mcwhorter school of building science
// spring 2018
// BUILDING CONNECTIONS Service Learning Projects Here and Abroad
//QUOIN Spring 2018
MESSAGE FROM THE SCHOOL HEAD RICHARD BURT
ALUMNI PROFILE ROSS DOYLE
RESEARCH LARGEST HUD GRANT IN AUBURN UNIVERSITY HISTORY
NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION RECEIVES PROVOST ASSESSMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD
HOUSTON AND QUITO
SPRING 2018 CAREER EXPO
CENTER FOR CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION STATE OF THE CENTER
CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION CONSTRUCTION JOBS ON THE UPSWING IN THE UNITED STATES
ALUMNI NEWS WHALEY FAMILY ENJOYS
A SPECTACULAR 2018
//QUOIN Richard Burt, Head and McWhorter Endowed Chair Colleen Bourdeau, CADC Communications and Marketing Director
ALUMNI NEWS AMY CARLSON
Marcelo Blanco, CADC Graphic Designer Brandon Clarke, Lead Administrative Assistant
//CONTRIBUTORS Latha Bhavnani, writer & editor / Stephanie Bond, writer & editor Paul Holley, Director, Center for Construction, Innovation and Collaboration Miranda Nobles, Office of Communications and Marketing / Morgan Smothers, writer & editor Karen Rogers, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, and Associate Professor
// MESSAGE FROM the school head
At the schoolâ€™s fall industry advisory council meeting it was
unanimously decided to review the structure of how the school seeks advisement and assistance from industry and alumni. Currently the school has an Industry Advisory Council (IAC) that consists of two officers, 26 members and 7 emeritus members. The objective of the IAC is to advance the educational, service, and applied research opportunities of the McWhorter School of Building Science. At the IAC meeting it was agreed that there was a need to widen the opportunities for alumni to provide advisement and assistance to the school. The following re-structuring was agreed.
Welcome to the Spring 2018 edition of Quoin. As we end
the spring semester, we would normally be approaching a calmer time in the academic cycle as we move into the summer. Graduates begin their first full-time job and students head out around the country on internships. This summer however will be different and much more busy and exciting! As reported in the last edition of Quoin, we are responding to intensified demand for our students by increasing our summer admissions and providing more students the opportunity to graduate from Auburn with a Building Construction degree. We also have two major construction projects in Gorrie this summer. In February we began construction on the renovation of the Demonstration Lab on the first floor
1. Establishing an Industry Executive Board which would have the same composition and members and objectives as the current IAC. 2. The establishment of an Industry Advisory Council that would have a much larger and possibly regional membership and would have different but complementary objectives to the new Industry Executive Board. Following meetings in Atlanta, Birmingham and Auburn a draft structure for the two groups has been agreed and this summer BSCI Alumni will be given the opportunity to sign up to be part of our new advisory and advocacy process.
of the Gorrie Center.
The plans for this project were described in the last edition of
Quoin and we are all excited to be moving into this space later in the year. Also during the summer we will start and complete work on the conversion of a traditional teaching space to a state-of-the-art Engaged Active Student Learning (EASL) classroom. This space will be operational by the start of
the fall semester and we will start teaching classes in the project controls
sequence in this room. Our final construction project that will begin later this year, is the redevelopment of our outdoor field laboratory on Samford Avenue. Thanks to a significant gift from Robins & Morton, we will begin the process of redeveloping the field lab to support both our class laboratories and be a hub for our service learning activities in the community. This is indeed a busy and exciting time to be in The McWhorter School of Building Science!
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Photo: Derek Morrow
// RUSS DOYLE NAMED TOP 40 UNDER 40 by Birmingham Business Journal
The Birmingham Business Journal recently unveiled its Top 40
Harris Doyle Homes in 2008. Since that time, the company has grown each
under 40— a distinguished group of up-and-coming business leaders
year. Harris Doyle currently builds in the Birmingham and Auburn/Opelika
who will shape Birmingham and their industries for years to come. This
markets. The company has been consecutively named in the Birmingham
group comprises of individuals who have compiled a list of impressive accom-
Business Journal as "One of the Largest and Fastest Growing Companies."
plishments before their 40th birthdays. “This award is really a great honor,” said
Doyle served a 3-year term on the Board of Directors for the Greater
Russ Doyle’03. “However, I owe all the credit to our team at Harris Doyle Homes.
Birmingham Association of Home Builders as well as the Parade of Homes
The energetic and entrepreneurial culture fosters an ownership mentality that
Committee and Land Developers Council, and is an active member of a
allows our company to jump quickly over hurdles. Our recent growth and
nationwide Builder 20 group. He also volunteers with the Children’s Hospital
acquisition would not have been possible without everyone striving to a
of Alabama and UAB Athletics.
common focused goal.”
Doyle's fascination with construction started from a very early age
said. “To graduate, one had to have determination, perseverance, and a little
“Completing the Building Science program was tough,” Doyle
when he was “hand-digging” footings for his dad’s custom home-building
‘smarts’. Just knowing that I had made it through the program gave me the
company, DKM Homes, Inc. After graduating from Auburn University with an
confidence to tackle any project or issue that came my way,” he added.
undergraduate degree in building science, he decided to put his education to work
and came home to Birmingham to be a superintendent for his father’s company.
going mainstream in the construction industry. “Technology is the obvious
According to him, Auburn prepared him for the innovations that are
“I thought I would go the commercial construction route during college, but
change, and the building science curriculum prepped us with a solid techno-
ended up in the residential sector, and am glad that I took that route,” he added.
logical base to learn on. Another major change is the consumer’s value
“My dad is and will always be my mentor, and I am fortunate that he taught
perception of sustainable building. This was starting to become popular
me the ropes.”
when I was at Auburn, but I did not expect this to become the new normal
for building practices.”
In the summer of his junior year (2002), Doyle landed an internship
with Bailey Harris Construction in Auburn, as an assistant superintendent.
In 2017, he sold Harris Doyle Homes to Clayton Properties Group, a
His main job was to replace deteriorating bricks on Dudley Hall. In 2005, he
Berkshire Hathaway company. “We will continue to operate under the Harris
started his own building company, Fireside Homes in Birmingham. After
Doyle name and all of our leadership team remains in place. This partnership
meeting Brooks Harris in 2005, the two residential builders began working
combines the capital strength of Berkshire Hathaway with our energetic team
on projects together in Pelham, and developed a strong working relationship.
to continue our innovative approach to home building,” he said.
They ultimately decided to capitalize on each other’s strengths and launched
// CADC INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM AWARDED Largest HUD Grant in Auburn University History
Auburn University`s College of Architecture, Design
and Construction was awarded a $635,000 grant by the U.S.
Collins will be involved throughout the research but will focus
mainly on constructability and cost estimating related to the designs
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to
being developed. According to Collins, the research which started
develop housing solutions for people with vision and mobility
in the fall of 2017, has three key objectives as its goal. “The goal
disabilities, and for individuals to age in place. This is the
driving the research team will be our determination to move beyond
largest HUD grant ever awarded to Auburn University and the first in
study and design to real change in home design and construction
over a decade.
practices,” he said.
The grant is exceptional in part because it relies on interdisci-
Their main objective is to develop designs for new construction
plinary collaboration. Faculty from all three schools in CADC are involved
of affordable, energy-efficient in 2-, 3-, and 4-unit single-family homes that
in the project, as well as faculty from the College of Education’s Center for
will utilize universal design principles and based upon usability testing. The
Disability Research and Policy Studies, or CDRPS, and an industry partner,
plan is to incorporate new strategies to enable the homes to adapt to meet
Smart Solutions/Smart Home Automation. An advisory panel for the project is
the needs of those aging in place, and prepare designs to address a range of
comprised of representatives from organizations including AARP, Volunteers
family size and affordability.
for America, Habitat for Humanity, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind,
Accessible Alabama and Home Builders Association of Alabama.
rooms, such as kitchens and bathrooms, in existing homes to meet the need
Key team members include, Justin Miller, principal investigator and
The second objective of the project is to help in the renovation of
of different types of disabilities.
chair of the Architecture Program; co-principal investigators include Rusty
Dissemination of information through various channels is the focus
Smith, associate director of Rural Studio; Wesley Collins, assistant professor
of the team. They include websites and/or apps produced for home modifica-
in the McWhorter School of Building Science; and Christine Fleming, director
tion, articles with website and app access codes in stakeholder publications
of CDRPS. Other team members include David Hill, chair of the Landscape
such as AARP The Magazine, and displays on disability-related remodeling
Architecture program, and Jerrod Windham and Shu Wen Tzeng, faculty from
products and approaches targeting contractor outlets such as Home Depot,
the Industrial Design program.
appropriate policy makers, and architecture and disability-related conferences.
The outcomes will include housing design solutions and prototypes,
“This transdisciplinary team of Auburn researchers is uniquely
applications and smart home technology design and policy and implementa-
positioned to assist HUD in addressing the complex issues related to the
tion guidelines, as well as instruction manuals for anticipated stakeholders.
design and construction of affordable, sustainable, accessible housing
The project extends longstanding, ongoing work by faculty in CADC, that
for people with special needs and circumstances,” said CADC Dean and
engages issues related to assistive technologies and affordable and accessible
McWhorter Chair Vini Nathan. “The expected outcomes of this project have
housing in rural and urban environments.
the potential for transformative impact in this domain.”
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// NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
With larger than expected enrollments, the McWhorter
DIANNE KIM graduated with an undergraduate degree
School of Building Science added five new adjunct faculty members
from Auburn's building science program in 1994. Starting her career
Allen Conradi, Dianne Kim, Kelley Pennington, Roger Rice and Amna
as a cooperative education student with Turner Construction Company,
Salman to its teaching team. Adjuncts are an important piece of the
she spent 26 years with the company working in the Nashville and Atlanta
professoriate and are heavily used, especially in professional programs.
business units, and finally for Turner’s headquarters in New York City
At Auburn University, only 11.0% of the teaching staff are part-time
before her retirement.
non-faculty or non-tenure track faculty, and this use of adjuncts is far
below the national average of 50.8%.
management working on jobsites. She transitioned from the jobsite to work
Kim spent the first 12+ years of her career at Turner in project
An adjunct faculty member, like a full-time faculty member,
with the national group responsible for standardization and implementation
enriches the educational experience. As outside professionals teaching
of Turner’s project management software, and that work led to her next
in applied and specialized career fields, adjuncts bring the latest exper-
role as the Operations Manager for the Information Technology team.
tise to the classroom. In this role, they can be effective mentors and
During her tenure within IT, Turner implemented an Enterprise Resource
models to students, and often bring a level of professional experience
Planning (ERP) system, and Dianne was responsible for preparing the IT
and perspective that transcend traditional academic instruction.
organization for the implementation. Subsequent to the implementation, she was appointed to lead the company wide ERP software adoption
ALLEN CONRADI, a third generation graduate from Auburn
effort. Upon completion of that assignment, Dianne was asked to lead a
University, graduated from AU in building science in 2015. He brings
new company wide effort for Continuous Improvement and Organizational
several years of experience educating and training apprentice electri-
Change Management. That work led to her next assignment as the
cians in a work place setting. As an adjunct, he teaches two sections
Business Manager of Turner’s Global Sourcing Solutions team, responsible
of Electrical Systems in buildings.
for global procurement of materials for many of Turner’s jobsites.
In addition to teaching, Conradi also helps with student compe-
Kim is confident that she can transfer her mentoring experience
tition teams. He cites his own experience with student teams as his
at Turner to her teaching position at Auburn. She is teaching Construction
“best learning opportunities” while attending Auburn. He helped prepare
Documents (BSCI 2200) this spring and fall semester. Kim collaborates
the Electrical team for Spring 2018 ACS Open competitions in Reno with
with Professors Tom Leathem and Lauren Redden on the material for the
Professor Mark Tatum. In the fall of 2017, through his business (Thalamus
class and lab. “We aim to bring a nice blend of theoretical and practical
LLC), he sponsored the BSCI competition teams and observed the teams’
application into the learning situation,” she added.
practice presentations. “I hope to continue to get opportunities to give back to the school through competition teams,” Conradi added.
KELLEY PENNINGTON graduated from Auburn University
with a B.S. in building construction and received his Juris Doctorate degree from T.G. Jones School of Law. As an adjunct professor in the
program, he is teaching Construction Law and Risk Management.
An operational expert, Pennington works as a project director
and owner representative with TCU Consultancy. Prior to joining TCU, he had a successful career culminating as the Vice President of BaileyHarris Construction. He has over 25 years in the construction industry
AMNA SALMAN received an undergraduate degree
and acts as Owner’s Representative, developing project scope and
in Architecture from the School of Architecture, University of
managing education and mixed-use projects, as well as coordinating all
Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan in 2008. She received
construction management efforts to include architecture, engineering
two master degrees from Auburn University in 2013, in Community
consultants, general contractors, and procurement agents. Pennington
Planning (MCP) from APLA, and in Public Administration (MPA) from the
provides dispute management consulting services for members of the
College of Liberal Arts.
teach structures I and II, and sustainability. Prior to this instructional job,
His past experience as a tradesman, superintendent and
construction manager managing multi-million dollar general construc-
Salman, who has been teaching since 2016, is assigned to
she was an employee in the Office of University Architect, Division of
tion and design build projects provides a wealth of knowledge to the
Facilities Management at Auburn University, and worked extensively on
building science program. Pennington has been a long time member of
the Campus Master Plan.
the Industrial Advisory Council.
In addition to teaching, Salman is focusing her research on
sustainability and building information modeling (BIM). As a Graduate
ROGER RICE brings an array of academic background to
the program. After graduating with a degree in Building Construction
in 1973 from Auburn University, he received a master’s degree in civil engineering and structural mechanics in 1975, from the University of California-Berkeley, and a Master of Management from Northwestern University in 1990. He also held his professional engineers license for civil engineering and surveying from 1977 until 2002.
Research Assistant, she worked with Professor Salman Azhar on a Capacity Building Construction Safety Project funded by the USAID. She was responsible for data collection, analysis and report writing. She has coauthored three papers that were presented in International Conference, one of which won a best paper award at the 8th Engineering, Project, and Production Management Conference held in Amman, Jordan in September 2017.
“My Auburn education prepared me for many roles in the
Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, something I will always be grateful for,” said Rice. After graduating from Auburn, Rice worked for Fluor Corporation, a global engineering and construction company. He moved to USG Corporation, and finally to Domtar Gypsum, a producer of building materials. In 1990, as Vice President of Quality at Domtar, his team taught Total Quality to nearly 3000 employees through their Employee Involvement program. “In 1996, I left Domtar to run my own small firm,” Rice added.
After working in the AEC industry for over 40 years, Rice returned
to Auburn teaching three courses to date: Construction Documents (BSCI 2200), Construction Materials and Methods (BSCI 2300), and Structures I (BSCI 2400). In summer, he will add structures III (BSCI 3450) to his repertoire.
Professor Rice likes to be involved in as many CADC functions
as possible. For example, on request from Professor Mike Hosey, he helped coach a student competition team with their presentation. He is also helping the student chapter of AGC (Associated General Contractors) with their membership drive. He attends all CADC Career Fairs, and when time permits, he audits classes in the program.
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// UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION RECEIVES Provost Assessment Excellence Award The undergraduate building construction program in the
Exemplary Assessment reports, including this year’s award
McWhorter School of Building Science was selected as the winner
winner can be found on www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/academi-
of the Provost`s Program Assessment Excellence Award. The award
cassessment/reporting/reports/ “This a great honor for the school,” said
is given to one program each year that employs especially strong and
Richard Burt, McWhorter Endowed Chair and head of The McWhorter
innovative assessment practices.
School of Building Science. “The school has worked diligently toward
The Office of Academic Assessment, a unit within the
making assessment part of its culture. Our team has risen to this challenge
Provost’s Office, was formed in July 2015. To support programs in their
and has put together an assessment plan that has been recognized by
assessment work, Dr. Megan Good, director of Academic Assessment,
our peers as the best in the university. The school is immensely proud
created a system to provide feedback to programs on the quality of
of our achievement.”
their assessment work. “Specifically, 20 trained faculty raters evaluated program assessment reports using the Quality of Assessment Rubric over the summer,” said Good. The rubric includes 11 elements, and quality can range from 1.0 (Beginning), to 2.0 (Developing), 3.0 (Mature),
“The school has worked diligently toward making
or 4.0 (Exemplary).
assessment part of its culture. Our team has risen
to this challenge and has put together an assessment
The Provost’s Program Assessment Excellence Award is given
to one program each year that scores at least a 3.0 (Mature) on every
plan that has been recognized by our peers as the
element of the Quality Assessment Rubric, and employs an especially
best in the university. The school is immensely
strong and innovative approach to their assessment work. A 16-member Auburn University Assessment Council, made up of representatives from schools and colleges in the university, reviewed the 25 programs that met the award criteria and selected the Building Science, BS program to be the winner of this award for 2017.
“The Provost’s Program Assessment Excellence Award has
been awarded twice—last year to the MBC program and this year to the undergraduate program. The Department of Building Science has implemented an incredible assessment infrastructure that is worthy of recognition across campus.”
proud of our achievement.” Richard Burt
// IAC HIGHLIGHT Donald Hellen Q & A with Donald Hellen What changes have you seen in the program since you graduated? I am impressed by the program’s direction towards software innovation. It covers tools that are currently impacting the market. The expansion of the program to
“I believe transparency and open communication
include a deeper emphasis on
are fundamental to success
superintendence and estimating
and prosperous results.”
is both appreciated and
encouraging to the industry. What is the philosophy that
Donald Hellen graduated with an undergraduate degree in
guides your professional life?
Building Science in 1987. Employed at Turner Construction Company in
My business philosophy has
the southeast region, he is the manager of preconstruction departments
adjusted over the phases of my
in Nashville, Memphis, and Huntsville, Ala.
career, but it continues to center
on continuous improvement and
He obtained his LEED Accredited Professional (Building Design
+ Construction) certification to help him in the design and construction
the development of team members.
phase of green buildings serving the commercial, residential, education
I believe transparency and open
and healthcare sectors. “Since a large percentage of projects use design
communication are fundamental
build or design assistance agreements, companies need to have LEED
to success and prosperous results.
accredited professionals on staff,” he added.
Hellen credits his father’s profession for his choosing a career
in building. His father was a superintendent at Mosler Safe Company. Hellen was introduced to construction at an early age. He assumed a
trends in construction today? The era of bidding on completed plans has shifted to contractors competing on a qualifications and fee basis. The market sees value in a collaborative project approach because contractors can provide input during design, offering component concepts that save
What do you see as the role
the client money—and ultimately,
of the Industry Advisory
an interactivity that enables the
identification of potential project
variety of roles: as a laborer, a welder, and as a concrete foreman, when
An important value of the IAC is
he worked summers and breaks through high school and college with
exchanging information to guide
Atlanta based concrete subcontractor Reeves & Wagner. His ambition
the curriculum to better prepare
was to be part of Auburn University’s innovative and progressive culture.
and train the students to excel
Hellen achieved his goal, a degree in construction.
and effect our industry. Spirited
“Auburn Building Sciences (BSCI) graduates are well prepared
discussion between the collection
to contribute upon entering a career-field thanks to the school’s focus on
of companies, and the experience
teaching relevant practical construction practices. I believe the greatest
represented by the board, offer an
value I obtained from Auburn, aside from the technical knowledge of my
encompassing perspective on
concentration, was my ability to effect and influence the company of my
future construction needs being
initial hiring,” he added.
desired by the employers.
What are the biggest
challenge before they arise during construction. This helps contractors meet client expectations and stay within a specified budget. Buyers have become more cognizant and are using builders’ knowledge on cost and methods to obtain more value.
The first in his family to graduate from Auburn, Hellen is joined
by his wife and sister who graduated from Auburn, and most recently by his son, who earned an engineering degree in 2014.
Q U O I N MAG A ZI N E 20 1 8
SE RVIC E LE A R NING
// BUILDING CONNECTIONS: Service Learning Projects Here and Abroad Connecting classroom instruction with the real world takes
many forms, and one ideal engagement for students is the potential to apply this learning to service. Service learning enhances and
deepens students' understanding of an academic subject, develops leadership and life skills, and engages them in critical reflection about individual, institutional, and social ethics. “Although the application of academic skills is a necessary corollary to the service, empathy that emerges as a consequence of that experience is immeasurable,” says Scott Kramer, professor in charge of service learning at the McWhorter School of Building Science.
According to Kramer, the school has more than 30 years of
experience performing service projects. Historically, projects were often undertaken as part of the concrete structures class where students poured concrete slabs for non-profit organizations. These concrete projects, were started by Professors Michael Hein and Steve Williams to provide hands-on experiential learning for the students.
In order to build on that history of service, starting Fall semester,
Building Science will offer a Service Learning Field Lab as a requirement in the fourth year of the professional program. Student teams will work with
“ Service learning enhances and deepens students'
non-profits to conduct a service learning project and integrate all compo-
understanding of an academic subject, develops
nents of the construction process. During the spring semester, non-profit
leadership and life skills, and engages them in
organizations will present project opportunities, and the teams will choose
critical reflection about individual, institutional,
the project they will work on in the fall semester. Students will have to come up with a plan in the first three weeks of the semester, have ten weeks to work on the project, two weeks to make a completion video/class assessment, and wrap it all up during final exams with a presentation to the class and client.
and social ethics.” Scott Kramer
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE PROJECT SERVICE LEARNING in Haiti
In Haiti, Kramer, working with Professor Robert Finkel
and his students in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design, is developing medical and public health posters for use in medical clinics for people that can't read or write. A combined service and
research project, it involves students and faculty working from the campus in Auburn. In addition, Professor Chris Arnold and David Gowan are designing a canopy shade system to be built outside the medical clinic to provide shade for patients waiting to see the doctor. The design will use water-permeable fabric, a tube-steel pole, and pulley system to raise and lower the shades.
Professor Randy Bartlett and his Industrial Design students
are engaged in developing a “medical lab in a backpack” for medical missionary workers in Thoman and Gallet Chambon, Haiti. The backpacks will hold diagnostic devices for testing patients in very remote hillside villages. “We are hoping to have a working prototype by the end of spring semester,” added Kramer. “It may be something that we could leverage into a seed grant that would support phase 2 or 3 of design and field testing. Our belief is that if it works in Haiti, it can work anywhere, in Africa, India, China, Ecuador.”
Professor Randy Bartlett and his Industrial Design students are engaged in developing a “medical lab in a backpack” for medical missionary workers in Thoman and Gallet Chambon, Haiti.
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INTERNATIONAL SERVICE PROJECT CONSTRUCTION IN CULTURE: Ecuador
When the school expanded the program to the interna-
tional arena in 2010, projects were undertaken as joint ventures with a non-profit group called SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Appropriate Technology) located in Lineville, AL. The class, Construction in Culture-Ecuador, is in high demand and seats fill early, often there is a waiting list for the next semester. Teams taking
this class have travelled to the suburbs of Quito—Calderon and Aida Leon. This is the ninth year that students have gone to Quito, Ecuador. Professors Alan Bugg, Wes Collins, Ben Farrow, Junshan Liu,
year that work on various aspects of the project at any given time.
Darren Olsen, Bruce Smith and Robert Finkel (Graphic Design) have
“There are also several ongoing design projects in Ecuador,” said Kramer.
traveled with the teams. Construction projects are typically a small church
The project in Aida Leon, Ecuador, organized by Professor Junshan Liu,
or an addition to an existing church in poor urban areas. These buildings are
will map the area around the construction site with LiDAR laser scanning
used as after-school programs during the week, giving children from poor
equipment. Liu and his students will use the data to create a point cloud
families a safe place to meet. One of the joint-venture partners, Compassion
of the area and then create a BIM computer model of the new church.
International, provides meals, uniforms and tutoring services to the children.
Graduate and undergraduate students that work on their MBC capstone
A project typically runs for two years and is sponsored by a
or undergraduate research thesis usually work on these types of design
SIFAT graduate. The Auburn team has been referred to as the Point
projects. Students have taken existing building designs and provided
of the Spear because it is the first team to venture into the new
SIFAT and the church with value engineering, constructability analysis,
construction project, often digging footings for the foundation. SIFAT
cost estimates and construction schedules.
and the church typically host 20 different volunteer teams during the
A WEEK IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS: Ecuador
In Spring 2017, 15 Building Science students registered
in Construction in Culture — Ecuador, traveled to Quito, Ecuador.
Auburn University partnered with SIFAT to build an extension to an existing church, a narrow three-story Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) structure envisioned to function as an afterschool center for underprivileged children.
Students Erin Allee, Justin DaValle, Mitchell Davis, Grant
Dohrenwend, Charlie Esskuchen, Trent Huffines, Richard King, Sam McMath, Chase Merrill, Scott Osborne, Trey Phillips, Francisco Santiago, William Speaks, Cameron Waddle, and Mark Walsh assisted local builders and used technology common to developing countries.
Their time in Ecuador began with a historical tour of the area.
These tours were the beginning of their connection to the culture and to the people with whom they would be working. The group learned about the cultures surrounding this unique spot on the globe during an excursion to the “Middle of the World” at two different locations for the Equator. They climbed 14,000 feet during a hike in the Andes mountains, followed by an architectural tour of various churches and statues learning how they were built. They visited the Basílica del Voto Nacional, a gothic cathedral that took more than 400 years to build.
Q U O I N MAG A ZI N E 20 1 8
“The architecture tour of the Basilica was incredible,” said
done according to local standards, because the superintendent and the
William Speaks. “The trip was structured not only to serve the people
project engineer instructed them about the process. “They made sure
of Quito, but also to teach us differences in construction practices and
we knew exactly how to tie rebar, how to prepare the right mixes for
allowed us to learn even more about the culture.”
concrete and mortar, and how to lay the blocks. It was very easy to learn
The team spent five days at the construction site. They learned
the thought process behind it.”
quickly that construction practices in the United States may not always be
the best solution to problems for other countries. Without the luxury of
work for thinking about service and what it meant to be civically engaged
any machines, they learned to mix everything by hand. In place of cranes,
on an international stage. “The goal of the service learning program is to
For many students, the experience provided them with a frame-
they created assembly lines up and down the stairs to move supplies.
plant the seed of service in the students’ hearts and minds,” said Kramer. Along with mixing concrete and mortar, they bent rebar and tied it by hand. “Once completed, the hope is that they will carry on this mission in their For many, it was definitely a learning experience realizing that technology professional careers too.” common for third world countries was very different from what they were
used to stateside.
from the Allison and Jim Gorrie Foundation. The Foundation promises
Soon, four columns, a staircase, and four layers of block for
an enhanced educational experience for students in the program. It
the outside walls emerged. They learned to build the formwork for the
will also develop a new generation of students who think beyond their
four columns. The teams began pouring concrete into the columns using
borders, and use service as a way to help improve the lives of people
Service Learning classes and projects are supported by a gift
their assembly line of concrete buckets. The next couple of days saw
in the world.
people spreading stucco on the second floor walls, while others laid
block on the third floor for the exterior walls. The maestro checked to
in place, but Kramer hopes to replicate that experience in Panama
see if the spacing between the blocks were correct. Once the block was
and Cuba. Working with Third Lens (a non-profit ministry, led by Brian
Currently, Quito is the only international service learning class
correctly placed, mortar was used to fill in the cracks. They had teams
O’Neil, and Caroline Garner, an MBC alum) and Keith Foster with the
of two working on different sides of the building, laying block and filling
Auburn United Methodist Church, Kramer hopes students can partic-
cracks, while others were mixing and keeping the mortar from getting dry.
ipate in building 50 homes, over the next five years, made using
tube steel in the northwest corner of Panama where the indigenous
“It was an amazing opportunity to combine academics and
culture,” said Allee. The students felt confident that the job was being
Gnobe People live.
HELPING HOUSTON RECOVER
Professor Lauren Redden created the service program in
Houston after the natural disasters in 2017. The objective was
to provide an opportunity for students to impact a community during spring break. Scott Kramer and Redden worked together to develop a low cost program for students to serve outside Lee and Macon County, but within the United States.
SERVICE LEARNING STATESIDE
Since this was the first program of its kind, Redden organized
a small group of seven students, three graduate and four undergraduate
Stateside, the school has been working with other
students. The team partnered with Keith Foster of Auburn United Methodist
non-profit agencies like But God Ministry (BGM), Jackson, Miss.,
Church to identify and vet the families in the greater Houston area. Foster
and Third Lens. BGM is building a Hope Center (fashioned after
also joined the team in Houston and helped with logistics associated
Haiti«s Thoman Hope Center) in Jonestown in the Mississippi Delta.
with maximizing the team’s time to help as many families as possible.
CADC was the first university team to stay at the new Mississippi Hope
“We aided in the recovery effort that is estimated to continue for several
Center. Professor Bugg and ten DBIA students worked on the design of
more years. Our team’s main work scope was drywall. We performed
the medical clinic and life center over a three-day weekend.
various tasks to prep each space for this work as well. Our students
The school is working with another non-profit, Samson’s
were ready to do whatever it took to help. Our team was able to knock
Strength Sustainable Veterans Project (SSSVP) located in Lineville, Ala.,
out work on four different homes during our time there,” added Redden.
which is working with veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq
wars with PTSD. Professors Alan Bugg, Mike Hosey, Kramer, Lauren
us to see outside of our normal lives, and it is moving to donate your time
Redden and April Simons are looking at the possibility of students building
to do good for other people. By interacting with others, it offers oppor-
small ADA compliant homes for the veterans group. Once completed,
tunity to grow socially, individually and as a community. This program is
According to Redden, service learning is important. “It allows
these houses will be donated to the veterans and used at the 175 acre
purely service, because the students are not receiving any class credit
for their participation.”
Q U O I N MAG A ZI N E 20 1 8
FALL 2018 CAREER EXPO
// INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES AND STUDENTS interact during Spring Career Fair
The spring 2018 Career Fair and Interviews were held in February at the
Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. The event spanned two days with the
Career Fair on February 20 and the Interviews scheduled for the following day. “Nearly seventy companies participated in the fair,” said Brandon Clarke, Lead Administrative Assistant-Academic. “More than 250 students attended the fair. We thank all the participants for making this event a success.” COMPANIES REPRESENTED
ABG CAULKING CONTRACTORS
HENSEL PHELPS-SE DISTRICT
AJAX BUILDING CORPORATION
ALABAMA RURAL MINISTRIES
AMERICA’S HOME PLACE
JE DUNN CONSTRUCTION
JOHN W MCDOUGALL COMPANY, INC.
AUSTIN COMMERCIAL, LP
JUNEAU CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
KEVIN PRICE CONSTRUCTION
BHATE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATES, INC.
BL HARBERT INTERNATIONAL, LLC-DOMESTIC
M.J. HARRIS CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, LLC
BRASFIELD & GORRIE, LLC
MARINE CORPS OFFICER PROGRAM
MCCARTHY BUILDING COMPANY
CARROLL DANIEL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
MILL CREEK CONSTRUCTION
MONTGOMERY MARTIN CONTRACTORS, LLC
CBG BUILDING COMPANY
NABHOLZ CONSTRUCTION SERVICES
CBRE GROUP, INC.
CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES, INC.
RA-LIN & ASSOCIATES, INC.
DAVID WEEKLEY HOMES
ROBINS & MORTON
DOSTER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC.
SIGNAL ENERGY CONSTRUCTORS
THE BECK GROUP
THE CONLAN COMPANY
EVANS GENERAL CONTRACTORS
THE NASSAL COMPANY
FULCRUM CONSTRUCTION, LLC
TURNER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
G.A. WEST & COMPANY, INC.
GILBANE BUILDING COMPANY
WARREN-HANKS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
GMF STEEL GROUP
WHITE SPUNNER CONSTRUCTION
GOLDEN CONSTRUCTION, LLC
WHITING -TU RNER
CONTR AC TING
FALL 2018 CAREER EXPO
Q U O I N MAG A ZI N E 20 1 8
// STATE OF THE CENTER Paul Holley Director of the Center for Construction, Innovation & Collaboration
The 2017-2018 academic year saw many changes and insights,
both in the construction industry and here at Auburn. As the Center for
Construction Innovation & Collaboration (CCIC) continues its endeavors and developments, I thought I’d share some perspectives with you, our ‘clients.’
This past year, Auburn University welcomed a new President,
a Provost, an Athletic Director, and a Chief Legal Counsel, and there are several other ‘key’ positions primed to be assumed by new individuals soon. As in industry, change presents opportunities and a promise of different energy and points of view.
The CCIC has now formally been active for eight years, the
Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, to get a better idea of how
first five of which were under the leadership of Steve Williams. After
current and future products in the marketplace have the potential to
a subsequent external review and assessment, we’ve spent the past
influence or assist the construction industry. We were stunned at the
two years supporting the research of a new cadre of faculty in Building
range of technologies on the horizon; it does not take much imagination to
Science. We continue to foster practical interdisciplinary efforts, and are
envision how technologies like LiDAR scanning, holograms, 360-degree
preparing to develop a new strategic plan aligned with both industry and
imagery, headset-based document access, and many others are and will
the university mission. Changes are afoot in the construction industry
be commonplace on the jobsite in short order. A far cry from the ‘latest
as well as in construction education, and the CCIC plans to be relevant
technologies’ when I entered the industry, like Vernier theodolites, HP
and instrumental in innovative and collaborative efforts. This past Fall,
calculators, and the fax machine. The CCIC looks forward to exploring
the Center underwrote several projects in its annual grants program that
potential future research on the technology front.
In January, Professor Anoop Sattineni and I attended the
illustrate this. Soon you’ll see the results of Professors Wes Collins, Jeff VIRTUAL DESIGN + CONSTRUCTION WORKSHOP
Kim, and Lauren Redden’s efforts to develop standards and practices for educating our students on practical applications of mobile technologies.
Professor Collins is also pursuing an analysis and the development of a
in California best known for GPS, LiDAR, and construction software
future research agenda on healthcare construction that I suspect would be
solutions) to host a two-day event that highlighted a variety of virtual
of interest to many of you. Collins and I recently attended the 2018 ASHE
design and construction (VDC) presentations and workshops. Guest
Conference in Nashville to better understand the national landscape on
speakers from Trimble and SketchUp (3D modeling software) representa-
this front, and saw many AU BSCI graduates there. Professors Leathem
tives as well as industry end-users from Turner Construction and McCarthy
and Wetzel are currently working on best practices to connect the design
Construction made presentations and conducted workshops with classes,
and construction disciplines in contextual work in school projects—an
labs, and studios across all three Schools in CADC. Their visit was part
obvious opportunity, but often a ‘unicorn’ in pragmatic logistics.
of Trimble’s Visiting Professionals Program, and also included an open
In this issue, you’ll also read about an applied undergraduate
lecture by Trimble Vice President Roz Buick on the current technologies
research project undertaken by Eric Lynn. His study on concrete and
and anticipated future of VDC in the design and construction industries.
slurry waste and contamination, and his partnership with Industrial Design
faculty member, Professor Ben Bush, is an outstanding example of how
Dietzen (SketchUp), Renzo Di Furia (Turner), Leighton Kellet (BuildingPoint
our College can take on problem solving as a practical matter across
Gulf Coast), Shannon Lightfoot (McCarthy), Allyson McDuffie (Trimble),
disciplines. If you have industry ‘problems’ or ideas that might be good
Eric Schimelpfening (SketchThis) and Jonathan Stoner (Trimble), connected
subjects for Center-sponsored research, please let us know.
with a variety of audiences across the college.
CCIC recently partnered with Trimble (a major manufacturer
Speakers—Chris Brashar (SketchUp), Roz Buick (Trimble), Aaron
CCIC UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
// A RESEARCH PROJECT: TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS — Concrete Slurry
People working in the construction industry constantly
deal with concrete waste as well as associated slurry as part of the placement process with pumps, mixers, and other related equipment. The disposal of the washout residue is regulated by
According to Holley, the process of collaborating between BSCI
and INDD was natural. “Bush generated the initial range of really thoughtful concepts, to which Eric and I contributed refinement,” he added. “By working with industry professionals, we produced a prototype and
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and local jurisdic-
several designs covered under a provisional patent,” Lynn added. The
tions, each imposing their own sanctions on violating contractors.
first prototype was presented to industry and will be used for testing.
BSCI IAC member Wayne Bylsma (President, Cherokee Pumping, “Hopefully, this study created a foundation to allow many solutions to be pursued in the future.”
Inc.) brought the problem to the Center for Construction Innovation
& Collaboration (CCIC) to help him find ways to better handle the collection, relocation and removal of concrete waste and slurry “By working with industry professionals, we produced
from construction sites.
The project became the subject of undergraduate student Eric
Lynn’s alternative BSCI Research Thesis. Lynn worked in partnership with
a prototype and several designs covered under a provisional patent...
CCIC Director Paul Holley, INDD faculty member Ben Bush (co-investigator), and Bylsma. The study was conducted mainly through interviews and
construction jobsite visits in Auburn and at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
According to Lynn, the most crucial part of the project was
the Site Observation phase. These visits were crucial to the design process by providing accurate dimensions, limitations and other logistical requirements. They were able to break down underlying problems in current practices in order to design a product specifically targeted to industry needs. Lynn worked on developing concepts and identified the most promising solutions.
Q U O I N MAG A ZI N E 20 1 8
// BUILDING SCIENCE STUDENTS attend AGC Convention
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA),
Guild provides students with activities that complement the curriculum
the nation«s largest and oldest construction trade association,
and enhance classroom learning and social networks including service
held its annual convention in New Orleans recently. Students and
projects, student socials, attendance at industry events, field trips, and
faculty from the McWhorter School of Building Science at the convention
student competitions. The Auburn student chapter of the Alabama
received some exciting news: Eddie Stewart, a Montgomery executive
chapter of the AGCA is open to all undergraduate and graduate BSCI and
and president of Caddell Construction, was named president of the AGCA.
In the 100-year history of Alabama AGC, Stewart is the first national
president from Alabama to lead the AGCA.
the community. Throughout the year, several initiatives and projects are
An important aspect of the student chapter is its involvement in
Richard Burt, Head of the McWhorter School of Building
undertaken to give back to the community. “By being involved, we are
Science, considered it a great honor for the program to be involved in
providing a tangible help to people in need and are helping to develop an
the installation of Alabama’s first ever National AGC President. “What
attitude of service among our members,” added Jackson.
makes this news extraordinary is that Eddie is a big supporter of the
AU program, and serves on the school’s Construction Industry Fund
ship skills and the opportunity to network with industry leaders are two
Administrative Committee,” he said.
important perks of the membership,” added Burt, faculty advisor to the
At the convention, Auburn’s AGC student chapter and the
chapter. “Having Eddie in the position of National President, and Alex
distance graduate education programs, showcased the McWhorter
Whaley II as Alabama AGC President, serves as a great motivation for our
School of Building Science. According to student chapter president,
AGC student chapter members. It shows what can be achieved through
Jarrett Jackson, the AGCA seeks to connect Auburn University students
exceptional leadership and sustained dedication to the industry.”
with construction industry professionals who are committed to the next generation of construction, business and community leaders. We met many AGC member company executives and learned about new products, technologies and practices in the construction industry," he said. “We had the great privilege of being with Mr. Stewart as he was inducted to be the president of AGC of America.” The AGC Builders
“The chapter provides many benefits, but developing leader-
CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION
// CONSTRUCTION JOBS ON THE UPSWING in the United States INDEED BEST JOBS OF 2018
When people are asked what makes their job ideal, common
responses probably include salary or work environment. A few other
factors such as job security and satisfaction, culture and career potential
% GROWTH IN NUMBER OF POSTING 2014-2017
AVERAGE BASE SALARY
may also figure in the responses.
COMMERCIAL PROJECT MANAGER
To identify the best jobs in America in 2018 researchers at
FULL STACK DEVELOPER
Indeed (a U.S. Job and Recruitment website) focused on two factors:
COMPUTER VISION ENGINEER
salary (jobs with a baseline salary of at least $75,000) and abundance of
MACHINE LEARNING ENGINEER
opportunity (jobs which have seen the most growth on Indeed since 2014).
Overall, 16 jobs appeared in the results that didn’t make it in
2017. And as for which job came first, it was commercial project manager
which leapt from #19 in 2017 to the number one spot this year. It was
propelled by an average base salary of $81,023 and an impressive 277%
DEVELOPMENT OPERATIONS ENGINEER
SENIOR TALENT ACQUISITION MANAGER
on last year’s list to 6th place in 2018, with an overall 122% growth in
postings since 2014.
The reason for this uptick may be due to the fact that construc-
tion spending is soaring, and three-quarters of employers in the sector
HEAD OF SALES
reported plans to add staff in 2018. Office construction in particular is
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AGENT
experiencing a revival. Managerial level construction jobs vary when it
comes to education requirements, many companies preferring at minimum
a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field or equivalent experience
working in construction. However, some jobs require only a high school
SENIOR CLINICAL SPECIALIST
diploma plus experience.
USER EXPERIENCE RESEARCHER
growth in job postings between 2014 and 2017.
Not only are construction jobs booming, but many of them are
making their debut on Indeed’s best jobs list. Preconstruction manager (#5), construction estimator (#12), and construction manager (#19) are newcomers. Meanwhile, construction superintendent moved from #24
Q U O I N MAG A ZI N E 20 1 8
// WHALEY FAMILY ENJOYS a spectacular 2018 “The apple does not fall far from the tree” is a very apt idiom
Whaley Sr. maintains a demanding work schedule. He participated in
for the Whaley family. Alex Whaley, Sr. and Alex Whaley II shared a
Leadership Alabama Program, and served as the chairman of the Pike
special distinction in 2018. Whaley Sr., of Whaley Construction Company
County Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as chairman of the
(Troy, Ala.), was one of three leaders recently inducted into the 2018 Alabama
Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors, Chairman of the Pike
Construction Hall of Fame. His son, Alex Whaley II, was named the chapter
County Vocational Technical Advisory Board, a member of the Rotary
president of the Alabama Associated General Contractors (AGC) in 2018.
Club, the Alabama Concrete Industries Associate Board, and on the
a business and improve construction industry in Alabama. He devoted his
board of directors of Troy Bank and Trust since 1979. A third-generation Auburn University graduate, Alex
energy to make Whaley Construction what it is today.
Whaley II earned a degree in building construction in 1990.
Although he started as a business major, he moved to building
According to AGC, Alex Whaley Sr. has worked tirelessly to build
Whaley Construction Company Inc. was established in 1931
as Whaley Lumber Company by Alex Whaley’s father, L.E. Whaley.
science at the end of his freshman year. His interest in building began
The company got its start during the depression when a bonding agent
early on when, as a youth, he started work on simpler projects. “Growing
asked the elder Whaley, who at the time was making windows and
up I worked at Whaley Construction in the field,” said Whaley. “I contin-
doors in the lumber company, to finish failed school jobs. Ultimately,
ued this during the summers and holidays throughout my college career. I
the company built schools all over south Alabama. Alex Whaley was
have always enjoyed working with my hands, and at the core is what I love
7 years old when his father passed away in 1952. He worked his
about our business.”
way through Auburn, graduating with a Building Construction degree
in 1967, and bought Whaley in 1971. He was successful in turning
credits the building science program with teaching him the
the business around from a slump. Whaley Construction has grown
theory behind the structures that he worked on. It was a class
In addition to the social skills he honed in Auburn, he
from a “steam-powered” sawmill to a modern, computerized, indus-
that sparked the lifelong interest that enhanced his career.
trial and commercial construction firm specializing in design-build,
Today, his interest encompasses the industry’s more advanced
construction management and conventional construction operations.
systems. “Electronic distribution of data, has radically changed and contin-
ues to evolve. BIM, drones, and robotic surveying continues to improve our
While working hard building his business, Whaley Sr. also
worked hard to build the construction industry. He became involved
industry and we are learning how to better utilize these technologies daily.
in the Alabama AGC in 1972 and served multiple roles before becom-
As our industry embraces these tools to make our jobsites more efficient,
ing Chapter President in 2008. Whaley currently is a national AGC life
we should not forget that it takes skilled craftsmen to get the project built.
governor, past-chairman of the Alabama AGC state PAC Committee,
and serves on the AGC of America PAC Committee. His son, Alex
2018. As president, he believes that the industry owes a debt of grati-
Whaley II, joined the company in 1997 and became president in 2007.
tude to the hardworking people that have built the industry. “My goal as
He assumed the role of President of Alabama AGC in January
president is to honor that legacy by continuing the hard work and focus on improving our industry.” 22 \\
// BSCI ALUM AMY CARLSON «89 ADVOCATES for Parkinson«s Funding, Understanding and Cure
Amy Carlson `89 figures the American economy was
federal funding for Parkinson’s research programs at the Centers for
robbed of 20 years of her productivity as a construction program
Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the
manager by Parkinson«s Disease. During her years in construction,
Department of Defense (veterans make up a disproportionate number of
she worked for Brice Building Co., USPCI, McDonald’s Corporation,
and Jacobs. Her last project for Jacobs was as a Construction Program
Manager for the Giant Magellan Telescope project that will be constructed
Parkinson’s community. I am thrilled to attend the 2018 Parkinson’s
“Every day I am inspired by the people in the Los Angeles
in the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
Policy Forum to take our message to Capitol Hill,” said Amy. “I want to
Amy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012 when
show our Senators and Representative that mine is just one face behind
she was 44 years old. She had to stop working when she was 48. As
some of the emails and phone calls and that there are so many more
she describes it, her thriving career in construction management along
like me,” she added, “The chance to come together with hundreds of
with her marriage and family “was shanghaied by Parkinson’s.” Going
people who also live with Parkinson’s Disease, to share our journey and to
from being a contributor to the economy to being a dependent was a
show our nation’s leaders what it means to live with Parkinson’s disease
blow to her identity. As she points out, Parkinson’s Disease, along with
is so powerful.”
other neurological disorders, is robbing our nation’s labor force of some
of our best and brightest at the height of their ability to contribute to our
worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurode-
Affecting an estimated 1 million Americans and 10 million
generative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of
She re-purposed her skill set to one of policy advocacy and to
death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor
educating the public about how much Parkinson’s and other neurologi-
control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as
cal disorders are affecting our world. Amy was recently in Washington
well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no
DC with 300 other “off balance, tremoring sleepless Parkies to wake
cure for Parkinson’s, and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the
up Congress” at the Parkinson’s Policy Forum that was co-hosted by
United States alone.
the Parkinson’s Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
As one of the delegates, Amy’s goal was to educate lawmak-
ers on the need for federal funding for research toward a cure for Parkinson’s and for policy support for those living with the disease. She met
with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Ron Johnson,
Representative and Speaker of House Paul Ryan, and Representative
“Every day I am inspired by the people in the Los Angeles Parkinson’s community. I am thrilled to attend the 2018 Parkinson’s Policy Forum to take our message to Capitol Hill”
Grace Napolitano and the staff of each to talk about the need to provide
Q U O I N MAG A ZI N E 20 1 8
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