sdsu.jpgI am pleased to announce the second 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 Pat Pannell at South Dakota State was gracious enough to participate in this series. The following information was provided by Professor Panell on December 1st, 2007:

PAT PANNEL
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator at South Dakota State University’s Construction Management Program (BSCM) in the Engineering Technology and Management Department in the College of Engineering

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Educational Background
– BSBA Accounting, University of Arkansas
– MBCN Master of building Construction Univ of Florida
– ABD Construction Education, Colorado State University

Tenure
Accruing

Classes Taught
Surveying, Heavy Construction Methods, Heavy Construction Estimating, Basic Estimating, Advanced Building Estimating, Project Management, Site Selection and Feasibility Analysis, Residential Construction. I do not teach all of these now but I have taught them in the past four years.

Research
Construction Education & Construction Management Paradigms

SIX QUESTIONS

1. What qualities do you see in a top construction student?
Strong Work Ethic, Interest in Construction, Enjoys working with people, Analytical problem solver.

 

2. What makes your program different from other construction programs?
We have strong interaction with industry, the industry experience level of our faculty is 100%, our facilities are better than most and we concentrate on educating the leaders of tomorrow. We encourage community and industry participation. We promote the attitude that our students are lucky to be in the best industry, in the best country, at the best time in history and they owe the community and industry their participation to make it better than it was before they got into it.

 

3. What do employers like the most about your students?
They like the work ethic, the responsibility, and the ability to fit into a team.

 

4. What are students looking for in internships and entry-level jobs?
We encourage the students to interview and research extensively before they commit to a job. The internship is part of that process and they are open to most experiences. They usually do not know what they want exactly until the end of their tenure as a student but our goal is that they make the most informed decision possible so that they will remain at their first job for a respectable time period.

 

5. What is the most important thing that a high school student should know about your program?
The incoming student should have good study habits, a decent math background, and proficiency in writing. If you are a recluse and do not enjoy interaction with people and solving people related problems this is not for you.

 

6. How does the construction industry support your program?
The industry companies come to and pay for our job fair twice a year, they participate in our advisory council, they serve as guest speakers, they contribute to our program for needed equipment when necessary, they contribute and support all student activities with contributions and participation, they participate and financially subsidize our internship program.

PROGRAM DATA

Accreditations (ACCE, ABET, others?): ACCE

How many students graduated from your program in 2006? 27 but we now have 250 students and that number will be jumping substantially.

What was the average compensation package (starting salary + signing bonus) for students in 2006? $46,000

Thanks go to Professor Pannell 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.

ISUThe following information was send to me by the Iowa State Construction, Civil, and Engineering Department:

CCEE Graduate Programs Now Online!

The Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering now offers two of its graduate programs – Construction Engineering and Management and Environmental Engineering completely online through Engineering Distance Education. The new online programs make it more convenient and cost-efficient than ever for professionals to attain a master’s degree or certificate. Distance education students learn from the same respected professors and in the same classes as our resident graduate students do – but from anywhere in the world. Visit the EDE website or look for our article in the upcoming the CCEE Alumni Newsletter for more information.

purdueboilermakers.jpgI came across this job posting for an Internship Director for Purdue’s Construction Engineering and Management Program. A brief excerpt of the job description follows:

Provide the Division of Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) with the experience and knowledge of a veteran engineering and construction professional to: direct the CEM Internship Program; serve the CEM faculty in activities where professional engineering, construction and management experience is a key factor, and teach courses where experience in professional industry practice is essential to the course needs. Responsible for the design, implementation and direction of the CEM Internship Program, including development of new initiatives. Includes development of policies and procedures to govern the operation of the program. Responsible for the development of strategic goals for the program, including both short-term and long-term goals, as well as communicating how goals are to be met.

Internship Director, Purdue University

The following clips are taken from the article, “Firms get more family friendly” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Keith Myers of the Young Group was in a jam.

His St. Louis-based company had a $3 million subcontracting job on two 615-megawatt coal-fired power plants that Bechtel Corp. is building in Racine, Wis. — and no one to ramrod it.

—-

Myers had a hard time filling the project manager slot for the Bechtel job. He was offering $75 an hour, with no benefits, and couldn’t find anyone who fit the bill and wanted to move to Wisconsin for several months in the winter.

—-

But with baby boomer managers retiring every day, officials like Mark Schnoebelen, vice president of Kansas City-based Massman Construction Co., which specializes in building bridges and locks and dams, are looking ahead to see how they can attract more young people.

“We can buy new equipment,” Schnoebelen said. “People are the issue. You have to have people you can trust.”

To that end, Massman, recruits at more than double the number of colleges and universities offering civil engineering degrees than it did a few years ago.

Moreover, Schnoebelen said, Massman, like many other construction companies, recruits college interns in hopes of grooming them for a permanent job.

“This summer, we’ll have two sophomores and two juniors,” he said. “We pay them $3,000 a month.”

Massman also has an employee incentive program that pays a bonus in the “low thousands” for anyone who recommends a permanent hire who works out for at least six months.

“This is great work,” Schnoebelen said. “There’s so much variety to it. One day, you’re in a coat and tie and meeting with the owner. The next day, you’re knee-deep in mud.”

The average starting salary for a graduate of University of Central Missouri’s program, one of 60 accredited programs in the United States, is $48,000 a year, with the range from $38,000 to $56,000, Schache said.

“Firms get more family friendly” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

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.”