Olfa Hamdi established a new formula for achieving safer, on-time, and on-budget construction projects in an industry where over 90 percent of projects experience recordable incidents, cost growth or schedule overrun. The foundation of the new project execution model was called: Advanced Work Packaging or AWP. AWP is a unique system that leverages research and technology to improve the planning of complex capital projects and the disciplined collaboration of various disciplines and stakeholders so that there are fewer setbacks during construction. She documented the benefits of this new concept to include increased capital cost-effectiveness with project cost savings of 25% (sometimes more) and the ability to deliver predictability, improving field safety performance, and prevention of conflict/claims, among others. Soon after the first test of the concept in Western Canada, major U.S. and multinational Companies embraced it and started adopting it to execute their projects worldwide. Then in 2016, AWP became a recommended Best Practice in the petrochemical construction industry.
This work on Advanced Work Packaging is so important for national and international construction industries that Olfa was widely recognized by private and public leaders leading to their strong support in her obtaining the Einstein eb1a visa in the United States. This visa is awarded to people that demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field, in this case, in science and business, and are not required to secure a permanent offer of employment in the U.S. and are eligible to self-petition entry to the country.
Committed to educating the global project professionals community about this new method, Olfa founded the Advanced Work Packaging Institute in 2015 (which now has a community outreach to over 40 countries), followed by co-founding Concord Project Technologies in 2017, a startup company dedicated to empowering capital project teams to deliver predictable construction projects with the purpose of bringing innovation to the industry.
Her role as one of the foremost experts in Advanced Work Packaging has given her the opportunity to share her knowledge at important conferences, company retreats, and training events. Among those, some are highlighted here: She presented a Case Study: Applying Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) to a Capital Program, in Lake Tahoe in 2019. In San Francisco, she presented the closing keynote of the Groundbreaking Women in Construction by ENR in a speech entitled: Breaking the Mold, How to Succeed When You Don’t Fit In. She gave the keynote, Achieving Project Predictability Through Advanced Work Packaging: Strategies and Tactics for Success, in Pittsburgh on June 20, at the Gas Power Plant Engineering & Construction by Petrochemical Update. Finally, she spoke on Enhancing the Competitiveness of Construction Capital Project Delivery in Europe: An Innovation-driven Roadmap, in Lille, France on June 25, at the first European ACE Construction Workshop.
Olfa is also known for her remarkable volunteer work in both Tunisia and the USA. At a glance, she was the founder of the « Najah Youth Development Workshop », a leadership development program dedicated to high school youth in Tunisia and the US. She also started the « Tunisian Citizen Day: Connecting Civil Society », an initiative intended to encourage parents to volunteer in civil society. In 2013 and 2014, she was the Organizing Director of the « Tunisian American Day” ceremonies and played a key role in the recognition of this day by the U.S. Senate. Olfa Hamdi was the Co-chair of the « CII Knowledge Management Committee”, an industry committee within the Construction Industry Institute (Houston, TX), and served as a Committee Member (Austin, TX) for the « Excellence in Graduate Research Award 2011 – 2012 » at the University of Texas at Austin.
She was a guest Editor and Columnist for The Daily Texan (Austin, TX), and held various leadership positions for the following organizations: “Project Management Institute” (PMI), the “CII Next Generation Leaders Community of Practice”, the “Construction Management Association of America” (CMAA), the “Association of International Petroleum Negotiators” (AIPN), and the “Dispute Resolution Board Foundation” (DRBF). She was also a Reviewer for various international industry publications and organizations such as the “International Group for Lean Construction Conference – IGLC 20”. Olfa Hamdi was also a fellow of the State Bar of Texas and served as a mediator in the Austin Mediation Center, helping small businesses resolve their legal issues.
- Recipient, National baccalaureate Scholarship to study abroad, score 19.51/20, ranked 2nd nationally, Tunisia, Lycee Pilote Bourguiba, 2007
- Recipient, Disputes Resolution Portfolio
Program Fellowship, State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section, 2012 – 2013
- Recipient, Tunisian Student of the Year in the U.S., Abu Kacem C
Olfa is a Co-author of the three-volume Industry Book on Advanced Work Packaging (AWP); the Advanced Work Packaging Volume I: Design through Workface Execution, the Advanced Work Packaging Volume II: Implementation Guidance, and the Advanced Work Packaging Volume III: Implementation Case Studies and Expert Interviews.
Her thesis was also published at The University of Texas at Austin, it was titled: Advanced Work Packaging (AWP): from project definition through site execution, and it was the first academic publication globally on the subject of AWP.
Since then, Olfa has authored and has been chief editor of 7 quarterly editions of Velocity Quarterly, the first industry publication dedicated to innovation & leadership in capital projects.
- Links of interviews:
About her Entrepreneurship:
About her Leadership Role in Tunisia:
Excerpt of Olfa Hamdi’s Scholarly Articles:
02/2017 – Present: Co-founder & CEO, Concord Project Technologies Inc. (Palo Alto, CA – Paris, FR).
2015 – Present: Executive Director, the AWP Institute (San Francisco, CA).
2015 – 2016: Capital Projects Auditor, Independent (Washington D.C.).
2013 – 2016: Capital Projects Effectiveness Advisor, Independent Project Analysis Inc (Global Role).
2015: Lecturer, 1 Session, Tunisia National Institute of Defense (IDN) (Tunis, TN).
2014 – 2015: Lecturer, 3 Sessions, Tunisia Military Staff College (École d’Etat Major) (Tunis, TN).
2013: AWP researcher, The Construction Industry Institute (Austin, TX – Alberta, CA).
2011: Construction Disputes Mediator, Texas Law School (Austin, TX).
2011: Field Engineer, Eiffage Construction (Paris, FR).