Academic Forum History


The Lean Construction Institute ( was founded in 1997 with the main focus of disseminating and furthering knowledge in the area of project-based production systems.   LCI works closely with both industry practitioners and academics to act as a catalyst in the transformation that the AEC industry has been seeking for many years.


The Lean Construction Institute Academic Forum was initiated in January 2001 as a result of a meeting that took place at the University of Colorado between academics and practitioners interested in Lean Construction research.  This first meeting was intended to introduce lean construction principles to both academics and practitioners, identify ongoing or planned lean construction research, and provide an opportunity for research collaborations to emerge.


The second Forum meeting took place at Arizona State University in April 2001.  The second meeting was devoted to presenting instructional strategies and pedagogical tools utilized in teaching production management in construction education.


The third forum meeting was held at Michigan State University in March 2002.  The objectives of the meeting were to catalogue ongoing research and teaching efforts in Lean Construction, and align ongoing research efforts to the thrust areas identified at the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC) meeting held in Singapore August 2001.  The following forums are all documented for LCI Members only at .


Most academics working on Lean Construction research are members of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC) - The primary worldwide research group in Lean Construction (; email list at  IGLC holds an annual conference or a Lean Construction Summit, usually in a different continent (see 


Academic Forum Vision

The LCI Academic Forum will be the venue of choice for academics and practitioners to learn about and assist in the Lean Construction Institute’s research, teaching, and implementation efforts.


Academic Forum Mission

The Academic Forum’s mission is to increase Lean Construction research and teaching activities in institutions of higher education, and act as a liaison to industry associations and/or organizations seeking to establish research and professional development programs.  The forum will serve and advocate the discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the theory, principles, and methods of Lean Construction in order to further and encourage its adoption in education and training for professionals entering the architectural/engineering/construction industry (AEC).


The Academic Forum advocates systematic use of Lean Construction principles to deliver value to owners through simultaneous design of product and process, reliance on conformance-based versus deviation-based cost and time control methods, and optimization of construction performance at the project-level to achieve rapid, reliable, competitively superior, and time-certain completion of projects. 


We called it Academic Forum not to make it exclusionary to academics but rather to indicate that it is a forum for Lean Construction issues related to instruction and research initiatives.  We see ourselves as a venue for professionals interested in bringing Lean Construction into the classroom as a part of a course or as an entire course, at a high school, community college, 4-year colleges, research universities, association and company learning rooms.   We also act as a sounding board for research ideas that professionals would like to pursue and potentially create collaborations amongst them.


We are using the term ‘professionals’ to refer to both practitioners and academics.  Most of our professionals in LCI AF do come from academic institutions.  However, this is not the only cohort of professionals who are interested in teaching Lean Construction and/or conducting research in it.  The presentations at the LCI Congress and AGC Lean Construction Forum attest to this.   In our humble opinion, the only distinction between professionals who are interested in teaching Lean Construction and/or conducting research in it is one of location – some work in universities (academics) and others work in industry (practitioners).  The approach to defining a problem and venturing to solve it is the same.  There is a symbiotic relation between these two types of professionals and the mutual benefit and impact is all the more large with involvement of both.


Academic Forum Strategic Priorities

Achieving the goals and mission of the Academic Forum will involve the following:

q  Holding seminars, workshops, and symposia to promote Lean Construction integration in undergraduate and graduate curricula in architecture, civil engineering, and construction management programs.

q  Providing a forum for students pursing masters or PhD degrees in Lean Construction to report, discuss and exchange ideas and experiences regarding their ongoing research (email: LCI AF Email List )

q  Conducting Lean Construction research

q  Acting as a resource for companies and industry associations interested in establishing Lean Construction professional development programs.

q  Soliciting involvement from public funding agencies in conducting research and educational programs.

q  Rewarding high achievement in research and teaching through an appropriate program of recognition.

q  Coordinating efforts between research centers associated with LCI regional and international chapters.

Academic Forum Research Centers

q  Project Production Systems Laboratory - the University of California, Berkeley

q  The Construction Industry Research and Education Center (CIREC) - Michigan State University.

q  Integrated Technology in Architecture Center (ITAC) - University of Utah

q  Project Production Systems Laboratory – San Diego State University

q  Project Production Systems Laboratory - Texas A&M University

q  Project Production Systems Laboratory - University of Washington

q  Center for Construction Excellence – Colorado State University


Joining the Academic Forum


The Academic Forum is open to all members of the Lean Construction Institute.  Non-members of LCI must first become members and then subsequently join the Academic Forum.  Typically, full-time academics and students join LCI at a reduced annual membership rate of $75 and$50, respectively (


Faculty or Student Members of the Lean Construction Institute enjoy the following benefits:

q  Listing on LCI website as a Faculty or Student Member.

q  Access to Members-Only Website for materials, forms, training materials etc.

q  Permission to use LCI Materials and Last Planner® System materials for own projects and for classroom instruction.

q  Reduced fees for LCI Seminars, Workshops and Research Meetings.

q  Opportunities to participate in Lean Construction research and education projects.


Once a member in LCI, you can join the Lean Construction Institute Academic Forum (LCIAF) at no additional cost.  To join the academic forum, send an email to to be added to the Academic Forum Email List.

For academic forum related questions, please contact:



Tariq Sami Abdelhamid, PhD

Research Director, CIREC/MSU

Associate Professor of Lean Construction

Chairperson, LCI Academic Forum

Co-Editor, Lean Construction Journal

552 West Circle RM 214

School of Planning, Design and Construction

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-432-6188; f:517-432-8108; e:

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