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Frontiers of Engineering Management

, Volume 1 Issue 3

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Exploration on Engineering Management Practice of China’s High Speed Railways
Yong-fu Sun
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 232-240.
Abstract   PDF (600KB)

This paper explores the principal motivations and successful experiences of the rapid development of China’s high speed railway. In the perspective of the engineering management practice, the developers have studied and made prospective mid- and long-term railway network planning, including the four east-west and four north-south corridors as the backbone, the interregional urban passenger traffic corridors and the intercity railways, with a planning scale above 16,000 km. Under the overall coordination of the government, a high speed railway technology system has been formed with the China’s characteristics, by the way of sticking to independent innovation, of combining original innovation, collaborative innovation and integrative innovation, and of attaching importance to experimental verification. The target control system and support-guarantee system were established for the high speed railway project, enacting standardized management, strengthening integration test and commissioning, conducting strict acceptance, and achieving construction management experiences on the high speed railway. Finally, this paper proposes such issues worthy of attention and further study, as the improvement of the engineering decision-making management, the enhancement of investment and financing system reform, and the promotion of professionalization and the specialization of engineering project management.

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Mankind and Mega-projects
Naomi J. Brookes
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 241-245.
Abstract   PDF (276KB)

Throughout history mankind has sought to improve its economic and even its spiritual development through the creation of gargantuan and awe-inspiring infrastructure projects. The twenty-first century has seen the rapid growth of the use of this type of project in providing society’s needs: such projects are widely referred to as “mega-projects”. Mega-projects are extremely large-scale infrastructure projects typically costing more than $1 billion. Mega-projects include power-plant (conventional, nuclear or renewable), oil and gas extraction and processing projects and transport projects such as highways and tunnels, bridges, railways, seaports and even cultural events such as the Olympics. Mega-projects are united by their extreme complexity (both in technical and human terms) and by a long record of poor delivery. What to do in the face of this dilemma is a question that is still being asked by mega-project practitioners and academics alike.

This paper presents the unique work of the MEGAPROJECT COST Action which brings together a multi-disciplinary network of over 80 researchers from 24 countries to respond to this dilemma. Mega-project’s aim involves capturing the existing performance of large infrastructural mega-projects and understanding how their delivery can be improved. In order to do this, the investigation has gathered together the MEGAPROJECT Portfolio. The Portfolio contains meta-data on a wide range of mega-projects from across countries and sectors and acts as a firm empirical foundation for the investigation’s activities.

Having assembled the MEGAPROJECT Portfolio, this paper shows how analyzing the Portfolio shatters myths of mega-project management and identifies new areas of fruitful investigation. Mega-project’s findings downplay the importance of formal project management tools and techniques in insuring successful delivery. Instead mega-project highlights the need to concentrate on the impact of financing on project governance, the technical modularization of the project and the devastating roles that eternal stakeholders can have on mega-project delivery. Most importantly, it discusses how we can effectively learn across mega-projects in order to maximize their value to their stakeholders and to society as a whole.

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Research Trends in Information Technology Applications in Construction Safety Engineering and Management
Mirosɬaw J. Skibniewski
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 246-259.
Abstract   PDF (1580KB)

Through analysis of articles published from 2000 to March 2014 in Automaton in Construction (AUTCON), an international research journal published by Elsevier, this paper summarizes the topics of research and the institutions worldwide where research was conducted in construction safety engineering and management. Seventy-one articles published during this time focused on Information Technology (IT) applications in this field were selected for analysis. The underlying research topics and their related IT implementations are discussed, and research trends in allied specialties are identified.

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On the Core Essence of Engineering Management Theory
Ji-shan He
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 260-269.
Abstract   PDF (319KB)

At present, China’s economy is in rapid growth. The scale of engineering construction is significantly increasing and a number of major projects have been completed and put into use, bringing the engineering management practice new issues and challenges with each passing day. In the meantime, Chinese scholars are constantly summarizing what they have learnt in these activities and making great effort to gradually establish their own theoretical system of engineering management, of which the core essence of theoretical system of engineering management becomes a critically important topic. By studying our engineering management theory and practice, this paper preliminarily sums up the core essence of the engineering management theory in China as: “establishing a perfect harmony between human and nature through a people-oriented approach and dual innovation”, with a hope to help and enrich the research on the theoretical system of engineering management in China.

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Engineering Informatics: State of the Art and Future Trends
Li-da Xu
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 270-282.
Abstract   PDF (1214KB)

Engineering informatics is an emerging engineering discipline integrating information technology or informatics with a variety of engineering disciplines. It is an interdisciplinary scientific subject focusing on applying advanced information and communications technology (ICT) to a variety of engineering disciplines. Rapid advances in industrial information integration methods have spurred the growth of new techniques that can be used for probing industrial information integration including engineering informatics. These techniques include business process management (BPM), enterprise architecture (EA), enterprise application integration (EAI), service-oriented architecture (SOA), and others. Practical applications may require a combination of these techniques that have originated from different disciplines. These techniques have the potential to contribute to engineering informatics. For integrating complex engineering systems, both formal methods and systems methods are crucial. In this paper, we briefl review the state of the art of engineering informatics as it interfacing with industrial information integration.

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Situational Awareness in Construction and Facility Management
Burcu Akinci
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 283-289.
Abstract   PDF (491KB)

Engineers and managers involved in construction and facility/infrastructure operations need situational awareness about the as-is conditions when making daily decisions and developing short- and long-term plans. Yet, currently situational awareness of engineers is often challenged due to missing data and the available data not being in a format that is easily accessible and actionable. Advances in reality capture technologies, such as 3-dimensional (3D) imaging, in-situ sensing, equipment on-board instrumentation and electronic tagging, streamline the capturing of the as-is conditions on job sites. The data collected from these technologies, integrated with building information models depicting the as-planned conditions, can help in creating and storing the history of as-is conditions of a facility to support a variety of decisions that engineers and managers need to make. While the opportunities associated with integrating building information models and data capture technologies are compelling, several challenges need to be addressed through research for effective usage of these technologies. Such challenges include assessing the accuracy of the data collected at the field, developing and evaluating data processing and data fusion approaches, formalizing integrated representation of building information models and sensor and other relevant data, and investigating and developing approaches for analyzing and visualizing such integrated information models. This paper provides examples of recent research studies done at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University that demonstrate opportunities associated with integrating building information models and sensor information for facility operations.

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Whole-life Thinking and Engineering the Future
Roger Flanagan
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 290-296.
Abstract   PDF (644KB)

Whole-life thinking for engineers working on the built environment has become more important in a fast changing world. Whole-life thinking is not new, every project attempts to balance the initial capital cost with the operating and maintenance cost of an asset. Engineers are increasingly concerned with complex systems, in which the parts interact with each other and with the outside world in many ways — the relationships between the parts determine how the system behaves. Systems thinking provides one approach to developing a more robust whole-life approach. Systems thinking is a process of understanding how things influence one another within a wider perspective. Complexity, chaos, and risk are endemic in all major projects. New approaches are needed to produce more reliable whole-life predictions. Best value, rather than lowest cost, can be achieved by using whole-life appraisal as a part of the design and delivery strategy.

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Establishing Profiles for Systems Engineering Standards: A Great Help for Companies to Manage Their Processes
Rui Xue,Claude Baron,Philippe Esteban,Qiang Zhang
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 297-303.
Abstract   PDF (910KB)

In this paper, we discuss how to establish profiles of system engineering standards for companies. To define an appropriate system engineering standard for a company, this paper presents a detailed comparison between the current releases of the main system engineering sta-ndards (ANSI/ EIA-632, ISO/IEC-15288 and IEEE-1220), and explains how to choose the most adapted one according to the company practices. When no standard completely corresponds, the paper illustrates how to elaborate a tailor-made standard on the basis of specific required characteristics of the company or of the project, following a multi-standard approach, leading to extend and adapt a sta-ndard by importing some elements from another.

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Neural Operation Management: A New Avenue for Productive and Military Operations
Qing-guo Ma
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 304-307.
Abstract   PDF (690KB)

An important effect of technological progress is the increasing replacement of manual labor by mental labor in productive and military operations. The variation of the operator’s capabilities in cognition, judgment and decision-making has drawn much attention from operation management researchers. Monitoring and evaluation of these capabilities is especially significant in conditions such as long-time operation, operation with special properties and operation under special circumstances. The military power and economic power are both the key concerns for a nation. The military power depends not only on the weapon system, but also the operators’ capabilities of manipulating the system. Similarly, the economic power is not only dependent on advanced machine system, but also the operational capability of the operators. Thus it has become a hot field of research and practice to monitor and assess the operator’s physiological and psychological states online based on neural measurement technology, and then to give real time intervention, so as to reduce the occurrence of accidents and increase the operation performance.

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Hongshiyan Landslide Dam Danger Removal and Coordinated Management
Ning Liu
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 308-317.
Abstract   PDF (1215KB)

This paper takes an overview of the Hongshiyan landslide dam triggered by an earthquake near Ludian County in Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, introduces how the danger removal plan is drafted and implemented, and analyzes the outcome of its implementation. The paper then explains the significance and effect of coordinated management in the event of natural disasters and other public safety emergencies, and discusses ways to improve coordinated management.

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Two-echelon Emergency Response Problem and Simulation Considering Secondary Disasters
Han-peng Zhang,Yi Liao,Hui-xia Luo
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 318-321.
Abstract   PDF (912KB)

It is necessary for subsequent resource distribution planning that get expected relief time considering secondary disasters after natural disaster. The goal of this research is to develop a two-echelon emergency resource distribution model under condition of secondary disasters. Taking minimal maximize relief time as criterion of relief performance, we developed response strategies and simulation model to get the expected value. Numerical studies of this paper presented the result of response strategies.

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Zhong-tuo Wang: A Brief Biography
Xiao-ge Zhang,Jin Wang
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 322-323.
Abstract   PDF (239KB)
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Ying-luo Wang: A Brief Biography
Xiao-ge Zhang,Jin Wang
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 324-325.
Abstract   PDF (236KB)
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Author Notes Provided by Corresponding Authors
Naomi J. Brookes,Roger Flanagan,Ji-shan He,Ning Liu,Qing-guo Ma,Miroslaw J. Skibniewski,Yong-fu Sun,Li-da Xu,Jin Wang,Han-peng Zhang,Xiao-ge Zhang
Front. Eng. 2014, 1 (3): 326-328.
Abstract   PDF (178KB)
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15 articles