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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Academics & Research

$1 million to help overhaul construction management curriculum

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Neil Eldin (third from the right) with Fluor members. | Courtesy of Eldin

The Department of Construction Management is slated to receive an overhaul thanks to a $1 million grant that will provide state-of-the-art training for students starting in the fall of 2016.

The Fluor Foundation, who gifted the grants, is a global engineering construction company and recently opened a branch near UH Sugar Land. It formed a partnership with the construction management department in late February and sealed the deal with the grant that will help create new classes for students.

Neil Eldin, founding chairman of the construction management department and interim dean of the College of Technology, said that when he learned that Fluor opened a branch near UH Sugar Land, he was immediately interested in meeting with Fluor and create a partnership.

“This partnership is an integral part of Fluor’s sustained, long-term commitment to the construction industry,” Fluor’s chairman and chief executive officer David Seaton said. “(It) comes at a time when talented construction management personnel are in extremely high demand, especially with the number of ongoing projects in the United States.”

Many construction management students said they are excited for the training and classes to come thanks to the partnership.

“A company like Fluor, which makes more than $20 billion in revenue, to partner with UH, and more specifically our construction management program, is a big deal,” construction management senior German Martinez said.

Eldin said that many large companies have side projects, and he suggested that students would work on these projects as part of their classwork for the partnership.

“My real intention is to make sure we are continuously state-of-the-art,” Eldin said. “It will keep academia in touch with what’s happening now instead of what was happening three or four years ago.”

This state-of-the-art training will allow students to work along side Fluor in already existing projects. The projects will enable students to have a more hands on learning approach in construction management. Instead of fictional in-class assignments previously offered to students, they can now work on real-world construction projects.

“It is an honor that Fluor is partnering with UH simply because of the prestige behind their name,” Martinez said. “Fluor isn’t just your normal EPC firm. They have been around for over a century and have worked on projects all over the world.”

Eldin said that the partnership will help students develop a relationship with one of the nation’s top engineering construction companies, and in turn, the new courses will allow them to experience a fully integrated learning environment and have access to industry leaders.

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