Areas of Research
- Worker Safety and Health
- Construction Automation
- Workforce Development
- Construction Sustainability
Worker Safety and Health
At the SIIR-Lab, we study various risks and hazards that are inherent to the construction environment. As part of the broad vision, we aim to always identify and investigate new and emerging high-impact, low-frequency (HILF) and high-frequency, low-impact (HFLI) accidents and injury trends in the construction workplace. Our ensuing research results provide evidence used to direct and inform the use of new and existing safety controls for intervention and prevention activities. We also monitor the overall impact of occupational health research. Currently, we are developing new surveillance methods, tools, and analytical techniques to help improve safety awareness (hazard identification and safety risk assessment, for instance), reduce worker fatigue and hearing loss, and enhance human-robot interactions.
We believe that automated and smart construction is here to stay. Overall, we strive to solve problems aimed at getting the construction industry to be on par with other industries - in the area of technology adoption and implementation. From base knowledge, we understand that the construction automation faces significant resistance due to our project delivery and construction methods, the unique and complex nature of our products, and the dynamic and fragmented nature of the industry. We attempt to solve this problem by developing value adding technologies, providing important information on technology effectiveness, and developing tools that support and enhance technology integration decision making.
In the SIIR-Lab, we understand that the lack of an effective workforce development systems represents a threat to the economic prosperity of not just the construction industry, but the United States as a whole. To address this issue, we work towards developing solutions aimed at the improvement of the following processes: (1) recruitment of a diverse workforce to the industry; (2) effective training for at-risk workers in the industry; (3) providing resources that enhances retention of workers that the industry develops; and (4) providing tools that helps align and integrate craft professionals into mutually profitable opportunities.
We identify problems surrounding the creation of structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. We utilize tools such as Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to find proactive solutions to these problems. In addition, we push for the onward development, application, and evaluation of lean methods of construction. By doing this, we aim to present solutions that allows for increase in value, continuous minimization of construction waste, and enhancement of process control using effective technologies.