C-School Blog is dedicated to trends in construction management education, providing coverage of student construction competitions, and discussing methods of outreach to generate more interest in construction industry careers.

You can provide ideas for topics that you would like to see covered and I will do my best to address them.


I grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa and attended Iowa State University’s Construction Engineering Program in Ames, Iowa. During my undergraduate studies, I worked several summer construction jobs including a summer as a concrete laborer, followed by a summer as a carpentry laborer in Central Iowa. My final internship jobs were in the field of construction management, when I worked for two summers in the Minneapolis division office of PCL.

After finishing up my Construction Engineering Degree in 1999, I started my full-time career with a subsidiary of Centex Construction that focuses on healthcare construction. I worked on a series of construction projects in Rochester, Minnesota for Mayo Clinic. My projects in Rochester ranged from a new 20 story facility to subterranean pedestrian tunnel extension that allow the patients, visitors, and staff to avoid the chilly Minnesota Winters.

In 2003, I transferred with Centex to Charlotte, North Carolina to work on a children’s emergency department interior renovation at the Carolinas Medical Center. In 2004, I started a Masters of Business Administration Program through the University of Florida. I completed my MBA degree in early 2006 and my business school studies gave me a new perspective on the construction industry. I have become interested in how a construction company can differentiate itself from its competitors in order to succeed. My interest in differentiation has lead me to focus on entry-level recruiting and uncovering which college construction programs are consistently producing the best entry-level construction professionals.

Now back to my career path, in 2004, I was offered a position in San Jose, California to assist a project team with a women’s and children’s center expansion. Once out in the San Francisco Bay area, a position with my current firm, Skanska USA Building, presented itself and I am currently working as a project manager on a hospital expansion project in San Jose, California.


One Response to “About C-School Blog and Mike Nelson”

  1. Bob Muir Says:

    Hello Michael,
    I came across a listing of the top -C-schools that you generated in 2006…very interesting. As one engaged in construction education and close to the programs at Virginia Tech, I’d say that you got the top spot right. Missing from the list is Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. We probably didn’t deserve to be on the list 2006. However, since that time, we have earned ACCE accreditation, launched an online Masters program with a current enrollment of 120, sport an industry advisory board of 25 of the top organizations in our region including Turner, Gilbane, Jacobs, Skanska, and many others. Drexel is a co-op ed institution so our students graduate with 1.5 years of industry experience. We have enjoyed a 100% placement rate of our graduates even through the recession. Our program is over 40 years old that provided part-time study until 2004 when we became a full-time co-op program. At this point, I think that an objective ranking would place us pretty high nationally. I hope that you consider resurrecting the C-School rankings as I think that competition and the resulting notoriety that recognizes excellence is very positive for the industry we serve.
    Best wishes,
    Bob Muir, PhD, PE
    Program Director
    Construction Management Program
    Drexel University

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