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2024 Student Award Winners

UW Construction Management students were recognized for excellence at the 2024 UW Construction Management Hall of Fame Celebration.

  • Undergraduate Excellence in Academic Achievement: Ben Olliffe
  • Undergraduate Excellence in Service and Student Activities: Catherine Dang, Shane Patterson, Cole Magruder
  • Undergraduate Junior Excellence Award: Anthony Stoyanov
  • Excellence in Academic Achievement | Graduate Evening Program: Fatima Bentaleb
  • Excellence in Academic Achievement | Graduate Online Program:  Sherwin Nodo Laguilles
  • Excellence in Teaching (TA): Kevin Muiruri, Aishwarya Fadnavis
  • Student of the Year:  Blaine Baker
  • Members of the first place Sustainable Buildings ASC Reno Competition Team and Outstanding Student in the Alternate Competition, Rachel Ly were also recognized
    Undergraduates Recognized: Shane Patterson, Cole Magruder, Catherine Dang, Blaine Baker, Sin Hang Hung, and Alex Hasenstab
Excellence in Teaching. Aishwarya Fadnavis, Kevin Muiruri

Construction Leaders Honored at Hall of Fame Celebration

Seattle construction leaders were recognized as the 2024 inductees to the UW Construction Industry Hall of Fame at the bi-annual event held in May, 2024.

Rick Hermanson, CEO of the Hermanson Company, shared his journey through decades of industry experience and his work to create opportunities for young people to enter mechanical contracting.

Diane Kocer, Executive Director of the AGC Education Foundation, shared her inspiration to continue to create educational opportunities and career pathways for the future construction workforce.

Darlene Septelka, FDBIA,  a Teaching Assistant Professor of Construction Management at UW and Professional Faculty Fellow, shared her journey from her slide rule days through a career creating opportunities for women to enter the profession.

Diane Kocer
Rick Hermanson
Darlene Septelka



Class of 2024 Sigma Lamda Chi Honorees

We officially reactivated the Theta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Chi International Construction Honor Society on March 28th. The following students were recognized for their academic achievements.


  • Oleh Olehovych Fylyk
  • Alexander Bryce Hasenstab
  • Casey Anne Lawler
  • Patrick Grady Norton
  • Benjamin Matthew Olliffe
  • Samuel Thomas Rutter


The University of Washington Theta chapter was formed in 1966. The above 6 students have now joined 559 UW Theta lifetime members who have been recognized over the past 58 years .


Sigma Lambda Chi (ΣΛΧ) is an international scholastic honor society that recognizes academic achievement among students in the field of construction management. It was established in 1949 at Michigan State University. SLC is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, Inc. The society has chartered 93 chapters (75 active) and boasts a total membership of over 25,000 lifetime members.


The premise of the Sigma Lambda Chi crest created in 1949 features trees that represent the supply of natural resources available to constructors, a set of plans that represent the high level of research and planning that constructors must apply and maintain in their operations, and a building that represents the homes and all engineered facilities and services resulting from the constructors’ efforts. The original intention was to convey from forest resources to logs and lumber to shelter and housing. Changing times and the spirit thereof have broadened from the original merchant to constructor intent; the basic premise remains that the integrity of the individual continues to be the guiding force.


Mix Masters: At a UW lab, students are testing ways to give concrete a solid future.

Nestled in a former airplane hangar in the sprawling former Navy base at Magnuson Park, construction and engineering students from the University of Washington stress-test recipes for concrete—one of the world’s most used substances. Made with a combination of cement, water and aggregates, some type of concrete has been produced by every civilization since the Babylonians. Now, university students are joining in the centuries-long quest to refine and perfect this essential material at the University of Washington Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC).

Dr. Fred Aguayo, who joined the faculty of the College of Built Environments in 2021, is the director of the Construction Methods and Concrete Materials Laboratory (which Aguayo has dubbed CM2L), as well as an assistant professor with the Department of Construction Management and an adjunct assistant professor with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. You could say he enjoys watching cement “dry”—but of course he’s heard that one before. Since joining the UW, it’s his expertise in the field that has allowed more of a focus into concrete and its potential.

Read the full feature at UW Magazine

Paving the way: Our next generation of women construction leaders

Women in Construction Week is a time to celebrate and raise awareness of women’s contributions to this traditionally male-dominated industry. At the University of Washington, a dynamic cohort of women majoring in construction management within the College of Built Environments are embarking on their journey to enter the construction industry. Their vision, leadership, and determination serve as inspiring examples to other young women considering majoring in CM.

Darlene Septelka, professional teaching fellow in the UW Department of Construction Management, interviewed five women undergrads to share their stories. Meet McKayla Burke, Catherine Dang, Casey Lawler, Rachel Ly, and Frances Ouyang and learn about their journey to the CM major and their internship and extracurricular pathways.

Read the full story at the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

PDF of Women in Construction issue.

Dawgs Victorious at ASC Region 6&7 Reno Competition

Emerging from a competitive field of nearly 1400 their peers in an open national competition, the Sustainable Building team snagged the first place trophy in the ASC Region 6&7 Reno Competition, edging out Cal Poly and the University of Florida. 55 universities from 22 states were represented by student teams.

According to the pre-problem statement by the Sustainable Building competition sponsor, Skanska,  “In keeping with the goal to drive green thinking into our culture and ways that we work, this problem is meant to show you how jobsites are changing to be more sustainable and resilient, how the construction industry is lessening the negative impact it has on the environment. Teams will focus on construction means and methods this year through the lens of multiple Skanska projects.”

The six-student team completed a problem submission the first full day of the competition and then presented before an industry panel on the second day. Their innovation, the Talkzall, would create a safe, durable real-time translation solution for workers on a construction site. Their presentation received a standing ovation from the industry jurors. The Sustainable Building team was guided by faculty coach Amos Darko.

Sustainable Construction Team. Top row left: Toby Sin Hang Hung, Casey Lawler, Oleh Fylyk; Bottom row: Faculty Coach Dr. Amos Darko, Ben Olliffe (Captain), Alex Hasenstab (Co-Captain). Not pictured: Wesley Olive. Devin Schug (alternate)










“The UW students were active participants in all the events at Reno. From the opening night welcome dinner to the robust career fair to the awards ceremony, they showed up in full force in their purple UW shirts,” said Carey Smith, CM faculty coach for the Integrated Project Team. “There were many UW CM program alumni “in the house” at the Reno competition. You could be sure there would be several rooting for the Husky teams in each of the individual events.”

Junior Rachel Ly served as an alternate for the UW Commercial team and participated in the alternate competition, in which alternates from participating schools are brought together to compete in a 10 hour case study of a problem statement. Of the 344 alternate students at the competition, Rachel was one of two awarded Outstanding Student in the alternate competition.

Rachel Ly (left) awarded Outstanding Student

Also wearing purple were UW’s Commercial team, coached by David Salzer, Design-Build coached by Darlene Septelka, and Heavy Civil and Mixed-Use, coached by Giovanni Migliaccio.









(left) Alex Hasenstab, Ben Olliffe (Captain), Casey Lawler, Oleh Fylyk, Wesley Olive, Toby Sin Hang Hung.




Prof. Chris Lee on Public/Private Partnerships: Charging toward a zero-emission transit fleet

Conversion of bus base facilities, the heart of transit operations, for electric vehicle charging is a large-scale project with many players and complex needs. One option for transit agencies working to shift to a zero-emission fleet is a public-private partnership model (P3), which defers upfront capital construction costs and has the potential to help agencies meet long-term sustainability and resiliency goals.

New research out of the Mobility Innovation Center at the University of Washington (UW), led by professor Hyun Woo “Chris” Lee and senior research scientist Laura Osburn of the Department of Construction Management in UW’s College of Built Environments, explored this possibility and highlighted opportunities and challenges. The team found that P3, a practice common to infrastructure projects like toll roads could apply to transit electrification. The team also looked to existing transit facility conversion projects that have used P3 to glean best practices.

“There is not a one-size-fits-all approach for P3, and it may not be a solution for every project, but there are some public agencies that have used elements of this project delivery method successfully,” said Lee, lead author for the study. “What we’ve learned from some of the early adopters can serve as a template for others to consider.”


CM Transfer Students Receive Andrew Eker and Mary Hughes Endowed Scholarship

Transfer students in the UW Construction Management program are automatically considered for the need-based Andrew Eker and Mary Hughes Endowed Scholarship. When the e-mail arrives that they’ve been granted the scholarship, they may have to double check that it’s real!

Donors Andrew Eker and Mary Hughes are familiar with the heavy lift transfer students face starting at UW; Andrew was a transfer student to the program before he earned a BS in Building Construction. Although they are now based in Alaska, Andrew and Mary carve out time to connect with the student recipients when they are in Seattle and were able to meet two students earlier this month.

Continue reading “CM Transfer Students Receive Andrew Eker and Mary Hughes Endowed Scholarship”

Prof. Carrie Dossick on Freakonomics: “Why Is It So Hard (and Expensive) to Build Anything in America?”

CM Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the College of Built Environments, Carrie Sturts Dossick  was interviewed on the Freakonomics podcast for an episode entitled: “Why Is It So Hard (and Expensive) to Build Anything in America?” 

It’s a wide-ranging look at a number of global construction trends, including modular construction, building information modeling (BIM), safety, and labor costs.

You can listen and find the transcript on our website here, or download on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.