PhD candidate Seirgei Miller won the ARCOM (Association of Researchers in Construction Management) prize for the Best Presentation at the middle stage of postgraduate research studies during the 7th International Postgraduate Research conference in the Built and Human Environment. The CIB co-sponsored Postgraduate conference formed part of the International Built and Human Environment Research week held from 26 to 30 March 2007 in Salford UK.
Seirgei Miller received the award for the presentation of his paper ‘Understanding Asphalt Compaction: An Action Research Strategy”; a paper he co-authored with colleagues André Dorée and Henny ter Huerne.
The paper describes an action research strategy in response to problems with technology adoption in road construction. Now that clients push for higher quality standards, new technologies are introduced in the asphalt paving process. However, research shows that the machine operators have problems in understanding the new technologies. At the same time the technology developers have no clear view of the operators' tasks and the parameters required to improve the quality of process and product. This mismatch hampers process improvements. The aim of the larger research project is [a] to integrate process improvement, technology development and operator training in a stepwise action research strategy, and [b] to develop new operational strategies and appropriate new technologies.