Construction Technology Pilot Project Prepares University of Alabama Students for Workforce
April 26, 2016
Partnership Exposes Students to Technology
Birmingham, Ala. (April 26, 2016) – With graduation looming, many seniors at The University of Alabama are busy preparing for final exams. For a select group of students, wrapping up the semester means presenting the findings from a research project to management at Brasfield & Gorrie.
The research project is the result of a partnership that began in September 2015 between Brasfield & Gorrie and The University of Alabama’s STEM Path to the MBA program. “Brasfield & Gorrie helped us to identify a real-world issue. They provided us with sponsored equipment and personnel to guide and monitor our students’ activities. They also provided a site that we could not duplicate on campus,” said University of Alabama Executive Director for Innovation Initiatives Rob Morgan.
An innovative program unique to the Culverhouse College of Commerce, STEM Path to the MBA allows undergraduates in engineering, science, and mathematics to learn business skills and take an early track to earning an MBA. Each year, students in the STEM Path to the MBA program work on projects with local companies. Brasfield & Gorrie teamed with Jovix by Atlas RFID Solutions to offer students the opportunity to apply technological applications in a construction environment.
Morgan said the support from corporate partners is invaluable. “It’s hard to get companies to think through all of the elements necessary to put together a project that a group of students can work on for an entire year,” he said.
During the spring semester, the students visited B&G Equipment and Supply to test equipment tracking systems provided by Jovix by Atlas RFID Solutions. This technology is designed to help monitor logistics, and track parts and equipment on active construction jobsites. As part of their final examination, the students will present their research outcomes to the management at Brasfield & Gorrie.
Additionally, Brasfield & Gorrie sponsored a second project where that group of students tested a monitoring system that is able to detect the probability of equipment failure. Cranes, a mainstay on construction sites, were used to test the monitoring system. This predictive analysis is expected to help prevent schedule delays due to the breakdown and repair of major equipment on construction projects.
According to Brasfield & Gorrie Regional Director of Virtual Design and Construction Russ Gibbs, these projects expose students to technology careers in construction. “The construction industry today isn’t what it was 10 years ago. We are currently identifying and using innovative solutions and these students are on the forefront of what’s to come,” Gibbs said.
About Brasfield & Gorrie
Founded in 1964, Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets. We are skilled in construction best practices, including virtual design and construction, integrated project delivery, and lean construction, but we are best known for our preconstruction and self-perform expertise and exceptional client service. Brasfield & Gorrie has 11 offices and approximately 2,600 employees. Our 2015 revenues were $2.3 billion. Engineering News-Record ranks Brasfield & Gorrie 27th among the nation’s “Top 400 Contractors” for 2015.
About University of Alabama’s STEM Path to the MBA
The STEM Path to the MBA was created at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce in 2011. It provides high-performing undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines the opportunity to learn business approaches to innovation, leadership, and problem solving. Students begin MBA coursework upon completion of their junior year of study, and complete the MBA one calendar year after their undergraduate studies.
About Atlas RFID Solutions
Jovix is an award-winning materials management application developed by Atlas RFID Solutions specifically for the capital asset market. Jovix combines web-based server software with mobile and auto-ID technologies to extend access to information to decision makers in the field, as well as digitize and automate manual paper-based data collection processes. Jovix provides value for Owner/Operators, EPC firms, contractors, fabricators and suppliers by removing impediments to productivity that result from material readiness issues.