Kenneth J. O’Connell, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, a professor with over 37 years of experience in engineering and construction, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
His civil engineering career has ranged from designer, contractor and surveyor to construction consultant and teacher. He is co-founder and president of O’Connell & Lawrence Inc., a firm that specializes in providing civil engineering, construction consulting, project management, scheduling, claims analysis and preparation, surveying, construction inspection and constructability reviews.
O’Connell is a registered Planning and Scheduling Professional, and a Certified Forensic Claims Consultant with expertise in civil engineering and highway, industrial, commercial, institutional and heavy/civil construction. He has been the principal-in-charge of assignments for public agencies as well as numerous assignments on behalf of owners, general contractors and subcontractors. His “hands-on” construction experience includes a wide range of industrial, commercial, heavy/civil and transportation projects.
Academically, his focus was on transportation engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. After completing the undergraduate courses in both the transportation and soils/structural areas of civil engineering, he became a research engineer at the school’s Transportation Center, where he worked on several research projects, including one jointly sponsored by the Transportation Research Board and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Early in his career, O’Connell was the project manager for the general contractor constructing the Hyattsville Justice Center (Hyattsville, MD), which included an underground parking garage, large rooftop pedestrian mall, and multistory court building (court rooms, detention facilities and associated offices). This project involved posttensioned concrete, reinforced concrete and structural steel and was one of the first applications of silica-fume concrete (flat work) in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan area.
O’Connell has been involved with some of the largest and most complex construction projects in the United States, Canada and Mexico, in which he has served in a variety of roles, including stepping into “troubled projects” on behalf of owners and being asked to take over such projects to completion.
He is a court- and board-recognized expert in construction scheduling and delay analysis, construction management, engineering and surveying. He has performed numerous scheduling and claims analyses on industrial, commercial and institutional projects. His specific knowledge of a contractor’s means and methods, materials, building codes and structural systems is enhanced by his extensive construction experience as a project manager.
O’Connell currently teaches civil engineering, construction engineering and construction management, including scheduling and claims analyses, as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, and formerly taught at The Catholic University of America, George Mason University, and George Washington University. He is a registered professional engineer and a registered professional land surveyor.