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James O'Connor

James O'Connor

Professor, Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering C.T. Wells Professor of Project Management U.T. Cockrell School of Engineering

Dr. James O’Connor’s industry experience includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jewell Planning and Construction, and Murray Jones Murray, Inc. In addition, he has participated in 60 consulting engagements with companies such as Duke Power, Florida Power & Light, ALCOA, ARCO Chemical, Phillips Petroleum, Shell Chemical Co., Fluor Daniel, Black & Veatch, Petrolera Ameriven, Royal Dutch Shell, and ArcellorMittal, among others, and including many contract claims/expert witness engagements. As a researcher, he is the author/co-author of 40 monographs, over 160 refereed journal and conference articles, and more than 120 technical reports. He has acted as principal investigator on more than 60 funded studies totaling in excess of $15 million. He has supervised (or co-supervised) 30 PhD students and more than 90 M.S. students.

Dr. O’Connor has served as a CII principal investigator in the areas of constructability, modularization, planning for startup/commissioning best practices, value management processes, design effectiveness, industrial piping processes, and jobsite organizations, among others. He served as a Sloan Foundation-funded CCIS research leader on topics of fully integrated/automated project processes and project process innovations. He has served as principal investigator one TxDOT studies pertaining to constructability, schedule compression/expediting, design effectiveness, ROW acquisition/utility adjustment, contracting innovations, conceptual cost estimates, and highway construction field productivity. His UT graduate courses focus on Value Management Processes (such as constructability, modularization, planning for startup, among others), and Project Risk Management/Decision Analysis. He also teaches undergraduate courses on Contracts Liability and Ethics, and Materials and Methods of Construction.

In executive/professional education, he has designed and taught over 220 industry short courses on a wide variety of project-related topics. Corporate clients include Center for Lifelong Engineering Education, Houston Business Roundtable, Champlin Oil, Duke Power, Mechanical Contractors of America, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, American Association of Cost Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Ontario Hydro, Amoco Production Company, Hoechst Celanese Chemical Co., Saudi Aramco, Hudson Engineering Corp., Texas Dept. of Transportation, Mobil Oil Corp., Fluor Daniel, Black & Veatch, Phillips Petroleum, Broadwing IXC, Institute for Petroleum Development, 3M Corporation, Petrolera Ameriven, Royal Dutch Shell, Smithsonian Institution, American Transmission Corp., and ArcellorMittal, among others. He was the lead developer/instructor for two Shell Project Academy courses targeted for senior project managers.

Dr.O’Connor is a member or former member of the National Academy of Construction, CII Research Committee, ASCE Specifications Committee, ASCE Specifications Committee, FHWA Workzone Steering Committee, Project Management Institute, American Association of Cost Engineers, Society of American Value Engineers, West Lake Hills Zoning and Planning Commission, and West Lake Hills City Council, among others.

Selected honors include National Academy of Construction, International Expert Panel Member for the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore, International Award for Innovative Practices in Higher Education (American Council on Education and University Design Consortium), CII Outstanding Researcher Award, ASHTO/FHWA National Quality Initiative Award, AASHTO/FHWA National Value Engineering Award, ASCE Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize (twice), Best Paper, International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, and Ervin S. Perry Young Engineer of the Year, TSPE, Travis Chapter.

The University of Texas at Austin | McCombs School of Business