Dinesh Allam (left) and Tim Gattie talk with a construction management class at Arizona State University.
One of our core values was on display during the spring semester at Arizona State University. Nine of our employee-owners served the community and industry by teaching their specialties to graduate students.
“I knew professors at ASU from when I graduated in 2015,” Project Engineer Dinesh Allam said. “We stayed in contact and that led to this opportunity.”
Southwest Building Division employees Jonathan Randall, Curtis Smith and Garren Echols taught construction management students about early stage project planning and conceptual estimating using D-Profiler. Kristen Bejarano, also from Southwest Building, and Jesse McDonald from our Industrial Division presented a lecture on Project Controls, including delay analysis, cost control and schedule management. Two employees from our Concrete Division, Michael Fyffe and Jeremy Jafferis, taught estimating covering the quantity takeoff process using 3D models and developing pricing using production rates.
Tim Gattie from our Transportation Group and Dinesh, a Concrete Division employee, talked about an upcoming trend, data analytics in construction. The lesson won’t be forgotten. The department chair wants to incorporate the topic into course curriculum.
Dinesh said he and his Sundt co-workers would be returning to ASU classes. There’s still much more knowledge to pass along.
“Sundt’s ASU alumni are very involved with the program,” he said.
Heavy Machinery Operator Jesse De Haro has been with Sundt for more than 10 years, working on projects across the Southwest.
Last year, Jesse became one of dozens of Sundt craft professionals to earn NCCER-Plus Certification. The assessment is broken into two parts. Knowledge verification is a written test that assesses the employee’s knowledge of a subject matter within an area of expertise, such as pipefitting, industrial concrete or ironworking. The second part is the performance verification, a hands-on demonstration that measures the employee’s ability to perform skills in a particular area of expertise. Craft professionals carry the certification throughout their careers.
My dad connected me with the company and I really got close to a lot of guys. I felt like they were family. I still feel that way.
What has been your favorite project?
I’m kind of biased on that. My first job was the Fourth Avenue underpass. It couldn’t have been a better job as a 21-year-old. I got to work at home.
What’s the best part about your job?
Besides building cool things and saying I was a part of it, I like meeting good people when I go out of town. People who see this as a career. I’m open to teaching green guys who are willing to pick it up. I like to see people prosper and become part of the Sundt culture.
What are your hobbies?
I love to spend time with my young daughter. I collect DVDs and Blu-rays and try to work out when I’m not too tired.
Where do you get your best advice?
I turn to a lot of my superintendents … people I’ve worked for over time and built relationships with. They help me with work and personal things.
If you weren’t in the construction industry, what would you be doing?
Maybe a mechanic. It’s become more of a hobby. I really like what I do.
The team presented during the lessons learned segment of the conference, detailing how it worked with a fast-track schedule to construct the building in just 30 months. The efforts shaved two years off the schedule for the University of Arizona.
“You told a story that was moving and meaningful to conference attendees,” AIA Board Member and 2018 President Robert Miller said.
Time constraints on design resulted in only six months from the start of programming to shovels in the ground. Construction needed to start well before the design was finished, which meant no room for waste in the design and construction process.
Collaboration between the University and the design and construction teams was essential to maximize work hours. By pricing design concepts on an ongoing basis with an integrated team rather than waiting for a complete set of documents to identify overages all but eliminated re-design. Similarly, a rapid parametric model-based estimating effort allowed the design firm to adjust its model and see the costs of those changes in real time.
To keep pace, design decisions and assumptions were made early on and with limited information, requiring trust among all partners to work through and accept associated risk. Key trade partners were brought on early to help mitigate risks and reduce over-design and re-work.
The facility earned an Engineering News-Record Southwest Best Project Award. It’s part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, a city initiative bringing bioresearch and education to downtown. At build-out, the campus is anticipated to generate an annual economic impact of $2.1 billion.
Sundt Intern Amy White talks about her experience this summer at the Banner-UMC Tucson project and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the work being performed on the new hospital tower. Amy is a University of Arizona civil engineering student who’s on track to graduate next year.
BSPB is a 10-story facility where collaborative work in neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and medicine performed is expected to lead to groundbreaking discoveries with a direct impact on public health.
The San Jose State project is 10-story high-rise college housing that includes 850 beds, common study rooms, a multi-purpose lounge, learning center, recreation space and other support spaces. It was the first collaborative design-build in California State University history.