Mega-Valuable Information about Engineering Megaprojects

Earlier this month, Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, who also chairs the IDC Innovation Hub, took part in a high-profile webinar that explored how to successfully lead megaprojects — complex, large-scale ventures that typically take years to complete, cost $1 billion or more, involve a wide variety of public and private stakeholders, and ultimately impact millions of people.

" "Horodniceanu — who was joined during the webinar by Tim McManus, the Vice President of Capital Projects and Infrastructure Practice at McKinsey & Company, and Peter M. Zuk, the Chief Capital Officer of Metrolinx in Toronto — is particularly suited to address the topic: before joining NYU Tandon, he served as President of the MTA’s Capital Construction Program, where he oversaw the successful completion of the first phase of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway, the launch of the East Side Access project that will bring Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central, the construction of the new South Ferry Station, and  the openings of the gleaming new Fulton Center and the ambitious extension of the #7 line, among others.

New York is not alone in hosting projects of such magnitude: there are currently some 2,400 megaprojects underway around the globe, and researchers assert that the number will grow to 4,000 in the very near future. The successful management of megaprojects is therefore a pressing concern with enormous financial and social implications.

During the webinar, co-sponsored by Engineering News-Record and Procore and moderated by editor Debra Rubin, Horodniceanu offered numerous pieces of wisdom and advice, including:

  • Be prepared. There is no such thing as a utopian situation in which you will not encounter either changes in performance specs; management or contractor problems; geological or environmental issues; political and administrative roadblocks; missed commitments; or misalignment among stakeholders.
  • Be aware of such common pitfalls as unrealistic cost estimates or schedules, and unclear or poorly identified conditions.
  • It’s vital to identify and manage all risks and help avoid or reduce losses.
  • You can improve the decision-making process by clarifying areas of responsibility, authority, and accountability to your stakeholders
  • And, be truthful!

Access the full presentation at