Recognizing Excellence in Project Management Academia

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Each year PMI recognizes leaders and community members by awarding the top individuals making a difference in the world of project management academia. This year, the 2017 PMI Academic Awards ceremony took place on 14 June at the International Research Network on Organizing by Projects (IRNOP) Conference in Boston, MA, USA. Winners from around the globe attended to accept the 2017 PMI Research Achievement Award, Scholar-Practitioner Award, Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award, and the inaugural Teaching Excellence Award.

The PMI Research Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose work has significantly advanced the concepts, knowledge, and practices of project management through a published body of academic research. Dr. Svetlana Cicmil, University of the West of England, Bristol, Dr. Damian Hodgson, The University of Manchester, Dr. Monica Lindgren and Dr. Johann Packendorff of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, received this year’s prestigious award for founding the Making Projects Critical (MPC) network and workshops. The four researchers have transformed MPC into an impactful movement of ongoing research that opens up project management and project-based organizations to critical examination. These scholars took a more social science-oriented perspective on PM than had been traditional in PM research groups, and their ideas and thoughts have been highly influential.

Svetlana Cicmil is Director of Doctoral Research in Business and Law at UWE, Bristol, where her professorship is in the studies of project-based work and management in a global context, informed by critical phenomenological approaches, phronesis and complexity thinking. Damian Hodgson is Chair of Organizational Analysis at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK and convenor of the Manchester Projects, Programmes and Portfolios (MP3) Research Network, and has published widely on critical project studies. Johann Packendorff and Monica Lindgren  are Professors of Industrial Economics and Management at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Industrial Engineering and Management, Stockholm, Sweden. Their research interests include leadership, entrepreneurship and project management, often studied from perspectives such as gender, identity construction and social constructionism.

Dr. Svetlana Cicmil Dr. Damian Hodgson Dr. Monica Lindgren Dr. Johann Packendorff

The PMI Scholar-Practitioner Award recognizes individuals for excellence in the conduct or advancement of academic research and the adoption or adaptation of research into practice. This year’s winner, Dr. Raymond Levitt, Kumagai Professor of Engineering at Stanford University, has authored very influential articles and books on project management and is known for his simulation studies on projects building a formalized theory of projects teams. As a scholar, Dr. Levitt founded and direct Stanford’s Global Projects Center, which conducts research on financing, organization and governance of large, complex, global infrastructure projects. Dr. Levitt also founded and served as the Academic Director of the Stanford Advanced Project Management executive education program which taught more than 10,000 enrollees from multiple industry, government and nonprofit sectors. As a practitioner, Dr. Levitt founded and served on the boards of three companies: Design Power, Inc., that developed methods and tools to automate many kinds of semi-custom engineering design; Vité Corporation, that provided new insights about cost, schedule and quality risks for managers of fast-track, complex projects and programs; and RackWise, that automated the configuration and operation of large data centers.

Dr. Raymond Levitt

The Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award recognizes the best paper published in the Project Management Journal in the previous year. This year there were two winning papers, the first of which was “Floating in Space? On the Strangeness of Exploratory Projects” (April/May 2016) by Dr. Sylvain Lenfle of Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers in Paris and École Polytechnique. His winning paper presents a case of a “strange project” that did not fit in the standard model of project management in the space industry, and tries to bridge recent advances in design theory and project management to analyze the novel logic of these types of projects as well as demonstrating that project management can be a powerful structure in exploration processes. His research deals with the links between innovation and project management in various industrial settings and in historical projects, and currently focuses on the management of exploratory projects and the links between design theory and exploratory project management.

The second winning paper, “The Projectification of Everything: Projects as a Human Condition” (June/July 2016), was written by Dr. Anders Jensen (, Dr. Christian Thuesen, (Technical University of Denmark), and Dr. Joana Geraldi (Technical University of Denmark). Their article describes an alternative understanding of projects that goes beyond organizational practices. In their work projects are conceptualized as part of the human condition, suggesting that we are defined by the projects we work on. Dr. Jensen is an independent philosopher and script writer, and the author of seven books and numerous articles on metaphors, epidemics, and working life. Dr. Thuesen is associate professor in construction and project management at the Technical University of Denmark and has worked with projects for more than fifteen years as lecture, researcher, and consultant in various engineering settings, including construction and IT. Dr. Geraldi is associate professor in project organizing at the Technical University of Denmark and honorary senior research fellow at the University College London where she studies human behaviour in projects and behavioural understanding of organizing and its impact on organizations and society.

Dr. Sylvain Lenfle Dr. Anders Jensen Dr. Christian Thuesen Dr. Joana Geraldi

Dr. Vijay Kanabar, PMP, of Boston University received the inaugural PMI Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes and honors an individual faculty member for excellence in teaching project management, and to their strong commitment to improving and enhancing project management curricula in higher education. Over the years, Dr. Kanabar has designed, developed and delivered market leading project management courses and programs at the graduate level, both on-campus and online, has led PMP boot camps for hundreds of Boston University PM students, and was the chief faculty advisor of the current initiative by PMI to make available standard curriculum guidelines for teaching of PM programs at the undergraduate level. Dr. Vijay Kanabar is Director and founding professor of project Management programs at Boston University, Metropolitan College, and has authored five books and more than seventy-five research papers in the domains of computer information systems, project management, and higher education. 

Dr. Vijay Kanabar

Congratulations to the 2017 PMI Academic Award winners! The call for nominations for 2018 PMI Academic Awards will open on 1 November at


Posted by Kristin Jones on: August 07, 2017 10:04 AM | Permalink

Comments (10)

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Thanks for the Post Kristin
Are those paper available/viewable?

Hey Guys, Does this also happen in India?

Thanks for the post. Congratulations to the awardees.

Very good post, thanks for sharing

A worthwhile program.

Hello! The two winning papers can be found at the following links:

Good question Paul. While the PMI India chapter may choose to give awards, the PMI Academic Awards program is global and is open to international submissions.

Great Kristin, and thank you for posting the links for the two winning papers.

Great! Thanks for sharing.

Congratulations to all the award winners and a big thank you to the PMI organization for recognizing the leaders in our community.

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