The Nieri Department of Construction, Development and Planning at Clemson University held its 8th Annual Construction Symposium in Greenville on September 14.
The keynote address was delivered by Brad Smith, a principal member of the architecture firm of McMillan Pazdan Smith. As an alumnus of both the construction science and management program and architecture program at Clemson, he emphasized the importance of communication between both fields during the building process.
“Even though there are times we aren’t completely on the same page, we must respect each other’s expertise, trust each other and work together as a team,” he said.
Smith’s keynote touched on a variety of critical issues facing the $1.8 trillion construction sector including labor shortages, relationships, delivery methods and technology. He pointed out how technological advances in robotics, 3D printing and modeling, prefabrication and artificial intelligence are all transforming or have the potential to transform the industry.
“Technology is and is going to continue to have a huge impact on our industry, but the opportunities new technology brings will still be determined by the human relationships we grow and nurture along the way,” he said.
Smith’s address about the close relationship between construction science and architecture mirrored the closer alignment of their academic disciplines at Clemson in the new College of Architecture, Art and Construction (CAAC). Interim Dean George J. Petersen welcomed the crowd of about 200 guests to the Greenville Marriott, noting that feedback from industry partners is essential for the college’s goal of preparing students for professional practice.
In addition to Smith’s keynote address, the Symposium hosted a presentation from Be Pro Be Proud headlined by S.C. Senate President Thomas Alexander (R – Oconee), Leslie Clark of Carolinas ACG and Marty McKee of King Asphalt. It also featured a Workshop entitled “The Future Leaders of Construction Employment” led by Charlie Dunn of DPR Construction and a panel discussion on the real estate capital market with Brad Harvey of River Street Partners, LLC; Brian Reed of CBRE Group; Scott Williams of Aline Capital; Josh Woodward of Lima One; and Dustin C. Read, director of Clemson’s Master of Real Estate Development program.
“The Symposium continues to be the highlight of the year for our students and faculty,” said Mike Jackson, chair of the Nieri Department of Construction, Development and Planning. “The cooperation of our industry partners for insight and networking is invaluable, and it is a major factor in our 100 percent job placement rate for students.”
The Symposium was supported by headline sponsor 84 Lumber® as well as Tiger Level sponsorships from Carolinas ACG and H&W Electrical. Other sponsors included Thompson Turner Construction, ELEDCO Inc., SteelFab SC Inc., Lithko, Americas Home Place, Harper GC and the Roofing Alliance as well as the Symposium’s official media partner, GroundBreak Carolinas.
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