Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering,
University of Maryland
Editor-in-Chief, Automation in Construction
New Threats and Opportunities in Construction Industry Supply Chains
Construction supply chains are characterized by a combination of locally, regionally and globally sourced products and services. Design professionals and specialist consultants work in increasingly virtual teams that are geographically dispersed in different national jurisdictions, often across multiple time zones. Construction labor, materials and equipment are sourced both locally and internationally. Disruptive technologies, as well as major regional and global natural phenomena and man-made events, influence the evolving composition of the supply chains. This presentation will focus on the recent examples of challenges facing timely deliveries of construction products and services, including shortages of qualified manpower, performance in environmentally challenging environments, and COVID-19 global pandemic. Disruptive technologies and opportunities to remedy the challenges will be discussed, including artificial intelligence applications in design-construction integration, automation and robotics, nanotechnology-based materials, and 3D printing in the construction industry.
Professor Miroslaw J. Skibniewski directs the e-Construction Group in the Center for Excellence in Project Management in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park (USA). Prior to his current position, he was a Professor of Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management, as well as a senior administrator at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana (USA). He was also the founding dean of the College of Engineering at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Earlier in his engineering career, he worked for the Pittsburgh Testing Laboratory, now known as Intertek Professional Services Industries, the oldest construction engineering consulting firm in the U.S. founded in 1881.
Prof. Skibniewski holds an M.Eng. degree in Civil Engineering from the Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA). His research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of the Interior and by major engineering construction and software corporations in the U.S. and worldwide. An author or coauthor of over 300 publications on project management, construction information technologies, automation and robotics, Prof. Skibniewski serves as Editor-in-Chief of Automation in Construction, an international research journal published by Elsevier.