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(TCM-2104) The Early History of Cost Engineering

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Primary Author: John K. Hollmann, PE CCP CEP DRMP FAACE Hon. Life
Audience Focus: Basic
Application Type: Practice
Venue: 2016 AACE International Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract: At the 50th anniversary of AACE International®, the association published a recap of its founding in 1956. However, cost estimating and engineering economics applied in capital asset management, the early core practices of Cost Engineering, have a much longer history - one that has not been well documented. This paper will review notable developments and leaders in these fields prior to 1956. The story starts with “De Re Metallica” by Agricola published 400 years before in 1556 (translated to English by engineer and future President Herbert Hoover and his wife Lou.) It goes on to discuss early leaders in cost estimating and engineering economics such as Wellington, Fish and Gillette. Those interested in history and wondering how Cost Engineering came to be may find this paper interesting. The paper also discusses the current AACE® mission and strategy in comparison to this history.