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Dr Don Samarasinghe staff profile picture

Contact details +6492136259

Dr Don Samarasinghe PhD, GDTE, BSc (Hons) Civil Eng, EBANZ, ENZ, NZIOB, PMI

Lecturer in Built Environment

Doctoral Co-Supervisor
School of Built Environment

I am a highly enthusiastic research and education professional with a passion for developing and unleashing the potential of tertiary students. I have a strong background in the development and delivery of quality technical learning, including Construction Technology, Building Services, Digital Built Environment, Construction Project Management and Property Development, for a range of tertiary institutions in New Zealand. My teaching philosophy is driven by Experiential Learning, where students learn through reflection on doing. I have conducted collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects and extensively published in the areas of construction technology, supply chain management and experiential learning in construction education. I have a range of academic qualifications including a PhD in Construction Management, a Bachelor of the Science of Civil Engineering (First-Class Honours), and a Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (GDTE).

During my PhD studies, I published widely on building materials supply chains. After gaining my doctorate, I started researching on improving supply chain performance through construction innovation. My research projects are interdisciplinary and collaborative, across disciplines such as construction innovation, IT/advanced technologies, supply chain management and construction education. I am a high performing team member who conducts collaborative research projects that connect to the community and the construction industry. I recently developed a VR-based sustainable building model with IT and Management colleagues, and the project outcomes were published by IEEE and Springer Cham, Switzerland. One of my recent publications includes a book chapter titled Innovative Digital Technologies in the New Zealand Construction Industry in the book Driving Transformational Change in the Digital Built Environment, edited by Jason Underwood and Mark Shelbourn from the University of Salford, UK. I would like to further expand my research into effective building design and maintenance practices, focusing on ways stakeholders in a building materials supply chain could collaborate to create sustainable buildings. Additional research interests are in the wider areas of construction education, experiential learning, reflective practice, improving employability through learner capability development and effective assessment practices.
I have written widely on construction technology (innovative digital technologies, HVAC, BIM and VR), supply chain management, and experiential learning in construction education. I have experience applying for both internal and external research funding (e.g. a CoRE research project proposal led by Massey University).

My current postgraduate supervision projects include QA/QC in modular fabrication, prefabrication skills shortage and design changes in EPC projects in NZ construction. I have extensive experience in curriculum design, delivery, assessment and moderation in the New Zealand tertiary education sector. This includes developing qualifications such as Bachelor of Construction, Graduate Diploma/Master of Professional Practice in Construction Management. I have taught (both face-to-face and online) papers such as Construction Technology, Building Services, Construction Innovation, Design Buildability & BIM, Programming, Quality Assurance and Site Safety, Value Management, Procurement and Tendering, Property Development and Research Project. I effectively engage with the industry by conducting construction site visits and participating in professional development activities through NZIOB, ENZ, CIOB, PMI, NZGBC, EBANZ and EBAA.

I am a highly enthusiastic research and education professional with a passion for developing and unleashing the potential of tertiary students. I have a strong background in the development and delivery of quality technical learning, including Construction Technology, Building Services, Digital Built Environment, Construction Project Management and Property Development, for a range of tertiary institutions in New Zealand. My teaching philosophy is driven by Experiential Learning, where students learn through reflection on doing. I have conducted collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects and extensively published in the areas of construction technology, supply chain management and experiential learning in construction education.

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Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: +6492136259
    Location: Quadrangle Building A
    Campus: East Precinct, Gate 1, Albany Highway, Auckland, 0632

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy - Auckland University of Technology (2014)
  • Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education - Otago Polytechnic (2019)
  • Bachelor of the Science of Civil Engineering (1st Class Honours) - University of Moratuwa (2009)

Fellowships and Memberships

  • Member, Project Management Institute (Member) (2021)
  • Member, New Zealand Institute of Buildings (Member) (2019)
  • Member, Engineering New Zealand (Member) (2017)
  • Member, Earth Building Association New Zealand (Officer) (2017)

Certifications and Registrations

  • Licence, Co-Supervisor, Massey University
  • Licence, BIM Fundamentals Trained, BSI Training Academy

Research Expertise

Research Interests

During my PhD studies, I published widely on building materials supply chains. After gaining my doctorate, I started research on improving supply chain performance through construction innovation. My research projects are interdisciplinary and collaborative, across disciplines such as construction innovation, IT/advanced technologies, supply chain management and construction education. One recent research project I led at Otago Polytechnic aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of VR models to promote sustainable building in New Zealand. The outcomes of this project were published by IEEE and Springer Cham, Switzerland. One of my recent publications includes a book chapter titled Innovative Digital Technologies in the New Zealand Construction Industry in the book Driving Transformational Change in the Digital Built Environment, edited by Jason Underwood and Mark Shelbourn from the University of Salford, UK. I would like to further expand my research into effective building design and maintenance practices, focusing on ways stakeholders in a building materials supply chain could collaborate to create sustainable buildings. Additional research interests are in the wider areas of construction education, experiential learning, reflective practice, improving employability through learner capability development and effective assessment practices.

Recent research paper review work

  • Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology
  • Malaysian Construction Research Journal (MCRJ)
  • International Structural Engineering and Construction Society (ISEC) – ASEA SEC 5
  • IEEE EDUCON – Global Engineering Education 2019 Conference
  • Built Environment Project and Asset Management (BEPAM) Journal
  • International Journal of Construction Supply Chain Management (IJCSCM)
  • Architectural Science Association (ASA 2020)
  • SCOPE Journal

Research plan 2021

My current research is focused around four main four projects.

  1. Applications of VR and AR in Infrastructure Development projects in New Zealand: This study aims to produce mixed reality models for simulating a proposed infrastructure development project in New Zealand. The proposed mixed reality models will be tested to evaluate their effectiveness in stakeholder engagement. Recommendations will be made on how mixed reality models could be used to increase stakeholder engagement and minimise project delays and cost overruns.
  2. Exploring barriers for the implementation of digital technologies in New Zealand construction industry: This research is an exploratory study that aims to review the status of the construction sector in relation with the implementation of technology solutions. The research findings would be helpful for both academia and industry practitioners to build up a stronger and more effective relationships for implementing technology solutions for improving productivity in the New Zealand construction sector.
  3. Upskilling the New Zealand workforce for off-site construction: This collaborative project aims to identify the skills and knowledge enhancements for off-site prefabricated construction in New Zealand.
  4. The skills shortages in residential construction supply chain: An exploratory study in New Zealand.

Research Opportunities

  • Application of mixed reality in infrastructure development projects in New Zealand  (01/07/2021) This study aims to produce a mixed reality (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) model simulating a proposed infrastructure development project in New Zealand.

Thematics

21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Building (120200): Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201): Building Science and Techniques (120202): Built Environment And Design (120000): Design Innovation (120302): Design Practice and Management (120300): Digital and Interaction Design (120304):
Education (130000):
Engineering Design (120400)

Keywords

Innovative digital technologies

Supply chain management

Experiential learning in construction education

Construction Technology

Building Services

Digital Built Environment

Construction Project Management

Property Development

Research Outputs

Journal

Samarasinghe, D., & Taylor, J. (2020). My Transformational and Reflective Journey through the GDTE (ILP) – a journey of discovery. Scope: Contemporary Research Topics (Work-based Learning)). 1(1) Retrieved from https://www.thescopes.org/work-based-learning-1/my-transformational-and-reflective-journey-through-the-gdte-ilp-a-journey-of-discovery/
[Journal article]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Woodward, D., Booth, S., Redfearn, S., Allen, E., Samarasinghe, D., & Forbes, A. (2020). Developing evidence-based teaching practice. Scope: Contemporary Research Topics (Work-based Learning). 1(1), 68-77 Retrieved from https://www.thescopes.org/assets/scopes/Developing-Evidence-based-Teaching-Practice.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS. (2020). The housing crisis in Australia and New Zealand: A comparative analysis through policy lenses. International Journal of Construction Supply Chain Management. 10(2), 212-223
[Journal article]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Nistor, VM., & Samarasinghe, DAS. (2019). Academic staff induction and assessment on implementing experiential learning and reflective practice. IAFOR Journal of Education. 7(2), 149-167
[Journal article]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, D. (2019). A Reflection of an Effective Assessment Practice in the Bachelor of Construction Programme: An Experiential Learning Case Study in New Zealand. Scope: Contemporary Research Topics (Flexible Learning). 5 Retrieved from https://www.thescopes.org/flexible-learning-5/a-reflection-of-an-effective-assessment-practice-in-the-bachelor-of-construction-programme-an-experiential-learning-case-study-in-new-zealand/
[Journal article]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Thiruchelvam, S., Tookey, J., Samarasinghe, D., Hock, QW., & Mustapha, KN. (2012). Supplier Selection Criteria in A Power Utility in Malaysia: Engineers’ Perceptions. Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Sciences (JMES). 2, 148-191 Retrieved from http://jmes.ump.edu.my/images/Volume%202%20JUNE%202012/2_Thiruchelvam%20et%20al.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.

Book

Samarasinghe, D., & Wood, E. (2021). Innovative digital technologies. In J. Underwood, & M. Shelbourn (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Driving Transformational Change in the Digital Built Environment. : IGI Global
[Chapter]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, D., Nistor, VM., & Abd-Latif, H. (2020). Reflection on virtual teaching experience in Construction, English and Information Technology classes. In L. Gill, O. McGirr, D. Doesburg, M. Fridberg, & S. Bolland (Eds.) Collective Voices of COVID-19: Otago Polytechnic experiences. (pp. 135 - 141). : Otago Polytechnic
[Chapter]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, D., Baghaei, N., & Stemmet, L. (2020). Persuasive Virtual Reality: Promoting Earth Buildings in New Zealand. In S. Gram-Hansen, T. Jonasen, & C. Midden (Eds.) Persuasive Technology. Designing for Future Change. PERSUASIVE 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. (pp. 208 - 220). : Springer, Cham
[Chapter]Authored by: Baghaei, N., Samarasinghe, D.

Thesis

Samarasinghe, D. (2014). Building materials supply chains an evaluative study of the New Zealand residential construction. (Doctoral Thesis)
[Doctoral Thesis]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.Edited by: Rotimi, J.

Conference

Li, S., Samarasinghe, D., & Quifors, SS. (2020). Application of artificial intelligence in human resource management: An exploratory study of the Chinese civil aviation industry. In J. Eaglestone, & M. Causse (Eds.) The 34th Conference of the Europe Association for Aviation Psychology. : The 34th Conference of the Europe Association for Aviation Psychology
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Raina, P., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020, September). Integrating experiential learning and learner capability into the curriculum: Improving employability outcomes for Bachelor of Construction learners. Presented at 2020 ITP Research Symposium: Kotahitanga: He mahingā tahi – working in partnership to improve outcomes for learners and communities. Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Tauranga, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, D. (2020, November). Addressing the skills shortage in the housing supply chain: An exploratory study. Presented at OPSITARA Collaborative Staff Research Symposium. Sothern Institute of Technology (SIT), Invercargill, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, D., Chuting, H., & Hou, W. (2020). A Comparative Analysis on Housing Policies in Australia and New Zealand: Understanding the KiwiBuild Frustration. In W. Shahzad, E. Rasheed, & J. Rotimi (Eds.) 6th New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS 2020. : 6th New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS 2020
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Huiting, L., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Analysis of factors affecting design buildability in New Zealand construction projects. In W. Shahzad, E. Rasheed, & . Rotim (Eds.) 6th New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS 2020). : 6th New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS 2020)
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS. (2020). Development of framework for building materials-related decisions: A case study. Proceedings of International Structural Engineering and Construction. Vol. 7 (pp. PRO-01-1-PRO-01-6).
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Hao, C., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). The factors constraining the adoption of prefabrication in New Zealand residential construction sector. In . Shi, W. Shahzad, E. Rasheed, & J. Rotimi (Eds.) New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS). Massey University: 6th New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Sinyakova, L., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Analysis of Papercrete as a way of reducing heat loss in New Zealand timber timber-framed buildings. In W. Shahzad, E. Rasheed, & J. Rotimi (Eds.) The New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS). Massey University: 6th New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS 2020)
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Thanh Pham, TN., Skelton, L., & Samarasinghe, DAS. (2020). A study of the implementation of BIM in the AEC industry in New Zealand. Proceedings of the International Conference of Architectural Science Association. Vol. 2020-November (pp. 201 - 210).
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS., Baghaei, N., & Stemmet, L. (2020). Persuasive Virtual Reality: Promoting Earth Buildings in New Zealand. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). Vol. 12064 LNCS (pp. 208 - 220).
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Baghaei, N., Samarasinghe, D.
Zhou, Y., & Samarasinghe, D. (2019). How to be work ready: A guideline for quantity surveying graduates in New Zealand. Praxis 2019 Symposium.
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, D., & Nistor, VM. (2019). OP Observer: A class observation tool for measuring the effectiveness of teaching practice. The ACE2019 Conference. : ACE2019
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS., Latif, SA., & Baghaei, N. (2019). Virtual reality models for promoting learners engagement in construction studies. IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON. Vol. April-2019 (pp. 1331 - 1335).
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Baghaei, N., Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, A., Tookey, J., & Rotimi, JOB. (2013). Supply chain collaboration in New Zealand house construction. In TW. Yiu, & V. Gonzales (Eds.)Auckland, New Zealand: The 38th Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Rotimi, J., Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, D., Tookey, J., & Rotimi, J. (2012). Securing best prices for construction materials - PhD work in-progress: An exploratory study of the New Zealand construction industry. In J. Mbachu (Ed.) The 2nd New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS). : The 2nd New Zealand Built Environment Research Symposium (NZBERS)
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Thiruchelvam, S., Tookey, J., Samarasinghe, D., Mustapha, KN., & Kadirgama, K. (2012). How power utility engineers can better select equipment suppliers: the Malaysian case. http://www.worldconfo.com. : ABRC 2012 - Fourth Annual American Business Research Conference
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Thiruchelvam, S., Tookey, JE., Rotimi, JOB., Samarasinghe, DAS., Mustapha, KN., & Kadirgama, K. (2012). A conceptual framework to evaluate suppliers for building infrastructure in the Malaysian electricity supply industry. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: UTM-IBIMA International Real Estate Conference 2012 (INTEREC 2012)
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Rotimi, J., Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS., Tookey, J., Rotimi, J., & Windapo, A. (2012). Clients and their professional advisers’ role in construction materials purchasing functions.. In K. Michell, P. Bowen, & K. Cattell (Eds.) Joint CIB W070, W092 & TG72 International Conference on Facilities Management, Procurement Systems and Public Private Partnership - Delivering Value to the Community. (pp. 196 - 201). South Africa: Joint CIB W070, W092 & TG72 International Conference on Facility Management, Procurement Systems and Public Private Partnership.
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Rotimi, J., Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS., Tookey, JE., Rotimi, JOB., Windapo, AO., & Thiruchelvam, S. (2012). Examining construction materials purchasing practices. In I. Kamardeen, S. Newton, B. Lim, & M. Loosemore (Eds.) 37th AUBEA International COnference. (pp. 565 - 574). Sydney, Australia: 37th Annual Conference of Australasian Universities Building Education Association (AUBEA)
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Rotimi, J., Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS., Tookey, JE., Rotimi, JOB., & Thiruchelvam, S. (2012). Securing Best Prices for Construction Materials: An Exploratory Study of the New Zealand Construction Industry. In T. Hoque (Ed.) Proceedings of Fourth Annual American Business Research Conference. (pp. 1 - 15). New York: Fourth Annual American Business Research Conference
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Rotimi, J., Samarasinghe, D.
Samarasinghe, DAS., Tookey, JE., Rotimi, JOB., & Thiruchelvam, S. (2012). Supplier selection in the construction material purchasing function. In T. Hoque (Ed.) Proceedings of Fourth Annual American Business Research Conference. (pp. 1 - 14). New York: Fourth Annual American Business Research Conference
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Rotimi, J., Samarasinghe, D.
Ekanayake,, LL., Samarasinghe, D., Shamih, MSM., & Jayakody, WHAJ. (2009). Managing construction site material waste: Web-based tool. http://dl.lib.uom.lk/handle/123/8286. (pp. 78 - 79). Library, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka: 15th ERU Symposium 2009
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.

Other

Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Construction Project Management. : Capable NZ
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Four Pillars of Sustainable Construction. : Capable NZ
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Adding BIM to the boom.
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Benefits Of Offsite Construction.
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Benefits of Blockchain Technology.
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Virtual Reality And Construction. : Capable NZ
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). 3D Printing Construction Revolution. : Capable NZ
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.
Wood, E., & Samarasinghe, D. (2020). Earth building: Making structures from soil. : Capable NZ
[Internet publication]Authored by: Samarasinghe, D.

Consultancy and Languages

Consultancy

  • 2014 - Complete Urban, Auckland, New Zealand
    Designed optical fibre cable connections (AutoCAD detail drawings, Bills of Materials and quotations) for multi-dwelling units (MDU) in Australia.
  • 2007 - Sanken Construction (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka
    Supervised construction of key structural elements such as beams, columns, floor slabs and concrete walls in a 42-storied twin tower in central Colombo in Sri Lanka.
  • 2008 - N & A Engineering Services (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka
    Led construction of raft foundation and major structural elements for a 12-storied residential building.
  • 2014 – 2016 - New Zealand Institute of Studies (NZIOS), Auckland, New Zealand
    Established and led the NZIOS Research Committee responsible for overseeing all matters relevant to research including formulating research policies and strategies.
  • 2015 - New Zealand Curriculum Design Institute
    National Business Sustainability & Productivity Programme Advisory Committee Member
  • 2016 - Future Skills Academy, Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand
    Prepared course materials for Building Construction, Materials and Systems in accordance with the programme document and professional practices.
  • 2017 - Otago Polytechnic
    Facilitated the experiential learning mini course programme open to all staff, offering support and guidance to staff developing experiential learning activity and reflective practice for learners.
  • 2019-2020 - Otago Polytechnic
    Maintained industry collaboration through Permanent External Advisory Committee (PEAC) meetings, conducting construction site visits, and participating in professional development activities.
  • 2019 - 2020 - Capable New Zealand
    Developed Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BET) and Diploma in Construction Management distance learning programmes (Independent Learning Pathways - ILP).

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

During the past 11 years of my academic career in New Zealand, I have designed and delivered effective curricula to address the diverse needs of learners, including the development of teaching and assessment materials for qualifications such as the Bachelor of Construction, and both the Graduate Diploma and Master of Professional Practice in Construction Management. My teaching philosophy is driven by Experiential Learning, where students learn through reflection on doing. I have developed, delivered and assessed learning experiences which engaged students and catered for individual student learning needs by integrating experiential learning and reflective practices into my teaching style. My positive and constructive formative feedback of summative assessments promotes learning and guides students towards improving their academic achievement. I am a compassionate, approachable and empathetic person who regularly reflects, actions and improves through professional development activities, responding to thoughtful feedback received from my students and colleagues.

Courses Coordinated

  • 218.226 Planning & Digital Built Environment for Quantity Surveyors
  • 218.226 Planning and Digital Built Environment for Quantity Surveyors
  • 218.228 Planning & Digital Built Environment for Construction Managers
  • 218.228 Planning and Digital Built Environment for Construction Managers

Graduate Supervision Statement

Recent postgraduate (Masters’) supervision

  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Offshore Modular Fabrication for Residential Construction in New Zealand (AUT, 2021)
  • The effect of skill shortages in the prefabricated residential construction supply chain (AUT, 2020)
  • Design changes in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) projects (Otago Polytechnic, 2020)
  • A study of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) system within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry in New Zealand (Otago Polytechnic, 2020)

Dr Don Samarasinghe is available for Masters and Doctorial supervision.

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