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Jacobs Receives 2018 Rice Global Engineering and Construction Forum Award

Jacobs received the 2018 Rice Global E&C Forum Award for its digital innovations that support advancement of the construction industry. Since the 1990s, the manufacturing industry has been able to increase production efficiency by nearly 200%, while the construction industry has seen little change during this period. As an end-to-end solutions provider, including full engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) delivery, Jacobs been improving the way construction projects are delivered—through digital transformation. 

Through this digital transformation movement, known as Jacobs Connected Enterprise, human ingenuity is combined with digital savvy to improve construction productivity, including but not limited to, the implementation of digitized workflow and forms, in-field connectivity to up-to-the-minute information, RFID materials tracking and Wi-Fi mesh-based personnel tracking on projects.

Recognizing significant contributions to engineering and construction industry-related activities annually with its award program, the 2018 Rice Global E&C Forum presented Jacobs the Award for Excellence in the Unique Technical Solution/Innovation category during the ceremony hosted by Rice University in Houston, Texas on November 12, 2018, for the company’s application of digital techniques on a fully integrated EPC project at a chemical facility on the Texas Gulf Coast. 

By transforming a variety of historical work processes and techniques to a fully digital basis, personnel on site were able to interact and access data immediately through tablets, providing the ability to spot trends earlier, respond to safety observations quicker and spend 10-15 percent more time working directly with their construction teams, which resulted in improved project productivity. 

Material flow and craftsman productivity was also improved on the project by the implementation of a new RFID materials tracking system. Active RFID tags installed at vendor fabrication facilities are scanned upon arrival at site, and vehicle mounted reader (VMR) sweeps of the laydown yards automatically identify new material locations based on RFID tag reads, simplifying logistics and enabling real-time materials management.

Wellbeing and safety of personnel has also improved through digital applications. For example, the Wi-Fi mesh system integrated with an Intelligent Operating Network (ION) on this project enables quicker safety and emergency response via real-time mustering and hot-spot monitoring. Other benefits of the system include automatic timesheet management and reporting, real-time intel of crew on site (i.e. number, trade classification, level of experience) and analysis of on-tool time which can be used to identify additional efficiencies, such as moving a tool crib closer to a job task to reduce the number of times/length of time personnel are required to collect equipment. 

As a result of implementing these digital solutions, the following return on investment (ROI) was achieved for the project:

  • Material receiving cost reduction – 22 percent ROI
  • Material request and issue cost reduction – 42 percent ROI
  • Material location transfers cost reduction – 14 percent ROI
  • Material loss avoidance cost reduction – 88 percent ROI
  • Time on tools improvement cost reduction – 119 percent ROI

“Building on the foundation of digital intelligence, we are constantly challenging ourselves to innovate and improve the way our projects are delivered, safely and predictably,” said Jacobs Energy, Chemicals and Resources President Vinayak Pai. “New ways of improving productivity are now possible, and they make job sites safer places to work for construction teams.”

The Rice Global E&C Forum is a voluntary academic-industry organization dedicated to stimulating original thinking, discussion, and resolution of the major economic, political, strategic and technological challenges and opportunities faced by global engineering and construction companies.  


“The Rice Global E&C Forum is pleased to recognize Jacobs as the 2018 recipient of our Award for Excellence,” said RGF Executive Director Martin Van Sickels.  
L-R: Jacobs Energy, Chemicals and Resources Vice President, Houston and Major Projects Keith Ackley; Rice Global E&C Forum Award for Excellence Committee Chair Alan English; and Jacobs Energy, Chemicals and Resources Vice President, Jacobs Connected Enterprise David Makin.


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