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Megaprojects Guru to Head New Oxford Center

Bent Flyvbjerg, subject of this September 2008 Miller-McCune cover story, has just been appointed chair of a new program at the University of Oxford.

The Danish professor is an expert on megaprojects — the public transit systems, opera houses, stadiums and other infrastructure undertakings that cost more than $1 billion to build and last several years. Governments and corporations are beginning to use his technique, reference-class forecasting, to help control the notorious cost overruns that plague megaprojects.

On April 1, Flyvbjerg will become chair of the Centre for Major Programme Management ("major programme" is a Britishism for "megaproject") at Oxford's Said Business School. The new professorship will focus on megaproject problems like high costs and benefit shortfalls in technology, transporation, and mega-events such as the Olympics. The centre was launched in 2007 and plans to admit its first students this October.