Arrow Down


Construction Plans

Workshop Facilitation

John has facilitated over 200 risk workshops over the past 15 years for various types of construction projects. He understands the human bias and psychological barriers when facilitating brainstorming workshops; his use of Delphi Technique often successively collates and normalizes the judgments of SMEs.

Architectural Modelling

Risk Quantification

The proprietary Riscor simulation Model on @RISK is developed since 2005 to perform detailed QRA on Class 3 cost estimates combining with schedule risk analysis result. The Model has been used on a variety of capital construction projects in North America & Europe to derive contingency & risk reserve.

Construction Site

Construction Readiness

Project Gating System is about the readiness for execution phase, and the Riscor Readiness includes 80 checklist items for Class 3 cost estimates, 70 items for FEED phase and 150 items at Gate 4 prior to construction site mobilization. This risk-based approach is applicable to any projects of any sizes.



John Zhao is the founder and a Principal Consultant of Riskcore Consulting company, he has over thirty-five years of diverse construction project experience including PMO, cost estimating & forecast, qualitative risk workshop facilitations, quantitative cost and schedule risk analyses. He has worked on capital projects with contractors in Far & Middle East, EPC companies in North America and Owner operating companies in Canada and Europe.

John holds a Master degree in Construction Project Management and a Bachelor degree in Building Design & Management from England, a Diploma in Building Engineering & Technology and a Certificate in Contract Law & Negotiation. He is past members of AACE, Professional Engineering in New Brunswick, Charted Institute of Building (CIOB) & Construction Industry Institute (CII). He is a trained Lead Auditor for ISO 9001 (quality management). 

John is also an active speaker at various local universities & conferences, and has presented & provided training on the topics of project risk management since 2005 virtually and physically in  Abu Dhabi, Miami, London, Las Vegas, Denver, New Orleans, Stavanger, Nashville, Edmonton, Calgary, Beijing, Vancouver & Toronto.

"John's QRA Work is Industry Leading for this pipeline mega-project."

                                                                                                                                             - Helen, Assurance Lead, KPMG

"Riskcore's Analysis and the Final Report is the best one in my career." 

                                                                                                                                             - Denis, Project Director, CKPC

 "John's qualitative and quantitative risk analyses are the best practices." 

                                                                                                                                            - George, Professor, Uni. of Calgary

"John is definitely qualified to do this complex work for our refinery."

                                                                                                                                            - Al, Project Leader, Refinery, Utah

"The QRA done for the adequacy of remaining contingency made funding approval easier." 

                                                                                                                                           - Jim, Mining Project, SK, Canada

Riskcore is a project risk management (PRM) consulting firm specializing in training and the implementation of project risk management process, system and methodology, including
   - facilitating qualitative risk workshops for assessment, responses and residual risk handling;
   - soliciting inputs and modelling quantitative cost estimate risks for contingencies & escalation;
   - providing independent, unbiased and risk-based project readiness reviews at any given gate; 

“Riscor” is a Monte Carlo based simulation model developed in 2005 by Riskcore for Class 3 (or better) cost estimates, scientifically determining cost overrun probabilities and contingencies & escalation; it integrates qualitative systemic risks with quantitative specific risks to derive an aggregated contingency for both cost and schedule delays at chosen confidence level.  


QRA by Simulation

Road Constuction

Reduce Chance of Failure

Capital Projects are crucial to the economic prosperity of nations and organisations but they often than not go off the rails in terms of either budget or time or both. Risk analysis sends early warning signal to project owner to take corrective actions.

Looking Out of a Skyscaper

Quantify Risks to Win Bids

Chances of winning competitive bids over the others rely on the risk appetite of an organization. Chances of project cost over-runs and schedule delays rely on the confidence level of cost estimate & schedule. QRA can scientifically simulate such chances by quantifying risks. 

Use Probability for Success

Involving all stakeholders for a transparent, efficient & effective risk analysis often highlights the areas lacking the proactive and proficient risk management strategy & plan, a QRA process integrates all encompassing project risks into a simulation model for success. 

Monte Carlo Simulation - Riscor Model

For Cost Estimate Contingency and Forecast-at-Completion

- Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) is to forecast the future cost behavior with very little historical data or benchmark information being known to the decision-makers. Riscor does it scientifically for your cost estimate contingency!

- MCS is one of forecasting techniques to predict project's final cost amount and schedule date using the combination of art (subjectivity) and science (statistics).  Riscor captures all project changes and re-evaluates the adequacy of your contingency!

- Forecast-at-Completion (FAC) is an important task for Project Controls. Traditional "Trending" and EVM methods have flaws of leaving risks out. Riscor uses multivariate linear regression technique to capture various changes to derive a stochastic FAC!

- Simulation process is a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses and this approach integrates expert judgement and statistical reasoning.  Riscor captures heuristics and systemic risks in register!

- Monte Carlo simulation method is not purely objective based, rather, the subjectivity, experiences, knowledge & human bias all play key roles in its results. Riscor normalizes SMEs' inputs for risk ranging!

- Monte Carlo Method is a mathematical technique, which is used to estimate the possible outcomes of a string of uncertain or risky events. Riscor runs on commercial simulation platform for your project!

Construction Workers at Sunset

Projects and Sectors

Oil Refineries for New Construction and Turnaround / Outage
      Six Oil Refineries in USA & Canada, T/A & New Construction
Oil-sands SAGD and Upgrader (new development & construction)
     SAGD & Upgrader Development & Construction in Canada
Petrochemical Plants of Ethelene, Ammonia, PDH, Polypropylene
     Quantitative Risk Analysis on Fixed Price EPC Contracts 

 Transportation Oil & Gas Pipeline and HDPE Water Pipeline
     QRA (SRA & CRA) for 1,100KM Oil Pipeline in Canada

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), Direct Pipe and Micro-Tunneling
      Design, Constructability, Execution, Readiness & Risk Reviews

Buildings of Pharmaceutical Plant and Penitentiaries (new & renovations)
     Qualitative Risk Assessment & Risk-based Readiness Reviews 

Mining Projects for Coal, Uranium, Gold, Oil-sands & Potash (new projects)

     Risk Analysis and Various Risk Workshops & Readiness Reviews

Public Infrastructures (Schools, Hospital, Sports Stadium & LRT)
     Risk Analysis and Assessment, Independent Reviews & Gap Analysis

Institutions for Public and In-house Training Courses on PRM    
     Three-day Training Courses of Project Risk Management (AACE, PMI)

Conference Presentations and Publications

- 2005 AACE International in Las Vegas titled “Marrying Risk Register with Trending”
- 2005 PertMaster International User Conference in Houston titled “Schedule Risk Analysis  and Credibility”
- 2006 AACE International in New Orleans titled “Significance of WBS in Risk Modeling”
- 2006 Canadian Heavy Oil Conference in Calgary titled “Effective Mega Project Risk Controls”
- 2006 ARES Corporation PUG conference in Calgary titled “ Contingency Simulation and Management”
- 2007 Palisade (@RISK) User Group in Miami USA titled “Stochastic Decision-making method”
- 2007 Energy IQ International conference in Abu Dhabi titled "Project Risk and Management"

​- 2007 Best Practice Users’ Group in London England titled “Strategic Decisions under Risk Conditions”

- 2008 Canadian Institute EPC Project Management conference in Calgary titled “Risks in EPC World”

- 2009 Palisade Energy Forum in Calgary titled “The Cost of Risk Quantification”
- 2010 Palisade @RISK conference in London England titled "Put More Science in Cost Risk Analysis"
- 2011 SPE Technical Conference in Denver USA titled "Understanding and Handling Residual Risks"

- 2012 Manuscript of 300-page fully indexed & referenced "Project Risk Management in Energy Industry"
- 2014 Canadian institute EPCM conference in Calgary titled “Managing Risks of Overseas Engineering”

- 2015 Palisade @RISK Conference in Calgary titled “Quantifying Management Reserves”

- 2017 AACE Chinook Section Dinner Meeting in Calgary titled "Projects, Risks and Contingency"

- 2017 Palisade Conference in Nashville titled "Contingency Determination using @RISK for capital projects"

- 2018 PMI Southern Alberta Chapter Dinner Meeting Calgary “Project Professionals and Project Failures”

- 2019 AACE & CIQS Joint Meeting Vancouver “Is it Important to scientifically derive Project Contingency?”

- 2019 Project Management Institute Conference “Managing Mega Capital Projects - Behind the Façade”

- 2020 Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) Webinar “Projects and Contingency: Science & Art"

- 2021 ASCE "TMEP Employs Risk Mitigation Measures for Trenchless Construction on their new Pipeline"

NOTE: To read selected presentation slide deck in PDF, please go to "More" and "Publications"

We provide value-added project reviews,  risk assessment and risk analysis, data analytics and benchmarking services.

We timely deliver promised scope of work with right expertise in quoted budget for the expected quality report.

We focus on specialty and niche skills by working with competent & expert professionals collaborating as a team.

We will be honest, ethical, transparent and professional following the code of conduct with our services and results for our clients .

Standard Riskcore Logo 2016_edited_edited.png

John G. Zhao

John has been working in capital construction projects for past 35 years, specializing in qualitative risk assessment and quantitative risk analyses for the schedule and cost estimates of investment projects.


The proprietary Riscor Model is typically deployed to scientifically simulate an appropriate contingency at a given probability, and to evaluate projects Forecast-at-Completion (FAC) at any given project milestone by incorporating project systemic risks.

  • Black Twitter Icon

Riskcore Ltd.

Riskcore Ltd. is registered in 2016 & headquartered in Calgary of Alberta. Riskcore offers professional Consulting, Facilitation and Modelling of project cost and schedule uncertainties from Feasibility to Ready-for-Operations. 


Riskcore possesses rich project benchmark data including Class 3 Estimate Maturity Index, External Construction Readiness Reviews (ECRR), Probability Curves for Project Contingency and Typical Risks. 

  • Black Twitter Icon



We welcome any inquires and questions regarding:

- Consultation about your project needs for a risk assessment and QRA analysis;

- Training of Project Risk Management, both in-house and public training events;

- Written proposal to conduct full-scale QRA project risk analysis for contingency, escalation and delay;

- External Construction Readiness Reviews (ECRR) and Project Governance & Gating Process;  

Please contact us by calling 587-352-6698 or fill out the following form for your inquiries and comments.

Contact Us

Thanks for submitting!

Head Office

Suite 1507, 615 - 6 Ave. SE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Email:            jzhao@riskcore.ca

Text / Tel:       587 352 6698

Website:        www.riskcore.ca


We have job opportunities from time to time either for us or for our partner companies, or even for other recruiters, so we receive and keep your CVs and Resumes on record.


To apply for a potential job with Riskcore Ltd., please send your C.V. to: jzhao@riskcore.ca

Find me or my articles and posts via Linkedin

  • Linkedin

Get a Free Consultation and Professional QRA Proposal to your Project's Risk Analysis Today by email or phone.