Kathleen M.J. Harmon, Ph.D.


Dr. Kathleen M. J. Harmon has over 31 years of experience in the construction industry and is the president of Harmon/York Associates, Inc., which she founded in 1983 to provide project management, organizational consulting, and dispute prevention and resolution services to the construction industry. She has served as an expert witness as well as a consulting expert on various projects from wastewater treatment plants, bridges, tunnels, US Embassies, Co-Generation Facilities, Superfund clean up sites, nuclear waste facilities, buildings, schools, roadways, to special projects ranging in cost from $3 to $400 million on behalf of owners and contractors. Dr. Harmon is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Jersey, with both B.A. and M.A. degrees. She received her Ph.D. degree in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Since 1988, Dr. Harmon is a member of the American Arbitration Association and Construction Panel of Arbitrators. She also is a member of the American Bar Association, International Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, the New York City Procurement Policy Board, CDRB Neutral Panelist, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the International Association of Conflict Management.

Dr. Harmon is also an adjunct at Nova Southeastern University where she teaches courses in negotiation, arbitration, and conflict resolution. Dr. Harmon has also authored several journal articles on claims and conflict resolution in the construction industry. She is the recipient of the 2003 ASCE Best Peer Reviewed Paper Award.


1983 to Present

Harmon/York Associates, Inc., New Jersey


1981 to 1983

Fogel & Associates, Inc., New York

Construction Claims Analyst

1979 to 1981

Titan Group, Inc., New Jersey

Construction Claims Analyst



Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

Master of Arts


New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

Construction Technology Program


Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

B.A. in History/Social Studies Education



Finalist – Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award

Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


American Society of Civil Engineers Best Peer Reviewed Paper Award"Conflicts between Owners and Contractors: A Proposed Intervention Process"Journal of Management in Engineering 19(3),121-125.


Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award Graduate School for the Humanities and Social Sciences Nova Southeastern University,Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Articles by Kathleen M. J. Harmon, Ph.D.

A Case Study as to the Effectiveness of Dispute

The most prevalent use of the Dispute Review Board (DRB) process in the United States to date is the Central Artery/Tunnel project located in Boston,Massachusetts. A DRB is a three member panel jointly chosen by the contractor and owner that is present throughout the course .

Claims avoidance techniques

This paper provides best-practice recommendations on contract administration procedures to help a project team successfully bring or defend against change order requests, claims and litigation. These recommendations include advice on document management, schedule analysis, cost control and negotiation.

Dispute Review Boards: Elements of a Convincing Recommendation

This paper will discuss the dispute review board (DRB) process and in particular the settlement recommendation and the elements thereof that may induce contractual parties to resolve their conflict. The recommendation is a document issued after the contractual parties bring a dispute to the DRB panel that they have failed to resolve. To lay the foundation for the issuance of a recommendation, the DRB process will be briefly discussed.

Dispute Review Boards Effects on Bid Prices

The topic of the effectiveness of dispute review boards as the impetus for reducing a contractor’s bid pricing was a part of the first US study exploring how those within the construction community perceive the effects the dispute review board(DRB) process has on conflicts within the construction industry.

Effectiveness of Dispute Review Boards

A Dispute Review Board (DRB) is a panel of three respected, experienced industry professionals jointly selected by the owner and contractor of a project and established at the beginning of a construction project. It meets regularly at the job site to be briefed on the work, the schedule, and any potential issues in dispute.

To Be or Not to Be- That Is the Question: Is a DRB Right for Your Project?

Dispute review boards (DRBs) have been used on a wide variety of projects both in the United States and abroad. However, this alternative dispute resolution1 methodology has been around for over 3 decades and as of 2006 has been used on over 1,434 projects according to the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation; therefore, now is the time to consider whether the benefits of a DRB outweigh its potential downside.


Robert T. Olson, Jr.

Senior Associate

Mr. Robert T. Olson, Jr. has over five years of experience in the construction industry. Robert has consulted on a variety of projects by providing scheduling and project management support, along with claim preparation. He has testified as a fact witness in a multi-million dollar arbitration. Robert is a graduate of Bergen Catholic High School and received a B.S. in Financial Management with an Engineering Minor from Clemson University, South Carolina.

Prior to joining our firm in 2007, Robert was in business-to-business computer sales, a position that stemmed from his retail sales experience at Best Buy, concurrent with his academic pursuits. In 2001 he was selected for an internship in the Pharmaceutical Division of a local global engineering and construction contractor.

Robert is actively involved with his local Rotary Club for which he served two terms as President and currently handles the club’s membership and recruitment initiatives. In his down time he enjoys home brewing with the hopes of one day bringing his beer to the local market for all to enjoy.


May 2007-Present

Harmon/York Associates, Inc., New Jersey

Senior Associate

July 2006 to April 2007

Best Buy, Lithonia, GA

Business Technology Specialist

Summer 2002

Foster Wheeler USA Corporation, Perryville, NJ

Pharmaceutical Operations



Clemson University, Clemson, SC

BS in Financial Management

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