I 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:
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
– BSBA Accounting, University of Arkansas
– MBCN Master of building Construction Univ of Florida
– ABD Construction Education, Colorado State University
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.
Construction Education & Construction Management Paradigms
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate interest.
The title of this blog posting was taken from an article found at The Construction Contractor’s Digest. The article is written by Matt Stevens who is a construction consultant in Florida. A brief exerpt of the article can be found below and the entire article and Matt’s blog (which has been around since 2004 according to his archives section) is at:
“The Best Industry in the United States
My child is in college. She is starting to ask about industries and careers. Olivia has made me think further about what construction contracting has to offer her. I have concluded it is the best career a young person could choose. You may not believe it, but the facts will show our business is unmatched. It offers participants long term tangible benefits. However, many people will argue that point. Let me show you the many virtues our industry has. You be the judge.”
I came across a new blog by Dr. Bradford Sims who is the Department Head of the Construction Management Program at Western Carolina University. The initial postings on this blog provide a great introduction to “Construction Management as a College Major”.
A link to the blog can be found at:
A little more information on Dr. Sims can be found below (this write-up was taken from the blog link above):
“[Dr. Sims has] either worked in or in support of the Construction Industry since receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University’s Building Construction Program in May of 1990. Dr. Sims is an Associate Professor and the Construction Management Department Head in the Kimmel School of Construction Management & Technology at Western Carolina University. He is the founder of WCU’s Construction Management undergraduate and online Master of Construction Management programs. Dr. Sims and Dr. Capano were also the faculty that attracted a $10.4 million endowment from Joe Kimmel in fall 2005. Prior to joining the leadership team at Western Carolina, Dr. Sims was on a leave of absence from the University of Florida’s Building Construction Program working in The Netherlands for the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building Construction (CIB) as their Assistant Secretary General. There he was involved with organizations from all over the world and would travel to support over 50 commissions of experts performing research into all aspects of building and construction.”
Those of you that follow this blog are familiar with the ACE Mentor Program that connects high school students interested in architecture, construction, and engineering with industry professionals that serve as mentors.
Our Peninsula One Team within the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter has started a new year with a new group of students and we will be keeping a blog to chronicle our activities from week to week. Check out the link at:
— Consulting-Specifying Engineer, 7/19/2006 7:59:00 AM
Officials of the ACE Mentor Program of America (ACE) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that they have formed a strategic partnership, aligning the highly acclaimed high school mentoring program focusing on the A/E/C industry with the largest national consensus working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. The partnership provides the opportunity for USGBC members to participate in its program as potential mentors.
“This is a terrific opportunity for ACE whose program relies on mentors, professionals from leading design and construction firms, who are passionate about what they do and want to share their experiences with high school students,” said Pamela Mullender, executive director of the program.“This partnership opens the door for additional mentors to get involved in their communities and a way to introduce the next generation of architects, contractors and engineers to the enormous opportunity to effect change in the way buildings are designed, built and maintained.”
“Students are the future of the green building movement,” said Chris Smith, chief officer of operations for USGBC.“USGBC’s members–who are some of the industry’s most experienced and dedicated visionaries–are very excited about this opportunity to teach and inspire the next generation of green builders.”
A large number of construction students are passionate about the trend in sustainable construction a.k.a. green construction, LEED construction. Many of the students that I meet with at presentations, career fairs, interviews, and student competitions are deeply interested in my firm’s efforts in LEED construction.
The article, “40,000 LEED APs and Counting” provides a snapshot of how the construction and design industries are embracing the sustainable construction movement. I am proud to report that Skanska is represented at #13 on the list of “BD+C’s Top 50 Building Team LEED APs”. Skanska is one of the top ranked builders on the list, which includes several design firms — if everything goes well during the LEED V2.2 Exam next Wednesday (08AUG07), three of my team members will earn the designation of LEED Accredited Professional and Skanska will jump up to #12 on the list.
The current list is as follows:
BD+C’s Top 50 Building Team LEED APs
Ranking / Firm / # of LEED APs / # of Employees / % of LEED APs to All Employees
1. Perkins+Will 753 1,236 60.9
2. Gensler 575 2,480 23.2
3. HOK 456 2,153 21.2
4. Stantec 277 5,977 4.6
5. The Turner Corp. 260 — —
6. SmithGroup 243 817 29.7
7. HDR Architecture 192 1,111 17.3
8. DPR Construction 185 676 27.4
9. CUH2A 161 370 43.5
10. HKS 155 1,148 13.5
11. Mithun 137 197 69.5
12. LPA 126 213 59.2
13. Skanska USA Building 125 — —
14. Leo A Daly 123 1,081 11.4
15. DLR Group 120 556 21.6
16. Gilbane Building Co. 118 1,800 6.6
17. Cannon Design 115 749 15.4
18. JE Dunn Construction Group 110 3,369 3.3
18. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 110 1,280 8.6
20. NBBJ 109 728 15.0
21. Arup 105 8,500 1.2
22. Swinerton Inc. 103 1,280 8.0
23. DMJM H&N 96 1,297 7.4
24. Bovis Lend Lease 94 2,937 3.2
25. Callison 92 638 14.4
26. Moseley Architects 87 227 38.3
26. Webcor Builders 87 — —
28. Zimmer Gunsul Frasca 85 439 19.4
29. Gould Evans Associates 83 205 40.5
30. Perkins Eastman 80 722 11.1
31. Hammel, Green and Abrahamson 79 508 15.6
32. KlingStubbins 75 540 13.9
32. RTKL Associates 75 1,051 7.1
34. M. A. Mortenson Co. 74 1,234 6.0
35. STV Group 70 1,455 4.8
35. Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback 70 300 23.3
37. Flack + Kurtz 69 383 18.0
37. URS Corp. 69 29,308 0.2
39. Jacobs Engineering Group 68 — —
40. CH2M HILL 66 4,704 1.4
41. Affiliated Engineers 65 508 12.8
42. Hayes, Seay, Mattern & Mattern 63 650 9.7
43. RNL Design 62 185 33.5
44. Clark Group 61 2,945 2.1
44. HMC Architects 61 432 14.1
46. KPFF Consulting Engineers 60 853 7.0
47. Cooper Carry 58 287 20.2
48. Clark Nexsen 56 322 17.4
48. Holder Construction 56 377 14.9
50. Einhorn Yaffee Prescott 54 300 18.0
50. Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott 54 180 30.0
Source: 2007 Giants 300 survey
Note: This ranking is based on firms that made the Giants 300 list.
I came across an article entitled, “Continuing the Ranking Game: Using ASC Publication as One Criteria for the Ranking of C-schools” by two Texas A&M Professors, Kenneth C. Williamson III, Ph.D. and Richard A. Burt, MRICS, Ph.D.
The article offers a methodology to rank college construction programs based on the number of research publications produced by the program. Refer to the article to see how your construction program fared in rankings.
My initial ranking system (C-Schoolblog Rankings) was based on a simple ratio of the number of recruiters at a school (demand) versus the number of students that graduate from a program each year (supply). The ranking system in the article above uses a completely different ranking methodology, which may be a better indicator of the quality of professors and graduate students or at least their dedication to scholarly research to positively effect the construction industry.