Prof. Joshua Ayarkwa


Dept: Construction Technology and Management
Room 308
2nd Floor, Architecture Block
Faculty of Built Environment

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Research Areas/Interests

Sustainable Construction; Lean Construction; Construction Education; Building Materials and Properties; Timber Utilization in Construction; Timber Joi...~more

My full CV


As Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Institute of Distance Learning (IDL) IDL is currently one of the largest Colleges of the University, with student population of over 8000 and hosting over 30 Postgraduate and Undergraduate programmes. As Deputy Director of IDL and in charge of Academic Programmes and Learning Centres, I had many opportunities to make great impacts and contributions to the transformation of the Institute. I acted as Director on many occasions and situations, and successfully steered the affairs of the Institute.

I was Chairman of a committee which developed Break-even points and E-facilitation allowances for all programmes run at IDL, and I was very instrumental in the preparation of Financial Efficiency Analysis (Cost-Benefit Analysis) for all programmes run at IDL. This

As Deputy Director in charge of Academic Programmes, I worked hard to ensure the implementation of E-Learning, synchronization of Timetables for all programmes run by IDL. We consequently abolished printing of hard copies of course materials and ensured placement of soft copies on LMS, which enabled savings of about GH¢3 million in 2014/2015 academic year. 

I initiated revision of Thesis Seminars, Thesis Supervision and Conference Marking Policies of IDL, which are expected to appreciably improve quality of Thesis. I also restructured IDL Facilitators’ Workshops to ensure financial efficiency.  Notwithstanding the about 80% average increase in allowances for IDL activities, our financial efficiency and expenditure control drives were estimated to have saved about GH¢12 million in 2015.

I worked very hard to sanitize the conduct of examinations at IDL, ensuring efficiency and quality improvement through pragmatic reforms such as conducting Examinations in 3 weekends instead of 5 weekends, and reducing the number of invigilators and cost of transportation and night subsistence allowances. Savings of at least GH¢804,000.00 was estimated per academic year.

Through effective fee collection strategies adopted, total revenue in 2015 increased by about 20% (equivalent to about GH¢6.5 million), notwithstanding the current dwindling enrolment and the difficult economic situation in Ghana.    

From September to December 2015, I initiated a re-engagement with Vodafone Ghana on its service performance and billing inconsistencies, which saved IDL GH¢830,548.00 in bill readjustments.

I chaired the Committee that proposed Weekdays (Off-campus) programmes at the Accra City Campus to maximize use of the facilities, a Committee to start regular Short Courses and CPDs at IDL, and a Committee to introduce a Department of Educational Innovation in Science and Technology in the College of Art and Built Environment to host some new IDL education programmes. These interventions were expected to boost IDL activities and increase enrolment and revenue generation.

I worked very hard to improve IDL relations with academic Departments through dialogue and effective communication, resulting in co-operation and improved delivery.

I was one of the key players of the reforms at IDL which led to the birth of the NEW IDL, having been a member of the current and previous IDL Management Boards, the Anomabu Stakeholders’ Workshop, and the Adimado’s Committee on the Way Forward for IDL. I was at the forefront of the drafting of IDL Policy Document. As current Deputy Director and in charge

 of Academic Programmes, I was at the forefront of the implementation of structural reforms and reforms which seek to achieve financial efficiency and eliminate abuses in the IDL system. 

As Head of the Department of Building Technology

As Head of Building Technology from 1st August 2009 to December 2014 (close to 6 years), some of my significant achievements which transformed the Department include: 

Partial Review of Undergraduate Programmes

After the Department had run the current two undergraduate programmes for 4 years, a partial review was conducted in 2012 to incorporate required changes to improve the quality of the programmes. 

Transformation of Masters Programmes

At the time of taking over as Head of Department in 2009, enrolment into existing MSc Construction Management and MPhil Building Technology programmes (the only two masters programmes run in the Department at the time) was very low.  There was high attrition rate in both programmes. I organized a review of the MSc Construction Management programme to run in 3 semesters on week-ends in Accra and Kumasi centres in 2012/2013. Enrolment has since shot up to an average of about 60 per academic year. Currently, the Department of Building Technology can boast of tremendous improvement in enrolment and graduation of postgraduate students.  I spearheaded the introduction and accreditation of the underlisted new programmes which also run on weekends in Accra and Kumasi from the 2011/2012 academic year.  

  • MSc Procurement Management
  • MPhil Procurement Management
  • MPhil Construction Management
  • MSc Project Management (running in 2015/2016 academic year)

Introduction of new PhD Programme in Construction Management and Re-accreditation of PhD Building Technology. I spearheaded the introduction and accreditation of a new PhD programme in Construction Management in 2012. The existing PhD Building Technology programme was also reaccredited in 2012.  Altogether, eight (8) accredited postgraduate programmes are running at the Department of Building Technology through my leadership. 

 Increase in Enrolment 

At the end of my tenure, the Department had grown to an unprecedented level. At the undergraduate level, the regular student population was 645, including 318 in Construction   Technology and Management and 327 in Quantity Surveying and Construction Economics. At the IDL level, there were 825 students in the third and final years, and about 500 students had been selected to pursue bridging programme leading to the 4 semester Top-Up programme.  At the Postgraduate level, student population stood at 275, including 247 MSc, 12 MPhil and 16 PhD students.

Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

As Head of Department, I worked to enhance teaching and learning in the Department. In this direction, the following equipment and facilities were procured to enhance teaching and learning using internally generated funds. 

  • LCDs for teaching
  • Laptops for teaching
  • PA Systems for teaching
  • Samsung Galaxy Tablets for all Lecturers
  • Laptops for all Lecturers
  • HP Printers for all Lecturers

Renovation/Rehabilitation of Offices

In early 2014, the Department’s offices, which had been left for many years without renovation, were face-lifted.  The General office, Computer Laboratory and the Head of Department’s office were refurbished to befit the status of a growing Department.  New sets of furniture were provided for the computer room to be used for seminars and as a classroom for MSc programmes. A project to progressively refurbish offices of all staff with air conditioners, executive desks, swivel chairs, 2 visitor's chairs each, book shelves and visitor's sofa was initiated. Air conditioners were provided in the MSc Classrooms and Seminar room in the Postgraduate Block of the College and also in LT1 and LT2 for undergraduate students. 

Preparation of Department Brochure and CD

A Building Technology Department brochure containing information on activities of the Department and a CD containing brief information on the Department (copies available for visitors and staff) was developed through my initiative during my tenure of office. 

Department Website

I established a Department Website containing information on Staff, publication of staff members, all current undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, as well as new and upcoming events, and I appointed a Webmaster who constantly updated the website. 

Reviving the Ghana Institute of Construction (GIOC)

Under my leadership as Head of Department, the Ghana Institute of Construction (GIOC) which had been defunct for 20 years, was revived and re-launched and is currently hosted by the BT   Department. All lecturers of the Department are currently members of the GIOC. Students' Chapters have also been established in most of the Polytechnics with headquarters at the KNUST.  

Establishment of the Pioneers Research Fund 

During my tenure of office as Head of Department, a Fund to support research, the "Pioneers Research Fund", was established in 2013 by pioneer students of our MSc Construction   Management programme.  At the time of leaving the office, the Fund had close to GH¢100,000.00 in investments. The objective was to provide funds for research in the Department.  

Improvement in Research and Publication

During my tenure as HOD, there was a remarkable improvement in research and publication in the Department.  From 8 papers in 2010, the Department’s publications increased to 29 in 2011, 46 in 2012, 47 in 2013 and 46 in 2014. The Department is currently one of the leading Departments in   KNUST with respect to staff publication ratio (See 2013 to 2015 Quality Assurance Bulletins of KNUST). 

Mentorship of Young Lecturers in the Department

During my tenure of office, a plan to establish a sustainable succession plan for the Department was initiated. Smart students were sourced and trained to replace aging and retiring ones. Currently, Dr. Kofi Agyekum, Dr. Alex Acheampong and Dr. Barbara Simons who have completed their PhD programmes, and Mr. Godwin Acquah (about to defend his Thesis), are expected to join the Department and teach Construction Materials, Concrete Technology, Structures and Building Services respectively. Other young lecturers who graduated from the Department and have already been mentored, are currently serving the Department including Dr. De-Graft Owusu-Manu (who won the BEST UP-COMING YOUNG RESEARCHER in 2013) and Dr. Emmanuel Adinyira (who won the 3RD BEST UP-COMING YOUNG RESEARCHER in 2013). A member of my research team, Dr. Christian Koranteng, also won the BEST RESEARCHER in KNUST in 2014/2015.

Improvement in Staff Strength

At the time of leaving office as HOD, the Department had the total teaching staff strength of fifteen (15) Lecturers comprising the following:

  • Professors - 2
  • Associate Professor - 1
  • Senior Lecturers - 7
  • Lecturers - 4 and
  • Assistant Lecturer - 1

Proposed BT Postgraduate Block Construction

At the time of leaving the Department of Building Technology, the working drawings and BOQs had been produced and site secured for the construction of a proposed Postgraduate block for Building Technology from IGF to meet the needs of a growing postgraduate Department.

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