School: Clemson University
Major: Civil Engineering
Company: Crowder Construction Company
Internship from 08/20/2014 — 12/19/2014
During this rotation I worked on multiple projects for Crowder Construction in their Civil and Environmental Division out of the Conyers, GA office. The projects that I worked on included the Baxter Pharmaceuticals Plant in Social Circle, GA; the Beaver Ruin Pump Station in Lawrenceville, GA; Duke Energy Solar Facility in Okolona, MS; and a Pressure Relief Valve Replacement project in Gwinnett County, GA.
On the Baxter Pharmaceuticals job, Crowder Construction served as a subcontractor for Turner Construction and Fluor. This medical facility was created to manufacture and purify plasma which would then be used to treat patients around the world. The Okolona Solar facility was contracted through Duke Energy in order to increase their solar output for the region. The construction of this facility enabled the region to gain a much cleaner source of energy.
The Pressure Relief Valve Replacement project, performed for Gwinnett County, enabled more water to be processed through outlying areas of the region and them be sent to the local wastewater plant through gravity flow. In order to do this, pipe diameter was adjusted and larger valves were inserted in order to gain the precise amount of flow from the surrounding areas. Crowder Construction performed a major overhaul at the Gwinnet County Beaver Ruin Pump Station facility. In order to do so a new jib crane assembly was fabricated, new pump buildings were constructed, new pumps were installed, existing buildings and pumps were retrofitted to new industry standards, and the necessary piping was run throughout the site in order to process the water throughout the site.
What results did you achieve on the project(s), and what impact did they have on the company?
Throughout my rotation I performed material and equipment acquisition, drafted and processed subcontractor scopes and large purchase orders, reviewed and prepared operation and maintenance manuals for submission to the engineer, surveyed elevations for building footprints and road layout, coordinated large material deliveries, performed material takeoff from project drawings, and created submittals and RFI’s. The work that I completed helped alleviate the workload that my project manager was given. I was able to find cost effective equipment and materials for our company to use for the projects. This enabled Crowder to have a lower budget for the projects. The subcontractors that I selected were carefully observed which allowed Crowder to have trust in the individuals that were performing the work. I worked along side the project managers who assisted me with completing my tasks on time and in an orderly fashion. This allowed for a smooth transition through each aspect for the projects.
What real-life technical or business skills did you learn during the internship?
Working with multiple vendors, subcontractors, owners, and engineers allowed me to gain valuable experience in the construction field, project management, effective communication strategies, and sales. I dealt with equipment and material vendors to coordinate timely deliveries of materials. When something came up that was not expected, I dealt with the consequences directly and found another option if necessary. These skills have allowed me to be a quick and educated thinker which has enabled me to be a versatile team member.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
In order to complete tasks in a quality and timely manner, I worked on tasks well in advance of their due dates. I have carried this over to my studies, and no longer wait until the last minute to perform my school work. This new trait has allowed me to be less stressed and more confident in my studies. I have also carried over my workplace attitude, and have strived to be more professional in my classes and in dealing with my professors.
Where do you think technology will make the biggest impact in construction in the next few years, and how will it do that?
Technology has always been at the forefront of the construction industry. It has enabled projects to become more cost effective, reliable, and safe. I believe that technology will play its largest role in safety in the years to come. Construction has come a long way with its safety standards over the years. Although there are regulations in place now that greatly reduce the risk of slips, trips, falls, and chemical exposure, I believe that there is room for improvement. As technology is improved, equipment will be furnished with louder backup alarms, equipment shutoff sensors to stop equipment if an individual is in a close proximity, and more efficient fuels which will allow for less harm to the workers and pollution to the environment. The field of construction is an ever changing industry, and individuals are working every day in order to ensure that each worker is able to go home safe.