1A: Construction Management Education

Faculty from around the region will present and share how they teach specific topics within their respective Construction Management programs. Presentations are targeted to academic and industry practitioners. Faculty members and industry members will be able to share and learn best practices in construction education. Topics will be from the Student Learning Outcomes as required by the American Council on Construction Education (ACCE) standards.

Panel Lead


Dr. Bill Bender teaches project management, estimating, and sustainability. He has over 35 years of experience in the construction industry as an owner’s representative, consultant, and academic. His research interests include publishing about improving education, sustainable construction, project risk and management. He has degrees from Washington State University, Oregon State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.




Developing a Laboratory for a Soils and Foundations Course in a Construction Management Program

David Carns, Central Washington University

Soils and foundations are involved in nearly every construction project and hence it is essential that construction management students gain a practical understanding of soil testing and behavior. Without this knowledge it would be very difficult for construction management graduates to responsibly manage many construction projects. Many textbooks and courses covering soils and foundations tend to be very design-oriented and technical in nature. While they typically include coverage of soil  types, testing and soil behavior, construction management students are not design engineers they tend to learn best through a “hands-on” laboratory experience. In this panel the need for a soil laboratory experience will be discussed and it will be explained how a simple soils laboratory was created and successfully integrated into an existing Soils and Foundations course for construction management students.

Creating and Utilizing a “Working Model Heat Pump” to Enhance Student Learning in a Construction Management Program

Warren Plugge, Central Washington University

This panel explains how a “working model heat pump” was designed, built in-house and incorporated into a mechanical systems course within a construction management program to enhance student understanding of the basic refrigeration cycle. An explanation of how a need for the physical model was identified is included, with reference to student learning styles.
Designing the model, securing funding for the model and construction and integration of the model into the classroom is also presented. In addition, documentation of the benefit of utilizing the working model heat pump as a demonstration tool to enhance student learning in two separate courses is included and discussed. Future research and opportunities to utilize this model in other courses have also been identified.

Capstone Course at University of Washington

Bill Bender, University of Washington

Capstone is a course that provides students at the University of Washington an opportunity to synthesize all that they have learned in the Construction Management Department. It is also one final opportunity to “connect all the dots” for the different classes students have taken.  Students find unique projects that have not been built yet and through a series of deliverables students develop estimates, schedules, safety plans, etc. Finally students orally present to an industry panel of professionals their projects. The objectives of this presentation are to provide details and student learning outcomes for this course.


Speaker Bios

Dave Carns is a professor in Construction Management at Central Washington University and teaches Soils and Foundations, Building Mechanical Systems and courses in engineering mechanics. For many years has also served as a faculty coach for a student team that competes in the Associated Schools of Construction Region VII Student Competition in Reno, NV. He has over 40 years combined construction and academic experience and loves teaching and working with Construction Management students. His research interests are directly related to construction education, including ways to bring practical applications into the classroom. He holds degrees in Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University.

Dr. Warren Plugge is an associate professor and Director of the Construction Management program at Central Washington University. He teaches all courses in the Heavy Civil track within the program. As an educator Dr. Plugge utilizes a combination of research, academia and real-life construction management experience as a teaching approach to build a practice-based learning model that is rich, meaningful and relevant to teach students about the construction industry. His research interests include activity-based learning, civil infrastructure management and technology in project management.