School: Morehead State University
Major: Civil Engineering Tech. & Construction Management
Company: Kelley Construction
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 5, 2016
My name is Landon Meserve, and I am a senior at Morehead State University pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering Technology & Construction Management. I was a part of MSU’s Division 1 Cross Country and Track & Field Programs for 3 wonderful years. Toward the end of my junior year, I decided to focus on my academics and involvement in Morehead’s Engineering/Construction Department to better myself for the future. Running had been a part of my life for 10 years, however I understood the strides had to be taken to achieve my long-term goals. I am astounded with the opportunities that present themselves from our construction department and the involvement local companies have played in introducing us to all types of construction. I currently hold the Office of Public Relations for MSU’s Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and wouldn’t have achieved such an honor without the help of my professor’s recommendations.
My first experience into the construction/design field was my sophomore year of high school. I joined an organization called, Technology Student Association (TSA), and was presented the opportunity to see inside the design phase of construction. We were taught design based software such as Auto-CAD, Autodesk Revit, Lumion, Google Sketch-up, SolidWorks, etc… With this knowledge, we competed at various competitions. I placed 1st in CAD Design & Architectural Modeling at regional and state levels, and placed 4th at nationals for my submission of a senior citizen daycare facility architectural model. I was also accepted into the Science Technology Engineering & Mathematic (STEM) Education Program, where we focused on real-life applications and rigorous challenges of the applied fields, such as, clean energy resources in the construction environment. These programs allowed me to broaden my perspective of the construction/design industry and prepare me for the road ahead.
As an incoming freshman at Morehead State, I was quite skeptical if construction was the right path for me. However, this past year, at 21 years old, my eyes were opened to another realm, industrial construction. The beauty behind this type of infrastructure thrilled me, like it once did as I stepped foot on the starting line for my collegiate races. This was my calling, and I knew I had to pursue a closely related internship prior to my final year of college. Little did I know, my first cousin was an Industrial Project Manager at a company called Kelley Construction. I had always heard him speak highly of his employer and the opportunities he was able to experience. After research, I learned how committed they were to the growth of their company, for industrial and commercial, and their awareness for safety. Without hesitation, I contacted Kelley Construction and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern as an Assistant Project Manager over the summer break of 2016.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
I was assigned the role as an Assistant Project Manager and as a shadow to one of Kelley’s veteran Superintendents in the Industrial Field. I was sent to a Marathon Terminal in Selma, North Carolina and spent my time from May – August working closely, alongside of the Superintendent and Project Manager. There were two jobs at this petroleum facility, the erection of a new ring wall foundation for an ethanol tank, and the implementation of approximately 70 pipe supports for the railroad unloading unit train infrastructure. The general scope of the tank construction consisted of the foundation and sub-grade for the 110’ diameter x 56’ tall tank with an internal floating roof. We performed initial site grading to excavate the area across the entire tank footprint, provided and installed a layer of geotextile fabric, pumped and poured a concrete mud slab under the proposed concrete ring wall, and provided leak detection systems. The concrete was formed, reinforced, and poured at 3’0” wide x 5’6” tall at 4,000 PSI. We installed a 2” sand layer cushion between the geo-synthetic liner and cathodic protection grid system as well. For the unit train infrastructure, we completed all necessary upgrades to construct an ethanol pipeline that could feed the Selma Buffalo terminal from a rail offloading station. We took erosion control measures as silt fences, rock dams, and inlet projects were set into position. Weekly erosion inspections occurred throughout the duration of the entire project. Along with the process of constructing pipe supports to deliver ethanol across the property, we adjusted the tops of the dike containment wall elevations at various locations around the perimeter of the tank farm.
I was in charge of documenting, maintaining, and developing safety programs, requirements, and provisions daily as well as communicating the status of the project in conference calls and weekly emails. I also supervised safety meetings and on-site activities and worked closely with the client to meet protocol and safety regulations. I coordinated deliveries, pick-ups, and on-site concrete pours with vendors and sub-contractors and assisted with project schedule development to meet budget and specifications. Within the job, many modifications were implemented as unforeseen issues arose in the field. I updated as-builts on-site and recorded all documents including contracts, invoices, plans, safety regulations, and other financial statements. Alongside of the Supervisor and Project Manager, we discussed contract agreements and RFI’s from the Safety Inspectors & Engineers.
I exceeded Kelley Construction’s expectations as I exhibited grave attention to detail for the documentation of the construction progress. Utilizing my photography and editing skills, I captured the dramatic “behind the scenes” photos to provide for much needed updates in the marketing materials. With the various tasks at hand, I was placed into a position to “hit the ground running”. With hardly any experience in the field of industrial construction, I was able to make the lives of the Superintendent and Project Manager a little easier.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
The main concept I took away from the internship, is leadership. Without a role model, on and off the job-site, it would’ve been impossible to enforce our safety regulations and practice a healthy lifestyle. Being present on the job-site 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, I learned a solid work ethic in the workplace can affect the mood of your co-workers. With a positive attitude, quality of work, awareness of safety hazards, and the overall outlook of the project in its entirety will improve. Networking is crucial in any circumstance but I learned solid communication is what keeps the environment and its crew safe.
This internship allowed me to take away valuable life experiences as I shadowed some of the most well respected names in the industrial infrastructure industry. At the beginning of this internship, I will admit, I was quite timid at the fear of messing up and rather blown away with the scope of work at hand. Over time, my communication skills improved and my general apprehensiveness evolved into a close relationship with the Project Manager and Superintendent. Though it took time for me to understand they were here to guide me, the most memorable moments were when they would pull me off to the side, and thoroughly explain the processes of the specific task.
Without a certain level of commitment and passion toward the workplace and your career, the opportunities can disappear just as quickly as they presented themselves. I’ve learned it is imperative to cherish your workplace in order to nurture it into the true potential it was sought out to be. The main goal at Kelley Construction was quality production, however, it was stated every morning during our shift starter, “Guys and gals, stay safe today, because we want you to return home just as you came here this morning.” There was nothing more important to Kelley Construction than safety and family. Having this internship and working alongside of talented, driven professionals will definitely smoothen my transition into the real world of industrial construction.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Throughout my experience, I learned Kelley Construction thrives from the practice of safety awareness. My role as an Assistant Project Manager involved me in continuous improvement programs as it was my duty to spread attentiveness through various activities and presentations on-site. Formalities of my daily, weekly and monthly safety involvement included the Daily Activity Hazard Analyses, Daily Work Permits, Daily Job-Site Inspections, Weekly Behavior Based Safety Forms, Monthly Jobsite Safety Audits, Monthly Emergency Equipment Inspections, and various monthly safety training presentations. I worked closely with our Safety Manager as safety training topics were discussed and prepared. I would directly discuss the monthly topics which included use of good body mechanics, heat exhaustion, proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and tool safety with our crew.
Over the course of my internship, Kelley Construction’s Industrial Division launched a safety campaign for Slips, Trips, & Falls. In the Unites States, over 42,000 workers get injured annually due to fall accidents and this number represents about 17% of the “loss time injuries” that were accepted by worker’s compensation boards. It was my duty to raise awareness on how falls happen, how to prevent falls due to slips and trips, and the importance of housekeeping. I was in charge of observing, reporting, and recording near misses as well as enforcing this campaign to our crew. Housekeeping is first and foremost the fundamental level of preventing falls. Without proper housekeeping practices, specialty footwear or training will never be effective.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
As an intern, and being a part of the upcoming generation for the construction industry, I see “I Build America” as my guide toward a rewarding career. The video spoke measures to me and proved its powerful message that WE are the next generation, WE build America. Construction is something to cherish, have pride in, relish in the triumphs of our past establishments and look forward to development of the constant evolving future.
I believe this website highlights the defining characteristics of how construction should be overseen. From the personal articles of the people who live and breathe construction, to the schedule of upcoming events around the US, “I Build America” successfully portrays a message of unity to the nation. Becoming involved with a community has always provided me with a sense of accomplishment. I believe this website not only exemplifies pride within the construction community, but becomes the valued face for the future of construction.