Faculty Spotlight: Hisham Said
What is your professional experience and how did you end up at SCU?
I had a brief professional experience in Egypt before starting my academic career. I started as a structural engineer, designing steel and concrete structures. I then worked as a contract administrator for a consulting firm on a large commercial project. I joined SCU after finishing my Ph.D. studies in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and my post-doctoral research at Purdue University.
What are you currently involved in, both at SCU and beyond?
At SCU, I am involved in teaching, service and research activities. Too many to count! I teach the construction management courses and introductory civil engineering courses. I have served as a CESE representative at the Faculty Senate Committee, and multiple other committees related to curriculum development, awards, and hiring. My research activity revolve around construction industrialization, prefabrication, and a new planning approach called spatial scheduling. Beyond SCU, I have volunteered at two local religious organizations, and I am an assistant scoutmaster at a local boy scout troop.
What experience do you have in Construction Management?
I have both professional and academic experience in construction management. I worked as a contract administrator for a large consulting company in Egypt, to track and confirm the fulfillment of the construction project requirements and deliverables. My research tends to be applied, where I collaborate with industry organizations and contractors to study prefabrication and generative design.
What inspired you to start the Construction Management minor?
I was inspired by the strong SCU alumni network in the local construction industry. I served as an academic liaison at the SCU Bronco Builders Association, which is a vibrant group SCU alumni from different careers in the construction industry. They encouraged and supported me to start the CM minor, and presented a strong case to the School of Engineering to prove the need for the CM minor program. Also, I was motivated to make our graduates more competitive in the construction workforce market by learning the basic job skills before hitting the job market.
Why should students enroll in the minor? How will the Construction Management minor help prepare students for their careers?
In the old days, contractors were fine hiring young engineers with no construction management knowledge to train them on the job. But, this is not the case anymore because of the increased complexity of the industry and the increased availability of construction management educational programs. The construction industry has become more sophisticated with increased reliance on technology (building information modeling, reality capturing) and a stronger commitment to customer goals (sustainable and green buildings). The CM Minor will help to make SCU graduates more competitive and employable for the construction industry.
What are your future plans for the minor? Will it become a major?
I am working with the Bronco Builders Association to establish a new fellowship endowment for the CM program students. This endowment with existing financial aid (Beavers heavy construction foundation and Devcon Diversity and Inclusion) will help to offset the additional cost of the CM minor degree. We aim to establish a rigorous co-op program so the students can get on-the-job learning during their summer internships. We hope that the program enrollment will grow strong to sustain offering the existing and new CM courses.