Gerald H. Williams Jr., Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, a construction industry productivity expert and founder of Construction Research LLC, in Portland, OR, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Williams’ career has touched all aspects of the construction industry. He started as a design engineer on municipal projects and went on to oversee the public improvements on a large urban renewal project for the Portland Development Commission. In 1989 he joined a large regional general-building-construction contractor as an estimator and project engineer. In 1996, while a full-time doctoral student, he founded Construction Research LLC, a firm dedicated to applying operations research methods to resolving construction disputes.
He is the principal author of Impacts to Productivity in Steel Framing and the Installation and Finishing of Gypsum Wallboard, the drywall industry standard for assessing labor productivity impact claims. He is also the author or coauthor of a dozen peer-reviewed papers on construction labor productivity and research methods. Most recently he and a colleague wrote Impacts to Productivity in the Construction Trades, an Analysis of the Published Research. The book includes more than 2,000 references to published works in the construction industry and is the most comprehensive collection of research in the industry.
Williams has been qualified for and testified before both state and federal courts, including the Court of Federal Claims. Since forming Construction Research, he has worked on nearly 500 major construction disputes in all parts of the nation. For years he also taught construction and project management and construction law at Portland State University. He has been a guest lecturer on construction labor productivity at Oregon State University and has spoken before several industry groups, such as the Northwest Wall & Ceiling Bureau and the Northern California Drywall Contractors Association.
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski appointed Williams to the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission in 2008 and the Commission voted him chair for two two-year terms. As chair of OSSPAC he also served on the Oregon Homeland Security Council. He has been an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, having served on its local board.
In 2006, Williams and a group of college friends formed “Coats for Kids in Kabul,” a nongovernmental organization that provided support for the Oregon National Guard’s 41st Brigade Combat Team’s humanitarian mission during “Operation Enduring Freedom.” Coats for Kids sent more than 2,000 coats and 800 pairs of shoes to the Guard, who distributed them to the families encamped outside the Brigade quarters at Camp Alamo. In addition, the Guard soldiers, using construction materials supplied by Coats for Kids, helped rebuild a local hospital that had been a casualty of the war.
Williams is a 1981 graduate of Oregon State University, with a degree in civil engineering; he also holds a Master of Engineering Management from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in System Science: Engineering Management from Portland State University.