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Two Ph.D Scholarships Available in the Dept. of Civil Engineering, Curtin University
As part of an Australian Research Council (Discovery) funded project entitled “Future Proofing Transportation Infrastructure Projects” two PhD scholarships are available within the Department of Civil Engineering at Curtin University. The scholarships will include fees and a stipend of approximately $26,500 per annum (from 1st January 2016).
The topics are:
1. Cost Overrun Causation in Transportation Infrastructure Projects: This project will require the candidate to examine cost overrun causality through the lens of probabilistic causation; a group of theories that aim to characterize the relationship between cause and effect using the tools of probability theory. The central idea behind probabilistic theories of causation is that causes change the probability of their effects; an effect may still occur in the absence of a cause or fail to occur in its presence. The aim of this research project is to develop a new theory (and test) for cost overrun causation. Thus, potential candidates should familiarize themselves with the following: Beebee, H, Hitchcock, C. and Menzies, P. (eds.), (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Causation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2. Managing the Risk of Cost Overruns in Transportation Infrastructure Projects: This project will require the candidate to statistically model, using probability distribution fitting, and then Bayesian Probabilistic Networks, the risks associated with cost overruns occurring. An issue that candidates should consider (now debated in the extant literature) is the point at which a cost overrun is determined. Thus, candidates should refer to the following papers for some background reading before submitting an application:
a. Love, P.E.D., Simpson, I., Olatunji, O. Smith, J. and Regan, M. (2015). Understanding the Landscape of Overruns in Transportation Infrastructure Projects. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 42(3), pp. 490–509.
b. Love, P.E.D., Sing, C-P., Carey, B. and Kim, J-T. (2015). Cost Overrun Profiles in Road Construction Projects. ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 21(2) 04014035.
c. Baccarini, D., and Love, P.E.D. (2014). Statistical Characteristics of Contingency in Water Infrastructure Projects. ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 140(3), 04013063. (This paper does not relate to transportation but does demonstrate the modelling required and the need for homogeneous samples)
Both candidates will work closely with an ARC Senior Research Fellow, ARC Post-Doctoral Fellow and another PhD candidate who will be looking at ‘Project Delivery Mechanisms’ that enable Building Information Modelling to be effectively used within Infrastructure Projects. Please note that the aforementioned positions have already been appointed/offered for 2016 onward.
Potential candidates should possess a First Class Honors and/or a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Operations Research, Psychology, Mathematics, or Philosophy. Candidates from similar disciplines will need to be demonstrate they have a ‘sound mathematics’ background if they are to be considered for the scholarships being advertised.
Institutions collaborating with this ARC (DP) project are Robert Gordon University (Dr. Dominic Ahiaga-Dagbui) and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Professor Hanbin Luo).
Candidates interested in either position should contact Professor Peter E.D. Love at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will remain open until the positions are filled
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