Dr Michel Chaaya

CPEng, FIEAust, BE, ME(Res), PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor - Academic and Practice Leader (ICT and Innovation Project Management)
School of Civil Engineering

J05 - J05 Civil Engineering Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 6384
Fax +61 2 9351 3343

Website Project Management

School of Civil Engineering

Biographical details

Dr Michel Chaaya is globally known for his expertise in successfully managing and delivering complex projects.

Since 2008, Michel has played the role of Director of Business development for many organisations operating in Australia in different fields (Real Estate, Construction, IT systems, Engineering consultancies, Facilities Management, Funds Management, Natural Resources, International Trading and Manufacturing).

Michel’s recent partnership with The Agency (Projects division for Sites & Acquisitions Sales), focuses on multi staged developments through to high end boutique projects, houses and land, and DA approved or raw sites. Michel’s extensive knowledge and invaluable experience are coupled with a diversified array of high calibre networks in Australasia and the MENAT region.

Michel has published internationally in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management and the Journal of Management in Engineering, ASCE. Since 2003, he has supervised more than 200 Engineering Theses. He lectures at the University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales and the University of Technology Sydney.

Michel is a Civil Engineer and holds a Master's of Engineering and a PhD in Project Management and IT from The University of Sydney. He is a Fellow member of The Institution of Engineers Australia and The College of Leadership and Management.

Michel speaks English, French and Arabic.

Research interests

Successful project management requires a sound understanding of the field to which it is being applied. Dr Michel Chaaya's research into project management within the construction industry complements his practical work in that field, as he aims to identify innovative new ways of ensuring the successful delivery of building projects that will ultimately enhance community wellbeing.

"Project management is a global discipline, but its application requires experience in the field that is being managed. For example, you cannot effectively be a project manager for a construction project if you are not in the construction industry.

"I work in the industry and am a practical professional, and I enjoy the fact that my specialisation in different fields allows me to manage various aspects of a range of projects.

"The key factors for a success in any project are communication and risk management. These involve the 'soft' function of human behaviour, which is often misunderstood and needs to be considered in context.

"More specifically, ensuring the successful delivery of projects in the construction industry involves improving workplace processes, community services and ultimately community wellbeing.

"My work involves finding innovative ways of applying different techniques, including new sustainable methods of building (such as prefabricated rather than traditional), risk-management systems and integrated work-management systems. The results are always unexpected, and the excitement of waiting to see how things will turn out is always challenging. Also, with every project there are new stakeholders, so my job is never boring.

"The ultimate goal of my work is to facilitate better communication and understanding within the construction industry.

"I've been working in this field for 16 years, and joined the University of Sydney in 1995. The facilities here, and the teaching and research environment, have greatly assisted my research."

Teaching and supervision

CIVL4814 - Project Planning and Tendering
PMGT5888 - Global Project Management
PMGT5871 - Project Process Planning and Control
CIVL3812 - Project Appraisal
ENGG5204 - Professional Practice in Engineering Management

Current projects

  1. The Relationship between Transport Infrastructures and Property Value (2018)
  2. Optimisation of Asset Management Practices in the Construction and Infrastructure Industries (2018)
  3. Effective Integration of Facilities Management (FM) with Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the Design Stage for Commercial and Industrial Buildings (2018)
  4. A Systematic Approach to the Feasibility of BIM Implementation in Residential Buildings (2018)
  5. Application and Investigation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in China (2018)
  6. Costing and Scheduling for Residential Projects (2018)
  7. Suitability Indices Per Area for Property Investment in Australia (2018)
  8. Mitigating the Uncertainties of Cost and Programme Forecasting in Development Feasibility Assessments: A Construction-based Approach (2018)
  9. The Design and Development of an Innovative Horizontal Formwork System (IHFS) for Medium Density Residential Projects (2018)
  10. Development of an Intelligent Urban Feasibility Model (IUFM) for developers and regulatory bodies (2018)
  11. The Impacts of Foreign Investments on the Australian Real Estate Market (2018)
  12. Investigation of the Chinese Capital in Australian Real Estate (2018)
  13. An Assessment of the triple constraint model (2018)
  14. An intelligent quantitative risk management model (IQRMM) for the Australian Commercial Real Estate Industry (2018)
  15. A Kit-of-Parts Exploration of Façade Adaptive Reuse: Embedding Flexibility in Existing Built Fabrics (2018)
  16. In-depth Analysis of Traditional vs. Innovative Modular Systems in Road Infrastructure (2018)

Previous research projects include:

  • Development of a sustainable, effective model for enhanced production and application of recycled concrete (2017)
  • Effective Modelling of Project Performance Determinants in Modular Construction (2017)
  • The Design and Development of an Intelligent Expert System to aid Australian Public-Private-Partnership Practitioners with Risk Analysis (2017)
  • Failure modes of a tier 1 industrial solar panel and appropriate test methods (2017)
  • An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Early Clients Engagements in Construction Projects (2017)
  • The Critical Macroeconomic Determinants of Profitability for Australian Real Estate Developers (2017)
  • A systematic approach to the implementation of BIM (2017)
  • Innovative Approach to a Complex Design-Construction Management Process Implementation (2017)
  • The Design and Development of an Innovative Horizontal Formwork System (IHFS) for Medium Density Residential Projects (2017)
  • Successful Implementation of Prefabricated Processes in the Australian Construction Industry – Investigation and Analysis (2017)
  • Design of an Advanced Quality Management Strategy for SMEs in the Construction Industry in Australia (2017)
  • The Effect of Proximity to Shopping Centres on the Price of Residential Properties (2017)
  • Development of an Interactive Innovative Modelling System (IIMS) for Sustainable Carpark Design Optimisation (2017)
  • CSF (Critical Success Factors) for cost effectiveness and reduction in Modular Construction (2017)
  • The implementation of DMADV methodology in the construction industry (2017)
  • Costing and scheduling for residential projects (2017)
  • Developing a Feasibility Study System for Mid-Tier Projects in Sydney (2017)
  • Future Development trend of Green Buildings (2017)
  • The uptake of modular construction in rural New South Wales for public housing (2016)
  • The design and development of a social infrastructure risk management model (SIRMM) to enable intelligent private sector investment in Australian PPP projects (2016)
  • An investigation of contractual chain insolvency in the Queensland construction industry (2016)
  • Gender distribution in construction management site teams to achieve optimal team cohesion (2016)
  • Critical success factors of modular construction in Australia: A building lifecycle approach (2016)
  • An exploratory analysis of barriers to property development projects in Australia (2016)
  • An investigation into the effectiveness of permanent retaining structures (2016)
  • Cost case based reasoning model for precast vs. conventional cast in situ concrete flooring (2016)
  • Design and development of an embodied energy framework (2016)
  • A mobile framework to improve implementation of workplace health and safety in the NSW construction industry (2016)
  • Design and development of an intelligent framework for asset optimisation (2016)
  • The effective implementation of BIM modelling with disaster management integration (2016)
  • Towards vertical greenery systems on buildings for energy savings (2016)
  • Efficiency in water recycling in buildings (2016)
  • BIM based structural design and strategic selection of software systems (2016)
  • The Australian infrastructure projects transaction management practice - a new hybrid of project delivery model (2016)
  • Towards Further Uptake of Modular Construction Techniques in the Australian Construction Industry (2015)
  • Communicating Progress in Real-Time from an Infrastructure Construction Site (2015)
  • Design and Development of LOSGISI, Expert Decision Making for GIS Implementation (2015)
  • Application of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) In Infrastructure Projects (2015)
  • A Critical Investigation into the Retention Rate of Women in Engineering (2015)
  • Towards Green Retrofit for Energy Efficiency in commercial Buildings (2015)
  • Design and Development of a Human Resource Management Mobile Application for Construction Projects (2015)
  • The Effective Applications of Glass Curtain Wall Systems for High-Rise Building (2015)
  • The Implementation of Geographic Information Systems in Australian Construction Logistics (2015)
  • An investigation and Analysis of Public and Private Water Recycling Utilities in Metropolitan Sydney (2015)
  • Design and Development of Effectiveness Building Information Modelling System (EBIMS) (2015)
  • Effective Geographic Information Systems and Asset Management Application in NSW Councils (2015)
  • An Investigation on the Applicability of Agile Project Management Principles to the Construction Industry (2015)
  • A Comprehensive Analysis and Comparison of Prefabricated and Conventional Walling Systems (2015)
  • Demand Management a Process Within Asset Management as Applied to Sydney?s Passenger Rail (2015)
  • Vapour Intrusion Mitigation Through Activated Carbon Systems (2015)
  • A Time for Change: Applications of Cross-Laminated Timber in the Australian Construction Industry (2015)
  • Analysis and Investigation of innovative products application for Pavement Stabilisation (2014)
  • The Effects of Precast Concrete to Green Buildings Thermal Energy Efficiency (2014)
  • The Design and Development of a Risk Management Fuzzy-ANP Model for Mid-Tier Property Investments (2014)
  • An in-depth comparison and analysis of the application of prefabricated and traditional wall systems (2014)
  • Practicality and opportunity assessment for the implementation of modular constructed multistorey residences in Australia (2014)
  • Design and development of an EERMP for PPP projects on a global perspective (2014)
  • Risk Management in Green Buildings in the Australian Construction Industry (2014)
  • Investigating strategy for a successful implementation of BIM software of construction project (2014)
  • BIM Adoption in Facility Management System (2014)
  • An In-Depth Investigation and Analysis of Water Efficiency in Green Buildings (2014)
  • An in-depth investigation into the application of precast flooring (2014)
  • Integrating Lean Principles with Dynamic Spatial Data and Information Management for Building and Infrastructure Projects (2013)
  • BIM Adoption & Precast Concrete: Design and Implementation of a Strategic Guide (2013)
  • The Application of Prefabricated Building Systems Towards Achieving Sustainability in the Australian Construction Industry (2013)
  • The effective implementation of Risk Management in Mid-Tier companies in the Australian Construction Industry (2013)
  • The Application of Prefabricated Building Systems towards Achieving Sustainability in the Australian Construction Industry (2013)
  • An Investigation into the Application of Traditional Versus Prefabricated/Precast Flooring Systems (2013)
  • Investigation of the Green Building Elements in Terms of Façade System and Solar Energy (2013)
  • The Design & Development of SAFIRE Safety Archetype for Innovative Risk Engineering (2013)
  • An Investigation into the Comparison of Innovative and Conventional Vertical Structural Elements within Mid-Tier Residential Developments (2013)
  • In-depth analysis into the Water Efficiency and Water Reuses System of Green Building (2013)
  • A Proposal for the Development of an Enhanced Project Management Software System (2013)
  • A Proposed Integrated Design Management Model for Australian Construction Projects
  • Optimising finite resource allocation throughout the project selection process: an expert project selection system (EPSS)
  • A Symmetric Analysis of the Use of Green Building Materials in Terms of Environmental Impact, Quality, Cost and Benefits
  • The Design and Implementation of an Integrated Defect Management Expert System (DMES) for Commercial Projects
  • A systematic investigation into the effectiveness of Risk Management procedures in Australian commercial and residential developments exceeding $100 million
  • The Design of an Advanced Risk & Change Management (AR&CM) Framework for Application throughout the Lifecycle of a Construction Project
  • Contractor Assessment Model Expert System (CAMES) for Contractor Selection in Construction Projects
  • Design and Development of a Social-Skills In Project, Engineering and Management (SSIPEM) Model
  • Development of an Innovative Life Cycle Critical Success Factors Model for PPPs in Australia
  • Design of the Advanced Risk Framework and Its Application to the Construction Industry
  • Development and Implementation of an Australian Construction Contractor Expert Selection System Model
  • An Investigation into the Efficiency of Project Alliancing and the Design and Development of the Alliance Contract Decision Model (ACDM)
  • The Design and Development of a Decision Evaluation Framework for Foreign Investment in the Mining Industry
  • Influence of Cost and Quality Management on Material Selection in Green Buildings
  • Developing & Managing Innovation in residential construction projects - A systematic Approach
  • Performance enhancement of commercial projects through the integration of a risk and change management system
  • Influence of Material selection on cost and Quality Management in Green Buildings
  • ERF Application To Commercial Construction Projects During The Planning Phase
  • Project alliancing and development of a decision model on single v multiple total outturn cost approaches to alliancing
  • Lack of Social Skills in PM and Civil Engineering
  • The development and implementation of process models to manage foreign investments in Australian resources and commodities
  • CSF implications on life-cycle project management of PPPs in Australia
  • Contractors selections criteria and processes
  • Implementing Islamic Finance in Australia: Opportunities, Impediments, and Procedures for establishing an Islamic fund
  • Risk assessment for project managers in the Australian property market
  • An empirical study of risk allocation of Public-Private Partnership infrastructure projects in Australia
  • A proposal of a technical innovation platform for Australian construction companies
  • An investigation of innovative project management information systems in the NSW construction industry
  • GFC impact on the Australian construction industry: A change management model proposal
  • Sustainable and conscious innovation - a construction industry survey
  • The Application of Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems In Complex Projects
  • Collaboration of stakeholders in the construction industry: the use of information technology in project management
  • Collaborative On-line Communication - Email versus Web-enabled Project Management
  • Management of OH&S: An in-depth investigation into the application of current practices and policies in the NSW construction Industry
  • The Use of Dynamic Simulation Modelling in High-Rise Construction


  • 2016 Fellow of the College of Leadership and Management, Australia
  • 2005 Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Australia, FIEAust
  • 1992 Member of the Civil Engineering College, Australia
  • 1992 Member of the Institution of Engineering Australia, CPEng, MIEAust
  • 1991 Holder of a Builder's License, NSW, Australia
  • 1990 Member of the Institution of Engineers, Beirut, Lebanon

Selected publications

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  • Chaaya, M., Jaafari, A. (2001). Cognisance of Visual Design Management in Life Cycle Project Management. Journal of Management In Engineering, 17,1, 49-57.
  • Jaafari, A., Manivong, K., Chaaya, M. (2001). VIRCON: An Interactive System for Teaching Construction Management. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 127, 66-75.


  • Chaaya, M., Jaafari, A. (2001). Cognisance of Visual Design Management in Life Cycle Project Management. Journal of Management In Engineering, 17,1, 49-57.
  • Jaafari, A., Manivong, K., Chaaya, M. (2001). VIRCON: An Interactive System for Teaching Construction Management. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 127, 66-75.

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