Fall 2017 Construction Engineering Management Update

Connecting industry with students and students with industry is the focus of the Construction Engineering Management emphasis at the University of Arizona. Fall highlights:

  • A growing team of CEM partners.
  • Student awards and recognition.
  • Student competitions.
  • Construction course offerings.

CEM Partners

Companies and individuals collaborate with us by providing industry speakers, site visits and financial support. Since the first CEM course was offered in 2012, Ashton, Granite, KE&G and Sundt have provided yearly financial support. This year we added Brasfield & Gorrie, Borderland and Structural Grace to our list of financial supporters.

Alumni and friends are also contributing to CEM with matching gifts from Exxon Mobile and Chevron. If you are inspired by what you read here, as an individual or as a company, please consider a financial gift to CEM. Make out checks, with CEM on the memo, to the UA Foundation at:

Therese Lane
Civil Engineering
1209 E. Second St.
Tucson, AZ 85721

Student Awards and Recognition

Student Competitions

Students in the Design-Build Institute of American - University of Arizona, or DBIA-UA, student chapter have been active this year.

  • 2017 National DBIA Competition: Three UA teams composed of civil engineering and architecture students competed in fall 2017, with one team becoming a regional finalist. Students had 10 days to prepare a response to an RFQ, and the short-listed teams had 10 more days to respond to an RFP for a health and wellness center on a Pacific Northwest liberal arts campus.
    Students learned about DB delivery from Travis McCarthy (Sundt), DB selection from Ralph Banks (UA Planning, Design & Construction), and health care facility functions from Kris Kruetz (UA Campus Health Services). With a generous grant from DBIA, eight UA students were able to attend the November DBIA National Conference in Philadelphia.
  • 2018 Associated Schools of Construction Competition, Reno: At every ASC competition, industry professionals prepare, oversee, and evaluate 12 construction competition events in categories such as heavy civil, commercial, mixed use and design-build. Our team has already registered to participate in 2018, which will be the UA’s first year competing in Reno. Students are meeting with industry partners to prepare, including Brasfield & Gorrie, Core, DPR, Hensel Phelps, Kitchell, Mortenson and Sundt. The team will have 24 hours to prepare a written submittal to respond to an RFP and present it to an industry panel. This event is fast-paced and intense, and our students are looking forward to it. We are currently seeking industry partners to help cover the $8,000 cost for travel and hotel.

Construction Courses

Industry presenters and construction site visits enhanced the content of CE381 Construction Engineering Management and CE483/583 Construction Cost Estimating. Some semester highlights include use of InEight’s Hard Dollar estimating software from Kiewit; the 11th Hour Bid Simulation with the Tucson and Phoenix chapters of the American Society of Professional Estimators; and a mock bid opening at Granite. Additionally, our students volunteered at the ATB Southern Arizona Construction Career Days, and three students attended ABA’s workshop about project supervision.

Industry Presenters in CE381

  • RFQ and RFP for design build: Ralph Banks and Kris Kruetz (UA)
  • Design-build: Travis McCarthy (Sundt)
  • QA/QC: Scott Sayles (Parsons)
  • Lean Construction: Ray McCoy, Ian Jasperson, Kelly Gore (Hensel Phelps)
  • Bid preparation: Rob Presuhn and Jesse Espinoza (Granite)
  • Project risk: Josh Marks (Rider, Levett, Bucknall)
  • Virtual design and construction: Eric Cylwik (Sundt)
  • Construction safety: Jessie Atencio (ADOSH)

Site Visits in CE381

  • Health Sciences Innovation Building: Kitchell, Utah
  • Ina Road Interchange: Sundt/Kiewit, ADOT
  • Raytheon building: Brasfield & Gorrie, Raytheon
  • Borderland equipment yard: Borderland



Industry Presenters in CE483/583

  • Earthwork: Rob Presuhn and Arnold Neave (Granite)
  • Concrete: Bob Carlson (Hunter)
  • Masonry: Wayne Coalter (A Bid Helper)
  • Heavy civil: Anthony Heim (Rummel)
  • Steel: Chris DeYoung (JB Steel)
  • Control systems: Mike Goodwin (Climatec)

One student said of a construction class:

“This is the most applied course I have taken at the UA. I have worked with a general contractor for a year now, and everything -- absolutely everything -- was directly related to a real-world scenario in construction.”

Industry partnerships are enhancing CEM and motivating students, which in turn attract more students to construction courses, extracurricular activities, internships and full-time employment in construction.

The need for young men and women in the construction industry is great, and when students are exposed to the challenges and opportunities in construction, they are drawn to the industry. CEM is funded through industry and alumni donations. Your gifts are making an impact on students and the industry. Thank you for your partnership.


Dean Papajohn, PE, ENV SP, Associate DBIA
Associate Professor of Practice
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Dec. 18, 2017


PO Box 210072 • 1209 E. Second Street, Room 206A-1, Tucson, AZ 85721
Tel: 520.621.2266 • Fax: 520.621.2550 • ceem@engr.arizona.edu

University of Arizona College of Engineering