course Development Within a Construction Management CurriculumThe U.S. construction industry has long been saddled with a reputation as being resistant to theadoption of innovation. Countless scholarly papers and articles in the popular press haveidentified this trait and bemoaned its effects on the construction industry and the country as awhole. It has been observed that failure to adopt innovation has serious ramifications because itincreases inefficiency by lessening build quality, increasing construction costs and increasingwaste. Ultimately critics assert these negatives have far reaching national implications as theycan adversely affect the United States’ financial well-being by reducing employment, slowingeconomic growth and lessening overall global competitiveness.To address these concerns and encourage a more innovation-receptive mentality within the upperclassmen of a construction management degree program, a new course was developed,“Innovation in Construction”.The goals of the course include:  Provide the student with a critical eye towards inherent problems embedded within the construction industry.  Enable the student to distinguish a valid innovation from a simple novelty.  Recognize the importance innovation plays in the construction industry.  Evaluate innovations by utilizing a risk benefit analysis-like approach.This paper will describe the development of this course, the special challenges associated with acourse topic that falls outside traditional construction management curricula, and the inherentreluctance to adopt change in any form – both on a personal and professional level. The courseattempts to reconcile the domestic industry’s penchant for conservatism with the global pressurefor advanced capabilities and on-going improvement. Including the course themes, the paperwill present assignments, tools, research sources, and course content.

White, J. W., & Ray, V. M., & Koo, D. D. (2014, June), Innovation in Construction: New Course Development Within a Construction Management Curriculum Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20648

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