Keynote Speaker

Prof. Lonny Simonian

California Polytechnic State University, USA

Lonny Simonian has over 25 years of professional experience in the electrical design and construction industry and has worked on several multibillion USD federally funded domestic projects, as well as numerous public and privately funded projects around the world. This has including extensive experience in project & construction management, project controls and administration, and design and construction engineering on several US government advanced technology projects. He holds a Master of Science in Engineering degree from University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in Construction Engineering and Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), and an Advanced Project Management Certificate from Stanford.

Professor Simonian’s current appointment is as a Professor in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) and graduate course instructor in the College of Engineering at Cal Poly. Professor Simonian is a licensed Professional Electrical Engineer in the State of California and a Project Management Institute certified Project Management Professional. Professor Simonian’s previous experience includes positions as an Engineering Group Supervisor at Bechtel National and Senior Project Manager for Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. His Cal Poly courses have included Building Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Systems, Construction Contracts, Construction Project Administration, Principles of Construction Management, Project Controls, Management of the Construction Firm, Professional Practice for Construction Project Managers, and Integrated Project Delivery. Professor Simonian was a past recipient of a NSF/DOE fellowship, conducting Smart Grid research at UC Berkeley Lab on Energy Information System Dashboard Integrating Wireless Sensing Devices with Wired Metering and Controls. He is the principal or corresponding author of over three dozen peer-reviewed papers.

Topic: Using Game-Based Learning and Simulations to Enhance Construction Engineering and Management Education

Abstract:  Simulations and learning games use technology to allow participants to experience tasks and see the results of their decisions. Frequently, they are designed to meet specific learning goals, i.e. from sharing case studies to demonstrating very complex situations. In the construction industry, many new employees do not have the training or coursework to provide access to such simulations. While games are not new to higher education, their use most often has been limited to a very narrow vein because of their complexity and the amount of development time required to produce them. Most games have not been robust enough to engage construction participants. Managing construction involves being able to make decisions to balance time, cost, quality, resources, and identifying and solving a variety of issues. The skills required of today’s construction management personnel are a combination of management skills and technical knowledge. This presentation describes the Construction Industry Simulation (COINS) game, designed to prepare construction engineering and management personnel for the real world.

Keywords: Simulation, Game Based Learning, Construction Education, Construction Industry Simulation, Construction Industry Simulation (COINS) game

Plenary Speakers

Assoc. Prof. Andrea N. Ofori-boadu

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, USA

Dr. Andrea Nana Ofori-Boadu is an Associate Professor of Construction Science and Management with the Department of Built Environment within the College of Science and Technology at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A & T). Prior to NC A & T, Andrea served in various practitioner roles on residential, commercial, and highway construction projects in Ghana and the U.S. Her passion is to utilize her talents to advance sustainability in construction materials, processes, and workforce development.

Andrea has taught, mentored, and served as a role model to over 1500 undergraduate and graduate students. She has received almost $2M from funding agencies to include the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her NC A & T Center of Excellence for Product Design and Advanced Manufacturing (CEPDAM) funding allowed her to conduct feasibility studies on bio-char modified cement pastes. In 2019, she received her prestigious NSF CAREER grant to construct substantive theories that explain professional identity development processes in undergraduate architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) women in the United States. In 2020, Dr. Ofori-Boadu received an NSF-RAPID grant to construct substantive theories that explain undergraduate STEM student decision-making processes during pandemics. Her research findings have resulted in a patent (U.S. Patent No. 11,104,611; August 31, 2021), 168 citations, 40 peer-reviewed publications, 90 presentations, 92 poster presentations, and website references such as on the International Bio-char Initiative website. She has also served as a peer reviewer for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, American Society for Engineering Education, and International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation.

In 2021, Dr. Ofori-Boadu was chosen by CEPDAM to showcase her research work in a promotional video series named “Women in Design and Manufacturing”. Andrea has received several teaching, mentoring, and research excellence awards to include the 2021 Outstanding College of Science and Technology Faculty STEMinist Mentoring Award, the 2020 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Outstanding Educator Award, the 2020 NC A & T Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, and the 2019 NC A & T Outstanding Young Investigator Research Excellence Award.

Dr. Ofori-Boadu is currently the Director for the Emerging Built Environment Women Center, the year-round Professional Development Program for undergraduate Architecture, Engineering, and Construction women, and the STEAM ACTIVATED! Program for middle-school girls at NC A & T. Andrea is married to Victor Ofori-Boadu and they are blessed with three wonderful children.

Title: Advancing Agricultural Waste Bio-chars for Sustainable Partial Cement Replacement Applications

Abstract: Portland cement production for cement-based materials such as concrete presents serious challenges due to its high energy consumption and environmental pollution. Consequently, waste materials are being considered for partial cement replacement. Furthermore, agricultural communities are increasingly more interested in waste management options that reduce negative impacts on humans and environments. Therefore, advancing the utilization of agricultural waste bio-chars for more sustainable partial cement replacement applications is promising. It is important to conduct rigorous experimental research to increase understanding of relationships existing between the physiochemical properties of bio-chars and the early-age characteristics of biochar modified cement pastes. Varied material sourcing, processing, and characterization methods are essential in understanding the effects of bio-chars on the microstructure and early-age characteristics of cement pastes. Findings indicate that carbon/silicon ratio, oxygen/carbon ratio, alkali and alkaline metal content, chlorine content, carboxylic and alkyne surface functional groups, hydrophobic content, and surface areas of bio-chars may be used to estimate bio-char suitability for cement replacement. Highly reactive bio-chars demonstrate potential for accelerator applications which will reduce overall construction time and related costs. Bio-chars with significant hydrophobic groups demonstrate potential for permeability reduction applications which will improve durability. Highly porous bio-chars demonstrate potential for flow reduction applications. However, further research is needed to minimize negative impacts on compression strength and gain insights into more advanced applications such as three-dimensional concrete printing, shotcreting, and self-healing. Empirical findings advance research and practice towards optimum utilization of biomass in cement-based materials. Reductions in Portland cement production and agricultural waste deterioration will slow down the progression of negative environmental and human health impacts. Also, agricultural, manufacturing, and construction employment opportunities will improve quality of life.

Senior Lecturer Rashid Maqbool

Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK

Dr. Rashid Maqbool is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Programme Leader for B.Sc. and M.Sc. Programmes in Construction Project Management at the Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering, Northumbria University, United Kingdom. He is also holding a Campus Coordinator Role for the Northumbria University, London Campus. Prior to joining Northumbria University, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in two prestigious universities of the world—one in the Tsinghua University, China and the second in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway. He started his academic career as a Research Associate from the COMSATS University Islamabad and as a visiting Professor from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), Lima, Peru., where he taught multiple courses on Construction and Project Management. He has also collaborated actively with researchers in several national and international funded projects.
Dr. Maqbool earned his PhD in Engineering and Project Management from the Beijing Jiaotong University in 2018, where he received four prestigious academic awards for his research contributions. His research interests and publications focus on Construction Project Management, Sustainable Built Environment, Renewable Energy Projects, and Sustainable Urban Development. Dr. Maqbool has written over forty research papers, which have been published in top ranked Journals in Construction Project Management and Sustainable Development, such as Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, Project Management Journal, Science of the Total Environment, Journal of Cleaner Production, Advances in Civil Engineering, Energy, Sustainable Development, Energy Sustainability & Society, Energy & Environment, Sustainability, and International Journal of Project Organization & Management, etc. He is also an active reviewer and board member for many top Journals on Construction Project Management and Sustainable Development.
He also has over ten years of hands-on working experience in managing construction and industrial projects. Dr. Maqbool has received several awards, including “2018 Exchange Postdoctoral Fellowship under The Top 100 Young Researchers of the World” at the Tsinghua University, China, “2017 Outstanding International Student—Excellent Doctoral Student” and three “High-Level CITIC Paper” awards from the Beijing Jiaotong University, China.


Assoc. Prof. Masa Noguchi

University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr. Masa Noguchi is an Associate Professor in Environmental Design at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, specialising in “Environmental Experience Design,” or EXD, decision-making analysis based on a mass customisation framework that embraces machine learning and value engineering techniques for improvement of operational energy efficiency, affordability, and occupants' wellbeing in the built environment. In parallel to EXD studies, he also initiated global movement on zero energy mass custom home, or ZEMCH, and vertical village subdivision plug-in housing system research and development for future-proof city evolution. Dr Noguchi is a Chartered Engineer, Environmentalist, and Technological Product Designer registered respectively with the Engineering Council, Society for the Environment, and the Institution of Engineering Designers in the UK. In 2002, he also became a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and today, he serves as a Certified Passive House Designer registered with the Passive House Institute in Germany. Dr Noguchi is the founding coordinator of ZEMCH Network which consists of over 871 partners from over 40 countries today and developed a series of industry-academia knowledge transfer events. ZEMCH international conferences, ZEMCH sustainable design workshops and ZEMCH technical missions are amongst the projects being organised by ZEMCH Network today in partnership with the regional expert centres based currently in Australia, Brazil, India, Italy, Korea, UAE and UK. ZEMCH Network is also aiming to expand the reginal group in Mexican context. At the Melbourne School of Design, he spearheads Zero Energy Mass Custom Home or ZEMCH related courses. Before coming to Melbourne, he was a Reader at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, The Glasgow School of Art, where he established a ZEMCH pathway within the Master of Architectural Studies program. Dr Noguchi leads ZEMCH engineering design research for the delivery of socially, economically, environmentally, and humanly sustainable built environments in global contexts. Inventing a "mass custom design" system approach to quality affordable housing, he developed a digitalised interactive mass custom design communication tool, which was demonstrated in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon's Canadian house 2005. In 2006, he designed Canada’s first near net zero energy modular home “EcoTerra house” - built and commercialised through the federal government’s EQuilibrium sustainable housing initiative/competition in 2007. Moreover, Dr Noguchi turned his “mass custom design” system into reality through the “Donside Urban Village” development in Aberdeen, Scotland, as well as some low-cost housing developments in Mexico. He also contributed to a low-cost prefabricated mass housing projects in Brazil. Serving as the editorial board member of numerous journals, Dr Noguchi is frequently invited to deliver keynote lectures on ZEMCH R&D projects at national and international conferences stressing the need for Environmental Experience Design methodological research and practice in built environments for the energy efficiency and affordability as well as the occupants' physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Title: ZEMCH Sustainable Design Essentials

Abstract: COVID-19 outbreak has made us revalue how important human experience and relationship in tangible and intangible environments are to retain or enhance our physical and mental health and wellbeing. The environmental quality of physical (or digital) spaces occupied by humans depends on personal judgments made through the spatial experiences that reflect their individual needs, desires, and expectations. Such spatial or environmental experiences influential in human activities and outcomes (e.g., health, well-being, and productivity) should be researched much further to sustain or perhaps improve the soundness of our society and economy under any circumstances of peoples’ lives (e.g., under poverty, pandemics and/or various natural disasters), to which humanitarian design and engineering research and practice can contribute. COVID-19 had also been slowing down human economic activities to date that unexpectedly helped reduce CO2 emissions leading to global warming or overall negative impacts on climate change. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), buildings account for 40% of global operational energy use. Built environments need to be designed and developed in a way that helps reduce or eliminate energy consumption and CO2 emissions doomed to yield negative impacts on climate change. Collectively, homes and communities are a system of energy and environment being occupied by the masses, whose life activities and circumstances tend to be affected by their mental and physical health and wellbeing conditions. Designing built environments are influential in this respect and need to be mass-customised to accommodate today’s diverse needs and demands of individuals and societies for humans’ sound living conditions and activities. Due to growing housing needs and demands, today’s market budded zero energy mass custom home (ZEMCH) R&D movement in developed and developing countries. In parallel to studies around technological advancement, human-centric ZEMCH design engineering should be researched much further to ensure the delivery of socially, economically, environmentally, and humanly sustainable built environments applicable to privileged and unprivileged families, communities, and nations that are sharing our common future. This presentation aims to introduce the ZEMCH sustainable design essentials in the hope of establishing a base for further ZEMCH R&D activities in Asian contexts.