Purdue CEM leads the Way for the Development of Future Underground Construction Leaders

(From left) Mike Rispin (Chair, UCA of SME) and Dr. Tom Iseley.

The division of Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) at Purdue University started in 1979, and is among a small number of engineering-based construction programs. To meet the demands of industry, the CEM curriculum is around 80% construction engineering and 20% management courses and our classes are taught by industry experts who bring their own real-world experiences to the classroom. Dr. Tom Iseley established the Underground Construction Association (UCA) of Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) Student Chapter at Purdue, which is the third student chapter UCA of SME in the world, with more than 60 student members. A team of CEM will represent the Purdue UCA of SME Student Chapter at the Rapid Excavation & Tunneling Conference (RETC) which will be held on June 11 – 14, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.

For the third time, the “Development of Underground Space (DUS)” course was taught at Purdue in spring 2023 by Dr. Iseley. This course brought academic and underground industry leaders to Purdue in-person and virtually. These individuals are: Michael Rispin (Chair, UCA of SME / Strata Products Worldwide LLC), Robert (Bob) Goodfellow (Aldea Services Inc.), Mark Ramsey (Mott MacDonald), Michael G. Vitale (Mott MacDonald), David Mast (AECOM), Greg Raines (Stantec), Dr. Conrad Felice (C. W. Felice LLC), Paul Nicholas (AECOM), Bruce Magee (United Rentals), Dr. Priscilla Nelson (Colorado School of Mines), Dr. Ray Sterling (Louisiana Tech), Dr. Jamal Rostami (Colorado School of Mines), Dr. Paul Schmall (Keller Specialty Services), Steven R. Kramer (COWI North America Inc.), Mike Roach (Traylor Bros. Inc.), Russ Vakharia (LA County Sanitation Districts), Bryce Scofield (Traylor Precast LLC), Martin Cherrington (Advanced HDD Consultant), Claudio Cimiotti (Dragados), Klaus Langenbach (SAERTEX multiCom LP).

For the DUS Course Project, the Los Angeles County Sanitation District (LACSD) Effluent Outfall Tunnel was selected. The 7-mile long, 18-ft-internal-diameter post-tensioned concrete segmented lined tunnel is being constructed to provide relief and redundancy for the existing tunnels and additional overall conveyance capacity. The Effluent Outfall Tunnel Project facilities will include the 18-ft tunnel, Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (JWPCP) Shaft and White Point Shaft.

Purdue CEM thanks Russ Vakharia (Supervising Engineer at the LA County Sanitation Districts) for providing the contract documents of the Tunnel Project and Mark Ramsey (Mott MacDonald) and Daniel McMaster (Mott MacDonald) for providing support for the DUS course project on the LACSD Effluent Outfall Tunnel Project at Purdue University.

Also, special thanks and gratitude to Mike Traylor (Co-President, Traylor Construction Group) and Mike Vitale (Senior Vice President and North American Tunnel Practice Leader, Mott MacDonald) for making connections with Bryce Scofield (General Manager, Traylor Precast LLC) and Mark Ramsey (Purdue CEM alumnus/West Unit Tunnels Practice Leader at Mott MacDonald) to assist us during the DUS course project.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tom Iseley, diseley@purdue.edu.

This article was written by Dr. Tom Iseley & Saleh Behbahani

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