Spring 2016 Construction Engineering Management Emphasis Update from Dean Papajohn

Visit to Bioscience Research Lab construction site

The academic year just ended, and a lot has happened in the Construction Engineering Management emphasis at UA. Industry has been extremely engaged with students and CEM, and our CEM students have been extremely engaged with industry. This spring we offered a new course, CE483: Construction Cost Estimating, with 27 students enrolled. This course provided hands-on training in quantity take-off and cost estimating for a variety of construction tasks. In addition to a construction site visit to the Biosciences Research Lab arranged by Matt Hunter and Taylor Fulkerson (DPR), we had a number of industry speakers come to campus, including:

  • Chris Vine (Hensel Phelps) – cost estimating through the stages of design-build; 
  • Bob Carlson (Hunter) – concrete; 
  • Bob Martinez, Jesse Espinoza and Arnold Neave (Granite) – heavy civil earthwork; 
  • Matt Brogen and Tanner Clark (McCarthy) – electrical; 
  • Chris DeYoung (J.B. Steel) – steel; 
  • Wayne Coalter (A Bid Helper) – masonry; 
  • Milos Vasiljevic (HDR) – design-build; 
  • Anthony Heim (Rummel) – earthwork and what to expect the first year out; and
  • Brandon Phillips (ExxonMobil) – energy industry.

Discussing earthwork with Anthony Heim (Rummel)

In addition to the content they shared, these guest speakers brought a passion for the construction industry and personal experiences from their own careers.

On Saturday, April 16, the American Society of Professional Estimators did an amazing job of hosting a half-day 11th Hour Bid Simulation. Students enjoyed the rush of subcontractor bids, addendums and good-spirited competition. ASPE had a dozen professionals on hand from Tucson and Phoenix to assist.

Of the 38 students graduating this school year, 33 percent have or are seeking job offers in the construction industry. Regularly I am receiving phone calls and emails from companies and alumni who are interested in finding out about the CEM emphasis and how they can advertise an internship or full-time position. It is encouraging to see an increasing number of firms engaging with us. I enjoy helping industry find a student who is the right fit for an opening. I also enjoy advising students about courses, scholarships, professional development and career options in construction.

11th Hour Bid Simulation with ASPE

Over the summer and into the fall we will continue to improve and expand the construction course offerings, staying focused on the goal of developing skills relevant to industry needs. It is amazing to consider that all of this has occurred through the generous support from industry and individuals. While industry and alumni support is currently covering annual expenses, we will be reaching out to contractors, consultants, alumni and friends of the department to help with the $5 million endowment to establish sustainable funding for the CEM emphasis.

Thank you for your interest, support and enthusiasm for CEM.


Dean Papajohn, P.E., ENV. SP, Associate DBIA
Associate Professor of Practice
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

May 20, 2016


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