Frontiers of Engineering Management

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Real option-based optimization for financial incentive allocation in infrastructure projects under public–private partnerships
Shuai LI, Da HU, Jiannan CAI, Hubo CAI
Front. Eng
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Financial incentives that stimulate energy investments under public–private partnerships are considered scarce public resources, which require deliberate allocation to the most economically justified projects to maximize the social benefits. This study aims to solve the financial incentive allocation problem through a real option-based nonlinear integer programming approach. Real option theory is leveraged to determine the optimal timing and the corresponding option value of providing financial incentives. The ambiguity in the evolution of social benefits, the decision-maker’s attitude toward ambiguity, and the uncertainty in social benefits and incentive costs are all considered. Incentives are offered to the project portfolio that generates the maximum total option value. The project portfolio selection is formulated as a stochastic knapsack problem with random option values in the objective function and random incentive costs in the probabilistic budget constraint. The linear probabilistic budget constraint is subsequently transformed into a nonlinear deterministic one. Finally, the integer non-linear programming problem is solved, and the optimality gap is computed to assess the quality of the optimal solution. A case study is presented to illustrate how the limited financial incentives can be optimally allocated under uncertainty and ambiguity, which demonstrates the efficacy of the proposed method.

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Techno-economic analysis of the adoption of electric vehicles
Front. Eng
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Significant advances in battery technology are creating a viable marketspace for battery powered passenger vehicles. Climate change and concerns over reliable supplies of hydrocarbons are aiding in the focus on electric vehicles. Consumers can be influenced by marketing and emotion resulting in behaviors that may not be in line with their stated objectives. Although sales of electric vehicles are accelerating, it may not be clear that purchasing an electric vehicle is advantageous from an economic or environmental perspective. A techno- economic analysis of electric vehicles comparing them against hybrids, gasoline and diesel vehicles is presented. The results show that the complexity of electrical power supply, infrastructure requirements and full life cycle concerns show that electric vehicles have a place in the future but that ongoing improvements will be required for them to be clearly the best choice for a given situation.

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Generic and SME-specific factors that influence the BIM adoption process: an overview that highlights gaps in the literature
Front. Eng
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Building information modeling/management (BIM) is an emerging technological and procedural shift in the architecture, engineering, construction and operation industry. In this study, we use an extensive state-of-the-art method to clarify the BIM adoption process and the factors that can influence the success or failure of BIM adoption, particularly during the implementation stage, which are not frequently found in the literature. As an innovation, the lexical field allocated to the spread of innovations is assigned to BIM (diffusion, adoption, and implementation). After recalling the definition of relevant terms and then removing the resulting inconsistencies in vocabularies, we investigate various studies to identify factors that influence BIM adoption and then unify all these studies in one coherent and consistent BIM adoption process model. We focus on factors that play a role in the adoption of BIM in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because SMEs constitute the majority of companies in the construction sector. This research highlights and intends to fill in some gaps found in the current BIM adoption literature.

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Research on the ecological compensation standard of the basin pollution control project based on evolutionary game theory and by taking Xiangjiang River as a case
Dongbin HU, Huiwu LIU, Xiaohong CHEN, Yang CHEN
Front. Eng
Abstract   HTML   PDF (310KB)

Ecological compensation is a new resource and environment management model. As one of the main areas for implementing ecological compensation policies, basin ecological compensation has become an important measure for encouraging basin pollution control projects and improving the quality of regional economic development. By applying the basic game analysis of evolutionary game theory and building an evolutionary game model with a “reward–punishment” mechanism, this paper compares the interest-related decision-making behaviors of the upstream and downstream stakeholders of basin ecological compensation. By using data on the water quality of Xiangjiang River Basin, this paper calculates the rewards and penalties in different intervals by building a parametric regression mathematical model and employing the local linear regression method. Results show that a decline in water quality should be fined RMB 925500 yuan, an improvement in water quality should be awarded RMB 1227800 yuan, and a deteriorating water quality should be severely fined RMB 5087600 yuan.

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Owner-dominated building information modeling and lean construction in a megaproject
Mingyue LI, Zhuoling MA, Xi TANG
Front. Eng
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The integration of building information modeling (BIM) and lean construction (LC) provides a solution for the management of megaprojects. Previous studies have generally focused on the theoretical or empirical adoption of BIM and LC. Moreover, only a few studies have examined the approach of simultaneously using BIM and LC in megaprojects. Therefore, an intensive study on the application of BIM and LC in megaprojects, particularly to explore considerably effective integrated application modes of BIM and LC in megaprojects, will substantially promote the management efficiency of megaprojects. The current study describes a method that integrates owner-dominated BIM and LC that was developed in a case study. The proposed method provides a framework for all stakeholders to use BIM and LC in a megaproject dominated by the owner. The interactional relations among the owner, BIM, and LC were analyzed and positive interactions were identified. These positive interactions served as a basis for the implementation of this integrated approach in a case study and could be applied to other megaprojects. The megaproject (i.e., airport construction project) was examined to verify the performance of the developed method. Results showed that the integration of BIM and LC dominated by the owner can improve management performance and achieve high quality standard.

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Toward deep impacts of BIM on education
Front. Eng
Abstract   HTML   PDF (322KB)

Building information models (BIM) provide a way to represent buildings and communicate about them. In teaching engineering, we also need representations of buildings and are communicating knowledge about them. While teaching engineering we refer to the very same real-world objects that have an explicit conceptualization in BIM. This explicit conceptualization did not exist in the age when design communication relied on drawings and documents. The question that this paper asks is this: due to BIM, communication in the industry has changed. Should communication of engineering knowledge – teaching – change as well and how? While much has been written about teaching BIM and incorporating BIM into the curricula, this paper is exploring the general impact of BIM on engineering education. It grounds earlier work (Turk, 2018) on insights from pedagogy. Five scenarios of the interplay between BIM-influenced engineering communication and teaching are presented. The paper argues that ignoring BIM may create a cognitive dissonance between academic learning and industrial work. We are finding that the impact of BIM is twofold: vertically there is a need to establish a reference between knowledge concepts (in teaching building) and information objects (in building information models). Horizontally BIM is an integration technology that allows for a more holistic design and planning. Both the language of individual courses as well as cross references and synergies among courses should change. A “T” style structure of the courses around BIM is proposed as a basis for integrated curriculum. Pedagogical approaches based on deep learning, model based learning and project based learning are suggested.

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Corporate governance impact on banking risk
Front. Eng
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This study aims to determine the relationship between several factors of governance and the level of risk in 10 Tunisian banks during an analysis period of eight years. We propose an important empirical question and examine the internal mechanisms of governance aimed at reducing financial risks. This estimation is based on a model with a single equation that examines variables relative to governance and credit risk to determine their impact on banking financials. Results demonstrate that the internal mechanisms of governance present diverging effects on the financial risk of the Tunisian banks in our case study (i.e., credit risk). Moreover, making applications work by putting together a process and model for banking risk is important. This model can be applied in any bank, and the results can be used to make decisions in real time.

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Identifying stakeholders’ roles and relevant project documents for 4D-based collaborative decision making
Front. Eng
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To fully understand and effectively implement 4D building information modelling (BIM) models and methods, we need to develop a precise knowledge of which project digital documents should be used and how they influence the decision-making (DM) process. This article studies the convergence between uses of 4D BIM and digital project documents. We hypothesize that a clear visualization of the construction simulation through a 4D model is a useful source of information and a support for DM at collaborative meetings. Through this research, we continue to progress toward a new 4D-based collective decision device, so these elements will contribute to propose 4D BIM as DM support on architecture engineering construction (AEC) projects. Further, the present research will be complemented by results from questionnaires given at a later research stage. The article presents a brief review of BIM context to consider ways of fostering the implementation of all 4D BIM uses (not only visualization). It then introduces a proposition for 4D BIM uses implementation by the project development phase. It concludes by summarizing stakeholders’ roles and documents relevant to 4D BIM uses.

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