Dr. Tiendung (TJ) Le is a passionate educator who is one of the pioneers in using the case method in project management education.
He has a professional background in both industry and academia in Australia, the US, and Vietnam. His research focuses on various aspects of project management, including front end planning, project planning and controls, risk management, project management in cross-cultural environments, health and safety in construction, and education and career in project management.
Dr. Le leads Front End Planning research group that studies success factors, decision making process, best practices… during the early planning phase of projects.
He is the program manager for the popular Master of Project Management program.
Tiendung is pronounced Tiendzung.
Le, T., Caldas, C. H., and Gibson, G. E. (2010). “Significant Factors Affecting Right-of-Way Acquisition Time in Highway Projects.” Proceedings of the 2010 ASCE Construction Research Congress, Banff, Alberta, Canada, May 8–11, 2010.
Le, T., Caldas, C. H., Gibson, Jr., G. E., and Thole, M. (2009). “Assessing Project Scope and Managing Risk in Highway Project Development Process.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 135, Issue 9, September 2009.
Caldas, C. H., and Le, T. (2009). “Analyzing Right-of-Way Risks and Investigating Methods to Improve Right-of-Way Tracking” Austin IAC’s Task 9 Report to Austin District, the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas, August, 2009.
Le, T., Caldas, C. H., and Gibson, G. E. (2009). “Managing Risks in the Project Development Process for Transportation Infrastructure Projects.” Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Transportation Construction Management, Orlando, Florida, February 10–12, 2009.
Caldas, C. H., Le, T., Gibson, G. E., and Thole, M. (2007). “Identifying Right-of-Way Requirements during the Project Development Process.” Research Report 0-5478-1 to the Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, October, 2007.
Le, T., Caldas, C. H., Gibson, G. E., and Thole, M. (2007). "Critical Risk Elements during the Advance Planning Phase of Transportation Infrastructure Projects." Proceedings of the 2007 ASCE Construction Research Congress, Freeport, Bahamas, May 6–8, 2007.
Le, T., and Ogunlana, S.O. (2004). “Assessment of Risks in the Construction Industry in Vietnam.” Proceedings of CIB Student Chapters International Symposium on Innovation in Construction and Real Estate, Beijing, China, Oct. 30–31, 2004.
Tiendung teaches in the following courses:
Front end planning
Research by Flyvbjerg et al. (2002) on a database of 258 mega projects that were completed worldwide in the last century shows an average cost escalation of nearly 28%. The escalation was arguably caused by more "lie" than "error", mainly during the front end planning (FEP) stage (a.k.a. pre?project planning). Poor FEP could lead to wasted resources, trust deterioration, and public frustration. Much of this can be minimised with proper early planning. Research by the Construction Industry Institute (2013) shows an average of 30% difference in budget performance between well-defined infrastructure projects (during FEP) and poorly defined ones.
We need a better understanding of the FEP phase in the project life cycle. At the end of this phase, critical decisions are made to commit significant resources to implementing the project. These decisions are to select 'right' projects to invest; the selected projects then need to be done 'right' (efficiently). Project management research and education tend to focus more on the latter, how to implement projects efficiently. Experience from industry suggests that the effectiveness of FEP can make or break a project. Decisions on project location, market niche, technology, project delivery strategy, master planning, financing, stakeholder relations, to name just a few, have profound impacts on project success and effectiveness.
Project Management in cross?cultural environments
The disparity among nations in terms of comparative advantage and level of development has created ample opportunities for companies to invest and win contracts overseas. The trend can happen in all directions, from developed countries to developing ones, and vice versa. As a result, most sizeable projects in the world are implemented by teams of diverse cultures. These cross-cultural teams always face challenges in adjusting and aligning to bring projects to successful completion. People from different cultures have to adjust their business practices, get to know the new environment (legally, culturally and socially), and present themselves effectively to be successful. While the challenges are always huge, technologies like social and professional networks (e.g. Facebook and LinkedIn), cloud computing and virtual meeting tools have positive impacts on team alignment. Investigation into the challenges and the roles of technologies would inform firms with overseas teams in their strategic planning and utilisation of resources. Research of this nature has potential contribution to our understanding of the global construction and engineering business.
Tiendung finished his undergraduate studies in Vietnam and worked in industry for a few years before going to Thailand, Australia and the US for graduate studies.
He holds the following qualifications
Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Texas at Austin, US, 2009
Master of Project Management, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, 2005
Master of Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, 2004
Bachelor of Economics, National Economics University, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2001
Bachelor of Engineering, National University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2000
Selected honours and awards
- Richard and Shirley Tucker Endowed Scholarship in Construction Engineering and Project Management for excellent academic performance (The University of Texas at Austin, 2007)
- VEF Fellowship for doctoral study, awarded to most talented Vietnamese for graduate studies in U.S. (U.S. Government through Vietnam Education Foundation, 2005-2009)
- AusAID full scholarship for graduate study in Australia (Australian Government, 2004-2005)
- Scholarship for graduate study at Asian Institute of Technology (Vietnamese Government and AIT, 2002-2004)
- Best Vietnamese Student of the 100th graduation at Asian Institute of Technology (2004)
- Rector's Honor Roll for outstanding academic performance and contributions to student activities (National University of Civil Engineering, 2000)
While studying at the University of Texas at Austin (US), Tiendung worked mainly in front end planning and risk management under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Caldas and Dr. G. Edwards Gibson, Jr. Tiendung then moved to Vietnam to work for real estate development companies at senior management levels. He co-founded a project management consulting training company and trained scores of practitioners.
While in Vietnam, he taught part-time at an international graduate program at National University of Civil Engineering and at the Vietnam campus of RMIT. He started teaching part-time at RMIT in Melbourne in 2014 and fulltime in 2015.
LEAD Consulting JSC, Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City
Co-Founder & Partner, 2011—present
Nam Long Investment Corporation, Ho Chi Minh
Deputy Director, Planning & Project Controls Division, 2013—2014
HUAIC Infrastructure Development Company (HIP), Hanoi
Deputy Managing Director, 2010—2013
Tan Tao Group, Hanoi
Project Manager, 2009—2010
Uong Bi Power Project, Lilama Corporation, Hanoi
Project Construction Engineer, 2001—2002
RMIT University, Australia (Current)
Project Initiation Management (graduate): spring 2014, fall 2015, spring 2015
RMIT University, Vietnam
Project Management Leadership (graduate), spring 2014 (tutored)
Project Procurement & Ethics (graduate), fall 2014 (developed and taught part-time)
National University of Civil Engineering, Vietnam
(Joint Masters Program with HEC-Management School of University of Liege, Belgium)
Engineering Economy (graduate), fall 2010, 2011, 2012
Corporate Finance (graduate), spring 2011, 2012, 2013
The University of Texas at Austin, US
TA/grader in 10 classes from fall 2007 to spring 2009
- Project Management and Economics (undergraduate)
- Investment Theory & Practice (graduate)
- Investment Management (undergraduate)
- Financial Management for Engineering & Construction Firms (graduate)
- Project Controls (graduate)
- Contracts, Liability, and Ethics (undergraduate)
Project Management Institute, US, 2006—present (Melbourne Chapter and Vietnam Potential Chapter since 2015)
4 PhD Current Supervisions
- Arashpour, M.,Too, E.,Le, T. (2017). Improving productivity, workflow management, and resource utilization in precast construction In: Proceedings of the 9th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference (ISEC 2017), Valencia, Spain, 24- 29 July 2017
- Too, E.,Le, T. (2017). The core functions of project governance In: The 41st Australiasian Universities Building Education Association Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 3-5 July 2017
- Ulhaq, I.,Khalfan, M.,Maqsood, T.,Le, T. (2017). Development of a conceptual framework for knowledge management within construction project supply chain In: International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 8, 191 - 209
- Too, E.,Le, T.,Yap, W. (2017). Front-end planning - The role of project governance and its impact on scope change management In: International Journal of Technology, 8, 1124 - 1133