Frontiers of Engineering Management

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Literature review on renewable energy development and China’s roadmap
Dequn ZHOU, Hao DING, Qunwei WANG, Bin SU
Front. Eng.
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The low carbon energy transition has attracted worldwide attention to mitigate climate change. Renewable energy (RE) is the key to this transition, with significant developments to date, especially in China. This study systematically reviews the literature on RE development to identify a general context from many studies. The goal is to clarify key questions related to RE development from the current academic community. We first identify the forces driving RE development. Thereafter, we analyze methods for modeling RE developments considering the systematic and multiple complexity characteristics of RE. The study concludes with insights into the target selection and RE development roadmap in China.

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An evaluation model of water-saving reconstruction projects based on resource value flows
Runwen JIANG, Xiaohong CHEN, Lingchu ZHAO, Zhifang ZHOU, Tao ZHANG
Front. Eng.
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Due to uncertainties in water supply, there is growing demand for water resource management in enterprises. In this study, we evaluated the effects of companies’ water-saving reconstruction projects. We used Hina Advanced Materials Company as a case to construct an investment decision model to (1) calculate the internal and external costs of water resources based on circular economic value analysis theory, and (2) locate the level of water resources circulation. We adopted gray situation decision analysis to identify the typical problems that occur in water resource utilization. Moreover, we demonstrated optimization plans for different potential improvements, thereby providing guidance and references for water resource cost management and the comprehensive optimization of environmental benefits. We concluded that the circulation economic value analysis model can effectively display the flow and amount of value derived from water resource flows, thereby providing guidance and suggestions for optimizing water resource flows.

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Optimal risk allocation in alliance infrastructure projects: A social preference perspective
Xiang DING, Qian LI
Front. Eng.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (372KB)

The mechanism of risk allocation is designed to protect all stakeholders, and it is vital to project success. Qualitative and quantitative ways of optimizing risk allocation have been well documented in extant literature (e.g., allocation principles, models, and solutions), and the foci of existing research are usually the maximization of rational utility. Few research has focused on partners’ social preferences affecting the output of risk allocation. This study presents a quantitative approach based on modeling alliance member (AM)’s inequity aversion (IA) to analyze risk-sharing arrangements in an alliance project. Fehr and Schmidt’s inequity-aversion model is integrated into modeling partner’s utility. This paper derives results for an alliance leader (AL)’s optimal risk-sharing ratio and AM’s optimal risk-management effort simultaneously. The derivation is based on solving a restrained optimization problem using the conception and methods from Stackelberg game theory. Results show that an AM’s IA significantly affects risk allocation between AL and AM. Specifically, envious preference is positively related to AL’s optimal risk-sharing ratio, whereas guilty preference negatively affects AL’s optimal risk-sharing ratio. These findings will be of interest to academics and practitioners involved in designing alliance negotiations.

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Carbon performance evaluation model from the perspective of circular economy—The case of Chinese thermal power enterprise
Zhifang ZHOU, Jinhao LIU, Huixiang ZENG, Mengmeng XU, Shihui LI
Front. Eng.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (468KB)

Carbon emission reduction is the only way to alleviate environmental problems, such as global warming. Effective evaluation of carbon performance can help enterprises to carry out energy saving and emission reduction activities to a certain extent and promote sustainable development. This paper constructs a carbon performance evaluation index system that includes the four dimensions of carbon resource (energy) input, cycle, output, and carbon management by incorporating the principles of circular economy and the theory of resource value circulation from the perspective of the flow trajectory of carbon-containing resources in the circulation of enterprises combined with the production characteristics of thermoelectric enterprises. Subsequently, combined with the case study, this paper discusses the scientific and practical nature of the system and provides another way of thinking for carbon performance evaluation of micro-enterprises in other industries. This paper expands the application boundary of matter–element model and supplements the literature of carbon performance, which has certain theoretical and practical significance.

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Key stakeholders’ perspectives on the ideal partnering culture in construction projects
Front. Eng.
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This paper examines the current state of project cultures in the German turnkey construction industry and the ideal project cultures in terms of partnering from the perspective of various key stakeholders (i.e., Investors, General Contractors, (Sub-)Contractors and Designers). To investigate the current and ideal cultures, data were gathered among the key stakeholders by means of a survey study with 72 respondents divided over 12 companies. The respondents rated the current and desired cultures by using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument, which belongs to the Competing Values Framework. The investigations show many similarities and differences between the stakeholder perspectives of the current and the idealized partnering project cultures. Mainly, the General Contractors desire more cooperative behaviors than the (Sub-)Contractors, and the Investors desire more pronounced flexibility than the General Contractors. All stakeholders desire a cultural change from highly competitive behaviors toward more cooperation. Changes in terms of clear procedures or more flexibility are only desired by the Designers. Defining both the current and an ideal partnering project culture enables academics and project managers to compare their actual project cultures to an ideal situation. With such an approach, academics and project managers could measure whether new tools or changes in resources affect their project cultures toward a partnering project culture.

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Potential advantages in combining smart and green infrastructure over silo approaches for future cities
Front. Eng.
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Cities are incorporating smart and green infrastructure components in their urban design policies, adapting existing and new infrastructure systems to integrate technological advances to mitigate extreme weather due to climate change. Research has illustrated that smart green infrastructure (SGI) provides not only climate change resilience but also many health and wellbeing benefits that improve the quality of life of citizens. With the growing demand for smart technology, a series of problems and challenges, including governance, privacy, and security, must be addressed. This paper explores the potential to transition from grey, green, or smart silos to work with nature-based solutions and smart technology to help change cities to achieve considerable environmental and socio-economic benefits. The concepts of grey, green, and smart infrastructure are presented, and the needs, benefits, and applications are investigated. Moreover, the advantages of using integrated smart, green nature-based solutions are discussed. A comprehensive literature review is undertaken with keyword searches, including journal papers, stakeholder and case study reports, and local authority action plans. The methodology adopts multimethod qualitative information review, including literature, case studies, expert interviews, and documentary analysis. Published data and information are analysed to capture the key concepts in implementing SGI systems, such as storm-water control, flood and coastal defense, urban waste management, transportation, recreation, and asset management. The paper investigates the elimination of silo approaches and the alleviation of the destructions caused by extreme weather events using these interdependent SGI systems supported by novel data-driven platforms to provide nature-based solutions to boost the health and wellbeing of the residents.

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Cyber–physical systems development for construction applications
Chinemelu J. ANUMBA, Abiola AKANMU, Xiao YUAN, Congwen KAN
Front. Eng.
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Cyber–physical systems (CPS) are intended to facilitate the tight coupling of the cyber and physical worlds. Their potential for enhancing the delivery and management of constructed facilities is now becoming understood. In these systems, it is vital to ensure bi-directional consistency between construction components and their digital replicas. This paper introduces the key features of CPS and describes why they are ideally suited for addressing a number of problems in the delivery of construction projects. It draws on examples of research prototypes developed using surveys, field experiments, and prototyping methodologies, to outline the key features and benefits of CPS for construction applications and the approach to their development. In addition, it outlines the lessons learned from developing various systems for the design, construction and management of constructed facilities, which include building component placement and tracking, temporary structures monitoring, and mobile crane safety. The paper concludes that the construction industry stands to reap numerous benefits from the adoption of CPS. It states that the future direction of CPS in construction will be driven by technological developments and the extent to which CPS is deployed in new application areas.

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Methods and applications of DEA cross-efficiency: Review and future perspectives
Jie WU, Jiasen SUN, Liang LIANG
Front. Eng.
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The field of engineering management usually involves evaluation issues, such as program selection, team performance evaluation, technology selection, and supplier evaluation. The traditional self-evaluation data envelopment analysis (DEA) method usually exaggerates the effects of several inputs or outputs of the evaluated decision-making unit (DMU), resulting in unrealistic results. To address this problem, scholars have proposed the cross-efficiency evaluation (CREE) method. Compared with the DEA method, CREE can rank DMUs more completely by using reasonable weights. With the extensive application of this technique, several problems, such as non-unique weights and non-Pareto optimal results, have arisen in CREE methods. Therefore, the improvement of CREE has attracted the attention of many scholars. This paper reviews the theory and applications of CREE, including the non-uniqueness problem, the aggregation of cross-efficiency data, and applications in engineering management. It also discusses the directions for future research on CREE.

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Measuring residents’ anxiety under urban redevelopment in China: An investigation of demographic variables
Jinbo SONG, Chen QIAN, Zhuo FENG, Liang MA
Front. Eng.
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Residents’ concerns and feelings play pivotal roles in smoothly promoting urban redevelopment. Anxiety, as an intuitive feeling toward uncertainties, generally exists among residents who are confronted with redevelopment, and this feeling has gradually attracted scholars’ attention. However, relatively few studies have focused on the multidimensional view of this concept and its influencing factors. Drawing upon a large-scale questionnaire survey conducted in 13 pilot areas in China, this study refines and verifies five prominent dimensions of anxiety, namely, housing conditions, monetary compensation, public services, life adaptation, and public participation level, through factor analysis and one-sample t-test. The finding contributes to achieving a complete understanding of anxiety, and the scales developed for measuring these dimensions lay the foundation for further empirical studies on anxiety. The individual and collective effects of age, job, and region variables on anxiety dimensions are demonstrated via independent-sample t-test and analysis of variance, which clarifies the formation process of anxiety and highlights the importance of these contextual variables. Tailored strategies for policymaking and engineering management, including establishing reasonable compensation standards, providing equal public services, and delivering high-quality housing, are proposed to relieve residents’ anxiety. These strategies are expected to consider further the sensitive group, such as the elderly, farmers, and casual workers.

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