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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 1 (2005 Deadline)

Development of a Strategic Model for Improvement of Construction Project Management
Education, Research, and Practice in Pakistan

Syed Mahmood Ahmed, Florida International University
Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, NED University of Engineering and Technology
Pakistani Funding (HEC): $275,000
US Funding:   $130,000
Project Dates on US Side: January 1, 2006 - December 15, 2009 (Completed)

Project Overview

According to these researchers, the absence of an integrated system of construction management education, research, and practice in Pakistan has resulted in low output by the country’s construction industry, which is the second largest sector in the Pakistani economy after agriculture. To address this problem, Drs. Ahmed and Lodi designed their project to

  • Investigate the current state of the construction industry in Pakistan;
  • Develop a strategic model for improving construction management education, research, and practice in Pakistan;
  • Devise a framework to standardize construction industry practices for achieving improved performance on cost, time, quality, risk response, aesthetics, reliability, and safety; and
  • Build the construction management capacity of academia, industry, and government.

Major Results

  • Developed strategic model for improvement of construction project management education, research, and practice in Pakistan
  • Published four papers in peer-reviewed journals and delivered 37 presentations at refereed conferences
  • Provided training on construction project management to approximately 680 students (109 female)
  • Involved seven junior researchers, including five on the Pakistani side and two on the U.S. side (three female)
  • Created new course on innovation and entrepreneurship for the Civil Engineering B.Sc. program at University of Engineering and Technology, Texila
  • Established collaboration linkages with six institutes in Pakistan

Progress Report Summaries

2009: The last year of the project was devoted primarily to data analysis and preparation of an extensive final report. All told, the project has resulted in 42 publications in refereed journals or conference proceedings and has provided training to approximately 680 Pakistanis. One Pakistani researcher obtained a master's degree at FIU and returned to take a position at NED, while another will soon complete a PhD begun under the project. Beyond fostering bilateral ties, this effort also enabled FIU and NED to establish new linkages with several Pakistani professional societies involved in engineering and construction and to foster capacity building at another Pakistani institution, the University of Engineering and Technology Taxila. A new course on innovation and entrepreneurship was initiated there and a proposal was developed to launch a master's degree program in construction management at that university. Although much was accomplished, the partners involved hope to continue working together to study additional macro-level issues affecting the Pakistani construction industry, and they recognized that much more work is needed to disseminate their findings and recommendations to industry stakeholders.

2008: An international conference to further work on developing and implementing the strategic model was held in Karachi August 4-5, 2008, and August 11-14 Dr. Ahmed led a week-long hands-on workshop for 48 project management trainees on mastering Microsoft Project Professional. December 14-15, 2008, Dr. Ahmed led a workshop at NED entitled “Total Quality Management and Risk Management,” which attracted 40 engineers and allied professionals from public and private sector institutions.

2007: In 2007 Mr. Rizwan Ul Haque Farooqui, an assistant professor at NED University, continued his PhD studies in construction engineering and management at Florida International University. He is expected to receive his PhD by the end of 2010. Another NED assistant professor, Mr. Farhan Saleem, began his master’s degree studies at FIU in January 2007, receiving his degree in the spring of 2008 and returning home to his position at NED. In addition, NED lecturer Mr. Muhammad Saqib began an on-line master’s program in 2007 through FIU’s distance learning program. Meanwhile, Drs. Ahmed and Lodi and their colleagues continued to compile and analyze their survey data and develop a strategic model for improving the construction industry in Pakistan. To this end, Dr. Lodi made a two-week visit to Florida in April 2007 and Dr. Ahmed spent much of the summers of 2007 and 2008 in Karachi. In addition, a total of three workshops and five training sessions were organized in Pakistan in 2007 for more than 360 industry professionals and academics.

2006: After first developing the necessary survey instruments for their study and fine tuning them based on feedback from pilot surveys, in late 2006 the researchers proceeded to the next phase of the project—conducting detailed, structured surveys with contractors, consultants, suppliers, owners, government agencies, educational institutions, and other industry stakeholders.  They collected data on a wide range of issues including general construction project management practices, causes of delays, delay mitigation practices, risk and safety management, and the business environment and regulatory framework.


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