Mr Mahmoud Ershadi

Mr Mahmoud Ershadi

Casual Academic

School of Architecture and Built Environment

Career Summary

Biography

Mahmoud Ershadi is working as a research and teaching assistant in Construction Management at the School of Architecture and Built Environment. He has extensive project management experience in several infrastructure construction projects as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Risk Management Professional (RMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Construction Management (Building) and has published several papers as a result of his research. Apart from his PhD study, he has worked as a research assistant under the supervision of Professor Peter Davis in a government-funded research project entitled "A resilience toolkit for the built environment students". Regarding his contribution to this project, he was highly commended as the work-integrated staff of the year at the University of Newcastle in 2020. He also was awarded the 2019 research prize of the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle for his work entitled "a new approach to managing construction megaprojects". He is currently collaborating with a team of researchers on several research projects about construction safety under the supervision of Dr Tanvi Newaz. He actively engaged in several undergraduate courses including Research in the Built Environment A (ARBE4121A), Construction Procurement and Tendering (ARBE2309), Construction Project Planning (ARBE3301), Cost Planning and Estimating (ARBE2308), Communication in the Built Environment (ARBE1105), and Health and Safety in Built Environment (ARBE2303). 

 

Keywords

  • Construction Project Management
  • Infrastructure Delivery
  • Infrastructure Resilience
  • Safety and Risk Analysis
  • Sustainability

Languages

  • English (Fluent)

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Architecture and Built Environment
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2020 Work Integrated Learning Staff Member of the Year (highly commended)
The University of Newcastle
2017 University of Newcastle International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (UNIPRS 2017)
The University of Newcastle
2017 University of Newcastle Research Scholarship Central (UNRSC 2017)
The University of Newcastle

Prize

Year Award
2019 Postgraduate Research Prize in Building & Disaster Management
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment - The University of Newcastle (Australia)

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
ARBE3305 Infrastructure Development
The University of Newcastle
Course assistant 1/7/2021 - 31/12/2021
ARBE1301 Construction Law and Legislation
The University of Newcastle
Assistant 1/9/2021 - 30/12/2021
ARBE4121B Research in the Built Environment B
The University of Newcastle
Assistant 1/10/2021 - 30/12/2021
ARBE4121A Research in the Built Environment A
School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle
Tutor 17/2/2020 - 30/6/2020
ARBE2308 Cost Planning and Estimating
The University of Newcastle
Assistant 15/2/2021 - 30/6/2021
ARBE2303 Health and Safety in Built Environment
University of Newcastle
Assistant 10/8/2019 - 20/12/2020
ARBE3301 Construction Project Planning
The University of Newcastle
Tutor 1/7/2017 - 15/12/2020
ARBE6401 Project Scoping and Integration
The University of Newcastle
Assistant 1/7/2021 - 31/12/2021
ARBE1105 Communication in the Built Environment
The University of Newcastle
Assistant 1/2/2021 - 30/6/2021
ARBE2309 Construction Procurement and Tendering
University of Newcastle
Tutor 10/8/2020 - 20/12/2020
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Effective Application of Information Technology Tools for Real-Time Project Management', Digital Technologies and Applications, Springer, Cham, Switzerland 719-729 (2021) [B1]
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-73882-2_65
Co-authors Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'The Design Requirements of a Decision Support System for Waste Control', Hybrid Intelligent Systems, Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland 444-453 (2021) [B1]
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-73050-5_45
Co-authors Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis

Journal article (13 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Ershadi M, Goodarzi F, 'Core capabilities for achieving sustainable construction project management', SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION, 28 1396-1410 (2021)
DOI 10.1016/j.spc.2021.08.020
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'A framework for conceptualising the organisational communications of a project management office', International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 13 60-84 (2021) [C1]
DOI 10.1504/IJPOM.2021.114721
Co-authors Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Barriers to achieving sustainable construction project procurement in the private sector', Cleaner Engineering and Technology, 3 (2021)

Sustainable procurement management (SPM) as an approach to integrating sustainability into project procurement takes into account the social, ecological, and economical consequenc... [more]

Sustainable procurement management (SPM) as an approach to integrating sustainability into project procurement takes into account the social, ecological, and economical consequences of procurement decisions. Several challenges hinder the proper achievement of SPM objectives in the construction industry. Previous studies have delved into such barriers in the public sector while the private sector is still less explored and requires further in-depth investigation. Regarding limited research in this area, the purpose of this study is to identify barriers hindering SPM in the private sector through an empirical study. A case study analysis based on interviews was conducted to solicit the viewpoints of construction professionals in a high-profile construction organization. Two categories of intra-organizational and extra-organizational barriers were identified; The intra-organizational barriers relate to the mechanisms, resources, and capacities within an organization while extra-organizational barriers relate to a broader environment in which an organization interacts with stakeholders in an integrated supply chain. The findings provide an improved understanding of SPM obstacles and shed light on the possible solutions, which can be used by both academics and practitioners to improve the current status of SPM practice.

DOI 10.1016/j.clet.2021.100125
Co-authors Peter Davis, Marcus Jefferies
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis PR, Mojtahedi M, 'The contribution of project management offices to addressing complexities in principal construction contracting', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, (2021)

Purpose: The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to identify major project management (PM) complexities in principal construction contracting; and second, to study the contri... [more]

Purpose: The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to identify major project management (PM) complexities in principal construction contracting; and second, to study the contribution of project management offices (PMOs) to addressing such complexities. Design/methodology/approach: A two-stage research design was adopted through a structured literature review (SLR) and a qualitative survey study. Findings: The two-stage study resulted in mapping out the contribution of 10 functional areas to 15 complexity factors that were retrieved from the literature and categorized using the TOE (technical, organizational and environmental) framework. Six outcomes including (1) facilitated processes, (2) improved decisions, (3) improved coordination, (4) enhanced alignment, (5) addressed uncertainties and (6) integrated oversight were identified that describe how PMOs can contribute to tackling complexities. Research limitations/implications: Similar to other qualitative studies, this study has some limitations in terms of the replicability of results. Regarding the exploratory nature of this study to explain the contribution of PMO to complexity, further quantitative surveys can be conducted using a larger sample to statistically examine the significance of proposed relations between capabilities and complexity factors. Practical implications: This study provides an understanding of the contribution of PMOs to tackling ever-increasing complexities embedded in construction contracting. The authors suggest requirements to be considered by professionals toward overcoming such complexities. Originality/value: Although prior studies have separately investigated PMO functions and PM complexities, this study explores the link between these two spheres to discuss one important application of PMO in this context.

DOI 10.1108/ECAM-04-2020-0244
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Peter Davis, Marcus Jefferies
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Project management offices in the construction industry: a literature review and qualitative synthesis of success variables', Construction Management and Economics, 39 493-512 (2021) [C1]

Today¿s project management offices (PMOs) in the construction sector need to be equipped with breakthrough capabilities necessary for making a difference in multi-project manageme... [more]

Today¿s project management offices (PMOs) in the construction sector need to be equipped with breakthrough capabilities necessary for making a difference in multi-project management. Although there is an upward trend in academic research on PMOs, a comprehensive framework of potential success variables is still lacking in the literature. This research aims to assess the extant literature from the perspective of the construction sector to provide a single consolidated overview of potential PMO success variables. A systematic search process was adopted to retrieve publications and narrow them down to eligible studies followed by a qualitative synthesis. A set of 32 success variables was synthesized and inductively categorized under four emerging themes of (1) establishing PM infrastructure, (2) promoting PM practices, (3) PMO structuring, and (4) organizational support. This set of variables refers to three kinds of functional, structural, and contextual variables characterizing potential features of successful construction PMOs. These variables were compared between the construction industry and other industries to reflect contextual contrasts and similarities. A research agenda was proposed to encourage empirical studies on examining success variables. This study contributes to an improved understanding of PMO success variables in the construction industry and directs future research towards the most important topics.

DOI 10.1080/01446193.2021.1916052
Co-authors Peter Davis, Marcus Jefferies
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Achieving sustainable procurement in construction projects: The pivotal role of a project management office', Construction Economics and Building, 21 45-64 (2021) [C1]

Environmental and ecological impacts associated with construction activities have become an ever-increasing concern, especially the considerable amount of waste generated on const... [more]

Environmental and ecological impacts associated with construction activities have become an ever-increasing concern, especially the considerable amount of waste generated on construction sites. Regulations and growing client pressure on meeting environmental standards have led contractors to adopt sustainable practices and try to embed this concept in their processes. Sustainable procurement management (SPM) as a potential solution takes the environmental consequences of procurement decisions into account and integrates sustainable practices into project procurement to bring positive environmental outcomes. Previous research has mainly focused on the public sector in achieving green procurement, yet this study attempts to highlight internal capacities that help private organisations manage the requirements associated with practicing sustainability. It is theorised that robust management structures, specifically project management offices (PMOs), would enhance the oversight capabilities of contractors in implementing the SPM process. The objectives of the current study are to (1) identify the requirements of a sustainable project procurement process in construction sites based on a literature review, and (2) explore the facilitative role of PMO units in achieving these requirements in the private sector. A literature review was conducted followed by a qualitative survey to solicit the viewpoints of construction professionals in principle contracting firms. As a result of the study, we identified 17 sustainability requirements and found that PMOs boost collaboration and improve the quality of decision making towards sustainable procurement. The findings (1) explain how PMOs support sustainability, (2) provide insights on implementing sustainable practices in project purchases, and (3) improve theoretical understanding of the SPM principles.

DOI 10.5130/AJCEB.v21i1.7170
Co-authors Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis
2021 Ershadi M, Davis P, Newaz MT, 'Important academic interventions for promoting resilience: The perception of construction management undergraduates', Construction Management and Economics, 39 340-355 (2021) [C1]

Academic institutions play a prominent role in nurturing resilience skills in their graduates especially in fields, such as construction management (CM), which deal with a challen... [more]

Academic institutions play a prominent role in nurturing resilience skills in their graduates especially in fields, such as construction management (CM), which deal with a challenging work environment. Although resilience is a well-established topic in the literature, there is still a paucity of research that examines the importance of academic resilience interventions in the CM discipline. To address this research gap, this study aims to analyse the importance of academic resilience interventions (ARI) from the perception of CM students. First, the literature on ARIs in relevant contexts was reviewed followed by a quantitative survey to obtain the viewpoints of undergraduates undertaking CM programs in Australia. This paper is based on the survey data collected from 105 undergraduate students from five universities. Applying an exploratory factor analysis (EFA), three latent variables were found: (1) industry engagement; (2) raising awareness; and (3) readiness and empowerment to represent the identified ARIs. An importance analysis using the 2D quadrant method revealed that the ARI measures labelled ¿site visits,¿ ¿role model,¿ and ¿self-assessment¿ from the industry engagement aspect (factor1), ¿role-playing¿ from the raising awareness aspect (factor2), and ¿case study¿ from the readiness and empowerment aspect (factor3) are the most important ARIs from the perception of students. An independent-samples t-test revealed that there is no significant difference between the perception of male and female students on the importance of each ARI. The study provides an enhanced understanding of resilience interventions that can be leveraged for improving the CM curricula.

DOI 10.1080/01446193.2021.1876896
Co-authors Peter Davis, Tanvi Newaz
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'A Building Information Modelling (BIM) Approach to the Systematic Management of Construction Projects', IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 1165 012008-012008 (2021)
DOI 10.1088/1757-899x/1165/1/012008
2021 Newaz MT, Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, 'Assessing safety management factors to develop a research agenda for the construction industry', Safety Science, 142 (2021) [C1]

Previous research enables managers to apply appropriate safety management factors for increased site safety. However, the heterogeneity of such factors in contemporary studies mak... [more]

Previous research enables managers to apply appropriate safety management factors for increased site safety. However, the heterogeneity of such factors in contemporary studies makes it difficult for practitioners to keep up to date with relevant alternatives. There is a paucity of systematic reviews that examine factors, map out their relationships, categorize research gaps, assess the practicality of research findings, and offer direction for future research. In this paper, a systematic review of 2574 articles published between 2010 and 2020 and a full-text examination of 75 quantitative surveys were conducted to catalogue, synthesize, and assess safety management factors in contemporary literature. Thematic analysis subsequently revealed 38 interrelated safety management factors to be classified under three individual, workgroup, and organizational groups. A critical content analysis of the representative studies was conducted to identify five future research trends as well as associated research gaps and directions on construction safety management in the form of an agenda suggesting a shift in research emphasis from physical safety issues to organizational and culture-related factors that have the potential to systematically enhance the overall safety performance. Furthermore, directions are provided to safety practitioners concerning the useful implementation of safety management factors.

DOI 10.1016/j.ssci.2021.105396
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Tanvi Newaz, Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Comparative Analysis of PMO Functions between the Public and Private Sectors: Survey of High-Performing Construction Organizations', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 147 (2021)

Public and private organizations are distinct in terms of ownership structure and stakeholders because they approach project management processes and structures differently. Thus,... [more]

Public and private organizations are distinct in terms of ownership structure and stakeholders because they approach project management processes and structures differently. Thus, it is likely that they operate project oversight structures such as a project management office (PMO) differently and focus on a diverse set of functions. This study is dedicated to investigating PMO functions in these two cohorts of organizations to highlight their functional contrast through a quantitative survey in the Australian construction industry. The sample includes PMO units in high-performing organizations delivering successful projects in the construction industry. A literature review was conducted to identify possible functions followed by an empirical survey to solicit expert comments on the importance of each function. The results of an independent-samples t-test revealed a significant difference in the importance of three functions including (1) benchmarking best practices, (2) project management compliance, and (3) project governance, which indicate a distinction between the underpinning role that PMOs play in the public and private sectors. Following this test, the relative importance index (RII) was calculated to compare the importance level of functions and rank them across two sets of public and private organizations. The unique value that this work contributes to the construction engineering and management global community includes (1) exploring similarities and differences of PMO practice in the public and private sectors and (2) revealing the most important PMO functions in high-performing organizations, which can be applied to enhance the chance of PMO success. The findings address a research gap in the literature and contribute to the extant body of knowledge on how to configure effective PMOs in the construction context.

DOI 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0002181
Co-authors Peter Davis, Marcus Jefferies
2020 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Towards successful establishment of a project portfolio management system: Business process management approach', Journal of Modern Project Management, 8 22-41 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.19255/JMPM02302
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Peter Davis, Marcus Jefferies
2020 Ershadi M, Davis P, Newaz MT, 'Systematic review of resilience measures: construction management graduates perspective', International Journal of Construction Management, 1-14 (2020)
DOI 10.1080/15623599.2020.1764751
Citations Scopus - 2
Co-authors Tanvi Newaz, Peter Davis
Ershadi M, Arsanjani MA, Nayebvali R, Akrami S, 'Prioritizing PMO Functions in Organizations: A Group Fuzzy Decision Making Approach', Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 9
DOI 10.17485/ijst/2016/v9i13/70045
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Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Enhancing productivity in infrastructure development: The key role of project management offices', Proceedings of the 37th Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2021 (2021)

Infrastructure development contributes to economic growth and constitutes the backbone of industries. The importance of this underpinning sector of the construction industry has l... [more]

Infrastructure development contributes to economic growth and constitutes the backbone of industries. The importance of this underpinning sector of the construction industry has led contracting organizations to adopt robust project management mechanisms; enabling them to tackle ever-increasing complexities and uncertainties associated with infrastructure delivery. Project management Office (PMO) is one of the emerging concepts that has been introduced to centrally coordinate projects and integrate project management arrangements in support of ontarget delivery of large-scale infrastructure projects. Previous research underlines the potential benefits of employing these entities in the construction industry. However, there is a paucity of research on the role of these units in enhancing productivity in construction operations. This study focuses on this area and explains the requirements for boosting productivity in infrastructure delivery. The opinions of 20 construction management experts in Australian organizations were obtained and their suggestions were thematically analysed to develop a framework for boosting productivity by leveraging PMO units. The results revealed that employing such units can result in achieving higher productivity outcomes by emphasizing initiatives such as resource optimization; safety improvement; cost minimization; and waste control. The suggested approach provides construction contractors with insights on how to employ PMO entities and run them effectively to achieve satisfactory outcomes in infrastructure delivery.

Co-authors Peter Davis
2020 Ershadi M, Jefferies M, Davis P, Mojtahedi M, 'Breakthrough capabilities for delivering high-performing project management offices (PMOs) in construction enterprises', IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (2020) [E1]

The concept of the project management office (PMO) is well-established in academic literature. This organizational phenomenon has revolutionized practices applied by organizations... [more]

The concept of the project management office (PMO) is well-established in academic literature. This organizational phenomenon has revolutionized practices applied by organizations toward coordinating and overseeing multiple projects throughout the design, engineering, initiation, execution, and handover stages. The construction industry is one of the contexts in which more research is still needed to provide practical guidelines for achieving effective PMO functioning. This study explores several core capabilities of these entities from the perspective of construction project management practitioners working in the contracting sector. In this regard, we solicited expert judgment based on an online questionnaire followed by thematic analysis. Respondents suggested six drivers that can contribute to improving the effectiveness of construction PMOs in practice. This study provides insight into some capabilities that can be employed for delivering high-performing PMOs.

DOI 10.1109/IEEM45057.2020.9309918
Co-authors Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis
2018 Ershadi M, Davis P, Jefferies M, Mojtahedi M, 'A Review of the Organizational Communications of a Project Management Office', IRNOP 2018 'A skilled hand and a cultivated mind', Melbourne, VIC (2018) [E1]
Co-authors Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis
2016 Khameneh A-H, Taheri A, Ershadi M, 'Offering a framework for evaluating the performance of project risk management system', PROCEEDINGS OF THE 29TH IPMA WORLD CONGRESS WC2015, Westin Playa Bonita, PANAMA (2016)
DOI 10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.06.165
Citations Web of Science - 19
Show 1 more conference
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Research Projects

Developing a resilience toolkit for the employability of construction management students 2019 - 2020

The objective of the project was to identify elements which are needed to be incorporated into academic curricula to prepare students for coping with construction work challenges. Upon graduation from university to workplaces, many students lose access to support structures such as peers, academic mentoring, time management advice, environmental familiarity, organizational understanding, and culture. This leads to tension, stress, and failure to perform effectively in new workplaces, especially in construction and infrastructure projects which are characterised by a demanding work environment. This project developed a resilience toolkit for students and suggested the best strategies for improving their resilience skills. Such skills improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and help them to increase their readiness in dealing with their future job adversities and challenges at the workplace.  


Analyzing the trend of safety research and developing a research agenda for construction safety 2020

Safety has always been a concern in infrastructure and construction projects. The aim of this research was to develop a comprehensive agenda for future studies on safety in the construction industry. A systematic literature review was conducted followed by analyzing the trend of research on construction safety and assessing management interventions for improving safety performance in this industry. As a result of this project, safety management interventions were conceptualized at three levels of individual, workgroup, and organizational levels.


Assessing safety technologies to reduce the risk of falling from height on construction sites 2021 -

Falling from height is one of the major safety hazards on construction sites, which cause frequent injuries each year. Previous research has introduced technologies that can be used to help avoid the risk of falling from height. The current study attempts to identify potential strategies for this purpose and assess their feasibility to be implemented in Australian construction companies. 


Developing a safety maturity model to select construction contractors in Australia 2021 -

The involvement of a wide variety of contractors in construction projects necessitates adopting proper oversight mechanisms by clients. One of these mechanisms is to ensure that all involved contractors are capable of implementing safety practices in their undertaken activities. This research aims to develop a safety maturity model as a tool to assess the safety capabilities of potential contractors in the tendering stages to incorporate safety maturity as a key criterion in contractor selection decisions.  


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Mr Mahmoud Ershadi

Positions

Casual Academic
School of Architecture and Built Environment
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Casual Academic
School of Architecture and Built Environment
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Casual Academic
School of Architecture and Built Environment
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Contact Details

Email mahmoud.ershadi@newcastle.edu.au
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