Research Support Program

Improving the Mental Health of Project Management Practitioners (PMPs) in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Projects during Covid-19 Pandemic

This research is part of the ICCPM Research Support Program. For more information about the program, please see the webpage.

Research Aim

Improving the Mental Health of Project Management Practitioners (PMPs) in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Projects during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Research Background

Unprecedented changes due to COVID-19 pandemic introduces new psychosocial risks for mental health of project management in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) projects. This research is aimed at improving mental health status of PMPs in AEC projects during COVID-19 pandemic in Australia by exploring psychosocial risk factors, evaluating their interventions, and establishing a psychosocial risk management framework. The research objectives will be attained through an expert forum and industry questionnaire survey. The resultant mental health management framework is expected to improve mental health status of PMPs in AEC projects. Expected outcome of this project is Covid-19 mental health management framework for promotion of positive mental health among PMPs in AEC project based organisations.

Research Objectives

  • Objective 1- To explore psychosocial risk factors causing mental ill-health of PMPs in relation to COVID-19 pandemic in AEC projects.
  • Objective 2- To evaluate organisation management strategies related to project management (PM) related work for psychosocial risks factors during COVID-19 pandemic in AEC projects.
  • Objective 3 – To establish psychosocial management framework for mental health of PMPs in AEC projects.

How can people participate in your research?

They will be invited to complete an online survey based on intervention strategies, demographic factors, psychosocial risks and mental ill-health related to your perception of AEC project based environment.

To complete the questionnaire survey, please follow two steps below:

  1. Read the consent provided at the opening of the survey and agree to continue or disagree to opt out of the survey.
  2. Answer all questions in the questionnaire.

This research and survey is conducted by Western Sydney University (WSU). The survey is hosted on an external website. For enquiries about this research, please contact WSU Assoc Prof Xiaohua (Sean) Jin at

About the Researchers

Dr. Xiao-Hua (Sean) Jin is an Associate Professor in Project Management at the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment at Western Sydney University. Being a Fellow of the renowned UK Higher Education Academy, Sean teaches in both undergraduate (Constr Mgmt) and postgraduate (Proj Mgmt) programs and is the Director of Academic Programs in Project Management.

Sean conducts research in the field of construction management and economics, particularly in the area of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Project Management (PM). He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in renowned journals and conferences and obtained competitive research grants/awards from international funding bodies and industry. He is also currently supervising 10 doctoral students and is a leadership team member of the Center for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at Western Sydney University.

Sean is an active member of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and the International Centre of Complex Project Management (ICCPM).

Prior to joining WSU in Oct 2011, Sean worked at the School of Architecture and Building at Deakin University, the School of Architectural Civil and Mechanical Engineering at Victoria University, and the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Sean pursued his doctoral degree in the area of risk management in public-private partnership infrastructure projects at the University of Melbourne. His Master’s degree was also obtained by research, in the area of construction partnering, at the National University of Singapore. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree of Engineering (Construction) at Shanghai Tongji University, China. Sean had also worked as a project manager in Shanghai China.

Dr. Robert Osei-Kyei is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Course Advisor in Construction Management and Building Design at School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, at Western Sydney University (WSU) in Australia. Robert has been involved in several research grants/projects funded by local and international institutions including RICS, UK and Hong Kong Research Grants Council in different areas including mental health, sustainability, smart construction, PPPs, risk management and digital construction. He has successfully published his research outputs and contributions in the form of 1 textbook, 4 book chapters, 60 quality journal articles and 2 reports in international industry magazines, which all have informed industry practices and have positively impacted the methodological approach of conducting research in construction management. His research works and publications have received more than 2000 citations, with an H index of 20 in Google Scholar.

Robert is an Associate Editor for International Journal of Construction Management (A CIB encouraged Journal, indexed in ESCI (Clarivate Analytics)), an Editorial Board Member for Infrastructures Journal (published in MDPI), an International External Assessor for Poland’s National Science Centre (Ministry of Science and Higher Education) Grants and Detailed Assessor for Australian Research Council. He is an active member of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), Australian Institute of Building, Australian Institute of Project Management, and International Centre for Complex Project Management.

Professor Srinath Perera is the is the founding Director of Centre for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at Western Sydney University. He holds the personal chair in Built Environment and Construction Management at Western Sydney University (WSU). He joined WSU in June 2016 after serving as Professor of Construction Economics at Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK for 7 years.

Srinath is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (FRSN). He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) and a Chartered Surveyor and a corporate member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM). He has over 30 years’ experience in academia and industry and has worked as a consultant Quantity Surveyors and Project Manager in the construction industry.

He holds a PhD from University of Salford, UK. Professor Perera is a pioneer in the field of construction informatics integrating AI technologies to construction and project management. He co-authored a research monograph, “Advances in Construction ICT and e-Business” (2017) and two internationally recognised textbooks “Cost Studies of Buildings” (2015) and “Contractual Procedures in the Construction Industry” (2017) published by Routledge. He has authored over 250 peer reviewed publications and his current research leads work in the areas of Blockchain and IoT applications in construction, BIM, Digital Twin, offsite construction, construction business models and construction performance leading to Industry 4.0.

James Bawtree is passionate about delivering programs to improve the way people and organisation deliver their strategic objectives. He is co-author of The Strategy Implementation Gap, has won a number of awards and has had over 20 years’ experience in all major facets of strategy implementation and program management including roles as: Pre-Eminent Expert/Strategic Advisor, Coach, Program Director, Organisational Change & PMO Manager and Gateway / Health Check / Maturity Review Lead Consultant.

James has led holistic and strategic reviews in Australia, NZ, UK, France, Spain and the US including the whole of Queensland Government, New Zealand Government, multiple Federal and NSW Government, six Defence Capability Programs and Defence CIOG twice as well as many banks, engineering and construction and government agencies.

He has also trained over five thousand sponsors, steering committee members, portfolios, program, PMO, change, benefit and project managers with 100% success rate for certified foundation courses and 90% success rate at practitioner level.

He is an elected national Non-Executive Director and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD), a Charted Project Professional (ChPP) and Fellow of the Association of Project Management (APM), a Certified Practicing Project Director (CPPD), IPMA Level A® Certified Projects Director and has been independently assessed by PeopleCert, through the world’s most rigorous process as an Approved Trainer in Business Transformation, Program, Project, Agile and PMO Management (AgileSHIFT®, MSP®, P3O® & PRINCE2 Agile®).

Bashir Tijani is a casual academic at Western Sydney University, Australia. Bashir attained his BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying from Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom (UK) in 2012. He worked as a Quantity Surveyor in Total Construction, UK from 2012 to 2014. He also received MPhil in Engineering Management from Griffith University, Australia in 2017. He is currently in the completion stage of his PhD in Project Management at Western Sydney University through the research scholarship. Bashir has over three years industrial experience as a Quantity Surveyor both in the UK and Australia. I have been involved in costing, estimation and project management of construction projects. Bashir is currently a reviewer of several peer-reviewed journals including Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management; International Journal of Construction Management and Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology.