ecupirates.JPGAccording to an article by Amanda Karr from The Daily Reflector entitled, “Engineering Interest – Eggs fly, bridges bend at ECU Competition”, ECU posed a series on engineering challenges to local high school students to foster interest in the College of Technology and Computer Science (which includes a departments in construction management). You can read an excerpt from the article below:

“Christopher Sessoms smiled as he watched the wooden-stick bridge bend but not break.

It was holding the increasing load well, a tribute to the effort of Shemara Pittman, Sessoms’ 10th-grade classmate at Edgecombe Early College High School.

Amanda Karr/The Daily Reflector

(ENLARGE)

ED HOWARD, left, an East Carolina University engineering professor, and Edgecombe Early College High School 10th-grader Christopher Sessoms watch a strength test of a wood-stick bridge.

Pittman was one of a half dozen middle and high school students who constructed bridges out of sticks and glue as part of East Carolina University’s first Engineering and Technology Day. The goal was to create the lightest bridge with the greatest load capacity. The bridge competition was the first of the day.

Sponsored by the ECU College of Technology and Computer Science, the morning also featured an egg drop competition, a tour of the Science and Technology Building and presentations from professors within the various departments of the college. Nucor Steel sponsored Friday’s event.

For the approximately 200 students from a dozen area schools, it was a chance to get a glimpse of what a future technology career could hold.”

ace-logo.jpgCheck out the article entitled “Mentoring program helps teens engineering careers” as it highlights the ACE Mentoring Program in Portland. The first section of this article by Lauren Rubin at The Oregonian can be found below:

“As a junior at Jefferson High School in North Portland, Amin Tuffa is a long way from his home in Africa. But as a participant in the ACE Mentor Program, Tuffa is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming a civil engineer.

“I come from Ethiopia, where they don’t have enough roads, buildings or towns,” said Tuffa, 17, who has wanted to be an engineer since he was 5. “But now I have the opportunity to realize my dream, and I will take what I learn back to Africa. To be with these people is a big deal.”

“These people” to whom Tuffa refers are the 28 architects, construction managers and engineers who have volunteered, through the ACE Mentor Program to coach 30 Portland juniors and seniors interested in careers in these fields.

“It’s giving students a taste of how professions manifest in the real world,” said Michelle Anderson, the Oregon coordinator for ACE, whose first Portland chapter opened in January, with Ed Dean of Nishkian Dean as its board chair.”

sdsu.jpgI am pleased to announce the first interview in the “Interview with a Construction Professor” Series at C-School Blog. The interview will begin with a brief biography of a college construction professor, followed by six standard questions about the professor’s program, and the interview will finish up with recent program statistics.

 

Professor David Wahlstrom at South Dakota State was gracious enough to be the first faculty member to participate in this series. The following information was provided by Professor Wahlstrom on February 19, 2007:

David A. Wahlstrom JD MS F. ASCE – Professor at the Construction Management Program at South Dakota State University

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Educational Background
BSCE S Dakota State Col June 1964, MS S Dakota State Univ. January 1971, & JD Indiana Univ. Dec 1983

Tenure
Tenure Track, S Dakota State Univ. & Retiree, Univ. of Houston

Classes Taught
Legal Aspects, Materials, Surveying, & Building Information Modeling

Research
I try to publish something annually. My primary interest is in the legal aspects of surveying

SIX QUESTIONS

1. What qualities do you see in a top construction student?
Intelligence as a complement to a good work ethic; an ability to recognize what she doesn’t know; ‘thinking outside the box’; an ability to see the ‘big picture’.

2. What makes your program different from other construction programs?
Hopefully, our program is indistinguishable from the recognized programs. Our faculty seem to be career oriented rather than academically oriented (S Dak State Univ will still hire non-doctorates on a tenure track).

3. What do employers like the most about your students?
The most common compliment relates to the student’s superb work ethic.

4. What are students looking for in internships and entry-level jobs?
I am not sure! The typical intern candidate appears to be ‘field oriented’!

5. What is the most important thing that a high school student should know about your program?
There are good careers with established companies paying good salaries and offering good potential for growth. Also, the spectrum of employment opportunities is extremely varied, as are the possible employment venues..

6. How does the construction industry support your program?
The local companies make a number of scholarships available. The student groups have good support for their fund raising activities. Also, activities like the Job Fair bolster our meager coffers. (Please keep in mind that this is South Dakota where you are expected to get 60 cups per pound of coffee!)

PROGRAM DATA

Accreditations (ACCE, ABET, others?): ACCE

How many students graduated from your program in 2006? 28

How many employers recruited students from your program in 2006? 20

What was the average compensation package (starting salary + signing bonus) for students in 2006? $46,200 – only one graduate received a signing bonus (~$2,000)

Thanks go to Professor Wahlstrom and the entire Construction Management Department at South Dakota State University for providing information on the program. If you are a construction professor that would like to be interviewed for this series, please contact me at micnel@gmail.com to indicate interest.

sm_student_comp_logo.JPGNow that the ASC Regional Student Competitions are coming to a close. The next step is for the regional winners to head to the national competition in San Antonio. The snippet below from the AGC Website provides an overview of the competition:

“The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) have joined forces to form the Annual ASC-AGC National Student Competition (NSC). The competition is held every spring with competing teams from seven regions comprised of 6 students and 1 coach each. Students from across the country first participate in their Regional Competition. Those that win their division at the region qualify for the National Competition.”

A list of past national winners can be found on the AGC Website here. Per the website, the winners n 2006 were:

Commercial Division
First Place: Milwaukee School of Engineering
Second Place: California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo

Design-Build Division
First Place: Arizona State University
Second Place: Milwaukee School of Engineering
Third Place: Clemson University

Heavy Civil Division
First Place: University of Cincinnati
Second Place: Sacramento State University
Third Place: Oklahoma State University

ISUAccording to Iowa State’s Engineering Distance Education Website:

“Iowa State University’s 100% online Construction Engineering and Management Masters Degree provides a unique blend of technical and managerial education that will help you solve problems and compete in the ever-changing construction environment.  Iowa State’s Construction Engineering and Management program has been recognized by The Associated General Contractors of America; one of only four schools in the U.S. to receive such an honor and be promoted by the AGC.

The program focuses on three components that represent the three functional areas of construction engineering and management:

  • Management Techniques
  • Construction Operations
  • Construction Methods

Students may join the program at the beginning of any semester and may take graduate courses in any order at a pace that suits their needs.  Classes are delivered online by digital video streaming.  Students may choose the day, time and location to observe the class lectures allowing for maximum flexibility.”

According to the article entitled, USM challenges MSU’s proposal for new degree:

Mississippi State University wants to establish an undergraduate building construction science degree – but some in Hattiesburg think their plans too closely mirror a decades-old University of Southern Mississippi program that’s now available online.

The MSU proposal is one of three new program requests the state College Board could approve or deny at its monthly meeting this week.”

The following post is taken from the ASC Website. Congratulations to all the construction students who participated in the event this year.

“Welcome to the ASC Region VI & VII Web Site
Your source of information for all ASC Region 6 & 7 member schools including local and regional events.

Congratulations to the Winning 2007 Student Competition Teams!

Region 6

1st

2nd

3rd

Commercial

Arizona State Univ.

Brigham Young Univ.

Colorado State

Residential

BYU, Idaho

Arizona State Univ.

Boise State

Design Build

Brigham Young Univ.

Boise State

USAF

 

Region 7

1st

2nd

3rd

Heavy Civil

Oregon State Univ.

Central Wash.Univ.

Univ. of Washington

Commercial

Univ. of Washington

Fresno State

Chico State

Residential

Univ. of Washington

Oregon State Univ.

Cal Poly., SLO

Design Build

Univ. of Washington

Chico State

Sacramento State

 

National

1st

2nd

3rd

Graduate

Colorado State

Univ. of Washington

Oregon State Univ.

Mechanical

Colorado State

Brigham Young Univ.

Oregon State Univ.

BIM

Brigham Young Univ.

Chico State

Arizona State Univ.

Marine

Cal Poly., SLO

Oregon State Univ.

Univ. of Washington

LEED

Brigham Young Univ.

Oregon State Univ.

Cal Poly., SLO”