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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

Craft Labor Productivity Analysis in Civil Engineering and Construction Projects – A Field Experience


Dr. David Grau, Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, is seeking prospective FURI students to work on the “Craft Labor Productivity Analysis in Civil Engineering and Construction Projects – A Field Experience” project.

This project closely aligns with the Fulton sustainability research theme. It also includes lean (no waste) construction, sustainable construction, and craft labor productivity.

This research project promotes the exposure of the students to civil engineering and construction projects (yes, real project site experience) through field data collection and analysis of craft labor efficiency. Thus, I personally train students to collect, analyze, and assess productivity performance data from real construction projects, for which I will provide access to the students. Projects located near the Tempe campus will be given preference to facilitate the data collection process. The collected data will be analyzed to discover productivity trends with variables such as trade, temperature, time of the day, etc. to characterize current productivity trends. After a few months of data collection and analysis, which will provide a solid understanding of the problem to the students, the students and I will collaboratively work to decide further data collection and analysis activities. For your background, note that current research indicates that only 30% of the work time in civil and construction projects are actually devoted to build the project. Productivity, or efficiency, is hence a major problem that is not well understood to this date.

This is a very flexible project in terms of work schedule. It should be fun and easy to accomplish. It provides direct exposure and experience of students with some of the major contractor and civil engineering companies in the valley.

Any student interested in working on this project is welcome to begin volunteering in my lab. Students are expected to work a minimum of 5 hours per week, schedule to be decided by the student.

We will need to meet once before your applications, so that we can get to know each other and for me to write a letter of recommendation. To apply, send your resume with your current GPA to


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