School: Eastern Michigan University Major: Construction Management/ Heavy Highway Company: Cadillac Asphalt Internship from 5/4/15 — 12/1/15
During my internship with Cadillac Asphalt, I started off working with the paving crews. My learning curriculum was targeted to learn the pavement aspects of mainline paving in the public sector. These mainline type of projects were freeways in the metro Detroit, MI area such as M-14, I-96, I-94 and US 23. Theses projects were large scale totaling an average 40,000 tons. While working on these freeway projects, I participated in all phases of work to learn and contribute towards successful completion of the projects. Paving with the mainline crews also involved residential streets as well.
The typical task that I performed out on job sites were helping with labor work shoveling/raking. I help set up the safety on job sites by posting up type 3 road work signs, road work ahead signs, set up tapered barrels for closing and entering lanes, operating a roller, cutting cores, density, assisted with sampling mix.
I also assisted both the foreman and project manager. I assisted the foreman with production control, checking truck tickets for correct mix design, calculating loads and ordering trucks from the drum plant. I assisted the project manager by coordinating task with the subcontractors, owners and engineers.
I also worked on the commercial side of paving with major companies like Miejers, Costco, University of Michigan, apartment complexes and Detroit Metro Airport. Another one of the big private jobs that I worked on was paving two test tracks at GM Proving Grounds in Milford,MI.
What results did you achieve on the project(s), and what impact did they have on the company?
The number one goal on everyproject that I worked on was to get the job done safe. After safety follows providing our customers with quality pavement within the schedule and budget. I personally was very proactive in helping as much as possible to work as a team to keep up production and make things easier for everyone on the crew. Everyday I set a goal to learn something new and I did.
The impact that my work ethic and performance had on the company was very valuable. I was no stranger to hard work and being reliable when needed. I built up great relationships and friendships with everyone and throughout my internship I gained trust and respect. I know for a fact that my contributions help my managers see the potential in me to be a foreman or project manager.
When I was performing some of the task that I listed above such as density and cores for example, that helped towards building a sustainable asphalt product. When doing density one of the most critical parts of compaction is making sure the rollers get enough passes in sequence to reach satisfied compaction.
What real-life technical or business skills did you learn during the internship?
Although I may have got a lot of hands on experience in the field with asphalt, besides just building the jobs I learned a lot about the business sides as well.I learned what insurance requirements are needed for each job such as general liability and workers compensation. I participated in coordinating with subcontractors making sure they had the requirements needed to work on the specific jobs.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
I learned that as long as I apply myself, work hard and stay focusedthe impossible is always possible. I learned that I have what it takes to be a innovative pioneer in the Heavy Highway industry. I believe through all the hard work and 80 hr weeks this season that I have strong character. The opportunity that Cadillac Asphalt gave me to operate in every phase of the business is great. I never had one complaint or showed up late, I was always early and ready to work. Although this type of work involves 7 days sometimes and being flexible different times of the day that I can do it. I am fit for this, as an intern I worked not just to get a check, but to learn and advance and based off my performance I believe that I will receive a full time job offer when I graduate in 2016 from Eastern Michigan University.
Where do you think technology will make the biggest impact in construction in the next few years, and how will it do that?
Over the season one of the key things that will continue to improve with pavement work is ride quality testing and intelligent compaction.
Ride quality testing may not be used on every job, but I had the experience to learn how to operate ride quality engineering equipment to get a roughness index for bumps and dips before paving, after milling and after new pavement. This method of ride quality testing may be expensive, however more owners and counties may require it moving forward in the futureif they are looking for certain improvement results. In which this benefits them by ensuring that the contractor is performing quality work.
Intelligent compaction is a method of rolling, in which computer engineered equipment is used to keep track of a few key components of rolling asphalt mix. These key components are having mapped out rolling patterns and documented temperatures over previously rolled areas. This type of equipment also provides a color coded layout of areas that need to be rolled again and areas that are already good.