Ed Merrow

President and CEO, Independent Project Analysis (IPA)

Ed Merrow, Founder, President, and CEO of Independent Project Analysis, Inc. (IPA), is a leading authority on the development and execution of large and complex projects. Ed’s knowledge of how to develop more effective capital projects is sought out by Fortune 500 company executives and project professionals worldwide. His expertise in megaprojects is built on decades of research on the unique challenges of these complex investments. Ed’s studies are motivated by the need to understand the sources of success and failure in megaprojects and to identify the things that can drive success.

In his widely cited book, Industrial Megaprojects (John Wiley & Sons, April 2011), Ed isolated the approaches and practices that drive success in the most difficult of projects. A fully revised and updated second edition of this important book is due out in early 2024. In a subsequent book, Leading Complex Projects (John Wiley & Sons, April 2018), Ed and co-author Neeraj Nandurdikar explored why sound practices are so often not followed in complex projects. Ed’s most recent book, Contract Strategies for Major Projects (John Wiley & Sons, 2022), published last year, provides a quantitative analysis of how contracting strategies and delivery systems shape project results.

Since its founding in 1987, IPA has rapidly evolved into the preeminent consultancy in project evaluation and in project system benchmarking, and has become the industry leader in the quantitative analysis of project management systems. IPA has one of the most extensive global and detailed capital projects databases available and conducts extensive research studies to identify the drivers of capital project success and failure.

Before he established IPA, Ed spent 14 years with the Rand Corporation, where he developed and directed Rand’s Energy Program and its Research Program for the Chemical Process Industries. At Rand, Ed researched projects in nuclear power, nuclear special materials, oil and gas, chemicals, and minerals processing.

After receiving degrees from Dartmouth College and Princeton University, Ed was an Assistant Professor at the University of California (UCLA), where he taught mathematical economic modeling and industrial organization for 4 years.