Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-12-2021


In the past decade, infrastructure resilience in the U.S. has become critical due to increasing disruptions to the built environment and the resultant consequences on economic, social, and environmental goals. This attention to resilience research is drawn to investigating the ability of existing structures and facilities to resist and recover from natural and human-caused hazards. From a broader view, resilience also applies to processes, such as infrastructure project delivery processes. During these processes, a project often suffers inevitable threats and disruptions, which can significantly delay or derail the project if the process is not resilient.

This research aimed to conceptualize resilience for project delivery processes and develop a measurement approach that can be used to diagnose the resilience of infrastructure project delivery systematically. Several steps were taken to accomplish this research objective. The author defined resilience as the ability of the project delivery system to withstand disruptions with the goal of mitigating the disruption-induced gap to intended project results. The proposed resilience definition highlights resistance, recovery, adaptation as the three stages for a project to respond to disruptions. The three resilience stages provide the fundamental dimensions from which seventeen resilience factors were identified to measure resilience in the context of road construction project delivery. The significance of the proposed resilience factors was verified by industry experts through a structured survey questionnaire. Based on the survey data, the author developed resilience criteria and the Project Delivery Resilience Index (PDRI) to evaluate the resilience of different project delivery methods: Design-Bid-Build (D-B-B), Design-Build (D-B), and Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC). Furthermore, Tendency toward Inoperability (TI) was developed to quantitatively measure the project delivery resilience in the case that the project delivery process is considered a system consisting of different project phases linked to each other by interdependent input-output relationships. To compute the TI, the author proposed an inoperability-based model that holistically measures the variations of project phase-related TI before and after disruptive events. Thus, the gain in resilience for the project delivery system can be solved.

The findings of this research add to the body of knowledge by advancing the understanding of the resilience of project delivery and providing a comprehensive means to incorporate resilience assessment into infrastructure project delivery, and eventually improve the resiliency of completed infrastructure.


Resilience, Infrastructure Project Delivery, Construction

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Susan Bogus Halter

Second Committee Member

Dr. Kerry Howe

Third Committee Member

Dr. Su Zhang

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Fan Zhang