SUMMARY: This paper assesses whether cost engineering is an academic discipline or not. Cost engineering is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the scientific approach towards management issues in engineering. It is still in a dynamic stage in that its domain is revised periodically. Despite the rapid expansion of its role in practice, it is found that cost engineering is not an academic discipline. In particular, it possesses most of the key attributes that an academic discipline should uphold, but it lacks attributes that are vital for an academic discipline: the expression of human imagination, and a generalized syntactical and conceptual structure. More work is therefore needed to establish cost engineering as an academic discipline. Apart from cultivating the vital attributes, partnerships between the cost engineering industry and academia can also be introduced.
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