Congratulations Sadegh Asgari, Winner of the IISE Competition

We are proud to announce Sadegh Asgari, Winner of the IISE Construction Division Best Student Paper Award. Sadegh presented his research and received the award at the Industrial & Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC) organized by the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) last month. IISE is the global association of productivity and efficiency professionals specializing in industrial engineering, healthcare, ergonomics and other related professions. The organization provides a place where these varied fields come together to advance the engineering profession through networking, training, and knowledge sharing (

Sadegh completed the three-year research project as a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University and is currently Research Scientist at New York University.

His paper “Simulating Construction Bidding Using Agent-Based Modeling” is a comprehensive model that captures the complex dynamics of the bidding environment by considering interactions among its components, most importantly construction contractors. Sadegh also discusses the advantages of agent-based modeling in simulating the construction bidding process over the previously applied methodologies. His work also introduces a developed model which simulates the construction bidding environment and is used to compare the effectiveness of major quantitative methods.

Sadegh believes the most interesting aspect of the construction bidding environment model is the flexibility and capability that agent-based modeling allows for conducting very diverse but at the same time, specific experiments. He notes his greatest finding is that “moderation is the optimal policy for contractors when they consider risk allowance and discount to maintain work continuity in their markup. “ He says, “this result is very Aristotelian since Aristotle believes that to be happy and fulfilled, human needs to follow moderation in twelve virtues.”

Sadegh chose to pursue civil engineering for his undergraduate studies because he has always been passionate about learning and building. Born and raised in Iran, he came to understand even more profoundly about the role of robust civil infrastructures in the development and wealth of the nation.

Sadegh feels very fortunate to work with Dr. Amr Kandil and Dr. Rita Awwad and would like to thank them for their contributions and insightful comments which helped shape and evolve his project over the years. He would also like to thank AnyLogic, and explains “the software’s “Agent-Based Libraries” as well as reusable “Design Patterns” simplify developing agent-based models for novice modelers and save times for experts.

You can read the winning paper on Stay tuned for future developments as Sadegh plans to take the model to an online platform in which anyone can use it and experiment with it. Also, check out additional work by Sadegh and his colleagues, Dr. Kandil and Dr. Awwad, utilizing AnyLogic; Developing a Virtual Laboratory for Construction Bidding Environment Using Agent-Based Modeling and Impact of considering need for work and risk on performance of construction contractors: An agent-based approach.