Engineering Externship 2018

Dear World,

This blog lacks a lot of depth on the Civil Engineering aspects. I admit, I have not done much in school besides learning properties and methods that will help me engineer solutions to civilization’s problems and build new and unique things. It’s nothing. Okay, that’s a lot. Honestly, it’s a bit different from my Catholic mindset, where I talk about my faith. It’s the day-to-day behind the scenes work  that doesn’t get the spotlight. It’s a whole different world.  One of the things I believe is whatever I do has a purpose and should be congruent with my beliefs. I believe that in helping to design and build new things provides a service to the community. So today, I wanted to delve into an experience that helped me better understand construction and how a construction site operates.

My externship was on a cloudy January day on the campus of the University of Houston at the new Fertitta Center. The university had their basketball arena remodeled and renamed in order to update the dated Hofheinz Pavilion into the new Fertitta Center. Turner Construction Company managed the project. They selected 5 UT students, including myself, to tour the construction site and get a hands-on experience of what it is like to be on a construction site. We watched some safety tutorials on how to stay safe on a job site before going on the site itself. Then we met all of the engineers who worked on the project. Afterwards, we discussed how to read a building drawing.One of the engineers wanted to cover it to help us in the field because it wasn’t common knowledge. Then, we explored the site. Afterwards we had some lunch.  Afterwards, we joined the company in their daily meeting with all of the subcontractors and workers. At least one representative from each trade was represented.

After that, we looked at a wall and checked if it had all of the necessary plumbing and electrical work before drywall was added. The wall we checked was not approved, but it was a good excercise to see what needs to be done before adding a wall. Steps like adding drywall and pouring concrete must be done last, as accessing pipes and wires may not be feasible after these steps are done. Finally, we talked a little bit more and our day was over. I went home and I learned how a day on a construction site works. It’s amazing that in such a chaotic environment, progress is being done. I am also glad that the workers use strategies like LEAN construction, and try to reduce waste through less forms, and having a digitalized drawings on a tablet rather than just a stack of papers.

Overall, I learned a lot from my externship. Next time, I’ll talk about EXPO, job searching and whatnot. I believe that through these experiences I can find what God truly calls me for.

God bless,

The Nerd of May

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