Jun 13, 2019
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Rachell Smith has been named program manager of the California Center for Construction Education (CCCE), an educational outreach unit in Cal Poly’s Construction Management (CM) Department.
A primary goal of the CCCE is to establish and sustain high levels of engagement with the architecture, engineering and construction industry. In her new role, Smith will serve as the connector between student studies, the construction management faculty, and industries serving the built environment.
“As the point person for the construction industry at Cal Poly, I look forward to building connections between the industry and our students in a way that is mutually beneficial,” Smith said. “I have grown up in the construction management industry — my first coloring books were literally blue prints! But most importantly, I am rooted in this industry, the SLO community, and Cal Poly.”
As a third-generation graduate of Cal Poly with a degree in graphic design and a minor in graphic communication, Smith is familiar with the Cal Poly community. She is also the daughter of a construction management alumnus. Post-graduation, Rachell worked in advertising in San Francisco before returning to San Luis Obispo to work for a multi-media company.
Her most recent San Luis Obispo-based position was with Collaboration Business Consulting, where she managed a portfolio of more than 500 small- to medium-sized businesses and acted as their advocate and liaison. During her tenure at Collaboration, Smith built strong relationships within the construction/manufacturing industries in San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles.
Smith’s strengths lie in her innate ability to build long-lasting relationships with strategic partners, community leaders and key stakeholders, and she is eager to find creative ways to bring key people together.
"Rachell brings a wide breadth of skills to the CCCE and the CM Department that will enhance our industry connections and further student success,” said Scott Kelting, Ed.D., Cal Poly construction management professor. “We are fortunate to have Rachell on the team."
Jun 7, 2019
As a high school student in Cairo, Egypt, Sherry Saroufeem knew she wanted to study construction management. She just didn’t know where — certainly that it would be halfway across the world at a school known for Learn by Doing.
“I was very intrigued by ‘Learn by Doing,’ said the 22-year-old, who chose Cal Poly based on its reputation as “one of the top schools — if not the best school — for her major. ‘I’m a doer’ is what my Mom always says about me. I just like to do things instead of talking about it.”
Saroufeem, who was born in Iowa but raised in Egypt, plunged into campus life from orientation, from taking part in Week of Welcome in her first year to returning as a WOW leader. She also was eager to work with the campus chapter of Associated Students of Construction Management, which serves as the umbrella organization hosting activities and events for 10 campus chapters and clubs.
“My freshman year I hopped on the board,” she said. “I didn’t really have a position — I just helped out with all their events. Then, starting second year, I got a position and moved up to different positions and ultimately to president this year.”
She developed an interest in construction from her mother, an Egyptian physician who began flipping houses.
Last December, Saroufeem was part of a Habitat for Humanity Global Village team project to build three small houses in a village near Bangalore, India. Her team dug and poured foundations (by hand) for the homes.
“I wanted the capstone of my college educational experience to reflect a hands-on approach,” she said. “The project left a huge impact on my personal life and has propelled me with a greater passion for starting my career in the construction industry. I believe it is important for everyone to use their talents and education, applying it to a place where construction education is lacking and resources are minimal.”
Saroufeem also made a difference during this year’s Associated Schools of Construction regional competition, featuring a dozen categories, in Reno, Nevada. As captain, she knew that her Mixed-Use team was an underdog.
“The last time we had placed — either first, second or third — was the year before I came to Cal Poly,” she said.
The competition is based on a real-world construction project that includes “all the plans, specifications and everything,” she added, “and a binder full of problems.” Teams have just a day to estimate the project costs, all materials needed and schedule all tasks necessary from start of construction to finish.
Her team worked through the night and the next morning made its presentation to a panel of industry professionals. The result? “We won,” she said.
The skills Saroufeem honed at that competition will be put to use at her new job as a field engineer for Sundt Construction Inc. — one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors. She begins her career in San Diego in August.
Among the takeaways she’ll bring to the job are the leadership skills she developed at Cal Poly and the professional contacts she made.
“We had companies come in every single day of the week — presenting about their companies, basically telling us, ‘Hey, do you want to work for us?’ she said. “You’re pretty much guaranteed to get a job at this point — the industry is booming. But having that opportunity to network with others and know everyone in the industry, honestly, I think it’s the best thing.”
Leaving Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo is bittersweet, however, because of “the friendships and the communities that I’ve built,” Saroufeem said.
“I moved here when I was 18,” she said. “I have a lot of family in California, but coming to San Luis Obispo I knew absolutely no one. I can say confidently that I’m leaving this place knowing that I’ve made the closest group of friends that I think is just as close-knit as my family is.”
May 9, 2019
SAN LUIS OBISPO - Dr. Jeong Woo has been appointed Department Head of the Construction Management Department, effective Fall 2019. Dr. Woo will succeed Dr. Allan Hauck, who will retire in July and continue teaching part-time.
Dr. Woo holds a Master's degree in Construction Management and Ph.D. in Architecture from Texas A&M University. His undergraduate degree was earned in Architectural Engineering from Kyung Won University.
Dr. Woo has directed the Construction Management Program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) since 2014 and has served as a faculty member there for the past 12 years. He has been an active coach of winning ASC and DBIA regional and national competition teams. He has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate CM courses including Construction Methods, Estimating, Scheduling, BIM, Project Management, and Senior Design-Build Studio.
He has consulted and worked for a wide variety of construction and design firms, most recently with Autodesk developing online curricula for Autodesk Design Academy. Much of his early career was spent as an estimator and project engineer for major international projects. Dr. Woo has been very successful at attracting major research and development grants, recently in the area of developing Net Zero Energy projects and Smart Grid innovations. He is an active scholar who has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Woo is excited to join Cal Poly because of great faculty, staff, and students who embrace the legacy of “Learn by Doing”. He says, “I am looking forward to meeting everyone at Cal Poly and building a stronger community of teaching and learning for the future”.
Mar 7, 2019
The NAHB Student Chapter at Cal Poly won third place in the Four-Year College category of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Student Competition held at the 2019 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.
More than 67,000 home building professionals from around the world filled the exhibit halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center as NAHB hosted the 75th anniversary of the International Builders’ Show (IBS) Feb. 19-21. IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) once again combined for the annual Design & Construction Week® (DCW), which drew a total of more than 100,000 attendees.
Exhibit space for IBS also expanded from last year’s 583,000 square feet to more than 608,000 square feet, where nearly 1,500 exhibitors displayed the latest in building products and technology. In all, DCW featured more than 2,000 exhibitors occupying more than one million square feet of indoor and outdoor spaces. Many of the exhibitors noted the increased foot traffic this year.
Next year, IBS and Design & Construction Week will return to Las Vegas, Jan. 21-23, 2020.
Fifty-seven teams representing universities, community colleges, high schools and career technical schools across the U.S. participated in the annual competition.
“Congratulations to the NAHB Student Chapter at Cal Poly,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB. “They and their competitors showed a great deal of talent along with a depth of understanding of building industry management, from land development to marketing to scheduling to estimating.” During the competition, students solve real-life construction management problems and present their solutions to a judging panel of residential construction industry experts. [Please insert quote from team captain or advisor about the significance to the team of participating in the competition and winning.]
“The NAHB Student Advisory Board is proud that the competition has evolved into a prestigious event for the participants, their schools and the building industry,” said Justin Honey, faculty member at Pittsburg University and chairman of the NAHB Student Chapters Advisory Board. “Students will remember the competition for the rest of their lives. The judges were impressed with this year’s group, and we expect once again that the participants will be highly sought after when it comes to job offers,” said competition consultant, Dianne Slattery, Ph.D., Slattery Consulting.
Feb 25, 2019
Cal Poly Faculty Member Wins Outstanding Education Award at International Builders Show
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly construction management faculty member Scott Kelting was awarded the Outstanding Education Award by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Student Chapters program.
The award recognizes and encourages high-quality standards in teaching construction education. Educators are recognized for their voluntary extracurricular activities, including those with construction industry organizations, as well as their construction experience and professional initiatives.
“This is a well-deserved award for Dr. Kelting,” Construction Management Department Head Allan Hauck said. “He has led our efforts in developing innovative coursework related to the housing industry and the construction management practices for residential development. His students recognize Scott’s expertise in these areas and appreciate his dedication to this field.”
Kelting, who has taught at Cal Poly since 2007, serves as faculty advisor to the Real Property Development Minor, the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapter, and the NAHB and Associated Schools of Construction student competition teams. Kelting’s research and professional development is focused on housing, and he has published a text book on residential construction and materials.
Kelting received the award at the 2019 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas in February.
“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to teach with Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy and have an impact on students’ careers,” Kelting said.
About Cal Poly’s Construction Management Program
The Construction Management Department — which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020 — is one of the most respected programs in the country. With more than 500 full-time students, it prepares graduates to lead project teams of other professionals in the completion of complex infrastructure projects. These graduates are actively recruited by more than 200 firms spanning the globe.
Feb 25, 2019
Front L-R: Alyssa Mathias and Sherry Saroufeem
Back L-R: Adam Alvarez, Austin Logan,Ryan O'Neill, and Dante Feliciano
Cal Poly Construction Management Students Win Top Honors at National Competition
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly construction management students earned top honors and took home more trophies than any other university at the Associated Schools of Construction competition in Reno, Nevada. Five out of 12 Cal Poly teams placed in the top three spots in their respective categories.
Cal Poly students earned first in the Concrete, Heavy Civil, and Mixed Use categories; and third in the Commercial and Project Management categories. Concrete and Project management were national awards, while Commercial, Heavy Civil, and Mixed Use were regional.
A total of 197 teams from 49 universities competed in this year’s competition, held Feb. 6-9. A record-high 1,463 construction management students (including alternates) participated in the competition, including 96 Cal Poly students from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Cal Poly has competed in this event for 31 years.
“The ASC Competiton provides an unrivaled opportunity for students to display their knowledge in a format which is as challenging as it is rewarding. We would encourage students to get involved as early as possible and look forward to seeing the future successes of Cal Poly as proud alumni of the Construction Management Department.,” said first place Concrete Team Captains Harrison Woods and Tony Pellegrini. “We would like to thank the Construction Management Department's faculty and professors for their tireless devotion to student success. Additionally, we would like to thank our Industry Sponsors and coaches for their incredible support and willingness to aid in our team's preparation.”
Construction Management Department Head Al Hauck added: “The ASC student competitions are the most impressive example of student professional development in our department. The students are asked to solve realistic technical and management problems similar to what they will experience in their careers. Once again this year, the department provided this opportunity for nearly 100 of our students on 12 teams thanks to the generous support of our alumni and supporters. We appreciate their ongoing support.”
This year ended with a bang as the students ended up snowed in for two days following the competition. “Some of us spent time celebrating, some focused on keeping up with school work, and others took advantage of the time to rest and catch up on sleep,” said Project Management Team member Katie Love. “We had enough time to socialize with people, not just from other Cal Poly teams, but teams from other schools, something that did not happen much during the competition. As much as our team members each did our own thing, we still found time to spend together to celebrate the end of the competition.”
For complete competition results, go to http://www.asc67.org.
For more information about Cal Poly’s Construction Management Department and to see photos of the winning teams, go to https://construction.calpoly.edu/content/competitions-and-awards/asc-6-7.
Dec 10, 2018
The latest edition of Construction Innovator is out and headed to your mailbox. If you can't wait to read it, check out the on-line edition.
Nov 19, 2018
Cal Poly Construction Management Students Sweep Regional Invitational
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly construction management students garnered four first-place trophies at the Associated Schools of Construction Region 3 Division Competition on Oct. 17. This is the first year that Cal Poly has swept first place in all of the open categories. It is also the sixth year Professor Greg Starzyk has taken at least one team to Downers Grove, IL. to compete in one of the competition’s open categories.
"There was something special about all four of this year's teams. They worked so well together that they made the work appear effortless. You could feel the trust and support that they gave to each other, “noted Starzyk.
The four teams, consisting of six students each, began practicing in the spring quarter. Because Cal Poly is a quarter school, it is necessary to get such an early start since the Region 3 competition starts on October 17th. Once, classes begin in September, the teams have just under a month to fine tune their skills.
ASC Region 3 consists of schools from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. While there are seven categories open to all ASC Region 3 schools, four of those are open to teams from any ASC school in the nation. The open national categories are Concrete, Electrical, Preconstruction, and Project Solutions. These four categories had 7 teams, 5 teams, 8 teams & 9 teams competing respectively.
4th year construction management student Harrison Woods of the Concrete Team, spent his summer internship preparing for this competition.
“Over the summer I participated in the carpenter’s apprenticeship internship with a concrete subcontractor, Largo Concrete, INC. I continued to ask as many questions as I could come up with, trying to form them with the needs of my (competition) team in mind.”
But preparing can only get you so far. The majority of work takes place on the Thursday of the competition with the teams sequestered in their rooms. Once the deliverables (bid proposals, estimates, schedules, change orders, etc.) are dropped off Thursday night, teams are given until Friday to practice how they will present to the judges.
“The greatest challenge is time management. Given that we had more than 24 hours between the assignment of the prompt and the meeting with the judges, most would think that there would be a surplus of time, however, our attempt to understand the project as thoroughly as possible meant every hour was valuable to us,” said 4th year construction management student Arlen Hartoonian, also a member of the Concrete Team.
For complete competition results, go to http://ascregion3.wixsite.com/ascregion3
For more information about Cal Poly’s Construction Management Department and to see photos of the winning teams, go to construction.calpoly.edu/content/competitions-and-awards/asc-3.
Feb 23, 2018
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly construction management students earned top honors at the Associated Schools of Construction competition held in February in Reno, Nev. Seven out of twelve Cal Poly teams placed in the top three spots in their respective categories. Overall, Cal Poly took home more trophies than any other university.
Cal Poly students took first in the Mechanical, Preconstruction and Project Management categories; second in the Heavy Civil category; and third in the Design Build, Electrical and Virtual Design & Construction categories.
A total of 195 teams from 49 universities competed in this year’s competition. This year a record 1413 construction management students (including alternates) participated in the competition- 97 of which were from Cal Poly. Cal Poly has competed in this event for 30 years.
“The ASC Student Competitions are the most impressive example of student professional development in our department. The students are asked to solve realistic technical and management problems similar to what they will experience in their careers,” said Department Head Al Hauck. “Once again this year, the department provided this opportunity for nearly 100 of our students on 12 teams thanks to the generous support of our alumni and supporters. We appreciate their ongoing support.”
For complete competition results, go to: http://www.asc67.org.
For Cal Poly's Competition page complete with pictures of winning teams, go to: https://construction.calpoly.edu/content/competitions-and-awards/asc-6-7
Feb 7, 2018
(2nd row- Left to Right): Scott Kelting, Sarah De Los Reyes, Tyler Ingel, Thomas Fuentez, Trevor Nally, Jeffrey Hammond, Alexander Gama, Jeffrey Phunmongkol, Stacy Kolegraff
(1st row- Left to Right): Abraham Ahmed, Carter Jones, Jeremy Suryadi, Tyler Hall, Eric Martinez