The Journal of Management in Engineering offers avenue for researchers and practitioners to present contemporary issues associated with management and leadership for the civil engineer. Young Hoon Kwak, Ph.D., M.ASCE, shared his experience as a civil engineer and editor with ASCE Publications. Dr. Kwak is a faculty member in the Department of Decision Sciences at The George Washington University.
ASCE Publications: What separates this journal from others in the field?
Young Hoon Kwak: Among the 36 ASCE journals, Journal of Management in Engineering (JME) covers and publishes interdisciplinary research that integrates management theory and practices into engineering organization and problems. It incorporates economics, technology, innovation, decision sciences, psychology, social and behavioral sciences, leadership, organizational theory, entrepreneurships, public policy into civil engineering, construction, infrastructure, and the built environment.
ASCE Publications: What are the hot topics in your space?
Young Hoon Kwak: The broad body of knowledge that covers organizational issues; contracting and finance; project planning and management; innovative construction practices; cost and schedule; labor and personnel issues; information technology applications; strategy and decisions; public policy and legal issues; sustainability; infrastructure investments; and other emerging areas.
ASCE Publications: Have you seen changes in the field during your tenure as editor?
Young Hoon Kwak: The field has evolved rapidly from introducing and implementing various management tools and techniques to understanding the complex dynamics of managing engineering organizations and projects that consider size, complexity, uncertainty, and opportunity.
ASCE Publications: What can we expect to see in the journal?
Young Hoon Kwak: The integration and synthesis of both soft (organization and behavioral science) and hard (decision science and operations research) side are essential with practical and managerial implications in mind. Topics that intersect society, public policy, organization, technology, project management, and engineering are welcomed.
We look for research that discusses important issues that builds on clear research motivations, questions, goals, and objectives by applying rigorous research methodology for solid analysis and in-depth discussions.
ASCE Publications: What are the biggest challenges facing researchers today / in the coming years?
Young Hoon Kwak: The academics these days need to be multi-talented. Starting early on in their career, they have to deliver excellent teaching, apply and receive competitive research grants, publish numerous journal papers, and provide services (as a reviewer or as an editorial board) to the professional society. I think this will continue to be a trend in the future.
ASCE Publications: What drew you to Civil Engineering?
Young Hoon Kwak: Many of my family worked as a scholar. My grandfather was a philosophy professor, my father was an operations management professor, so I wanted to study something different from them and picked civil engineering. I was a graduate student in the engineering and project management program at the University of California at Berkeley's civil engineering department where they encouraged students to take other courses beyond traditional civil engineering and that exposed me to a lot of different areas.
My education and career is an example of interdisciplinary integration, which gives me a unique perspective to better understand the interface between management and engineering.
ASCE Publications: What drew you to being an editor?
Young Hoon Kwak: I have served several years as an editorial board and associate editor before becoming an editor-in-chief. It is a lot of work but extremely rewarding.
ASCE Publications: Can you share your aspirations for future of the journal?
Young Hoon Kwak: Exposing JME to various allied disciplines to bring new insight and great appreciation to the growing field to introduce the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities. I would like to see JME become a premier journal by researchers and practitioners to acquire and disseminate essential ideas, theories, knowledge, and practices in management in engineering.
ASCE Publications: Any advice for new researchers?
Young Hoon Kwak: Stay abreast of this interdisciplinary field by reading many classic and recent journal articles to learn past and emerging research ideas. Also, volunteer as a journal reviewer to provide constructive feedback and discover the latest research trends. Most importantly, submit papers at JME to present and disseminate your research to contribute to the body of knowledge.
Learn more about contributing to the Journal of Management in Engineering.