Prof John Smallwood

John Smallwood


Mobile: +27 83 659 2492

John is currently Professor of Construction Management, Nelson Mandela University.  His qualifications include BSc (Building Management) (5-year programme), MSc (Construction Management) and PhD (Construction Management). Responsibilities include, research, supervision and promotion of research, publishing, lecturing, community service, professional association, career promotion, and administration. He is an NRF Category C2 rated researcher and was ranked within the top 20 researchers at the then University of Port Elizabeth in 2000 for the period 1995-1999, and in 2000 to 2003. In 2005, he was awarded ‘Researcher of the Year 2004’.  From 2007-2009 for the years 2006-2008, and in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2018 for the years 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017 he was awarded ‘Faculty Researcher of the Year’. He was also the ‘School of the Built Environment Researcher of the Year’ from 2007-2018 for the years 2006-2017. In addition, he supervises a range of built environment, construction, and project management related research at honours, masters, and doctoral level. To date he has graduated, among other, 17 Doctorates. John has either presented or presents the subjects, Materials and Methods 2 and 3, Construction Management 3, and 4, and the health and safety (H&S) component of Construction Management 4, to either architectural, construction management, or quantity surveying students, or a combination thereof. He has also presented, or presents the Construction Marketing, Environmental Management, Health and Safety Management A and B, Risk Management, and Total Quality Management (TQM) modules on the MSc (Built Environment) programme. John has developed a four-day Certificate Programme in Construction H&S, and a five-day Client Appointed H&S Agent Certificate programme, in addition to other H&S seminars and workshops. He has also moderated various construction related subjects at the former Port Elizabeth Technikon, University of Cape Town, the then University of Natal, and NMMU.

 Prior to commencing employment at NMMU in mid 1990, John was a Contracts Manager for Murray & Roberts (EP) (Pty) Ltd., a regional entity of a large national general contractor. He was a bursary student and worked for them during his fourth and fifth years of study. Salient construction achievements include 5-star H&S gradings and national places in the top three in H&S competitions. 

 His consultancy Construction Research Education and Training Enterprises (CREATE) undertakes extensive H&S training, project H&S consulting services to clients, project managers, and designers, and contract research in the fields of H&S, quality, and industry performance. Notable clients include Anglo American Projects, the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb), East Cape Department of Roads and Public Works, ESKOM, and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

 Professional registration includes registration as a Pr CM and a Pr CHSA with the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP).

 Professional association includes membership of the Association of Construction Health & Safety Management (ACHASM), Association of Construction Project Managers (ACPM), the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), the Ergonomics Society of South Africa (ESSA), the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the Institute of Safety Management (IoSM), the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, (SAIOSH), and Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). John is a Past-President and Councillor of the South African Institute of Building (SAIB), a past Councillor of the CIOB (Africa), the IoSM, and the Council of the SACPCMP.  He was also involved with the evolution of the International Association for the Professional Management of Construction (IAPMC) having attended and presented papers at IAPMC meetings in Cape Town, Madrid, and Washington D.C. John is also a Past-President, the Association of Schools of Construction Southern Africa (ASOCSA), and a Director (Section 21 Company), ACHASM.

 Community service includes a range of construction and generic H&S activities. John chaired the national Construction Occupational Health-Safety-Environment Forum (COHSEF) from 1994-1999, and the National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA) Port Elizabeth Regional Forum from 1993-1999.  He also chaired the East Cape (EC) Master Builders Association (MBA) Regional H&S Sub-Committee from 1995-2004.  

 Past representation includes the Regional Education Advisory Committee (REAC), Building Construction Standards Generating Body (SGB), Construction Education Training Authority (CETA) (EC), and Construction Industry Development Board Stakeholders Forum. Current representation includes Coordinator, Africa and Middle East, CIB Work Group W99 (Safety and Health in Construction), and recent past representation includes, International Coordinator, CIB Task Group 59 (People in Construction). 

 Completed construction related research includes, among other: a range of H&S and ergonomics studies; environmental practices; drug and other substance abuse; older workers in construction, worker participation; image of the industry; the practice of construction management; career awareness; primary health promotion; HIV & AIDS, TQM, women in construction, and industry performance. 

 Current construction related research includes, among other, a range of H&S and ergonomics studies, project delivery studies, ‘lecturing and learning’, and the practice of construction management. Project delivery studies include building information modelling (BIM), and integrated project delivery (IPD). H&S studies include: the role of emotional intelligence; zero fatalities, injuries, and disease; preventing the collapse of reinforced concrete structures and support work; improving H&S performance in WBHO (national study), and the performance of Construction H&S Agents (CHSAs) and Construction H&S Officers (CHSOs). 

 Significant contributions include the research and consequent 162-page report on ‘Initiatives to promote H&S, productivity and quality in South African Construction’, the findings of which were included in the Green and White Papers ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Reconstruction, Growth and Development in the Construction Industry’ in 1997 and 1999 respectively. This was followed by participation in the SA Construction Industry Status Report – 2004 research team. More recent contributions include the empirical research conducted relative to the cidb reports Construction Health & Safety in South Africa Status & Recommendations, and Construction quality in South Africa: A client perspective. Notable firsts include the ‘Preliminary Report HIV/AIDS, STDs and TB: Construction Workers’ Perceptions’ – the findings of the first ever construction HIV and AIDs research conducted in Africa. 

 John has undertaken numerous international research visits to, among other: the Australian Centre for Construction Innovation (ACCI); The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR) in the USA; the University of Iceland; the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in the UK; the Construction Workers Health Trust (CWHT), the European Construction Institute (ECI) in the UK; the Centre for Construction Safety and Loss Control (CCS&LC) in Florida, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK, and ARBOUW in The Netherlands. 

 John has published more than 100 articles, 14 interviews, and authored 28 columns in construction, and H&S magazines. Topics include, among other, H&S, image, productivity, quality, TQM and even helicopter H&S in construction. He has published 75 papers in peer-reviewed journals, presented 278 papers at conferences in a multitude of countries on 5 continents, which have been included in peer reviewed published proceedings. John has also presented H&S addresses at, among other, Goodyear and The South African Breweries. Other activities include presentations at H&S seminars and ‘Letters to Editors’ of industry magazines. John has also participated in an international series of H&S lectures at the University of Florida, contributed a chapter to six books, primarily construction H&S related and published internationally, and acts as a referee for both conference and journal proceedings. A notable contribution is the H&S chapter for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Architect’s Handbook of Construction Project Management in the capacity as principal co-author, published in 2004. Self-initiated reports, reporting on various research findings have been circulated to, among other, the cidb, the CETA, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), the Compensation Commissioner (CC), the National Department of Public Works (NDPW), and the Occupational Health and Safety Inspectorate, Department of Labour (DoL).