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Canada Research Chair


Successful Project Outcomes: The Science of Project Management

Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura is the very first Canada Research Chair specializing in Project Management


Managing projects is becoming increasingly challenging due to complex issues involving the interaction of labour, capital, materials, equipment and market conditions. Today's advanced Project Management (PM) is seen as a way to improve predictability, efficiency and effectiveness on projects.

Recently the management of mega construction projects has been challenging with cost overruns, time delays, and contractual issues.  Many problems encountered during the construction phase of most projects originate due to lack of project planning, specifically setting unrealistic deadlines and targets.

The main objective of the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Project Management Systems chaired by Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura during the first term (2007-12) was to develop, test, and validate better work place practices in four focus areas: Integrated risk management and simulation, modeling tools, sustainability, and technological advancements. This research also links with Dr. Ruwanpura's major industrial research program related to improving construction productivity. Through the integrating of better Project Management Systems (PROMSYS) the planning, engineering and construction of mega projects will improve.

The objectives of the 2nd term of the CRC research program (2012-17) are the development of competencies and expertise for a capital project manager for the 2020 timeframe to ensure that the construction industry is prepared to meet these challenges and the continuing development and testing of better work practices, tools and processes to improve PM of future construction projects in Alberta and Canada. The proposed research projects fall under four specialized areas: a) future project manager skills index and multi-project objective framework, b) strategies for planning and execution using integrated analytical and simulation tools, c) sustainability, and d) technological advancements to improve productivity improvement.

Dr. Ruwanpura will not continue with the 2nd Term of the CRC from Feb. 1st, 2013 as he was appointed as the Vice-Provost (International) at the University of Calgary.