Dr Amit Bijon Dutta, is a Civil Engineer by profession working in the field since last 19 years in core Design Engineering and project management. He has been working to understand various aspect of risks in construction projects, since the time of his doctoral research He published a number of research papers in the journals of repute, published internationally
Criticspace: First of all, congratulations on the publication of your book “Understanding Risk Management in Construction Projects”. How has the reception of the book been so far?
Dr. Amit Dutta: The people, mostly from the field of construction management, who have been through the contents of the book have found it interesting and informative. My peers think it could be a good handbook for any practicing construction manager or the ones in the making. The book has also been appreciated by the academicians in the field.
Criticspace: After the experience of so many years, how did the idea of writing a book on this topic come to you?
Dr. Amit Dutta: Risk is one of the major concerns for any construction company. Possessing experience of over two decades in the field, I could never find a book with such comprehensive documentation of the different types of risk involved in construction business. So, I thought of writing about it. I feel it will working professionals as well as undergraduate and post graduate students.
Criticspace: How easy or difficult was it for you to recall your experiences and write the book?
Dr. Amit Dutta: I have been working on this book for over an year! Understanding different aspect,documenting my personal experiences and studying the existing literature was certainly time consuming and at times, exhausting. But that was the easy part! Compiling all this knowledge and presenting it in a lucid way turned out to be a more difficult task.
Criticspace: Since the book more or less belongs to the academic category, can the readers expect some literary writing from you?
Dr. Amit Dutta: Though I am interested but I do not plan to write for that genre yet. But who knows what the future holds!
Criticspace: What age group of students did you have in mind while writing the book?
Dr. Amit Dutta: Well, this book is for undergraduate and post graduate engineering students studying Project Management, working professional who are in-charge of risk management teams and project planners in construction industry. In short it will be helpful to all related to the field.
Criticspace: What do you think about the present day academic writing?
Dr. Amit Dutta: Present day academic writing usually comes from those in the teaching profession. In that context, the experiences from the field rarely makes appearance in the books. I, being a working professional could incorporate the insights gained over two decades of working in the field. As far as Indian academicians are concerned, they tend to focus so much on the technical aspect that they often forget about the human element involved. Human resource management is of course an ignored subject in the academics of construction management.
Criticspace: Do you read any Indian writers of present time? Is there any you like?
Dr. Amit Dutta: I am bookworm. A magpie perhaps. I read about a wide variety of subjects. From history to photography. But among all those I really enjoyed reading the trilogy by Amish Trivedi.
Criticspace: You have a lot of potential in writing. Please tell the readers about your future projects.
Dr. Amit Dutta: Thank you for the complement! There are so many topic which could be written about from Indian context. For now, I plan to work on a book on latest trends on HR Management.
Criticspace: How difficult or easy was it for you to understand the difficulties that a student would face while studying about risks?
Dr. Amit Dutta: In a classroom, it can be challenging to imagine the intensity and effect of the potential risks on a project. Many professionals, including myself, are often under-prepared as we enter the industry. We eventually learn on the job. And this is what I have tried to present to a budding generation of construction planners and engineers. Hope they understand that Risk management if defined and identified in the right way, is an easy subject to understand and work on.
Criticspace: Would you like to give any advice to aspiring writers of today?
Dr. Amit Dutta: Keep it simple so your reader can connect with your writings. Even if your subject is academic, avoid using jargons. The new generation certainly likes to read books with a conversational tone.
Criticspace: Do you think Risk Management as a subject can be diversified further?
Dr. Amit Dutta: Of course, there are many more sub-topics which need to be studied and worked upon. For instance, “Psychosocial Risk Factors in Construction.” I hope people from the field take cognizance of this and present us with some more literature.
Criticspace: Any other topics which according to you would be difficult for students?
Dr. Amit Dutta: This is a very tricky question as, a topic can be difficult to one and the same will be easy for other.
Criticspace: Thank you so much for sparing your time and answering the questions. All the best to you.
Dr. Amit Dutta: Thank You! It was a wonderful experience for me too.