School of Property, Construction & Project Management
Professor Derek Walker was invited to be examiner and proponent for a PhD candidate’s thesis defence at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim Norway. This allowed the opportunity to accept two other long standing invitations to Chalmers University in Gothenburg Sweden and the University of Oulu in Finland to present research outcomes at three industry/academic seminars held in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The research undertaken by him and Dr Beverley Lloyd-Walker for the Project Management Institute (PMI) and an ARC research project that investigated the evolution of relationship based procurement forms of project delivery globally. This has been a 2012-2014 research program of two research projects that has generated several conference papers, journal paper outcomes in high impact construction project management journals and several book chapters as well as the 2015 book Walker, D. H. T. and Lloyd-Walker, B. M. (2015) Collaborative Project Procurement Arrangements, Newtown Square, PA, Project Management Institute. The outcomes from the research provide sound cutting-edge research from CIPS that fits in well with the mandate that CIPS has to undertake research into project management related topics.
On March 17th Professor Derek Walker was presented the first seminar at the Division of Service Management, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology. Leading experts from Swedish Contractors and their Roads Authority together with PhD students and staff from that school were able to find out more about the Relationship-based Procurement Collaboration taxonomy instrument developed as part of the research outcomes. They were very enthusiastic about the work as it forms of integrated project delivery and alliance forms are gaining acceptance and sparking much interest in Sweden. Professor Walker also took part in feedback assessment on a Chalmers University/Industry assessment panel for Masters’ student presentations on March 18th on progress of their dissertation work.
The PhD defence at NTNU in Trondheim Norway took part on March 20th. The PhD system in Norway requires a written examination report from examiners followed several months later by an open thesis defence by the candidate with the examiners taking the role of thesis opponents. This formal approach varies from the Australian approach and also another interesting feature is that in Norway most PhD candidates undertake their study through the preparation, submission and publication of at least four peer reviewed papers, in this case there were seven, and shorter monograph that links the rationale of the papers to the thesis research questions and rationale. Professor Walker also presented workshop on March 23rd at NTNU to several most senior members of the Norwegian Roads Authority, staff at NTNU and PhD students on the collaboration taxonomy together with discussions and presentation of how procurement choices may be made on the Coastal Highway Route E39 project that will be replacing ferry transport by bridges and tunnels across a stretch of mountains and fjords in Norway. This multi-billion dollar project is expected to take a decade to complete and will be a leading edge innovative program of projects.
The third seminar was undertaken on March 27th at the University of Oulu in Northern Finland with Professor Derek Walker as key note speaker. The seminar comprised participants from the Finnish construction sector, VTT (the Finnish CSIRO equivalent), staff and Phd students from the University of Oulu and several other academics from other Finnish universities. Finland is currently undertaking 18 projects and program alliances and there is a significant appetite to learn more about the Australian experience because Australia and New Zealand are considered world leaders in this field.
The short two-week series of seminars and interaction can be considered a success for CIPS as it has globally disseminated research findings from CIPS researchers, extended the reputation of RMIT and PCPM as a centre of advanced research in construction project management related areas, as well as led to further collaboration. Professor Walker was invited by NTNU as an international leading expert to deliver a key address at their upcoming NTNU Executive Project Forum to be held in mid-October 2015 and he was also invited to participate as international expert university collaborator on a 600,000 euro research grant by the University of Oulu and other Finnish Universities for 2016-7.