February 6, 2018
January 30, 2018
Attendees at the first Sundt Devils session listen to a panel of experts talk about women in construction.
We have a longstanding, valued partnership with Arizona State University. Along with our current work modernizing Sun Devil Stadium, we have performed numerous projects that are improving the campus experience.
Our “Sundt Devils” discussion series, which kicked off last week, is taking the commitment directly to ASU construction management and engineering students.
The first event on the Tempe campus focused on women in construction. Our employee-owners on the panel were experts, including Senior Vice President and Building Group Manager Teri Jones, Senior Vice President and Southwest Building Group Manager Ryan Abbott, Project Executive Chandra Reilly, Project Manager Janene Thomas and Project Engineer Ashleigh Eubank.
Arizona State University students chat with Sundt employee-owners.
“This event really engaged the students in our Construction Management program,” said Kristen Parrish, Assistant Professor at ASU’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. “Multiple students approached me following the event to say they had learned something and were even more excited to pursue their own construction careers.”
Attendee questions included what advice the panelists would offer a woman entering the industry and how job seekers could stand out from the crowd. While the audience was mostly female, several male students came to learn more about the topic. After the panel discussion, attendees stayed around to network with their peers and our team.
“It’s exciting that our first Sundt Devils event was well received by the attendees and great conversation was sparked,” said Sundt Talent Acquisition Specialist Sarah Clapper. “I attribute the majority of our success to our five panelists. They took time out of their busy schedules to chat and network with the crowd. At the end of the event, I received positive feedback and excitement toward the next Sundt Devils event.”
Future Sundt Devils events will focus on other industry topics and trends. ASU students and faculty should follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for information as subjects and dates are announced. Students from any college or university can visit our website to learn more about internship and career opportunities.
January 10, 2018
The University of Arizona Biomedical Sciences Partnership won in ENR’s Higher Education/Research Project category.
Our work on the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building in Downtown Phoenix is among the Best of the Best from 2017, according to judging by Engineering News-Record.
The 10-story building for the University of Arizona won in the Higher Education/Research Project category. The facility is home to collaborative research in neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and medicine. Research performed in the building is expected to lead to groundbreaking discoveries with a direct impact on public health.
“It’s an urban medical research facility built on the principle of interdisciplinary work,” Ryan Abbott, who leads the Southwest District of our Building Group. “It’s in exactly the right location. We’re a knowledge economy based on life science.”
This announcement comes as the culmination of a nearly year-long effort by dozens of industry judges and the ENR editorial team to identify the pinnacle of design and construction achievement in the U.S. among projects completed between May 2016 and May 2017.
The competition began last March with a call for entries, which resulted in approximately 700 industry project teams submitting their work to the regional Best Projects competitions. In each of the 10 regions, editors assembled panels of judges to select the regional winners in 20 categories.
Once regional winners were chosen, they moved to the national competition. A new set of judges from across the country and all walks of the industry examined each project in an effort to distinguish the best from the best in teamwork, safety, overcoming challenges, innovation and quality.
The projects and judges will be featured in more depth in the March 5 issue of ENR. Also in that issue, the editors of ENR, in collaboration with the judges, will select one project from the Best of the Best group as the Project of the Year, which will be revealed in the issue.
December 20, 2017
Our team hung a functional helicopter in the lobby of our project at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical College in Prescott, Arizona.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a high-flying place. Often referred to as the “Harvard of the Sky,” the school is the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, with 125 locations worldwide.
We recently completed work on a classroom and laboratory facility on the school’s Prescott, Arizona campus to support the university’s STEM program, which has become equal in numbers to its aeronautical program. The project features a 52,570-square-foot facility that houses classrooms, laboratories and a domed auditorium/planetarium.
In an effort to reflect the university’s aeronautical roots and theme, we were contacted late in the project by the University’s Development team with a question: “What if we hung a functional helicopter in the two-story lobby of the building?”
Our on-site team went to work planning structural support, ways to erect the craft and how to disassemble it, bring it through entry doors and reassemble it in the lobby.
The team worked on structural supports for the final installation as well as temporary means to hoist the helicopter. We worked with Universal Helicopter to disassemble the craft off the shipping truck and transported it through the finished curtain wall systems. We then reassembled and hoisted the craft into position with a slight modification to the tail section support to capture the tilted position of a flight trajectory.
Equally pronounced in the lobby is the propeller donated by Raisbeck Engineering and Hartzell Propellers, which we also installed. It’s impossible to miss the Swept Blade Turbofan prototype. With a look like something out of a sci-fi movie, its performance is just as striking.
The features further engage the aviation community, students, staff and locals in the University’s mission. Keep ’em, flying, Embry-Riddle!
December 18, 2017
Part of our work on the University of Arizona Student Success District is a new entry to the Main Library.
Our 60th project for the University of Arizona will be among our most impactful.
Next year, we are breaking ground on the Student Success District in Tucson. The intent of creating the district is to improve student success through direct connections among student services, academic support and amenities in the heart of campus. The district will bring together student counseling, tutoring, course selection, assistance with their majors, aligning internships, coaching and facilitating job interviews and health and wellness.
“The Student Success District is a big push by the University to engage every student on campus,” said Sundt Project Director David Ollanik. “It’s an effort to engage them and provide resources they need to be successful in their time at the University and prepare them to enter the workforce.”
The work includes:
- renovations to Bear Down Gym;
- a new Student Success Building adjacent to Bear Down;
- renovations and entry addition to the Main Library;
- renovations to the Science-Engineering Library;
- redevelopment of adjacent exterior areas into student-focused outdoor environments;
- new links among the buildings.
The project includes two phases. Phase One will be the new Student Success Building and an addition to and remodeling portions of the Main Library. The Student Success Building will be located on the south side of Bear Down Gym and will house student support services. Phase Two will include renovations to Bear Down as well as improvements to the Science Library and open space between Bear Down and the library buildings.
The Student Success District is all about the future and helping young leaders earn their degrees. Our history with the UA is strong dating back to 1936 when we built the ROTC stables on campus.
“The University of Arizona is our University,” said Sundt Vice President and Regional Director Ian McDowell. “It has been since we moved our company to Tucson in 1929. The people who live and work at Sundt in Tucson have educated their families for nearly a century at this institution, so we are very grateful to be a part of future success on campus.”
A welding student works on a project at Central Arizona College.
We’re cementing our relationship with Central Arizona College with donations that will expand training opportunities for construction and concrete technology program students.
To complement our workforce development partnership, we are covering costs to pour 320 cubic yards of concrete for a 142-foot-by-92-foot pad. Students in the heavy equipment operator program will begin leveling and grading the area this spring and construction technology students will build the concrete forms. The pad should be complete by fall 2018.
“This will provide students with valuable hands-on experience that will benefit them in their careers,” said Sundt Craft Instructor Darry Welker.
In another support of the partnership, we donated to the heavy equipment operator program for the purchase of GPS equipment. We also have given tools and supplies to the construction technology program.
“We appreciate all that Sundt is doing to help expand programming and training opportunities for CAC students,” Agriculture and Advanced Technology Division Chair Kristen Benedict said.
We are teaming with CAC and have established our own Center for Craft Excellence to help offset a lack of skilled craft workers needed to build our nation’s projects. An Associated General Contractors of America survey finds that construction companies will be short 2 million craft professionals by the year 2020.