Semester of Graduation

Fall 2023


Master of Construction Management (MCM)


Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management

Document Type



Transport infrastructure has undergone significant changes in recent years due to the digitalization of construction methods. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for more productive and cost-effective technologies to optimize various aspects such as time, cost, changes, waste, and errors in projects. Notably, technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Digital Twin (DT) hold the potential to enhance the performance of infrastructure projects. While BIM has received substantial attention in recent years, Digital Twin is relatively new to the construction industry. This leads to a scarcity of studies on DT and its integration with other emerging technologies like BIM. Moreover, there is a notable knowledge gap regarding the level of adoption and development of BIM and DT within the architecture, engineering, construction, and operation (AECO) sector. To address this gap, this study employs a mixed-method research approach, combining a comprehensive literature review with online survey questionnaires. The core objective of this thesis is to present the findings of a web-based survey aimed at investigating professional perceptions pertaining to the implementation of BIM and DT technologies in the transportation sector. Drawing from existing literature, a questionnaire was formulated and distributed to professionals within the U.S. transportation industry, encompassing both public and private sectors. The data collection process was divided into two phases: a preliminary survey and a subsequent final questionnaire. The insights gathered from the preliminary survey were instrumental in refining the questions for the final questionnaire, which was systematically categorized into six groups. These categories aimed to ascertain: (1) the user or company profile based on experience levels with BIM and DT; (2) the frequency and project phases of technology utilization; (3) the maturity level of each technology; (4) the implementation processes, including adherence to standard guidelines and Return on Investment (ROI); (5) the level of acceptance towards these technologies' implementation; and (6) demographic information from the participants. The results of this study indicated that approximately 39% of participants classified their companies at BIM level 1, indicating utilization of 2D or 3D managed CAD formats. In contrast, 31% of professionals designated their companies as being at a Pre-DT stage, utilizing virtual models from Digital Twins. Furthermore, it was observed that 41% of professionals do not employ DT, while 24% do not utilize BIM. In addition, a maturity equivalence framework was introduced to compare the maturity levels of BIM and DT. The analysis revealed a similarity in the progression patterns of these technologies, albeit with BIM demonstrating a more advanced maturity stage than DT. Interestingly, 96% of professionals concurred on the necessity of adopting these technologies in infrastructure projects. The participants recognized the inherent benefits and advantages of BIM, although it was noted that while professionals acknowledge the benefits of DT, the associated challenges are not yet clearly defined. Through this study, a comprehensive understanding of the implementation levels of BIM and DT in transportation projects was attained. These findings serve as a foundational platform for future research endeavors focusing on the evolution of these technologies.



Committee Chair

Resende, Carolina B.