Three groups of 14 fourth-year construction science students from Texas A&M University made a “positive and powerful” impression on construction industry executives with Dec. 2 presentations detailing schedules and safety protocols for the construction of a natural gas refinery on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The 42 participating students in an industrial capstone class led by Julian Kang, associate professor of construction science, were carried by charter bus to the Houston offices of Fluor, a global construction company, where they delivered the final results of the semester-long project to a panel of five company executives who had advised them along the way.
Panelists peppered students with questions about their plans, critiqued their work and praised their efforts.
“Your presentations were so good, they could be used as the basis for what we do every day,” Renee Perry, Fluor senior director for material management, told the students. “You covered all the elements we do when we make presentations to potential clients.”
“I was really impressed by your presentation skills, both oral and written,” said Shaun West, vice president of engineering and chemicals. “I guarantee you I could not have gotten in front of a group when I was your age and made a presentation with the confidence you guys showed.”
Students developed their plans from drawings and specifications provided by Fluor. They were assisted by Matt Hunt, a Fluor project manager, who made four trips to Texas A&M, giving feedback on the students’ work as it progressed during the semester.
“Watching them grow and learn has been a real pleasure,” he said. “This project has given them insight into how we approach prospective clients.”
Fluor’s involvement in the refinery project exemplifies of company’s flourishing partnership with the Texas A&M’s Department of Construction Science. Earlier this year, the company contributed $250,000 to the establishment of a state-of-the-art building information modeling lab in Francis Hall, which, with renovations completed will become the department’s campus headquarters this spring.
Additionally, Fluor executives and Texas A&M graduates John R. Richardson ’68, executive project director, Richard C. Meserole ’86, vice president, construction and Shawn R. West ‘88, vice president, energy and chemicals, have represented the company on the Construction Industry Advisory Council, a group that advises department administrators and faculty on contemporary construction issues and influences the department's strategic direction and course content.
On top of its long history of supporting Texas A&M construction science students with endowed scholarships, Fluor employs numerous former students, many of whom are committed to giving back to Texas A&M through service and generous donations.