C. B. Tatum: Background Information

C. B. (Bob) Tatum, Professor and Chair
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
Obayashi Professor of Engineering

Bob Tatum joined the Stanford construction faculty in 1983 after nearly 15 years experience in heavy industrial and military construction. He served as coordinator of the construction program from 1996 to 1999 and became department chair in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (BSME 1966) and the University of Michigan (MSE 1970), and earned a Masters of Business Administration (1976) from New York University. He completed his doctoral research concerning how managers decide in organizing large projects at Stanford in 1983. See university experience and professional activities.

Bob teaches courses concerning construction engineering and mechanical and electrical systems for buildings in Stanford’s graduate construction program and undergraduate CE curriculum. These courses focus on the design and construction knowledge required to participate in integrated projects such as design-build and to provide technical support to construction operations. His prior courses include high tech and industrial construction, concrete construction, management of technology, case studies in managing construction projects, and the cost engineering and materials management portions of a project control course co-taught with John Fondahl. See teaching overview.

Bob's research interests focus on construction process knowledge and ways to increase integration and innovation in construction. Projects related to integration concerned identifying and transferring knowledge from the construction and operations phases of projects for use during design. Based on a series of case studies, the innovation research identified differences in the organization and management of innovative firms and projects, along with successful technology strategies. These research programs included multiple projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, and the Construction Industry Institute. See research overview.

Bob’s industry experience included responsibility as a mechanical engineer, construction engineer, resident engineer, and construction superintendent/area manager with Ebasco Services Incorporated (1970-81) on two large power plant projects. His service in the US Army Corps of Engineers (1966-69) included completed officer candidate school, serving as an earthmoving platoon leader, and commanding a construction company in building storage areas and highway projects in the Republic of Vietnam. See industry experience. Bob is a registered professional engineer in Colorado and Washington. In 1986 he received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation and in 1988 he received ASCE's Construction Management Award. He was elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2002.

Updated by C. B. Tatum