Simaan M. AbouRizk, PhD, PEng

Professor, Construction Engineering and Management
NSERC/Alberta Construction Industry Senior Industrial Research Chair in Construction Engineering and Management

Office: 7-232 Donadeo Innovation Cntr for Engineering 
Phone: 780 492 8096

Research Interests

Dr. AbouRizk's research focuses on developing innovative information technologies for modeling, analyzing, and optimizing operations in the construction and natural resource extraction industries. With the goal of improving construction processes and enhancing decision-making in construction settings, he has refined theoretical advancements to simulation science to provide a suitable medium for construction operations analyses. This research has had success in the following areas:

    1. simplifying simulation modeling tools;
    2. integrating simulation with other solutions (e.g. visualization, estimating, scheduling);
    3. developing advanced analytical modeling techniques to facilitate better modeling; and
    4. integrating artificial intelligence technologies to enhance simulation.

Dr. AbouRizk's theoretical and collaborative research has been implemented in the open simulation environment Simphony. Current research will see simulation tools developed as synthetic environments in the COSYE framework. He has also developed a number of other tools for decision support in construction engineering and management, including SmartEst (estimating system), MTRACK (equipment management system), STS (steel tracking system), BetaFit (distribution fitting program), SuperBid (educational tool for construction bidding) and a number of others.

Research Currently in Progress

The overall goal of Dr. AbouRizk's research is to develop a better framework for the planning and control of construction projects through advancements in simulation. Current research is focused on:

    1. investigating better means for modeling operations, decisions, and systems in construction settings;
    2. investigating, documenting, and building advanced simulation models of construction projects in select areas (e.g. tunneling, module yard assembly, industrial fabrication) to demonstrate the effectiveness of simulation-based planning and control methods;
    3. researching, developing, and implementing integrated "construction synthetic environments" (CSE), advanced computer modeling and simulation environments that possess elements of real-time interactions, advanced visualization, parallel and distributed computing, and artificial intelligence; and
    4. building information technology and decision support infrastructure to improve the operations of construction companies, train students, and enable the functioning of the synthetic environments.

By effectively developing tools for use in the industry, and by transmitting research knowledge throughout the construction community, Dr. AbouRizk aims to extend the critical mass for a major undertaking in computer simulation in this field.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Construction Engineering and Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. 1990.
  • Master of Science, Construction Engineering and Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 1985.
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honors), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 1984.

Current Positions Held

  • Professor in Construction Engineering and Management, University of Alberta
  • NSERC/Alberta Construction Industry Research Chair (Jan. 1, 1997 to Jan. 1, 2011)
  • Canada Research Chair in Operations Simulation (July 1, 2001 to July 1, 2008)
  • Executive Board member, Construction Research Institute of Canada

Recent Academic Honours and Awards

  • E. Whitman Wright Award, Canadian Society for Civil Engineers (June 2002)
  • E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, NSERC (November 2001)
  • The first Walter Shanly Award, Canadian Society for Civil Engineers (May 2001)
  • Killam Award for Excellence and Scholarship, University of Alberta (1998)