Page 1

Fall 2017


Volume 11, Issue 3

A publication of the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University.

In This Issue: CM Homecoming Float Keeps Streak Alive............................................... 1 AGC Recognizes Department of Construction Managment..............2 CM Team Takes Back-to-Back National Titles...............................3 Students Present Research at Graduate Student Showcase........ 4 CMAA Sends Student to Rising CM Conference.................................... 4 PADB Spotlight:Hensel Phelps......5 Graduate Student Spotlight: Deniz Besiktepe.............................6 Associate Professor Kelly Strong Accepts New Position....................7 Upcoming Events..........................7

Advancing the knowledge and practice of construction management for the betterment of society through teaching, applied research, and service to local, national, and global communities.

Construction Management Homecoming Float Win Keeps Streak Alive

CM Homecoming float

CSU Homecoming is a sure sign that fall in Northern Colorado has arrived. And with fall’s arrival, you can be sure that the students on the Construction Management Board of Directors (CM BoD) are hard at work on another Homecoming float. With each year, the pressure to continue CM’s winning tradition ratchets up. But the CM BoD continues to answer the challenge. Inspired by the theme, “Fort Collins is Home,” the float featured a prominent Cam the Ram out in front of a Horsetooth-inspired climbing wall, an Aggie orange chairlift, a bicycle-

riding local outside a solar powered house, and tent. The CM BoD’s hard work was recognized yet again, earning a first place trophy for the 13th year in a row. The students in the department’s first year student class KEY 192 also entered a float. Drawing upon their access to the IS Lab, they built a snowy mountain peak in the back of the department’s pick-up truck and a shingled and painted house pulled behind on a small trailer. KEY student Ira Weiss produced a time-lapse video of the build titled A Homecoming Story that can be seen here.

Page 2

Fall 2017

AGC Recognizes Department of Construction Managment

Internship and Outreach Coordinator Anna Fontana, Department Head Mostafa Khattab, and Student Recruitment Coordinator Jennifer Fyhrie

The Associated General Contractors recently awarded the CSU Department of Construction Management its prestigious AGC ACE Construction Education Award. The award was presented at AGC’s Industry & Awards Gala, Colorado’s largest commercial building construction event. The award recognizes and celebrates initiatives and innovative programs from statewide construction education programs that promote engagement of the construction industry in the education process, in preparing students to join industry, and in making an impact in communities. AGC awarded the department for its commitment to building a more diverse construction management workforce. The department has long recognized the value of a diverse workforce. To this end, the department created a recruitment taskforce in 2011 to focus


on bringing a more diverse pool of students into the department. Working closely with its industry partners, it created a Student Recruitment Coordinator and Academic Advisor position. The department tasked the position with spearheading department outreach and building awareness around the professional opportunities offered by the construction industry. In 2012, the department converted the taskforce into a standing Recruitment and Retention Committee chaired by the Student Recruitment Coordinator and Academic Advisor. Department outreach has included partnerships and presentations with high schools around the state, attendance at Colorado Construction Career Days, participation in the Society of Women Engineers Girls Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and

Math events, and hosting annual open house information sessions. They have also strengthened relationships with Colorado community colleges to streamline the transfer process for students wanting to move on to a four-year degree. Additionally, the department, with generous support from industry and CM alumnae, held its inaugural Women in Construction Institute in June. The institute was several years in the making and brought a group of high school women to campus for four days to learn about the construction industry. The combination of innovative outreach and old-fashioned persistence has payed dividends, as the percentage of CM students identifying as ethnically diverse has increased from less than 9% in 2008 to over 17% today.

Page 3

Fall 2017

CSU Construction Management Team Takes Back-to-Back National Titles by Jeff Dodge

The competition team, left to right: Jon Elliott (faculty adviser), Kyle Deuschle, Nick Raymond, Darcy Wojciechowski, Ty Eberhardt (team captain) and Jack Jambor

For the second year in a row, a CSU team of construction management students has won first place in a national industry competition. In addition to taking first place overall at the Associated Builders and Contractors National Construction Management Competition, held Nov. 6-7 in Orlando, Florida, the team placed in three of the four categories. It was tops in both safety and quality control, and got third place in the project management category. “Due to the size and complexity of this project, we really needed to come together as a team, help each other out, and it would never have been possible without the tight bond we have formed,” said construction management student Nicholas Raymond. “Especially for those members that were returning after a victory last year, it is almost surreal to be able to have Colorado State bring back another national championship.” “All of us are full-time students, yet


we still put over 40 hours a week into this competition,” added fellow team member Kyle Deuschle. “We give up weekends, sleep, social events, etc., because all we can think about is school and this competition.” The other members of CSU’s winning team were captain Ty Eberhardt, Jack Jambor and Darcy Wojciechowski. The team received initial plans on Sept. 22 and had until the competition to put their bid together. They had to be prepared to adjust their work based on project changes provided to them. On day one of the competition, all teams were given a change order and had to update their project proposals. Based on those updates, the finalists were chosen. On the second day, the finalist teams presented their projects. “Our faculty adviser Jon Elliott and our industry rep Mike Menke help our team prepare by recommending CSU faculty and ABC companies/members to assist us on our project,” Deus-

chle explained. “They also continue to push us to raise the bar each and every day.” The competition provides students with a chance to showcase and test their knowledge of construction management outside of the classroom. A total of 20 teams from colleges and universities around the country competed over the two days, getting judged on their project management, safety, quality control, estimating and presentation skills. Associated Builders and Contractors is a national trade association representing 21,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. The ABC Student Chapter at CSU celebrated its 35th anniversary this year.

Page 4

Fall 2017

Students present research at Graduate Student Showcase Graduate students Deniz Besiktepe and Duygu Kalan presented posters at the Graduate Student Showcase on November 9th 2017. The Showcase is “a one-day conference for you to present your work and talents, to connect with other graduate students and faculty at CSU, learn about other disciplines and gain conference experience.” Besiktepe’s presentation was, “Multi Criteria Decision Making Models for Repair and Replacement Decisions of Condition Based Building Maintenance” and Kalan’s was, “Investigation of Indoor Air Quality in LEED Certified Buildings.” The event was a valuable learning experience for the pair. Kalan’s presentation was the first time she had presented on this specific topic, and she received a lot of positive feedback from both judges and visitors. Kalan, Ph.D. candidate Duygu Kalan discusses her research who has presented before, commented on how useful the event was. “This is my third time presenting … and I believe that my presentation and communication skills are getting better every year,” she said. In addition to presentation practice, the Showcase was a chance to network with other Ph.D. students and learn about their research areas.

CMAA sends student to Rising CM Conference CM student Melanie Eoff attended the Construction Management Association of America’s (CMAA) Rising CM Conference October 7th-8th in Washington, D.C. Eoff is the treasurer for CSU’s CMAA chapter and was given a scholarship by the organization to attend the event. The conference featured valuable lecture sessions, leadership training, and networking events. Speakers from general contractors to owner consultants presented, and the diversity of subjects covered was an exceptional learning experience for Eoff.

Eoff, at front far left, with other attendees of the CMAA Rising CM conference


The highlight was a session that explored virtual reality for planning, design, and construction presented by Senior BIM Specialists from Balfour Beatty Construction. In addition to the opportunity for individual growth, Eoff was excited to share the knowledge gained with her fellow CMAA club members.

Page 5

Fall 2017

Hensel Phelps ride run fish

TRUE BUILDERS LIVE travel family friends

Learn more at

Hensel Phelps is an equal opportunity employer and contractor. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their protected veteran status, nor will they be discriminated against on the basis of disability. EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability


Page 6

Fall 2017

Graduate Student Spotlight: Deniz Besiktepe

Deniz Besiktepe

CSU graduate student Deniz Besiktepe is from Istanbul, Turkey. On the banks of the Bosphurus Straits, Istanbul sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. With a population of nearly 15 million, it is the largest city in Europe, and is over 2500 years old. As one would expect, it is a vibrant and architecturally rich city, and where Besiktepe began her career as an architect. Her decision to pursue architecture was a conscious choice nurtured since childhood. Her grandfather was a creative and talented building supervisor and built a wonderful house for his family. This is where Besiktepe spent her summers as a child. As she got older, she began to understand the thought and processes that went into the design of the home, and was inspired to pursue a career in architecture. “Being part of the creation process means that I have a role in shaping society [and] of making contributions to peoples’ lives,” explained Besiktepe.


Besiktepe graduated from architecture school in 2003. Influenced by her internships on various construction sites, she pursued a career as a site architect. This provided her extensive exposure and experience to site management and practices. After ten years in the industry, and with a deeper understanding of its practices, Besiktepe returned to school in 2013 to pursue a master of science in construction management from Istanbul Technical University. Her area of concentration was building acoustics and environmental noise. A lifelong music fan, her interest blossomed as an undergraduate and continued into her professional career when she organized the design and construction process of a recording studio in Istanbul. She wanted to continue her studies in order to receive her Ph.D., but there were no specialized doctoral programs in Turkey that fit with her goals. Looking farther afield, she found CSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering - Construction

Engineering and Management Ph.D. The program is a collaborative effort between the engineering and construction management departments. “The Construction Management Department has strong collaboration with industry and that really impressed me.” She joined the program in 2016 and has flourished in her role. In addition to her classwork and research, she serves as a teaching assistant for CON 265 Plan reading and Quantity Take-Off and teaches some of the lab sections for the course. She is also active in the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) student club, serving as treasurer. She plans to stay in academia as an instructor and researcher, “being a part of the education side of construction makes me enthusiastic about my role in shaping society. My motto is a quote by Socrates, ‘Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.’ this definitely fits the college life and feeds my desire to learn.”

Page 7

Fall 2017

Associate Professor Kelly Strong Accepts New Position The Construction Management Department bids farewell to Associate Professor Kelly Strong. Strong recently accepted a position as the director of the Construction Management Program at University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Strong joined the CSU CM department in 2011. He has taught over 13 different classes, has over $500,000 in sponsored research as principal investigator, and over $2,000,000 as co-principal investigator. “I have enjoyed working with the faculty, staff, and students at Colorado State University and appreciate all of the support from my friends in the construction industry,” said Strong.

As the director of the UNI Construction Management Program, Strong will oversee a department of approximately 120 students. Strong is excited to move into this new phase of his career, “UNI has a small but high quality construction management program ranked 22nd in the country by the College Factual website. The program focuses on a highly interdisciplinary education with strong industry support, which is a good fit for me.” He is also looking forward to the slower pace of life offered by Cedar Rapids, hometown of UNI and closer proximity to family, “My wife and I have a lot of family in Iowa, most of them living within two hours of Cedar Falls. We are looking forward to spending more time together.”

Upcoming Events Spring Career Fair - SOLD OUT Tuesday, February 20, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Hilton Fort Collins PADB Platinum Priority Recruiting Monday, February 26 - Thursday, March 1, 2018

Connect with us!

Department of Construction Management, Colorado State University 1584 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1584 Phone: (970) 491-7353 Fax: (970) 491-2473 Submit comments or stories to:

Kelly Strong

Construction Management Ram Built News - Fall 2017  

Construction Management Ram Built News - Fall 2017

Construction Management Ram Built News - Fall 2017  

Construction Management Ram Built News - Fall 2017