CII 2018 Awardees

CII Distinguished Professor Award: Dr. Yong K. Cho

Selection criteria: Exemplary demonstration of the individual’s commitment to teaching published CII research with emphasis on the following:

  • Incorporation of published CII research findings in courses over the previous three years.
  • The plan for introduction of new CII published research topics each year.
  • Contributions the nominee has made to the development and deployment of CII initiatives, programs and services.
  • Aspects of the courses taught by the nominee considered to be innovative, unique, particularly effective, or otherwise meriting special consideration.
Dr. Yong K. Cho is an associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas - Austin in 2000.  He is the director of the Robotics and Intelligent Construction Automation Lab (RICAL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  As a 2011 recipient of National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Award, his research and teaching interests include construction robotics and field automation. He is leading the development of a new paradigm in these research areas by challenging the current understanding of science/engineering technologies in field operations. Among the challenges he is investigating are robotizing and automating several critical construction, maintenance, and field management tasks for worker’s safety and productivity. Dr. Cho is currently serving as the Academic Advisor to the new FIATECH Sector and Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Computing Division’s Visualization, Information Modeling, and Simulation (VIMS) Committee. 
Dr. Cho has been incorporating CII research findings into his courses at the Georgia Institute of Technology: He has offered the CII Best Practices course since 2015 and recently introduced a new course, Automation and Robotics in Construction, which incorporates several CII materials including Needs Assessment for Construction Automation (Ref 56), CII Model Plant (sd23), and A Methodology for Identifying Automation Opportunities in Industrial Construction.
CII Outstanding Graduate Assistant: Phil Barutha

Selection criteria:

  • The graduate research assistant has made an important contribution to research that has the potential to significantly improve the construction industry.
  • The award is for work on CII research completed in the award year, by a team that has submitted all products to CII.
  • The graduate research assistant’s excellence is recognized by the research team members, CII staff, and knowledgeable membership. The staff will coordinate team input with research team chairs.
  • The graduate research assistant has worked to ensure the quality, completeness, and timeliness of the team’s research report.
  • The graduate research assistant has actively and regularly participated in team meetings and initiatives, and has supported or performed team tasks.
Phil Barutha is a Lecturer and Research Assistant in Construction Engineering and Management – Iowa State University.
Prior to his time at Iowa State, Phil Barutha worked for over 12 years in project management, delivering transportation, building, and energy projects. most recently leading engineering procurement construction (EPC) and design build (DB) teams in the Energy Group for Mortenson Construction. He continues to be active in the international engineering and construction sector by consulting abroad in Central America and teaching in New Zealand.

Barutha received his M.S. in civil and construction engineering from Iowa State University and his B.S. degree Montana State University. This fall he will become an assistant professor in construction engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Phil has worked to ensure the quality, completeness, and timeliness of the team’s research report and initiatives for CII’s RT-341, (RTS 7) Integrated Project Delivery for Industrial Projects.

CII Outstanding Researcher: Fernanda Leite

Selection criteria:

  • The academic research has the potential to significantly improve the construction industry.
  • The is for CII research completed within the last several years, by teams that have submitted all products to CII.
  • The researcher's excellence is recognized by their research team members, CII staff, and membership. The staff will coordinate this with the research team chairs.
  • The researcher’s research report has the following characteristics:
    • has a thoroughgoing account of the data collection methods
    • presents a complete description of the data analysis performed
    • explains the findings in statistical detail, as appropriate
    • makes reasoned claims and conclusions; divulges any limitations of the findings
    • presents a useful and valuable discussion of industry implementation
    • makes viable recommendations for further research
Fernanda Leite is an Associate Professor in Construction Engineering and Project Management, in the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to her graduate education, she worked as a Project Manager in her home country Brazil, in multiple government and commercial building construction and infrastructure projects. Her technical interests include information technology for construction, building information modeling, collaboration and coordination technologies, and construction safety. At the University of Texas, Dr. Leite teaches courses on Project Management and Economics, Building Information Modeling, and Construction Safety. Her funded research projects have been focused on facilitating model-based benchmarking of capital projects; increasing construction work zone safety through 3D modeling, visualization and autonomous safety monitoring; enabling more effective construction planning and work packaging through autonomous 3D model generation; and, more recently, developing automated approaches towards updating 3D building information models of facilities in operation.
Ms. Leite’s research has the potential to significantly improve the construction industry. Her research team members, CII staff, and membership are pleased to recognize Fernanda with CII’s 2018 Outstanding Researcher Award.

CII Outstanding Instructor: Kristen Parrish
The CII Outstanding Instructor Award recognizes an exceptionally effective instructor whose contributions, talent, and efforts have been recognized for outstanding performance in learning activities involving CII published research topics during the previous calendar year.
Dr. Kristen Parrish is an Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainability and the Built Environment at Arizona State University (ASU). Kristen’s work focuses on improving the efficiency of building design, construction, and operations processes. Specifically, she is interested in novel design processes that financially and technically facilitate on-time and on-budget construction as well as energy-efficient operations. She addresses identification and engagement of stakeholders, and identifies and maps the roles and responsibilities each stakeholder, required to achieve superior project performance. Her work also explores how to best educate the next generation of engineers, by engaging them in active learning in and out of the classroom. Prior to joining ASU, Kristen was at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where she worked in the Commercial Buildings group, developing energy efficiency programs and researching technical and non-technical barriers to energy efficiency in the buildings industry. She has a background in collaborative design and integrated project delivery. She holds a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Civil Engineering Systems from University of California Berkeley.

Date posted: July 25, 2018