Project management

intersecting road junctions from the air

Our researchers develop solutions for ever-growing challenges in our society, as projects become more prevalent organisational forms in many industries. Projects are a key vehicle to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, delivering infrastructure developments across the world.

We are interested in improving the development and delivery of projects with a particular focus on complex infrastructure and megaprojects. We work across a variety of milieu, ranging from project management to industrial engineering and system engineering management. Our expertise can be grouped in the following themes:

  • Ethics and sustainability, ranging from illegal and illicit behaviours in infrastructure projects to carbon emissions from construction site activities
  • Financing and contracting in infrastructure, energy, nuclear and sanitation
  • Governance and organisation of projects and project networks
  • Psycho-social and behavioural aspects in projects with a focus on organisational justice, coping strategies and learning and the management of human resources in projects
  • Performance and value creation in large and complex infrastructure projects and megaprojects
  • Health, safety and wellbeing in construction and infrastructure projects
  • Industrial engineering with a focus on energy infrastructure and energy economics: nuclear power plants and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), decommissioning, cogeneration and energy storage, nuclear law, and real options analysis
  • System engineering management with a focus on sanitation infrastructures and complex systems

Industry collaboration

Through our research, regularly published in leading international peer-reviewed journals, we make a positive impact on businesses, economy and social environment.

The researchers in our group come from an interdisciplinary background and have directly interact with industry professionals and policymakers. Outputs from our work have been used by organisations such as the National Audit Office, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Investment Bank, the World Economic Forum and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

We have strong links with professional project management organisations such as the Association for Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Major Project Association (MPA) and have a presence on a number of their committees and advisory groups.

Recent projects

Our research is supported by a variety of external bodies who fund our work. Some of our recent projects are detailed below:

  • Cactus (Climate and Cost in Urban Sanitation): CACTUS aims to improve the quality of information available to decision makers who seek to make investment decisions relating to urban sanitation provision in cities and towns. 
  • Organisational justice in projects: The research team will investigate how individuals perceive justice in the context of inter-organizational projects where individuals face a duality of authority. For example, a line manager and a project manager. 
  • Building Resilience in Construction: This research aims to investigate how construction supply chains can become more resilient and which lessons can be learned from the Covid-19 pandemic to be better prepared for future shocks. 
  • Benchmarking to reduce budget uncertainty and actual cost and increase learning from oil and gas: This project aims to deliver a methodology based on benchmarking able to improve cost estimations, foster reduction of actual cost, and share learnings from large infrastructure projects or megaprojects and literature or experience to reduce cost, time and increase benefits. 
  • Eliminating modern slavery from projects: The investigation finds that the key to eliminating modern slavery is to give individuals working on projects the competence and confidence to spot it and to know what action to take when they do. 
  • Economic Appraisal of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Projects: Small Modular Reactors, with electrical power up to 300MW per module, have specific design, safety and siting features, as well as a wide range of applications. In response to increased interest, the IAEA started a 3-year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) focusing on the economics of SMRs, including micro-reactors, by providing Member States with an economic appraisal framework for their development and deployment. 
  • Project X: An ESRC-funded research collaboration between government, academia and industry representatives. The aim is to generate unique insights into the performance of major projects and programmes in Government, which can be used to drive continuous improvement in performance and delivery confidence. 

PhD projects

We have opportunities for postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, please contact Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger.