Dynamic Project Management: Empathy

The Dynamic Project Management (DPM) Laboratory at the University of Michigan pursues empathetic construction and infrastructure management. The infrastructure that maintains our daily lives is human-built and-maintained as well as human-served. Constructing this infrastructure, however, comes with issues such as a high worker fatality rate and inefficient deliveries. Further, the industry suffers from a shortage in skilled labor, an aging workforce, and non-inclusiveness. To address such issues, DPM’s scholarly activities are toward better understanding diverse perspectives—from people’s inner states (e.g., physiology and psychology) to their interactions with others (e.g., social psychology)—in order to be empathetic toward workers in construction, which is a basis for safe, productive, and inclusive construction and built environments. To this end, DPM applies sensing, data analytics and computer simulation to achieve the maximum benefit from technologies like wearables, automation, and robotics so humans in construction and infrastructure can be better served. DPM also applies these technologies to direct smart and connected communities and cities toward social equality.

DPM’s research has been supported by diverse sponsors in different countries. For example, DPM has received numerous grants from federal (e.g., NSF in the US, NSERC and SSHRC in Canada, and KAIA in Korea) and state agencies (e.g., MEDC). At the same time, DPM’s research has been strongly supported by industry partners including VelocityEHS, Liberty Mutual Group, TOYOTA, Construction Industry Institute, Barton Malow, Turner, Skanska, Shade, Dee Cramer, Granger Construction, Toebe Construction, etc. Such diverse sponsorships allow DPM to pursue fundamental research on basic science and engineering, which can be widely applied to real world problems, thereby achieving balanced contributions to theories and practices. DPM also strongly pursues entrepreneurship. A spin-off company from DPM is very active in commercialization.

Below are our recent projects’ videos, which aim to improve (1) older adults’ mobility and (2) construction workers’ safety, with wearable biosensors.

If you have an interest in working with DPM, please contact Director, Prof. SangHyun Lee, at ([email protected]).