The construction industry is among the largest industries in the United States with a workforce of more than five million people. Every year, more than $550 billion dollars is invested in new projects such as highways, bridges, dams and skyscrapers. A career in the construction engineering and management industry is ideal for students looking for fast-paced and people-oriented job opportunities. Moreover, this field offers a wide array of professional opportunities, especially to construction engineers.
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, students in the Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) Program receive a world-class education that will help them shape the buildings and highways of the 21st century. Seminars, classroom exercises, laboratory work, and co-op experiences help CEM students position themselves for rewarding careers with public organizations, private companies, contractors, and design engineering firms. Graduates of the Construction Engineering and Management program receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a Construction Engineering and Management Option.
After several years of working in the field, graduates of the Construction Engineering and Management Program are ready to become licensed professional engineers. This opens the door to even more exciting opportunities in the construction engineering field.
Project engineers oversee the overall design of a project, or a specific part of a project. Project engineers also coordinate the objectives and plans of a larger group of engineers producing the project's detailed design.
Project managers oversee all aspects of a project. They are the client's main contact for the contracting company's leaders.
Inspectors make sure all equipment and installations meet the specifications and standards of the project. There are both equipment inspectors and field construction inspectors.
Scheduling engineers develop and update the overall project schedule. They work closely with the project manager to coordinate all events that must occur to meet a deadline. They also evaluate the progress of engineering and construction.
Estimators develop the itemized cost to design and construct a project. They may deal with certain portions of a project, or changes that are identified as a project develops. Estimators need to understand construction methods, data from earlier projects, and information about the environment in which a project is being built.
Other career opportunities in CEM include: cost engineers, lead design engineer, controls manager, and materials manager.
Highlights of the CEM Program at UW-Madison
The Construction Engineering and Management Program is one of the top programs in the nation in terms of its course offerings, publications by its faculty, and employment of its alumni.
Special labs are in place to study virtual design, building information modeling, and structures and materials, such as concrete and asphalt, as well as to conduct computer-aided research and building information modeling (BIM). The CEM Program is continually updating its labs to keep up with changes in the construction industry.
Guest speakers from the industry often address classes, providing students with a practical outlook on the construction industry and creating a valuable network of contacts for the future.
Undergraduate students complete two co-op experiences, which provide full-time, paid engineering opportunities interspersed with full-time undergraduate studies. The CEM Program faculty along with the College of Engineering Career Services Office assist students in obtaining co-op and internship positions.
The CEM Program has a large number of adjunct faculty with significant experience in the construction industry who teach courses such as Integrated Lean Project Delivery, Building Information Modeling, Mechanical and Electrical Systems in Buildings, Legal Aspects of Engineering, and Architectural Design for Consulting.