School: Oregon State University
Major: Construction Engineering Management
Company: Kerr Contractors
Internship from 6/15/15 — 9/18/15
During my time with Kerr Contractors I have spent majority of my time at the new South Cooper Mountain High School. In the middle of July we broke ground and started to clear and remove existing homes, trees and debris from the site. We are responsible for the mass excavation of the site. By the end of September we should have majority of the earthwork done. There are two large fill areas with the dirt coming from one main cut area. We are going to be using 633D scrapers, 641B push scrapers, D10 dozers and sheepsfoot compactors to complete the cut to fill.
What results did you achieve on the project(s), and what impact did they have on the company?
I was able to get pricing from multiple lumber sellers and earn the company some revenue on the marketable timber on the project site. We had nearly 30 loads of logs being sent to different mills to be sold for lumber. I also helped keep the stripping quantities under budget and save the company money by creating a spreadsheet that helped track and quantify our daily production. We were able to reduce the amount of cubic yards of stripping’s resulting in a lower cost for hauling off the stripping’s.
What real-life technical or business skills did you learn during the internship?
I learned how communication is essential to completing a project, having good communication skills can help reduce problems and reduce the chances of accidents happening. Dealing with heavy equipment it is crucial to have good communication with everyone on the site to keep a safe working environment.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Being around professional engineers impacted my career and made me push forward in graduating even more. I learned from the people I worked with that the transition from school to the field is tough, because most of the material we are taught in school is quickly forgotten. Furthermore, in the interaction with these professionals, I saw that they have already gone through the struggle I’m going through as an undergraduate.
Not only did I learn from the people in the office, but being around the foremen, laborers, and carpenters helped me grow as a future engineer also. In this field most of our laborers spoke Spanish. I am fluent in both languages, English and Spanish, which helped me when I had questions on general labor that was going on in the site. Both foremen on site encouraged me to stay in school, they both said that it is experience in the field that will keep me moving forward, but with that degree in hand I can move much faster. All of what I learned throughout my internship will affect my career in a positive way.
Where do you think technology will make the biggest impact in construction in the next few years, and how will it do that?
At Kerr they are already adapting to new technologies. A lot of there dozers, graders and scrapers are connected to GPS which allows the operator to determine when they are on grade or need to cut or fill. I think this will eliminate a lot of unnecessary work and will increase production. Having the ability to eliminate people on the ground checking grade can also reduce the chances of accidents.