The first two U.S. construction management programs, at Brigham Young University in Utah (above) and Pittsburg State University in Kansas, have been accredited independently from engineering programs. The Construction Management Association of America worked with accreditation board ABET to develop program-specific criteria that include project life cycle and sustainability; health and safety; labor relations; and business skills. Kevin Miller, BYU program director, says separate accreditation “acknowledges in the engineering world that CM is its own discipline,” but also will improve building process collaboration.
“It is relieving not to worry about fuel costs for once in a long time. But we also recognize that a spike in pricing could be just around the corner..” —James Reiss, CEO, Westside Mechanical Group
Movers and Shakers
TRC COS., Lowell, Mass., has named Edward J. Wiegele as senior vice president and director of pipeline services, following its Oct. 5 deal to buy the 850-person professional services business of oil-and-gas contractor Willbros Group. Wiegele has been president of that unit. The $130-million cash deal is set to close next year.
Terex Corp. has bypassed insiders and turned to outsider John L. Garrison Jr. to succeed veteran CEO Ronald DeFeo in leading the soon-to-be-expanding equipment company. With the change, to take effect Nov. 2, DeFeo remains executive chairman and becomes a consultant beginning on Jan. 1. Garrison is formerly CEO of the Bell Helicopter unit of Textron Inc. Terex is set to acquire Konecranes early next year.
Evelyn Henry Miller has joined Dallas contractor TDIndustries as chief financial officer. She was in the same role at Agencies of Change, a marketing agency, and had been CFO of The Dallas Morning News from 2002-2009, managing a financial restructuring.
Ohio contractor Kokosing Inc. has elevated Bryce Burgett to CEO of its aggregates and asphalt manufacturing units. He is a grandson of firm founder William Burgett.
Penhall Co., a California demolition subcontractor, has named Lynn Schrier-Behler as chief financial officer. She had been North American regional CFO for WS Atkins plc and a finance senior vice president at Parsons Corp.
Grant G. McCullagh is executive vice president of Pernix Group Inc. following its June purchase of KBR’s building construction unit. It now is called the BE&K Building Group, reverting to its origin as contractor BE&K, bought by KBR in 2008. McCullagh also is group chairman.
Fatal Demolition Verdict
A Philadelphia Jury on Oct. 19 found a demolition contractor guilty on six counts of involuntary manslaughter in a 2013 wall collapse that killed six and injured 13 at an adjacent store. Griffin Campbell was overseeing removal of the unsupported wall when it collapsed. He had given instructions to demolish it with heavy equipment rather than by hand, prosecutors said. The jury found him not guilty on more serious third-degree murder charges. Campbell has been in jail without bail since his 2013 arrest. Sean Benschop, operator of the excavator used in the demolition, pleaded guilty in July to six counts of involuntary manslaughter and other charges. Both will be sentenced on Jan. 6.
Looking at Markets
Mixed Signals Ahead
Construction sector analyst Andrew Wittman of Baird Equity Research said in an Oct. 22 note that executives of privately held E&C firms report that “cost restructuring remains endemic, with still lagging end-market challenges, despite improvement in some infrastructure-based markets.” He says resources markets “remain challenged, [but have] not yet bottomed.” Baird’s Oct. 13 equipment rental survey says that rental rates, revenue growth and utilization all improved in the third quarter, but that excess inventory could generate lower pricing in the second half of 2015, compared with last year.
Estimated funding shortfall in first three years of the six year, $325-billion federal transportation authorization bill, unveiled on Oct. 16. U.S. Congress staffers say the funds will be found.