February 12, 2019
The Kennesaw State University Construction Management Department is pleased to announce the recent addition of Duane Petersen to its Industry Advisory Board.
As a Business Group Leader/Vice President with The Walsh Group, Mr. Petersen is responsible for leadership of the company’s water infrastructure business throughout the southeast. Duane has twenty-three years of construction industry experience, the past nineteen years with The Walsh Group. His extensive experience covers complex project types throughout the United States, including hydroelectric power, deep tunnels, airport runways/taxiways, environmental protection and water/wastewater facilities totaling nearly $2 Billon in value. His experience includes a broad range of delivery types including Design Bid Build, CMAR, Design-Build and Progressive Design-Build. Duane graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology degree and is a General Contractor Qualifying Agent in Georgia and Tennessee.
February 6, 2019
On Thursday, January 31st, the AEE Kennesaw State University (KSU) Student Chapter hosted an event on electric vehicles at the KSU Marietta Campus. Presenting was Dr. Richard A. Simmons, a Senior Research Engineer and Mechanical Engineering Instructor at Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute. Dr. Simmons’ presentation was called “Energy Use in EVs and Advanced Vehicles” and he touched on his research regarding electric cars and automotive processes. Included in his presentation were his ideas on sustainable development and meeting the planet’s energy demands, while also discussing alternative fuels and intelligent systems, policy standards in regard to fuel and renewable fuel, energy density and the functions of turbo systems. Simmons also had one of his former Georgia Tech research students, Chelsea Calhoun, present her research project titled, “Investigation and Optimization of Multiple Performance Objectives Using Small Scale, Low-Cost, Remotely Controlled Vehicles”. Calhoun was able to show attendees the amount of energy consumed at various constant speeds (low, medium, fast) as well as speed changes that mocked an urban, city-like environment, i.e. a “stop and go” environment.
This event brought in over 30 attendees, these individuals being AEE student members, KSU students, KSU professors and AEE Atlanta, Georgia members. Due to the nature of the topic and the popularity of this event, the KSU Student Newspaper The Sentinel had one of their writers and photographers attend and cover this event. The chapter is proud that their event was featured in The Sentinel- the article can be found here.
Welcome New Advisory Board Member, Tony Brown
The Kennesaw State University Construction Management Department is pleased to announce the recent addition of Tony Brown to its Industry Advisory Board. Tony is currently the Director of Project Management for American Structural Concrete and has accumulated 35 years of diverse experience in the construction industry throughout his career, including the market segments of health care, retail, hospitality, education, federal government, industrial, multi-residential and sureties.
During his career he has held positions of laborer, carpenter, superintendent, project engineer, project manager, senior project manager, process engineering manager, project management director and construction firm owner. Tony has gained invaluable experience in bonding, design build, contract negotiations, risk management, training, estimating, scheduling, purchasing, standard operating procedures, public relations, recruiting, mentoring and business development.
Tony earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction from Southern Polytechnic State University and is a General Contractor qualifying agent in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Away from work, Tony enjoys spending time with his family: Dawn, wife of 32 years, son Madison, 17 and daughter Maci, 15. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and knife making.
GUCA Invests in the Future and Awards Scholarships to Construction Management Students
Construction Outlook Survey Results Luncheon
Join us on Wednesday, February 13th as Khalid Siddiqi, Ph. D., Chair of Kennesaw State
University's College of Architecture and Construction Management, in conjunction with
Bennett Thrasher, unveils the results of the 2019 Georgia Construction Outlook Survey.
We will also be showcasing a C-Suite panel of KSU Advisory Board Members and other construction industry influencers to gain insight on the future of the Georgia construction industry.
The 2019 Construction Outlook Survey was conducted with participants from privately-held
construction companies across the state of Georgia.
Register now for an exclusive look into the best practices and trends in the Construction Industry. Space is limited and lunch will be served.
For more information please contact Erinn Keserica at email@example.com
Survey Highlights and Insights Include
- Financial performance and investment in the construction business
- Employee compensation and retention best practices
- Business strategies and concerns
- Innovation and use of technology in the workplace
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Maggiano's Little Italy, Cumberland
1601 Cumberland Mall SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
Space is Limited. Register today! Please include your name, title, company name, email and the best phone number to reach you the day of the event.RSVP Now
Welcome New Advisory Board Member, Joe Tuggle
The Kennesaw State University Construction Management Department is pleased to announce the recent addition of Joe Tuggle to its Industry Advisory Board. Mr. Tuggle is from Carrollton, Georgia and graduated from Auburn University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction. Tuggle has worked in the Metro Atlanta construction market since 1984 and is currently President and Chief Operating Officer of Swofford Construction, Inc., member of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia Board of Directors and has been an active member of Peachtree City United Methodist Church.
January 14, 2019
The Kennesaw State University Construction Management Department is pleased to announce the recent additions of Griffin Hall and Keith Rothwell to its Industry Advisory Board.
Griffin Hall is a Preconstruction Director in the Atlanta office of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. serving as the preconstruction lead on healthcare and large projects. A graduate of the University of Tennessee’s College of Civil Engineering, Griffin has spent most of his career working on correctional and healthcare facilities for clients including Tennessee Department of Correction, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Erlanger Health System, and Kaiser Permanente.
Keith Rothwell graduated from The Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor
of Civil Engineering degree and an Undergraduate Certificate in Building Construction.
Mr. Rothwell was employed with RJ Griffin & Company and Post Properties prior to being one of the original Oxford Properties employees at the company’s founding in 2002. He originally served in the role of Project Manager before being promoted to Vice President of Construction Operations in 2004. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2007 and President in 2016.
Mr. Rothwell is a licensed general contractor in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. He also holds LEED certification as a Green Associate. Mr. Rothwell is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of Oxford’s preconstruction and construction departments, including the management of all construction employees. He has been involved in the construction management of over 10,000 apartment units that are either complete or currently under construction, with a total value in excess of one billion dollars.
October 22, 2018
Every fall semester, the Department of Construction Management hosts a cookout to offer students the opportunity to network and enjoy a free dinner, music, games and giveaways. This semester's cookout on October 18th was generously sponsored by JE Dunn Construction and organized with the assistance of Cherri Watson, Chair of our Industry Advisory Board's Committee on Student Alumni Relations.
About 300 Construction Management and Architecture students, as well as alumni, came out to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather. JE Dunn’s Scott Boden and Morgan Bowles, both KSU alumni were instrumental in organizing the event. Scott also serves on the Construction Industry Advisory Board and has been instrumental in forging a stronger relationship between KSU and JE Dunn. Board member, Tanner Wilson was also present to represent the Student Alumni Relations Committee.
October 15, 2018
Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair of the KSU CM Construction Management Department, was honored as the keynote speaker at the GUCA Northwest Georgia (Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Inc.) Industry Meeting, held on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at the Hudson Grill in Kennesaw, GA.
Dr. Siddiqi gave an overview of the current demand for workers in the construction industry and stressed the need for developing a corporate strategy for hiring and retention. He also outlined the key features needed by organizations to hire and retain the talent and advised to attract more women to the industry to overcome the worker shortages currently prevailing. The presentation was followed by questions and answers session.
Dr. Siddiqi thanked GUCA for awarding yearly scholarships to KSU CM students over the last two decades. He also thanked the industry for supporting educational initiatives at Kennesaw State University.
Volunteers from Paran Homes and NAHB student chapter members from the Kennesaw State University’s Construction Management program have begun building a saltbox-style custom playhouse to benefit HomeAid Atlanta, the designated charity of the Greater Atlanta HBA.
Fifteen volunteers spent a morning last month completing the framing of the playhouse.
An online raffle to win the playhouse will begin Nov. 23 and run through Dec. 13. HomeAid Atlanta will announce the winner Dec. 14.
It’s the first playhouse raffle the charity has held in eight years, said HomeAid executive director Mandy Crater.
“We had such success with the event from 2004-2010 that it is a dream come true for us to begin construction on this miniature, custom home. We are beyond grateful for the support and enthusiasm of Paran Homes, KSU, and all of the other donors for making Project Playhouse’s return a reality in 2018,” she said.
Top right: The saltbox-style playhouse was designed by architect Mike Hart of The Hartwin Group.
Bottom left: Volunteers from Paran Homes and KSU gather for a photo..
Donations will support scholarships and the development of teaching facilities
September 24, 2018
In its most successful fundraiser yet, Kennesaw State University’s Department of Construction Management raised more than $167,000 for scholarships and the development of state-of-the-art teaching facilities.
The 17th Annual Industry Advisory Board Fundraiser Gala, held last week at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, drew more than 72 sponsorships from individuals and organizations.
Funds raised this year eclipsed the previous high of $140,000 set in 2017. During the event, construction management students were awarded $14,500 in scholarships.
“We are so very grateful to see this level of support from our industry partners throughout the region,” said Khalid Siddiqi, chair of Kennesaw State’s Department of Construction Management. “Through their generosity, we are able to lessen the financial burden of students who wish to receive a world-class education at KSU. I am thrilled to see how much this event has grown since its inception.”
The gala started from humble beginnings, raising just $7,000 in its first year. Its recent success can be attributed in part to the department’s robust industry advisory board, Siddiqi said.
The board has 42 members – many of whom are donors – and its mission is to ensure students meet the educational and career needs of the industry from an employer’s perspective.
Written by Travis Highfield, Photos by Ashley Schenck | Original Story
August 20, 2018
Dr. Siddiqi recently spoke to the participants of Construction's Workforce Crisis - Georgia's Industry Trends Symposium, organized by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Georgia. The event was held at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Cumberland Mall on August 7, 2018. A large cross-section of Atlanta’s construction industry organizations participated.
Cynthia Mills, founder and Principal of leadership development consulting group The Leaders’ Haven, along with Laura Ashby, an experienced litigator with Miller & Martin, Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Construction Management, and Margaret Rauber, Vice President of Operations at Winter Construction, addressed ABC of Georgia members on ways and means of tackling the issue from both a theoretical and a practical perspective.
Dr. Siddiqi shared the results of his research paper “Best Practices for Attracting and Retaining Female Construction Project Managers”, which he co-authored along with Kennesaw State MS CM Program Graduate, Casey Stockbridge and Tom Jollay of Bennett and Thrasher.
Their research showed the challenges of not just recruiting women into construction management but retaining them. “Women leave the industry at a much higher rate than men,” Siddiqi explained. “Our research revealed some of the reasons why.” Siddiqi listed the top 5 key differences between men and women when it comes to views about their employer. While some of these differences involved common tenets of company policy, such as anti-sexual harassment policies and alternative work schedules, others were more surprising (for instance, 82% of males but only 59% of females care about a company vehicle.) Dr. Siddiqi shared some proven best practices for attracting and retaining female project managers in construction industry organizations.
August 15, 2018
The KSU chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) is pleased to announce that the 2018 – 2019 AEE KSU chapter president, Adam Minor, has been chosen to receive a $4,000 scholarship from the Foundation of the Association of Energy Engineers (FAEE). Adam was awarded the Albert Thumann scholarship, an award which honors the late founder and Executive Director of the Association of Energy Engineers, Mr. Albert Thumann. This scholarship is regarded as the top honored scholarship the Foundation of the Association of Energy Engineers provides. Along with this scholarship, Adam has also been awarded with a one-year national AEE membership and the opportunity to attend the 2018 World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) conference and expo this October.
Not only does Adam excel academically, participate in extra-curricular activities and volunteers his time, but he also plans on making a positive impact on the world by expanding his studies into energy efficiency and sustainability. Adam is a U.S. Marine Corps / Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran with a degree in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology from Lincoln Tech. Currently, he is working toward a Construction Management degree with a concentration in Land Development at Kennesaw State University.
In addition to Adam's award, four KSU AEE students were also selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Foundation of the Association of Energy Engineers.
Photo, L to R: Jacqueline Stephens (KSU Construction Management Department Assistant Professor and AEE Atlanta Chapter Member), Adam Minor (Construction Management Major), Khalid Siddiqi (KSU Construction Management Department Chair)
July 24, 2018
The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Corporate has announced that the Kennesaw State University chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers is the recipient for the 2018 "Best Student Chapter Meeting" award for their "American Wind, Inc." meeting held in February 2018. This award is a national award given by AEE corporate annually.
Robert Yost, inventor of the MicroCube mini-turbine, and his son, Dan Yost from American Wind, visited KSU Marietta to discuss the added benefits that their mini-wind turbines can offer as compared to large turbines on wind farms. These benefits included increased renewable energy created in less space with lower wind speeds and the possibility for wind walls to retract into ground bunkers during bad weather conditions to prevent product damage. American Wind also discussed topics on magnetism and air turbulence, and even demonstrated a MicroCube in action. Recently, American Wind, Inc was named #1 in Energy CIO Insights magazine's "Top 10 Energy Start Ups". Read more by clicking here.
With 19 individuals attending, this was the most attended meeting KSU AEE has had thus far. American Wind also invited KSU students and advisors to visit their headquarters in Huntsville, AL in the future. Notable attendees at this meeting were Ruth Whitlock, Executive Administrator at AEE Headquarters, Jacqueline Stephens, KSU AEE Faculty Advisor, and Dan Shabo and Darrell Sandlin, AEE Georgia Chapter Advisors.
The KSU AEE student chapter is so proud to make an impact at Kennesaw State University by providing students with opportunities to meet with some of the most experienced professionals in the energy industry. The chapter is especially thankful to all of the students who attended this meeting, their advisors for helping to connect them with experienced energy professionals and to all of the individuals who helped to set up the meeting.
June 28, 2018
Construction managers are highly skilled in problem solving and technology use for efficiency in construction project management best practices. Kennesaw State University Construction Management students are currently benefiting from the generosity of three software and technology firms - Bluebeam, Procore and Raken.
Bluebeam has gifted the department their Revu 2018 software for over 150 CM lab computers. In addition, students in select CM classes will receive a free download of the software valid for the academic year. This is the 5th year that Bluebeam has collaborated with our program. In the classroom, students create PDF documents, markup drawings and prepare quantity take-offs and estimates. Out of the classroom, Bluebeam Studio allows the students to collaborate on group projects and competition teams.
In a new partnership with Procore, KSU CM professors are introducing the online Project Management system to our students. The software, tools and apps will provide the students with training in project management tasks such as document control, submittals, requests for information and change orders. Students will also be eligible to receive a digital badge upon completion of the Procure Student Certification program.
Raken is providing their Daily Reporting App to CM students participating in the summer internship program. The students use the app to record and report their weekly hours, as well as document their daily tasks with written descriptions and photographs. Using this app helps the students to understand the importance of a daily journal for a construction professional.
The CM department is proud to equip our students with fundamental project management skills and current construction technology. The academic partnerships with firms like Bluebeam, Procore and Raken help to prepare them for success as future leaders of the construction industry.
Top photo: Student works in Bluebeam software
Bottom photo: Sample daily report created by CM student Jasmine Ward
Twice the Number of Industry Leaders Participate at CM Department Skeet Shoot at Garland Mountain Sporting Clays in 2018
May 1, 2018
The KSU Department of Construction Management would like to thank all of those who participated and contributed toward making the 2018 Sporting Clays Fundraiser a great success. Twenty six teams with one hundred two shooters participated, almost doubling the number of participants in 2017. A team of five students, lead by Hank Stricland (KSU AGC Student Chapter President), also participated in the event beside Dr. Siddiqi. The awards were presented to the winners by Mr. Paul Hogan, past Chair of the Construction Industry Advisory Board. Student Alumni Relations Committee members present on the occasion included Cherri Watson, AGC Education Director (Chair), and Chuck Little, Director Education of Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association.
This year's event took place on Friday, April 27th at Garland Mountain Sporting Clays in Waleska, GA and was organized by Cherri Watson (Committee Chair, Student Alumni Relations of the KSU CM Industry Advisory Board). Fundraiser proceeds will support the Department of Construction Management activities and programs.
Awards Given on the occasion at Garland Mountain Sporting Clays Clubhouse at Waleska
First Place: Inglett & Stubbs
Second Place: American’s Home Place
Best Shooter: Kenny Coleman with Taylor Commercial
Raffle Winner: Jason Lewis with Brooks-Berry-Haynie & Associates, Inc.
Raffle Prize Sponsor: Dennis Taylor and Company, Inc.
AGC Georgia Young Leadership Program
America’s Home Place, Inc.
Brasfi eld & Gorrie
Brasington Bailey Construction, Inc.
Brooks-Berry-Haynie & Associates, Inc.
Carroll Daniel Construction Co.
C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc.
Eckardt Electric Co.
Hogan Construction Group, LLC
Inglet & Stubbs, LLC
JE Dunn Construction
Kennesaw State Athletics
Parrish Construction Group, Inc.
Turner Construction Company
Brooks-Berry-Haynie & Associates, Inc.
Taylor Commercial, Inc.
April 27, 2018
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) KSU Student Chapter has been volunteering at the James T. Anderson Boys & Girls Club in Marietta.
The Student Chapter recently spoke to children in the program on five main sustainability initiatives including, water usage, food, recycling, energy and power conservation and solar power technology. They also led hands-on activities, including creating a solar powered vehicle out of a recycled tin can, and presented a PowerPoint explaining various sustainability concepts.
Student Chapter participants very much enjoyed having the opportunity to share information regarding sustainability with the future generation and teach them that despite their age, they have a role to play and can make a positive impact for the environment.
April 25, 2018
Gunjan Garg and Adanegn Woldemichael accompanied Dr. Siddiqi, Chair of the Construction Management Department KSU, to the 54th ASC Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The Associated Schools of Construction Conference is the premier conference for Construction Management discipline where national and international peer-reviewed papers are presented.
Ms. Garg presented a paper entitled "EarthCraft Homes Costs more than Conventional Homes". The objective of this study was to identify the construction cost differential between EarthCraft and conventional homes, and included a comparison of projects completed by the EarthCraft homebuilders and conventional builders. Mr. Woldemichael presented a paper entitled "Unions Electrical Workers are not Against Prefabrication". The study identified the best practices for prefabrication feasible for electrical workers who are part of unions.
Dr. Siddiqi presented a paper entitled "Best Practices for Attracting and Retaining Female Construction Project Managers" and shared the findings on gender differences for retaining for construction organizations. The paper was co-authored by Casey Stockbridge, who graduated in December 2017 from KSU’s Construction Management Graduate Program. The third author of this study was Tom Jollay from Bennett Thrasher accounting firm.
The fourth paper presented by KSU at the conference was "Barriers to Net Zero Housing in the US", co-authored with Faiza Mahdi, who is also a graduate of KSU's Construction Management program and works in the construction industry. The objective of this study was to identify the major barriers to large-scale adoption of Passive Housing concept in the United States.
April 23, 2018
By Anastaciah Ondieki
The last five years have been great for the construction industry with spending at an all-time high of close to $1.3 trillion. The industry’s growth places a high demand for a skilled workforce and further reveals a gap in the number of men and women working in construction.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, women represent only 9 percent of the total labor force in the construction industry, traditionally viewed as a male dominated field. Women working in the industry are concentrated mainly in the sales and office sector with fewer occupying the professional and management sector. Representation of women on the construction trades side is also low.
Economist Andrew Flowers with Indeed Hiring Lab, a team of economists who provide insights into the labor market said the difference in numbers could be a question of whether women are interested in the field, or whether companies create a culture of workplace balance that accommodates women.
Flowers says the demand for workers could be an opportunity for women to explore the thriving industry, because jobs posted are not being filled fast enough.
“More women would be potentially drawn into the construction industry because of how tight the labor market is,” said Flowers.
Flowers says overall construction industry job postings on his team’s website are at the highest point in six years.
Better Pay, shorter line
The gender gap for women in the construction field is mirrored by the enrollment rates of female versus male students in technical colleges within the state. Data from the Technical College System of Georgia shows that last year, only 836 of the 10,730 students enrolled in construction related courses were female.
The biggest problem, according to Professor Khalid Siddiqi, chair of the Construction Management department at Kennesaw State University’s college of Architecture and Construction Management, is the lack of exposure of the program at the high school level.
“I feel really challenged that I cannot get the message to the schools where these students are coming from,” Siddiqi said.
The number is even worse for women because of age-old roles assigned to women.
Last Fall, only 11.6 percent of 388 students enrolled at KSU to pursue a degree in Construction management were female. Siddiqi however says the school has in the last five years increased the number of women in the program by 1,000 and hopes to see the numbers rising.
With the growing demand for skilled labor, Siddiqi sees a big opportunity for female students in the estimation and scheduling professions and the quick absorption of graduating students into the work force.
“None of our students have to look for a job…they get into full time employment because they already have the skill sets needed to hit the ground running,”says Siddiqi of the ready market for well trained industry workers.
The construction jobs prospects in Atlanta and the state in general are reflective of the booming construction industry nationwide.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the city of Sandy Springs ranked 9th nationwide last year among metropolitan areas employing the highest number of construction managers in the nation, with 4,690 jobs created at an average hourly wage of $56.43.
The state ranked fourth nationwide among highest paying jobs for construction managers with the yearly wage at $113,930. The average hourly wage for a construction workers as of last month was $29.43, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
That, according to Siddiqi is indicative of growing prospects for those interested in the construction management field.
“I see a very strong possibility that females are going to be joining the construction industry because of not only lucrative pay but the realization that the jobs they prefer can make a difference in the city’s skylines,” said Siddiqi on the favorable job prospects.
Even in the wake of public outcry over gender pay discrepancies , jobs in the construction field have the narrowest wage gap with women earning 95.7% of what men get, according to the U.S. Department of Labor . This is much higher than the median gap of 20%.
Corporate efforts in closing the gap
Some construction companies and developers are involving themselves with ongoing efforts to bring gender parity in the industry through strategic policies.
Kevin Kuntz, President of the Southeast division of McCarthy Building Company Inc., which employs close to 2,000 people said his company is committed to diversifying its workforce to give equal opportunities to all employees to rise through the ranks based on performance regardless of their gender.
“When you bring in people of diverse backgrounds, they bring in diverse perspectives and with diverse perspectives comes very creative ideas and solutions” which Kuntz says result in better services.
According to company data, female employees accounted for 31.5 percent of the new hires the company took in last year, with most of the jobs in project engineering.
Women account for 24% of the total workforce for the company.
As data points to continued growth, industry insiders hope that the face of the typical construction worker also gets to evolve to allow women a chance to tap into the growth, as well as, the lucrative salaries that accompany the profession.
Daphne Bryson Jackson, the co-founder of the Women in Construction, Engineering and Related Services (WICERS) says having more younger women introduced to STEM-related courses will help boost the number of women in the field.
“This kind of generation has women who are bold. They come in and go full throttle,” adds Jackson.
Olivia Fru, project manager for a $90 million active adult community being built in Atlanta was not greeted by a growing economy or thriving construction industry when she graduated in 2007 from Southern Polytechnic State University. At the time, there were no jobs, and getting her foot into the door as a project engineer was “very difficult”.
But she hit the ground running when she landed her first job, despite reservations about her capabilities by one company president. She credits her start in the field to a vote of confidence on her behalf by a company VP who gave her a chance to prove her worth. Ten years later and close to 20 projects down, Olivia who is now managing a multi-million-dollar project where she oversees over 70 sub-contractors, the project schedule and finances says it has taken wits, hard work and ignoring some stereotypes to find her footing in the industry.
“Over the years I have let my abilities speak for me,” she says adding that she ensures that those working around her judge her by her abilities rather than the fact that she is a woman.
She is aware of the gap between men and women in the field and hopes for parity in numbers.
“Even with undergrad, it was maybe 5 women in the program,” she said adding that she has grown accustomed to working in a field where women are minorities.
At 31, Fru does not fit the profile of your typical project manager with a general contracting company.
“You don’t see people my age doing this. Companies are really looking to hire,” she said of current job market.
Her sights are set growing her career to become the vice president of a construction company some time in the near future. She sees no roadblock to her goals and hopes to see more women join the lucrative career.
“If more people get used to seeing people in these roles and even higher, then it becomes normal…” Fru said.
Above Photo: New South Construction project manager Olivia Fru poses for a portrait at the construction site for Peachtree Hills Place, a 55+ living community in the Peachtree Hills Atlanta neighborhood , Wednesday. Fru, a graduate from Southern Polytechnic State University, says she became interested in construction at a young age. She says she enjoyed watching structures go up while living in Cameroon. “It’s like playing Lego,” says Olivia. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia schools work to ease skilled-trades shortage
April 18, 2018
By Arlinda Smith Broady
Construction projects are cropping up all over metro Atlanta as it has emerged from the Great Recession, but one challenge is filling the demand for workers.
Industry leaders say there is a serious shortage of skilled workers, though local high schools are partnering with businesses, technical colleges and four-year universities to produce the necessary workforce.
High schools throughout the state had already begun adding “pathways” to careers such as construction jobs, as well as those that require post-secondary training and college courses. According to the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, the state’s public schools have over 150 skilled-trade construction and metals programs with 17,000-plus students enrolled.
Educators have shifted in the past decade from the idea that everyone graduates from high school and heads to college. “Our focus now is that everyone graduates with a plan,” said Kelly Walter, assistant principal at Berkmar High School in Gwinnett County. “Whether it’s a university, tech school or straight to work, we want students to have an idea what they want to do when they leave here.”
Research shows that not everyone is college material. And with the increased need for skilled workers, state funding has been allocated to make sure everyone who wants to learn a trade has the means to do it. A state initiative that went into effect in January ensures that students who opt for high-demand careers can earn a decent living without student loans or other educational debt. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that most construction jobs in Georgia pay $30,000 to $75,000 annually.
Berkmar has had an architectural and construction pathway for four years. With funding from the state and county, the school turned the old in-school suspension area into a wing for architecture, electrical, carpentry and masonry work. This year it will graduate its first group to complete the cycle, who will be qualified to go straight to work.
“My main goal is to bring the construction work-site experience to the students and bring the students to real-life construction companies,” said John Tronolone, construction academy coach at Berkmar.
It’s a traditionally male-dominated industry, so the opportunity to try it out before graduation appealed to juniors Isis Crossley and April Rodriguez as well as senior Kenia Gutierrez.
“I kind of fell into this by accident and now I know this is what I want to do,” said Crossley.
Rodriguez has a brother in the construction field, and he urged her to give it a try.
“He told me there are many opportunities for women in construction so I wanted to see for myself.” she said.
Gutierrez plans to attend Gwinnett Tech in the fall and wants to somehow incorporate a construction career with cosmetology. She said she likes the fact that her options are limitless.
The academy partners with local businesses that donate money, materials and most importantly time.
“In order to be competitive in the real world, our students need to see what the real world is like,” said Tronolone. “They can go through coursework, but seeing how those skills they’re learning turn into real buildings makes a lot of difference.”
In a survey of construction businesses by accounting firm Bennett Thrasher and the construction management department at Kennesaw State University released in June, 87 percent of construction firms called the search for skilled workers their top problem.
“The industry is definitely in need of more people,” said Ashton Watt, personnel and recruiting manager at Eckardt Electric, a company that has more than 80 years in metro Atlanta specializing in large-scale projects such as hospitals and universities. “When I came on in 2011 we had about 70 employees. We just recently hired our 400th.”
“We have deep roots in the area and we’re looking for ways to grow the next generation,” said Watt. “A lot of students who want to try their hand at entry-level jobs have lots of room for advancement.”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that in 2005 there were 11.5 million workers in the construction industry, and the unemployment rate hovered around 8.2 percent. That number dropped to 10.6 million in 2010, and unemployment jumped to 18 percent. Even though employment has improved, the workforce has not rebounded to pre-recession levels. In 2015, unemployment was 7.1 percent but the construction workforce contracted further to 10.4 million, according to a report from BuildZoom, a site that focuses on construction data.
In Georgia, the construction industry needs about 15,000 new workers every year — with half of those in metro Atlanta, according to the BLS.
The industry may have an image problem. A recent survey of 18- to 25-year-olds from the National Association of Home Builders revealed only 3 percent were interested in construction as a career. Most surveyed wanted a less physically demanding job and perceived construction as difficult.
Scott Shelar, president of the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, said most young people have misconceptions of what the industry entails. “Construction is more than a guy with a hammer,” said Shelar. “There is very sophisticated technology in place. You can’t build something like the Mercedes Benz Stadium without highly skilled and highly trained workers.”
CEFGA recently sponsored its annual Career Expo, which links students and professionals in construction, utilities, highways, electrical, mechanical, energy, mining and more. The event also features the SkillsUSA State Championships, a competition that invites students to showcase their skills in a number of construction-related disciplines. Another highlight is a job fair with businesses willing to hire 16- and 17-year-olds as well as recent grads. Several hundred students brought resumes and met with companies, and virtually all received offers.
According to analysis by Construction Industry Resources Inc., one of the most in-demand construction jobs in Georgia is craft laborer. The current need in the state is 52,783 workers through August 2021. Laborers perform many basic tasks on construction sites and mostly work full time. Although the pay is at the bottom of the range at about $30,000, the job has some of the most potential for advancement. Training is available through technical schools, community colleges, registered apprenticeship programs and industry training programs.
Filling the need for skilled laborers takes a group effort, said Mike Dunham, CEO of Associated General Contractors of Georgia Inc.
“Nothing can get done without the construction industry,” he said. “You need to build the facilities for new business, expand existing businesses, maintain aging buildings — construction is linchpin for growing new business and maintaining existing business.”
Dunham pointed out that there aren’t enough skilled workers to replace those retiring. “For every 4.5 people who retire in the construction industry, there’s just one person taking their place,” he said. “After a while, you don’t have anyone left.”
Dunham said there are state initiatives to turn those numbers around.
To encourage employers to bring younger workers into the field, HB 402 was passed in the 2015-2016 legislative session. It allowed companies a reduction in insurance costs so students 16 or older who are enrolled in work-based program at an accredited school can work for them. This allowed construction companies especially to employee youngsters and get them started in a real-world environment.
The Hope Career Grant was expanded in January to offer students greater career opportunities in five of Georgia’s fast-growing industries, increasing the number of programs that qualify for this grant to 17. Majors in the construction field the grant will now cover include air conditioning technology, carpentry, construction management, electrical construction and maintenance, masonry and plumbing.
Industries covered by the HOPE Career Grant were identified by Governor Deal’s High-Demand Career Initiative as strategically important to the state’s economic growth. The grant is among the many forms of financial assistance available through the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
And it’s never too late. There is no age limit to be eligible for the grant.
Above Photo: Banks Hathcox, 16, left, competes against other schools as he represents his school, Calhoun High School, during the SkillsUSA State Championship, Friday March 23, 2018, at the Georgia International Convention Center, March 23, 2018. (John Amis)
April 17, 2018
Approximately 250 Construction Management and Architecture students came out to enjoy the Department of Construction Management's annual Spring Cookout on Thursday, April 12, 2018. This year's event was sponsored by New South Construction and Sinclair Construction Group and organized with the assistance of Cherri Watson and the Industry Advisory Board's Committee on Student Alumni Relations. New South's Tyler Isgett and Sinclair's Jason Adams were instrumental in organizing the event. Also present were Chuck Little, representing the Student Alumni Relations Committee and Mike Guinan, alum and Chair of the Accreditation and Assessment Outcomes Committee. Thank you to all those who came out to enjoy this great event with us!
April 9, 2018
On Friday, March 30, 2018 Dr. Siddiqi, Chair of the Construction Management Department, attended the opening reception for the new KSU permanent exhibition "Paul Radow: Life of Innovation, Legacy of Service".
Radco Companies has instituted the Norman Radow Building Better Living Endowed Scholarship for Construction Management students. Seen pictured here is Dr. Khalid Siddiqi thanking Norman Radow, CEO of The Radco Companies.
Industry -- University partnerships needed to grow talent pipeline
March 23, 2018
Click below image to read the article.
March 19, 2018
The Associated General Contractors (AGC) Student Chapter of Kennesaw State University organized a Cookout for Construction Management students on March 13, 2018. Hank Strickland, Vice President of the Student Chapter, organized the event through the support and sponsorship of Carroll Daniel Construction.
In addition to the numerous CM students, faculty and alumni and in attendance, also present were:
Tyler Isgett, New South Construction, KSU alum
Cherri Watson, Education Director of AGC of Georgia
David Stone, Divisional Manager at Carroll Daniel Construction and KSU/SPSU alum and his colleagues
Dr. Siddiqi thanked the AGC student chapter and Carroll Daniel for organizing and supporting this networking event for the CM students. Students also enjoyed music and games.
March 13, 2018
The National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC) Atlanta Chapter held an informational meeting at KSU on March 13th hosted by the Construction Management Department. The event was an opportunity for students and faculty of architecture, engineering and construction programs to connect with NAWIC and create a network of professional support within the construction industry. The industry panelists consisted of the NAWIC Atlanta Chapter president and board members who engaged attendees in an interactive dialogue about the endless opportunities for women in the construction industry. Guests were impressed with the students, faculty and building programs offered by KSU. Students and faculty expressed enthusiasm and appreciation for the NAWIC organization, and all attendees are looking forward to working together to create a more diverse construction workforce.
February 28, 2018
The KSU Department of Construction Management recently attended the 2018 American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) Industry Advisory Board Event in Tucson, AZ on February 21, 2018. Along with Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Department Chair, Industry Advisory Board members, Rodney Smith (President, Parrish Construction Group), Jeff Shropshire (Vice President, Roadway Division, C.W.Matthews Contracting) and Donovan Charles (Senior Director of Development, KSU University Development) attended the event on the department's behalf. The team received Visiting Team Member Training (MiT), which is a requirement to visit other programs on behalf of the American Council of Construction Education as a Visiting Team Member after the initial trainee visit. The goal for attending this event was for the department to be able to use knowledge gained and training received to improve the quality of construction education offered for future graduates.
February 12, 2018
The Diamond Level sponsors of the 2017 Construction Management Industry Advisory Board Annual Fundraiser Gala were invited to participate in a special career fair held by the department on February 7, 2018. The invited 2017 Diamond Sponsors included:
- Batson-Cook Construction
- C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc.
- Fortune and Johnson, Inc.
- Hogan Construction Group
- Holder Construction Group
- Inglett and Stubbs Electrical Construction
- Martin Concrete Construction, Inc.
- Parrish Construction Group
- The Beck Group
- Turner Construction
These companies had the benefit of meeting all of the interested construction management students and recent graduates in a small setting, allowing them to have extended one-on-one time with each student. The Construction Management Department ensured that all CM students aspiring for an internship or a full-time position had the opportunity to come to the event so there will be a wide variety of applicants to suit the needs of recruiting organizations.
This year’s upcoming Annual Fundraiser Gala is scheduled to take place on September 20, 2018. For information on sponsorship opportunities for the 2018 event will be announced on the webpage once available.
January 31, 2018
Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Construction Management, shared a presentation for the Construction Management program with 80 CEOs and CFOs from premier construction firms in Georgia. The Lunch and Learn Session was held on January 30, 2018 at Maggianos, Cumberland Mall.
He presented recruiting options and strategies that require a commitment at the corporate level of the organization and forming relationships with universities.
“The most important area that continues to stand out in both the 2016 and 2017 survey outcomes is recruiting and retention strategies used by organizations. It’s the human capital which is linked to profitability, compensation and technology."
Dr. Siddiqi further stated, “Most organizations at present would not consider approaching a client acquisition strategy without a clear value proposition, segmentation, profitable fee structure, collateral, sales approach and brand. Yet, when it comes to talent acquisition, we tend to abandon strategy and focus on the immediate need and/or technical resumes.”
According to Dr. Siddiqi, acquiring and retaining talent is actually no different from acquiring and retaining clients. You need to develop a strategy, filter through an unwavering culture, and execute with a strong marketing approach.
This presentation was previously made before a national audience (ACCE IAB Best Practices) for a workshop in Orlando, Florida in February 2017. Dr. Siddiqi cited co-presenters Rodney Smith, President of Parrish Construction, and Paul Hogan, President of Hogan Construction Group. He presented a strong marketing approach toward hiring and retention of construction professionals. These two individuals have a corporate policy at their organization level to acquire and retain talent. These are not the only organizations with a corporate level commitment; there are some others who also have a well-defined and articulated talent acquisition strategy. However, based on his personal experience and interactions, he finds that most organizations do not have talent acquisition as a core value and he highly recommends that they make a corporate development plan for talent acquisition as a value proposition to attract and retain the best and the brightest.
He also suggested a creation of “state of the art facilities” that can cater to the strong demand for project managers and project engineers needed in various sectors of the construction industry. These sectors include highway construction, electrical and mechanical contractors engaged in all types of building, developers, general contractors, facility managers and homebuilders.
Recently, 154 construction companies responded to an online survey. The results were presented by Scott Hazy and Tom Jollay, Bennett Thrasher’s Construction Practice co-leaders, along with a corporate development update by Dr. Khalid Siddiqi. The purpose of gathering this info was to provide specific bench marking data of the state of Georgia’s general contractors and subcontractors. The number of participants were nearly doubled from the previous year’s study. Georgia is home to 9,600 privately held construction companies.
Click here for an overview of the construction survey.
Major takeaways from the survey include:
- 94 percent of respondents reported a higher project backlog from the prior year.
- 78 percent increase in responses that contractors would explore “expansion of geographic reach” as a business strategy compared to the prior year’s survey.
- 33 percent of the companies surveyed said recruiting and retaining qualified employees is their biggest business challenge.
- 78 percent of respondents projected an increase in revenue for the next year. Among those projecting an increase, 40 percent expected an increase of 10 percent or more.
- The majority of companies have experienced an increase in profit margins over the prior year.
Salaries were up an average of 5.2 percent:
- Project Manager: $81,042
- Estimator: $78,410
- Superintendent: $76,003
- Cost Engineer: $62,708
- Foreman: $53,017
Behind the Scenes at Georgia's Sanford Stadium with KSU (SPSU) Alumna, DPR Construction's Lauren Snedeker
January 5, 2018
Construction management graduate to become third-generation contractor
December 14, 2017
As a child, Chase West meandered down the halls of the former Southern College of Technology with his father, Eddie, chatting with professors and admiring the numerous awards that lined the brick walls as they walked.
At the time, Eddie West wanted to show his son the place where he learned his craft, long before becoming an electrical contractor and starting A. West Enterprise in Albany, Ga., with his wife, Angie. He never anticipated that his son would follow him and his father-in-law to become a third-generation contractor. After graduating this month with a degree in construction management, Chase West will join his father’s company as a project manager.
“If his granddaddy was alive, he would be so excited and so proud to see his work continue on,” said Eddie West, a 1994 graduate of Southern Tech, now Kennesaw State University.
However, the path to graduation was somewhat of a journey, Chase West said. After graduating high school, he enrolled in Darton State College, now Albany State University, and later took a break from school to try his hand at law enforcement. He joined the Albany Police Department in 2013 after completing the police academy.
“I started policing because I wanted to be sure that construction was something I wanted to do and not just something my dad wanted me to do,” West said.
After a three-year stint as a patrolman, West began to reflect on the times his father brought him into the construction management capstone room to show the work of students who would soon graduate and “make some real money.” He decided it was time to put down the badge and return to the place that gave his father a fresh start.
“My dad has always taken me up to this campus year after year and made me walk these halls, made me look at the plaques on the walls,” West said. “He was very proud of the education he received. When I finally made it back up here myself, the first thing I wanted to do was chase his legend down.”
Carrying over credits he earned at Darton State, West completed his degree in just two years, averaging about 15 credit hours per semester. Like his father, he served as the student chapter president for the Association of General Contractors and was named chairman for the University’s Construction Guild. He was active in the student government association as a senator representing the College of Architecture and Construction Management, and was initiated into the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success.
“Chase has an impressive personality and is an avid listener. He stands firm on his ground but also has a soft side, and is always ready and willing to help others,” said Khalid Siddiqi, chair of KSU’s construction management department. “Several construction companies approached me to recruit Chase, but he politely declined because he made a commitment to his dad to work only after completing his degree program.”
Though he had some field experience working alongside his father, West said he felt being involved with the various student organizations gave him a new perspective on project management. He credits the construction management faculty with continuing to push him academically.
“The professors are all extremely friendly and extremely helpful, and I’m not just saying that,” West said. “They all know my name, and they’ve all gone out of their way to help me any way that they can.”
Eddie West jokes that his son couldn’t graduate fast enough, as construction managers are a need for his company and others across the country. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 48 percent of contractors nationwide say they have trouble filling salaried project manager positions, which include construction managers. In Georgia alone, more than half of survey respondents said project managers were their greatest need.
Speaking from his own experience, Eddie West said that his son should be well equipped for the job on Day 1.
“I know Chase is getting a quality education because it’s pretty much the same education I received two decades ago,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun to see him go through school and to call me to talk about what he’s learning because I’ve done it all before.”
November 9, 2017
Carl Frinzi, who was nominated by Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair of the The KSU Department of Construction Management, was recently honored with the 2017 KSU "Distinguished Alumni" award.
Frinzi possesses a B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology from the former Southern Polytechnic State University’s College of Technology and currently holds the role of Vice President of Batson-Cook, a highly recognized leader in the general contracting industry.
Frinzi's multitude of contributions over the past ten years to both the CM Department, and University as a whole, have significantly impacted students in so many ways. Some of these contributions include: arranging field trips to his projects for students, providing guest lectures, providing many internship opportunities, offering permanent job placements to graduates and creating an endowed scholarship. Last year, Frinzi was awarded "Recruiter of the Year" by the Construction Management Department, as Batson-Cook recruited the highest number of CM interns and graduates.
In addition to his direct impact on the CM Department, Frinzi also played a key role in the consolidation of SPSU with KSU, and has served on both Foundation boards. He currently serves as a trustee of the Kennesaw State University Foundation.
The Department couldn't be more thankful to Frinzi for his continuous generosity in the form of knowledge, leadership, time, financial contributions, and most of all, dedication to our students and growth of our programs. We are beyond honored to call him an invaluable member of the CM Industry Advisory Board.
October 13, 2017
KSU juniors and officers of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) student chapter, Addie Thornton (President, Civil Engineering major and Construction Management minor) and Adam Minor (Vice President, Construction Management major with a concentration in Land Development), recently attended the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC), held at the Georgia World Congress Center September 27-29, 2017, where they each were presented with a $1,000 AEE scholarship and had the opportunity to meet former President George W. Bush. Adam is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served under President Bush.
The KSU AEE student chapter is an organization which enables students to promote the scientific and educational interests in the fields sustainability and energy by offering informational meetings with industry professionals, scholarships, internships, conferences and certification opportunities.
Addie and Adam have worked diligently to grow the new student chapter, which began in October 2016, under the supervision of their advisor, Prof. Jacqueline Stephens, with additional guidance from Darrel Sandlin and Dan Shabo from the local Georgia AEE chapter.
The student chapter already has an impressive twenty three members and has held eleven events, including presentations from energy professionals, organization fairs and an international student chapter luncheon. Student chapter members are also welcome to attend the local AEE Georgia chapter monthly speaker meetings.
On October 16th KSU AEE will tour the Dekalb County Landfill to learn about how methane gas can be converted to energy.
For more information about KSU AEE please visit their OwlLife page here.
Pictured above left to right: Bernadette Ogunmuto (AEE KSU Member), Steve Waldron (AEE KSU Member), Addie Thornton (AEE KSU President), Professor Stephens (AEE KSU Advisor), Andres Peres (AEE KSU Member), Damari Weaver (AEE KSU Member), Jacob Barron (AEE KSU Member)
October 12, 2017
The U.S. Green Building Council is dedicated to preparing students for 21st century careers in sustainability by delivering competency-based education and providing innovative solutions to build the next generation of sustainability leaders. In fact, according to USGBC.com, college students are currently seeking jobs in sustainability at a rapidly increasing rate. Consider the following:
- More than 70 percent of college students and 50 percent of workers are looking for jobs with social impact.*
- By 2038, the United States will generate 4.2 million new green jobs, five times today’s total count.*
- As many as 80 percent of young professionals would like to work in a green job.*
- 61% of prospective college students said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend a school.*
In order to provide students with the education and experience they need to best prepare for careers in sustainability, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC created LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Lab. Students involved in the LEED Lab pursue the assessment of on-campus building(s) and culminate their studies with the submittal of actual certification documents, allowing the campus building to become certified and recognized for greater environmental performance. The result of the lab is a more informed and experienced graduate with experience in the built sciences and an improved campus environment with healthier buildings and sites for everyone.
KSU's LEED Lab Challenge
In Georgia, the passage of House Bill 255 prohibits any publicly funded building to pursue LEED performance ratings. Although the bill perhaps did not intend to impact curriculum and teaching in public universities, the collateral damage undeniably includes one of the most inventive and effective sustainable teaching programs in the nation, the LEED Lab. Authored by USGBC, the LEED Lab engages students with dynamic, real-world, learning opportunities based upon the LEED rating system.
Luckily for KSU College of Architecture and Construction Management students, they have the innovative and determined minds of professors Ed Akins (Architecture) and Brandi Williams (Construction Management). Since Bill 255 prohibits seeking LEED certification on the publicly funded KSU campus, professors Akins and Williams came up with the brilliant idea of creating a LEED Lab for KSU students that would allow them to work with a building off-campus. They reached out to Susan Kidd, Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability at Agnes Scott College (ASC), a privately funded college in Decatur, Georgia, to initiate a partnership that would allow KSU students the opportunity to participate in LEED Lab at an alternative location.
For additional information on the partnership and how it benefits both KSU and Agnes Scott College, please refer to Professor Akins article here.
From a Student's Perspective
"As a student, the LEED Lab is such an enriching experience. After taking this course, I have a clearer understanding of the certification process for LEED EBOM, and I am also engaged in learning more about LEED and pursuing personal accreditation. Being able to combine the requirements LEED establishes for each credit with the physical and financial constraints of an existing building was very productive to apply what we learned in the classroom in a real-life setting. I hope more and more students have access to the LEED Lab, and that this opportunity can motivate them to explore sustainable practices."
- Karlla Dreser, LEED Lab program student
More information on the USGBC LEED Lab program can be found here.
*Source: US. Green Building Council
Pictured above: Prof. Ed Akins and Prof. Michael Carroll's students tour Agnes Scott College
October 9, 2017
KSU's Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) student chapter recently attended the 2017 MCAA Great Futures Forum in Indianapolis September 28 - 30.
The Forum was truly an incredible experience for the students, who were so thankful for the opportunity to network with other students and professionals from all over the country. They were also introduced to new technologies being utilized in the field in relation to MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) specialties.
The student group participated in a mini-competition, which gave them the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge to the test as a team. While attending the Forum, the team also participated in a career fair, visited the NCAA Museum and attended serval lectures from professionals that gave the students an insight into what it would be like to work for a mechanical contractor and learn about where the industry and related technology is headed.
KSU's MCAA team will compete in the Student Chapter Competition at the 2018 MCAA Convention in San Antonio, TX March 25 - 29, where the challenge will be to plan a project involving the renovation of the mechanical systems of a Brazilian restaurant in mid-town New York City—Fogo De Chao Steakhouse.
For more information on the upcoming convention and student competition, please visit:
- Ready… Set… Go! MCAA’s 2017-2018 Student Chapter Competition is Off and Running
- 2018 MCAA Convention
Donations mark best year since fundraiser began in 2001
September 28, 2017
An annual fundraiser held to support Kennesaw State University’s construction management department reached new heights this year by collecting more than $140,000 for scholarships and the development of teaching facilities.
The 16th Annual Industry Advisory Board Fundraiser Gala, held last week at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, drew more than 50 sponsorships from individuals and organizations. Funds raised this year were more than 19 percent higher than in 2016, and are a far cry from the $7,000 raised at the inaugural gala in 2001. Five students were each awarded $2,000 scholarships at this year’s event.
“Prospective students and their parents are attracted to state-of-the-art teaching facilities and scholarship opportunities, both of which are high on our list of priorities,” said Khalid Siddiqi, chair of Kennesaw State’s Department of Construction Management. “I am extremely proud to see the success of the 2017 gala, and I’m impressed to see the growth of this event since inception.”
The gala’s success can be attributed in part to the department’s robust industry advisory board, Siddiqi said. The board has 42 members – many of whom were also donors for the fundraising gala – and its mission is to ensure students meet the educational and career needs of the industry from an employer’s perspective.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for construction managers in 2016 was $89,300, with a bachelor’s degree being the most common entry-level education. Employment is projected to grow by 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, the agency said.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, however, 48 percent of contractors nationwide say they have trouble filling salaried project manager positions, which include construction managers. In Georgia alone, more than half of respondents said project managers were their greatest need.
Kennesaw State’s program offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in construction management, along with certificate programs in project management, land development, special construction and facility management. Graduates maintain a near perfect job placement rate, Siddiqi said.
Original story | Written by Travis Highfield; photo by Ashley Schenck
July 28, 2017
For Myles Cardenas, high school basketball meant everything to him and defined him in many ways.
“My social life had been built around basketball,” said Cardenas, who played four years of varsity basketball in high school. “I had to recreate myself when I came here.”
Determined to make the most of his college experience when he arrived to campus in 2014, Cardenas, who graduated this summer with a bachelor’s degree in construction management, embraced campus life. He joined student organizations, focused intently on his studies and made time for a little intramural basketball.
“My days used to be filled with school and basketball, and because I wasn’t playing anymore, I knew that I could be working and doing other things,” he said.
Cardenas made a conscious effort to bring the lessons he learned on the basketball court to every aspect of his life, inside and outside the classroom. That strategy earned him top honors from a national professional organization, recognition as Kennesaw State’s Student of the Year, and employment with two prominent construction companies while attending KSU.
During his first year as a construction management major, Cardenas joined the National Association of Home Builders of KSU, the student chapter of the national professional organization.
“I really blossomed with the NAHB chapter,” he said. “I started in 2014 as a presenting member of the team at competition, then VP and finally, my senior year as president.”
Cardenas led the 2017 KSU team to sweep the competition at the International Builder’s Show, taking first in the nation for the NAHB Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition for four-year programs.
“The competition is a lot of work, but it is the most rewarding experience that I have ever been a part of,” he said. Cardenas also was honored with NAHB’s Outstanding Student Award.
Being involved with teams has been a huge part of Cardenas’ success. He served as VP of the Golden Key International Honour Society, was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and was inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
This spring, the Division of Student Affairs named Cardenas as Student of the Year.
“Myles Cardenas is an exceptional KSU student and contributes in a variety of ways to improve campus life for his fellow students,” said Kathy Alday, assistant vice president for student affairs.
Before coming to Kennesaw State, Cardenas attended a small private college in Kansas to follow his dream of playing college basketball. After a demanding athletic schedule and rarely seeing his family, Cardenas returned to his hometown of Conyers, Georgia at the end of his first year.
His family, in anticipation of their son’s return, scouted out the best school in the state for him to study architecture and discovered the former Southern Polytechnic State University.
“Even as a young kid, I was always interested in the designs of buildings,” Cardenas said, who came to the Marietta Campus in Fall 2014. “Architecture is where I thought I wanted to be.”
Cardenas had attended a vocational high school for two years to focus on architecture and construction trades. On advice from mentors and former teachers, Cardenas explored KSU’s construction management program and ways to build his experience in the field.
An ambitious student, he attended the university’s career fair his first semester and soon landed a position with Batson-Cook Construction, a Southeast general contractor, where he worked for nearly two years.
“What I admire most about Myles is his persistence and ability to rebound,” said Khalid Siddiqi, chair of the construction management program. “Myles was a part of KSU NAHB team that placed 23rd in 2014, 10th in 2015 and first in 2016. That says a lot about his character and resilience, which coupled with his humility makes him a favorite.”
While attending national NAHB competitions, professionals and organizations looking to hire sought out top students like Cardenas. After interviewing with a national home builder at the national competition in early 2016, Cardenas accepted an internship in land development, his academic concentration within the University’s construction management program.
“I’ve been able to see the industry from a different vantage point in this internship,” said Cardenas, who has worked for CalAtlantic Homes in Atlanta for the past year. “It’s great having people who want me to shadow them so that I can learn as much as I can.”
What hooked Cardenas on construction management initially was the collaborative, team effort involved in the field, he explained.
“Construction Management is about managing the building process,” he said. “We aren’t necessarily builders, nor do we tell the architects how to design, but we do ensure that the facility is structurally sound and we manage how to do that.
“It’s estimating and project management and controlling the project from start to finish. We work together with architects and engineers as one big team.
“For me, it all goes back to basketball. I loved being on a team and that team mentality is what made me choose construction management in the first place,” he said.
Original story | Story written by Tiffany Capuano; photo by Lauren Kress
President Olens offers Quality Workforce Development for Economic Development in Georgia
June 29, 2017
KSU President, Sam Olens, spoke at a breakfast meeting with construction industry leaders in the State of Georgia on June 29th at The Georgian Club. In addition to the leadership of the KSU Construction Management Industry Advisory Board, KSU Foundation Board members and leadership of the College of Architecture and Construction Management were also present during the meeting. AGC of Georgia, ABC Georgia, Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association and a large number of Presidents and CEO's of various construction organization participated in the event.
The meeting was organized by Beth Lowry, Chair of the Building and Technology Committee of the Board. President Olens shared with participants his commitment to the New Construction Management building program and the importance of the CM program for the state of Georgia. KSU is one of only two universities in the State of Georgia to offer an undergraduate degree in Construction Management and the only one in the metro Atlanta area.
A Steering Council was formed to promote the goals of the Building and Technology Committee. The Steering Council includes Tommy Holder (Holder Construction), Millard Choate (Choate Construction), Randy Hall (Batson-Cook) and Don Davidson (Inglett and Stubbs). Tommy Holder and Don Davidson also spoke on the occasion. Beth Lowry of Holder Construction Company agreed to serve as the Secretary to the Council. The committee’s purpose is to promote the project and assist the KSU Development team with strategic approaches to reach out to potential donors.
Bridging Possibilities: Graduate at the helm of interstate reconstruction project
May 31, 2017
When a massive fire caused the collapse of an Interstate 85 bridge in Atlanta on March 30, Jeff Shropshire (Civil Engineering Technology, ’90) dropped what he was doing and headed into the office.
The senior vice president at C.W. Matthews Contracting Company, the state’s largest road construction contractor, knew his company’s expertise may be needed. Within hours, the Georgia Department of Transportation had reached out to them, and soon after, C.W. Matthews’ crews were on site.
“Our major projects division crews were working on the I-85 express toll lanes nearby when the I-85 bridge fell, so we were able to get our crews out there quickly,” Shropshire said. Relocating crews proved beneficial as traffic needed to be rerouted with the interstate’s closure.
Shropshire was responsible for coordinating the efforts with GDOT, and began immediately working on logistics and figuring out construction costs. In his role, he monitored the overall project.
“On the front-end, logistics was a big part of it. We quickly moved in traffic control equipment,” said Shropshire, who has been with C.W. Matthews for nearly 29 years. “And once we figured out construction costs, we were able to step back and let the bridge crew do their job.”
More than 640 feet of the I-85 bridges, including the 100-foot long burned-out section, was replaced in six weeks, months ahead of schedule. It re-opened to traffic in both directions on May 13.
“Everything that we wanted to do went well with the subcontractors and suppliers,” he said, adding there were no project setbacks. “Suppliers had the bridge beams casted by day four. The timing worked out perfectly.”
Eleven crews worked around the clock – six crews during the day and five at night – during the six-week project. Shropshire oversaw two key division managers, one a day supervisor and one a night supervisor, in monitoring the 24/7 construction.
“It was an all-hands-on-deck project, and even if nothing was going on, you wanted to be there and be a part of it,” Shropshire said. “Building the bridge was just standard construction, using the same means and methods that we normally use for all of our projects.”
However, impeccable timing, high-tech materials and good weather landed them ahead of schedule. C.W. Matthews has 26 bridge crews, but could handpick crews from other construction projects that were ahead of schedule or nearly complete.
The $16.5 million I-85 bridge repair spanned six sections, and the company was able to stage the project so that crews worked in a stair-step fashion. As soon as columns were installed on a bent, the crews were able to cap it and move on in sequential order to complete each section of the bridge, Shropshire explained.
The concrete mix was also a project timesaver, he said. Instead of the standard concrete mix used in road construction, which takes about 14 days to dry and set up, a more advanced concrete sped dry time to about three days.
As crews rebuilt the bridge, which carries nearly a quarter million vehicles each day, GDOT’s Traffic Management Center gathered data on traffic flow. The C.W. Matthews company was able to make traffic adjustments overnight.
“In one case, we had the task of changing turn lanes, from one to two lanes, based on the traffic data studies,” said Shropshire. “We shut down sections of the road overnight, restriped it, and had traffic moving again by the next morning.”
Shropshire landed a co-op with C.W. Matthews in college and joined the company full-time after graduating. He earned a degree in civil engineering technology with a construction option in 1990 from then Southern College of Technology (which was renamed Southern Polytechnic State in 1996 and then consolidated with Kennesaw State in 2015).
Shropshire has remained connected to the university and currently serves on Kennesaw State’s Industry Advisory Board for Construction Management and chairs the resource mobilization committee. Last year, he organized the department’s annual fundraising gala, helping to raise nearly $120,000 for the department’s programs, student scholarships and student competition teams. He will chair the annual gala again this year.
In the days and weeks that followed the bridge collapse, Shropshire said that all normal business was pushed to a later date, and life as he knew it, including his volunteer involvement with KSU, was temporarily put on hold.
While he was excited to work on a project of such magnitude and has enjoyed the success of the I-85 bridge reconstruction project, he’s happy to get back to normal.
“Any project that is this high profile, the energy levels are so high,” Shropshire said, adding that the company completed an airport runway project in 33 days. “We run at 90 miles per hour and then it all just stops when the project is finished. Those energy levels are gone and we just go back to our everyday normal operations.”
May 19, 2017
Article from citybizlist.com
The Georgia Construction Outlook Survey indicates that 86 percent of the state’s privately held construction companies project a revenue increase over the prior year. The survey, released on Tuesday, was conducted by Kennesaw State University’s Construction Management Department in cooperation with Bennett Thrasher, one of the country’s largest full-service certified public accounting and consulting firms.
The results were presented by Khalid Siddiqi, Chair of Kennesaw State University’s College of Construction Management, along with Tom Jollay and Scott Hazy, Bennett Thrasher’s Construction Practice Co-Leaders. Eighty-one companies responded to the online survey, the purpose of which is to provide specific benchmarking data of the state’s general contractors and subcontractors.
Other major takeaways from the survey include:
- Respondents reported an average gross profit margin of 11 percent. By comparison, the return on assets figure for a typical respondent in the 2016 Construction Financial Management Association’s national study was 9.0 percent.
- Respondents reported an average gross profit per full-time equivalent employee of $30,747.
- 87 percent of the companies surveyed said recruiting and retaining qualified individuals was their biggest business challenge.
- 73 percent of the 2,368 privately held construction companies in Georgia are located in metro Atlanta.
- 64 percent of the companies surveyed said they are a family-owned business and 66 percent of surveyed participants said they have a succession plan in place.
- The average ratio of Human Resources Directors per full-time employee is 1:51.
The survey also compiled data on compensation, including average salaries for all contractors:
- President/CEO: $177,435
- CFO: $156,333
- Controller: $85,947
- IT Manager: $95,714
- Project Manager: $80,286
- Sales/Marketing Manager: $81,100
- HR Manager: $67,313
- Estimator: $70,522
- Superintendent: $79,160
- Cost Engineer: $67,500
- Foreman: $52,621
For more information about the survey, please contact Bennett Thrasher Director of Marketing and Practice Growth Erinn Keserica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bennett Thrasher LLP
Bennett Thrasher LLP is one of the country’s largest full-service certified public accounting and consulting firms. The firm creates significant value and a unique positive experience through collaboration—with and between clients, partners, associates and the community. Founded in 1980 by Rick Bennett and Ken Thrasher, Bennett Thrasher today has a dedicated, experienced team of partners and associates who believe in creating value by working “Better Together.” For more information, please visit Bennett Thrasher’s website at http://www.btcpa.net.
- AJC: Georgia construction companies: Where are the workers?
- AJC: Georgia Construction Firms are Feeling Labor Squeeze
April 20, 2017
The Construction Management Department performed a Hat Trick at Kennesaw State University’s Student Affairs 2017 Awards Ceremony held on April 19th.
Congratulations to CM Faculty Dr. Rodgers, NAHB Student Chapter Advisor, and Myles Cardenas, NAHB Student Chapter Team Leader and NAHB Student Chapter Organization President, on their last years performance, which resulted in the nomination for the three big awards of the night, held in the newly renovated auditorium at the Marietta Campus.
Dr. Rodgers was awarded "The Advisor of the Year" for her outstanding performance in making the NAHB student chapter "Chapter of the Year" for two consecutive years. Dr. Siddiqi, along with seven other students, represented the Construction Management Department at Awards Ceremony.
Kennesaw State University’s Student Affairs declared the NAHB Student Chapter as the "Student Organization of the Year". The organization played a key role in organizing fundraising and recruiting activities for Atlanta area Home builders. Myles Cardenas, President of the NAHB Student Chapter of KSU, accepted the award on behalf of the student chapter.
Thirdly, the most coveted accolade of the night was awarded to Myles Cardenas as the "Student of the Year"! He exemplifies excellent performance not only in class through his GPA, but he also led the NAHB Student Chapter for the last three years. He was the mover and the shaker of the student chapter’s performance in the national competitions from 32nd to the first place this year. He also influenced other student chapters in the Construction Management Department to excel and improve their performance.
Dr. Siddiqi, as well as others from both within and beyond the Construction Management Department, nominated Dr. Rodgers for Advisor of the Year, NAHB Student Chapter for the Student Organization of the Year, and Myles Cardenas for the most coveted Student of the Year Award.
Pictured: Dr. Siddiqi along with seven CM students, including Myles Cardenas from the CM Department, who represented the department at the KSU Awards Ceremony
April 7, 2017
CM's Dr. Abaza Selected as Diversity Faculty Fellow
March 27, 2017
Congratulations to KSU Department of Construction Management's Dr. Hussein Abaza for being selected by the Center for Diversity Leadership and Engagement as the 2017-2018 Diversity Faculty Fellow.
March 21, 2017
The annual KSU Department of Construction Management Cookout took place on March 15, 2017. Despite the unusually chilly weather, many turned out for an evening of great food and fun!
This year's cookout was sponsored by the Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association, who provided the supplies for the cookout, and BBH Electric (Brooks Berry Haynie & Associates), who volunteered to grill!
This event was organized by the Student Alumni Relations Committee of the KSU Construction Management Industry Advisory Board, including Cherri Watson (Chair), Chuck Little and Tanner Wilson.
February 5, 2017
Kennesaw State University students’ recent sweep at a national residential development competition in January netted them a $60,000 grant.
KSU’s National Association of Home Builders Student Chapter beat 60 other teams to place first at a national competition in addition to other honors in Orlando, Florida, in January.
Nine students — including senior Myles Cardenas, a construction management major — traveled to Orlando to present a 100-page project management proposal for a 32-acre residential development in Decatur.
“They give us a real life project, and we have to go through the process of buying the land, building the project and show how we’re going to do it financially,” said Cardenas, the chapter’s president.
The KSU team’s proposal included building 349 townhomes on the tract of land in order to maximize the development’s financial return on investment, said Cardenas.
Teams across the country including Pennsylvania State University and California Polytechnic State University vied for the top proposal for the Decatur development, which included product and site design, project schedule and estimates, financial analysis and sales and marketing strategies.
KSU’s victory also came with a $60,000 grant to be paid over three years for the construction management department. The money will help the department develop a residential construction track and to increase student internship opportunities, said Charner Rodgers, team adviser and KSU construction management professor.
The chapter already has a partnership with Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association that provides internship and mentoring opportunities for the students, said Cardenas, who works as an intern at CalAtlantic Homes — a housing development company.
KSU’s chapter was also recognized as an outstanding student chapter for the second consecutive year for its membership, networking events and community service, Cardenas said.
This year’s contest marked the KSU chapter’s third year in competition and KSU’s first year on top. The team placed 23rd in 2014 and 10th in 2015.
KSU’s chapter includes about 35 students with a variety of majors, including construction management, engineering, marketing, architecture and mechatronics.
“It’s way more than just building homes, that’s why we try to diversify our team and our chapter,” Cardenas, who also received the outstanding student award for the KSU team at the competition.
Students sweep national competition, faculty members earn endowment grant
January 25, 2017
Kennesaw State University National Association of Home Builders Student Chapter swept the competition at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando earlier this month. The team placed first in the nation at the NAHB Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition for four-year programs.
The annual competition attracted more than 1,000 students, composing 60 teams, who each completed a management proposal encompassing residential product components. The proposals typically involve all aspects of residential construction management, including market analysis, product and site design, project schedule and estimates, financial analysis, green building initiatives, project management overview, and sales and marketing strategies.
“The competition is a lot of work, but it is the most rewarding experience that I have ever been a part of,” said Myles Cardenas, KSU chapter president, who also received the NAHB’s Outstanding Student Award this year. “I am extremely proud of every single person who has been involved in the chapter over the years, and those who have graduated from the university and still dedicate time to come back and help the chapter in any way that they could.”
Now in his third year of competition, Cardenas led the six-member KSU team (along with three non-presenting members), creating a 100-page business proposal and presenting their work to residential construction company executives who served as judges during the three-day competition.
For the first time, the KSU NAHB student chapter advisors and construction management professors Charner Rodgers and Brandi Williams brought home a 2017 National Housing Endowment Homebuilding Education Leadership Program (HELP) Grant, providing the university’s Construction Management Department with $60,000 over three years. The grant will help to further programs of study in residential construction, provide the tools and skill sets needed by graduates to prepare for the future, and increase the number of qualified college graduates entering the residential construction industry.
“The team was definitely making waves at this competition,” said Rodgers, assistant professor of construction management. Rodgers advises KSU’s team alongside Williams, also an assistant professor.
The Kennesaw State’s NAHB student chapter was created in 2014, and entered the competition in 2015 and placed 23rd. Last year, the team took 10th place.
The team was also recognized as the 2017 NAHB Outstanding Student Chapter for the second consecutive year, earning the top award among 160 student chapters across the nation.
Pictured (L-R): Victoria Carnes, Christy Graham, Tyler Dees, Rebecca Barber, Afelle Peterson, Murray Calhoun V, Charner Rodgers (advisor), William Davis, Christopher Kim, and Myles Cardenas
Press Release from AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org
December 9, 2016
Kennesaw State University‘s program for construction management has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org). As a leading resource for higher education and college accreditation information, the site released its annual ranking for the 2016-2017 school year, honoring Kennesaw State University as the #28 Best Construction Management Program in the Nation.
“We wanted to highlight schools like Kennesaw State University, who are striving for excellence in education,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “These colleges offer an exceptional educational experience, upholding rigorous accreditation standards and showing an overall commitment to maximizing student success.”
In order for universities to qualify for this ranking they must hold public or private not-for-profit status and carry institutional accreditation. Top schools are determined by using a value-based methodology that analyzes more than a dozen qualitative and quantitative data points.
For a complete list of construction management programs for 2016-2017 and more information on the methodology used to rank each school, visit the following page:
# # #
AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success. environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success.
November 29, 2016
The Department of Construction Management would like to congratulate two of our outstanding students who were recently awarded scholarships.
On November 3rd, Cara Lea Black, a junior in KSU's Construction Management program, was awarded a scholarship in the amount of $2,000 at the Georgia Utility Contractors Association (GUCA) Fall 2016 Quarterly Meeting and Trade Show Dinner. The event was organized by GUCA at Loudermilk Center Atlanta.
Construction Management sophomore, Levi Smith, was also presented with a scholarship in the amount of $4,000 this month, during the Greater Atlanta Electrical League (GAEL) Fall 2016 Meeting and Luncheon, which took place on November 14th in West at Buckhead.
PHOTOS: Top: LtR- Jeff Duncan (Education Committee Chair GUCA), Billy Crump (Vice President GUCA), Dr. Siddiqi (Chair of the KSU CM Department) and Cara Lee Black. Bottom: LtR- Mark Bates, Levi Smith, Dr. Siddiqi and Kim Hakes
CM Chair, Dr. Khalid Siddiqi Awarded Georgia Hispanic Contractors Association Education Award for 2016
November 21, 2016
Congratulations to Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair, KSU Construction Management Department and the faculty, staff, and students of the Construction Management Department!
Dr. Siddiqi received the Georgia Hispanic Contractors Association Education Award for 2016 on behalf of the department at a Celebration Dinner held at the Marriott Buckhead on November 18, 2016. The award was presented by the Board of Directors of Georgia Hispanic Contractors to KSU's Construction Management Department in recognition of community building activities of KSU's Construction Management Department.
The event was organized by the Georgia Hispanic Contractors Association to recognize the community builder attributes of the award winners. This award recognizes the role of the CM Department in preparing Construction Managers to support the economic development of Georgia during the last nineteen years.
The Construction Management Department of KSU also offers large number of scholarships to the students majoring in the Construction Management discipline.
October 18, 2016
Recently, Kennesaw State University’s Construction Management Department awarded two State Department Sponsored Cooperative Partnership Agreements worth one million dollars each. These agreements are with two institutions in the middle east, Kabul Polytechnic University in Kabul, Afghanistan and the Indus Valley School in Karachi, Pakistan. State Department officials, Richard Boyum and Javellana Grachelle, visited KSU on October 17th and 18th to meet the project team members and university officials involved in the management of the two partnership agreements.
About the agreements
Kabul Polytechnic University
KSU is assisting Kabul University to establish classroom and teaching facilities for Geographic Information Systems and related programs to create maps that will be used in future development of the country.
Indus Valley School
The new partnership provides students and faculty an exchange program, along with institutional strengthening of the Indus Valley School in the area of Communication Design.
September 23, 2016
The Department of Construction Management at Kennesaw State University held its 15th Annual Construction Industry Advisory Board Fundraiser Gala on Sept. 22, attracting representatives from several of the top construction firms in metropolitan Atlanta. Kennesaw State interim president Dr. Houston D. Davis welcomed a large gathering of people at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta.
“The Construction Management Department Industry Advisory Board of Kennesaw State University would like to thank all of those who participated in our 15th annual fundraiser,” said Jeff Shropshire, chair of the Resource Mobilization Committee, which organized the gala. “The entertainment and fellowship made for a perfect evening. Funds raised through sponsorships and silent auction donations totaled approximately $125,000 which will benefit the department and its students.”
The money raised from the event supports student scholarships, competitions, extracurricular activities and the advancement of the department, which offers both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. Funds are also used for construction management faculty development and advancement.
The fundraiser included a steak dinner and silent auction that featured autographed items from famous sports figures, musicians, actors and actresses. Entertainment was provided by comedian Kenn Kington while scholarships were presented to a number of Kennesaw State students by Dr. Khalid M. Siddiqi, Chair and Professor of the Department of Construction Management.
“I would like to congratulate Construction Industry Advisory Board members for supporting the cause of quality construction education in Georgia,” Siddiqi said. “Jeff Shropshire led his team to organize the best-ever annual banquet and fundraiser. The motivation provided by Paul Hogan, Board Chair, was exemplary and he was ably assisted by Rodney Smith, Vice Chair of the Board. Money raised is primarily used for student scholarships, faculty support and toward enhancing the learning environment, including new facility planning for the department.”
Besides the Construction Industry Advisory Board members, the dinner celebration was attended by numerous subcontractors, material suppliers and trade association representatives. Construction management faculty and staff, along with several administrators from KSU also participated in the event.
PHOTO: Standing (L to R): Dr. Khalid Siddiqi (Chair, Construction Management Department KSU), Dr. Houston Davis (Interim KSU President), Mr. Paul Hogan (President of the Construction Management Advisory Industry Board), and Mrs. Hogan.
Chamberlain Hrdlicka's Nick Papleacos Recognized For Academic Contributions To Kennesaw State University
September 12, 2016
Chamberlain Hrdlicka is pleased to announce that Nicholas S. Papleacos, a shareholder in the firm’s Construction Practice, was recently honored with the Outstanding Part-Time Teaching Award by Kennesaw State University (KSU) for 2016. This is the second year he has received the award. Papleacos teaches courses in construction law and dispute resolution in KSU’s College of Architecture and Construction Management. Dr. Houston Davis, president of KSU, presented the award on August 13. Although the Kennesaw State University Foundation awards faculty and staff members annually, this was only its second year honoring part-time faculty. He has been teaching in the Construction Department for 12 years.
Papleacos has more than 35 years of experience in construction law and litigation. He maintains a national construction law practice, representing general contractors and specialty trade contractors involved in coatings, mechanical and electrical work. Papleacos has represented clients in disputes throughout the country in state and federal court trials and in arbitration proceedings. Also, he has advised contractors on federal and state construction projects and litigated issues arising out of federal contracts and regulations.
Papleacos earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Chamberlain Hrdlicka is a diversified business law firm with offices in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio. The firm represents both public and private companies as well as individuals and family-owned businesses across the nation. In addition to tax planning and tax controversy, the firm offers corporate, securities and finance, employment law and employee benefits, energy law, estate planning and administration, intellectual property, international.
Overseas Visitors at the CM Department
August 30, 2016
Earlier this month, Dr. Jawaid Haider, Professor and Dean of Academics from Indus Valley School (IVS- Pakistan) of Art and Architecture, visited the Construction Management Department at KSU. Plans for organizing an international Conference, through the cooperation and support of the US State Department, were discussed.
Sitting (L to R): Professor Ali Khan (Chair Communication Design IVS), Dr. Jawaid Haider (Dean of Academics IVS), Dr. Ameen Farooq (Professor Architecture KSU)
Standing (L to R): Dr. Khalid Siddiqi (Chair Construction Management Department KSU) and Professor Richard Cole (Dean College of Architecture and Construction Management)
CM Faculty Receive KSU Foundation Awards
The Department of Construction Management would like to congratulate Professor Nick Papelacos and Dr. Charner Rogers. Both received awards from the KSU Foundation, presented at KSU’s annual Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony, which took place at the Opening of the University on August 11, 2016.
Professor Papelacos received the “Outstanding Part-Time Teaching Award” for the second consecutive year for the College of Architecture and Construction Management. He is an eminent Construction Industry Trial Attorney and has also co-authored a book on the subject with focus on Georgia Construction Laws and Regulations.
Dr. Charner Rodgers received the “Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award”. She is the Faculty Advisor to KSU’s National Association of Home Builders Student Chapter, which was awarded “Outstanding Student Chapter” in January 2016 at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Dr. Rodgers was also inducted as a member of the National Student Advisory Board and appointed chairperson of the awards and recognition committee.
July 19, 2016
The KSU Department of Construction Management would like to thank Don Davidson, CEO of Inglett and Stubbs and past Chair of the Construction Industry Advisory Board, for creating an endowed scholarship for the Construction Management Department students. Don also serves on the KSU Foundation Board as well. The annual scholarship shall be $2,500 per year, at a minimum, and shall be available to the Construction Management students immediately.
Don and his daughter are both SPSU/KSU Construction Management alumni. Don has generously provided outstanding support to the Construction Management department in the past, and now, with the Davidson Family Endowed Scholarship, a Construction Management student shall receive this coveted scholarship each year through the proceeds from the endowment created at the Polytechnic Foundation of KSU.
Don has been a great supporter of the new Construction Management Building and he was also a prime mover in creating the Greater Atlanta Electrical League Scholarship for Construction Management students, which is being awarded from this year on as well.
Construction Management students may apply for this scholarship, and others, at www.scholarships.kennesaw.edu.
June 9, 2016
KSU Construction Management senior, Myles Cardenas, was recently awarded a scholarship by the Professional Women in Building (PWB). He was selected because of his involvement in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as well as PWB, his stellar grades, and community service. Myles attended a luncheon hosted by PWB, along with Dr. Charner Rodgers, where the speaker was Ingrid Saunders Jones, Senior Vice President of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company and Chair of the The Coca-Cola Foundation.
May 15, 2016
KSU Architecture and Construction Management faculty recently attended the DCA European Conference, hosted by Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Turkey May 11-14, 2016.
Dr. Saleh Uddin, KSU Professor of Architecture, co-chaired the conference, while additional College faculty members also contributed heavily, including publishing seven papers, conducting two workshops, participating in the paper review committee and editing the proceedings.
KSU Faculty Contributions
- Conference Co-Chair: M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of
- Proceedings Editor: M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of
- Paper Session Moderators: Chris Welty, Ameen Farooq, Marietta Monaghan, Tim Frank
(Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
- Workshop Presenter: M. Saleh Uddin and Chris Welty “Moving Entourage in Architectural
Animation” (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
- Workshop Presenter: Tim Frank “Ecological Design Simulation” (Department of Architecture,
Kennesaw State of University)
- Member of Paper Review Committee: Mine Hashas and M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture,
Kennesaw State of University)
- Authors of published papers in the printed proceedings or paper presenter: Ameen Farooq,
Hussein Abaza, Marietta Monaghan, M. Saleh Uddin, Tim Frank (Department of Architecture,
Kennesaw State of University)
- Conference Introductory and Concluding Address: M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture,
Kennesaw State of University)
- "Precedent Study: A design Inhibitor or Facilitator in Design Foundation", Ameen Farooq
(Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
- "Marietta High School’s Haiti Restoration and Reclamation Container Building Research
Project", Marietta Monaghan (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
- "Marietta High School Haiti Container Project", Theodore Grosch, Leon Grant, Marietta
Monaghan, Marcellus Pitts (Kennesaw State Univ., Marietta School District, Kennesaw
State Univ., Fowler-Pitts Associates)
- "Threat Mitigation through Design: Designing out threat in educational environment", AKM
Zahidul Islam, Univ of North Texas, M. Saleh Uddin
- "Interdisciplinary Collaborative Project at a Polytechnic: A High Hurdles Race", Leslie
G. Hankey, M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Digital Writing and Media Arts, Kennesaw
State University; Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
- "International Collaboration for Teaching GIS in Afghanistan", Hussein Abaza, Charner
Rodgers (Department of Construction Management, Kennesaw State of University)
- "Mapping Atmosphere: Sketching the Ambient Qualities of Islamic Space", Tim Frank (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Kennesaw State students bring home national honors from several competitions
April 25, 2016
It’s a stellar year for the student competition teams in the College of Architecture and Construction Management, who have ranked among the top in the nation for their talent and hard work.
The National Association of Home Builders, a trade association representing the residential and light commercial construction industry, named Kennesaw State University’s NAHB student organization as this year’s Outstanding Student Chapter. The award recognizes achievements in chapter activities, green program, diversity and activities with local builders associations. KSU’s chapter was chosen from more than 150 student chapters from around the country during the 2016 NAHB International Builders Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.
In addition, Kennesaw State student Wes Fishburne was one of 27 students named an NAHB Outstanding Student of the Year, and the chapter earned a top 10 finish in the Residential Construction Management Competition.
“These competitions are important for the students because they simulate the type of competition and the conditions that prevail in the real world,” said Khalid Siddiqi, chair of the Construction Management department at Kennesaw State. “When students graduate, these budding professional construction managers hit the ground running, and they are not afraid to compete.”
Three other competition teams in Construction Management secured top honors for their teams’ strategies in national competitions.
Last month, the Mechanical Contractors Association of American named Kennesaw State’s MCAA student chapter as one of its Final Four in the 2015 National Student Chapter Competition. The KSU team’s proposal consisted of designing and building the mechanical systems for an eight-story campus housing project in California. The proposal included HVAC design, LEED Gold certification, system life cycle costs, schedule, estimating, project management and maintenance programs.
Kennesaw State was selected third in the nation for ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction’s Green Energy Challenge Poster Competition. ELECTRI International was established in 1989 by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) as the voice of the electrical construction industry.
In addition, the Associated Builders and Contractors student competition team at KSU received third place nationally in the estimating category at ABC’s Construction Management Competition, a hallmark competition that promotes construction management. The team, which prepared a proposal for the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery in Colorado, was among 23 universities competing.
“Our student learning of construction management professional skills goes well beyond the classroom,” said Siddiqi. “They have the skills to impress industry members who judge these competitions and they are not afraid to compete.”
The Construction Management program at Kennesaw State focuses on applying knowledge and using technology for solving real-world construction problems. Local construction projects, combined with strong industry support, provide vast laboratory opportunities and educational resources for Kennesaw State students.
Original story | Story written by Tiffany Capuano; photos courtesy of MCAA and NAHB
April 15, 2016
Pavan Meadati, an associate professor of Construction Management at Kennesaw State University, received the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Outstanding Educator Award - Region 2 for 2016. Dr. Meadati received the award at ASC Annual International Conference held at Provo, Utah on April 15, 2016. This award is made annually to a faculty member with a minimum of 7 years of teaching experience at a four-year ASC member school. This award recognizes the faculty member's contribution to construction education, excellence in teaching, service to the ASC and dedication to the construction profession.
April 15, 2016
The 2016 Construction Management Sporting Clays Fundraiser took place on Friday, April 15, 2016 at Etowah Valley Sporting Clays.
The fundraiser was organized and hosted by the KSU Construction Management Industry Advisory Board Student/Alumni Relations Committee members, including Pat Dunwoody (ABC Georgia), David Ellis (Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association), Chuck Little (Atlanta Electrical Contractors) and Cherry Watson (AGC Georgia), with proceeds supporting the Department of Construction Management activities and equipment. Below is a list of teams that participated in the event. Photos
Hogan Construction I
Hogan Construction II
Inglett & Stubbs
A. West Enterprises
Brooks, Berry, Haynie & Associates I
Brooks, Berry, Haynie & Associates II
Brooks, Berry, Haynie & Associates III
America’s Home Place
McCarthy Building Company
First Place Team
Inglett & Stubbs
Second Place Team
Americas Best Homeplace
Best Shooter Award
PHOTO: Paul Hogan lead the Hogan Construction Group teams
Industry Advisory Board Attends ACCE Best Practices Workshop
February 25, 2016
Department Chair, Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, and Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members, Paul Hogan and Rodney Smith, recently represented the KSU Department of Construction Management Industry Advisory Board (IAB) at the IAB Best Practices Workshop, held in Mobile, Alabama. The workshop was organized by the American Council of Construction Education (ACCE) to enable accredited programs’ advisory boards to network and learn from each other.
PHOTO (L to R): Rodney Smith (IAB member), Dr. Khalid Siddiqi (Department Chair), Paul Hogan (IAB member)
KSU Team Places in Top 10 Overall in 2016 National Competition
February 2, 2016
KSU Construction Management’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student chapter competition team recently attended the International Home Builders Show in Las Vegas, NV. While in attendance, the student chapter competed in the 2016 National Residential Construction Management Competition. Thirty-four universities from across the country (including the University of Denver, Cal Poly, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan State, and BYU) submitted proposals to construct a multi-staged diverse housing project located in Fredericksburg, Maryland. The proposals included Green building, scheduling, estimating, project management, marketing, and financing. KSU’s team placed tenth overall in the competition.
Members of the team include J. Wes Fisburne, Myles Cardenas, Morgan Haas, Ronald Jones, Teigh Dooley, and Veryl Rosser. Three shadows accompanied the team for the competition, including Jason Santos, Christopher Kim and Rebecca Barber. The student chapter advisor is Dr. Charner Rodgers.
February 1, 2016
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Student Chapters program awarded Kennesaw State University “Outstanding Student Chapter” at an award ceremony held at the 2016 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas in January.
This award, sponsored by the NAHB Leading Suppliers, recognizes student chapters for their outstanding achievements in chapter activities, green programs, diversity and activities with their local builders association. KSU was selected for the award out of over 150 student chapters.
More than 100,000 builders, remodelers, students, faculty members and suppliers packed the aisles at the 2016 International Builders’ Show, Design & Construction Week.
“Congratulations to Kennesaw State University” said Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB. “This student chapter demonstrates excellence in campus and community involvement.”
KSU’s Student chapter President, J. Wes Fishburne, was also recognized as an Outstanding Student of the Year. Chapter Advisor, Dr. Charner Rodgers, was inducted as a member of the National Student Advisory Board and appointed chairperson of the awards and recognition committee.
ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country and more than 150 student chapters. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.
KSU Team Selected for MCAA Final Four
January 11, 2016
KSU Construction Management’s Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) team has been selected in the final four for the 2015 National Student Chapter Competition. Twenty eight universities from across the country (such as the University of Washington, Cal Poly, Purdue, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Illinois State, and the University of Wisconsin) submitted proposals for design-build services of the mechanical systems for an 8-story campus housing project located in San Jose, CA. The proposals included HVAC design, LEED Gold certification, system life cycle costs, schedule, estimating, project management and service and maintenance program.
Our MCAA Team of Jonathan Byers, Carson Bendock, James Colbert, and Tiffany Holmes will present their proposal at the MCAA National Convention in Orlando on March 21st. The other proposals selected in the final four are: University of Nebraska, Colorado State, and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
- Conference Co-Chair: M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
San Diego, CA
November 12, 2015
KSU Construction Management’s Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Student Competition Team received 3rd Place in Estimating Category for the National CM Competition. Team members, Eddie Cengic, Jonathan McCowan, Lynn Jones, and Satoree Hogan prepared a proposal for the Fort Collins Discovery Museum. KSU was among 23 universities across the country that participated in this year’s competition.
ABC’s Construction Management Competition (CMC) is a hallmark competition that promotes careers in construction management. The competition is sponsored in part by the Trimmer Construction Education Foundation (TCEF) and ABC members. In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the competition fosters an environment that will bring out the best in each team; encourage dialogue among the students; and foster the team spirit as students rise to meet this challenge. The CMC is designed to challenge construction knowledge, time management, organizational, and presentation skills. The competition features teams of four (4) college and university students testing their project management, estimating, safety, quality control, and presentation skills.