Supporting researchers and doctoral students

In addition to the multitude of research collaborations described in the other pages in this section, F&S contributes to research in additional fields and supports graduate students. F&S supports doctoral research in several way including providing data for case studies, and serving on review committees for PhD candidates. For example, Dr. Attalla, executive director of Facilities & Services at the University of Illinois served on the following committees:

  • Abbas Hassan (graduated fall 2019): Dr. Hassan research was conducted on the scheduling of repetitive construction considering the input parameters such as cost, duration and crew formation while taking into consideration uncertainty and work continuity constraints.
  • Mansour Al-Oteibi: Mansour’s research aims to optimize the planning of residential building renovation projects. This research study is expected to provide significant research contributions that will lead to (1) broad and profound impacts on residential building renovation projects. These impacts include providing decision-makers with practical scheduling tool for optimizing the planning of resource utilization during the renovation of leased residential buildings to minimize their total cost; (2) optimization tool that assist decision-makers in optimizing the selection of building upgrade measures from a set of feasible alternatives to maximize owner satisfaction while complying with a specified budget and time; (3) practical predictive tool that can accurately estimate the impact of unforeseen conditions that are often encountered in renovation projects on cost and duration; and (4) optimization model that helps decision-makers in achieving a desired LEED certification level for an existing residential building.

Moreover, F&S continues to provide researchers with a wide range of data to accomplish their research objectives. F&S can provide data related to building and construction, operation and maintenance for campus facility, historical data, energy-related data on the building level, and utility-scale, For example:

  • Dr. Abbas was provided with road construction data as an application example for his innovative model that is capable of optimizing the scheduling of repetitive construction project. (1) The planned schedule vs. the actual schedule of the project, (2) Project activities data, (3) The activities description, (4) Quantity tack-off for each activity by the section of the road, and (5) Construction crew’s data including (a) Crew formation (number of labors, equipment type, etc.) (b) The range of the production rate of each crew (c) The daily cost of each crew.
  • Lufan Wang was provided with Data pertained to: (1) building characteristics (e.g., gross floor area, wall construction material, window type, etc.), (2) building operation data (e.g., building lighting schedule, heating and cooling schedule and set-point temperature, and building automation system, etc.), and (3) building energy and water consumption data.
  • Ahmed Hassan requested was provided with data on the ECE building. The data included (1) detailed building drawings, (2) documentations of the heating and cooling equipment, and (3) building energy consumption from steam, electricity, and chilled water from 2015 to 2019 (building energy efficiency strategies. The data helped Ahmed in validating his optimization model that is capable of taking decisions on the integration of renewable energy in existing public building.
  • Amira El-Sherbiny, a master student that was hired as an intern in F&S department utilized the ECE building data in her analysis of sustainability measures in existing buildings and comparing their actual performance in real life.
  • Mishal Al-Ashary collected data for his research on optimizing the maintenance planning of higher education buildings. The collected data can be divided into two parts (1) the existing prioritizing procedures for maintenance activities, and (2) the historical maintenance data of (EPDM) roofing system. The main objective of my research is to optimize the maintenance planning in education buildings, and to minimize the negative impact of deferred maintenance on the performance of facilities and their occupants.