A group of graduate and undergraduate students from Texas A&M’s Department of Construction Science impressed an audience that included George Pontikes Jr., president and CEO of Satterfield and Pontikes Construction, Inc., as they presented Building Information Modeling-based videos of the construction process at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
“I travel the country and view presentations, and yours were second to none,” Pontikes told the group at S&P’s corporate headquarters in Houston. “It’s amazing that one group could do this well. I thought you were the most confident group of presenters I’ve ever seen in my life.”
The students, led by Julian Kang, holder of the Harold L. Adams ’61 Endowed Interdisciplinary Professorship in Construction Science, made their presentations April 30 to Pontikes, John Marshall, S&P vice president of marketing, Tom Woods, senior associate with health science center designer FKP Architects, and other S & P representatives at its corporate headquarters in Houston.
Marshall also praised for the Aggie presenters, saying “If you don’t feel great about yourselves already, then you should. Those were really, really top notch.”
“All of you did an outstanding job considering you had full class loads and weren’t just focusing on this project the whole semester,” added Woods. “All the presentations were really good.”
Students used 3-D modeling software to create images illustrating the construction of the center’s professional and research buildings, then used video editing software to create a brief motion picture simulating the construction process from the ground up.
One of Kang’s classes, Building Information Modeling System Special Topic, provided construction science undergraduates with their first opportunity to tackle a BIM project.
“We were hearing a lot of requests from industry to teach BIM to undergraduates, and students were asking us as well,” said Kang, who asked students to focus on the architecture and structure of the science center’s professional building.
Kang’s graduate students had a tougher task.
“The science center’s research building has a complex MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) system,” he said. “I wanted the graduate students to have a chance to work on MEP modeling to understand how complicated the process is.”
When a contractor is trying to win a bid, said Kang, their presentation to a potential client must get right to the point.
“When bidding day comes, contractors are not given all day to present what they have to say,” he said. “They are given 10 minutes, 20 minutes, that’s about it.”
If you can’t explain everything in a given time, he added, you’re going to be out of the business.
Kang turned to Hollywood to help his students learn how to produce their video projects. In class, he presented movie trailers to show where movie directors place cameras and how they move them to tell their stories.
“By looking at those video clips, students had a chance to understand how movie directors explain their movie in three minutes,” he said.
In their presentations, the students’ training was evident — students eschewed static images, placing their “camera,” or viewing angle, from a bird’s eye view, circling the building, then going inside and seeing the mechanical and plumbing infrastructure appear while moving through the building; all the while, music, often a techno-dance beat, pulsed through the presentation room’s speakers.
Joe Horlen, head of the Department of Construction Science, wrapped up the presentation session.
“You did a great job, you’re great representatives for Texas A&M and I’m proud of every one of you.”
The presentations culminated a semester-long relationship between the students and industry representatives from S&P and FKP Architects. The two firms provided project drawings, visited the students several times during the semester, and led tours of the health science center site to assist the students as they worked on their projects.
It was a good semester for Kang, who’s helping deepen Texas A&M’s involvement with BIM.
“I enjoyed teaching these courses, and I’m pleased to see our students becoming BIM leaders,” he said. “Over the years, I’ve seen former students hired by the industry as BIM managers. Many BIM technicians, managers, and specialists in Texas are coming out of our program. That’s something I’m proud of.”
Also during the Houston trip, Marshall led students on a tour of S&P’s corporate headquarters, the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-rated building in Houston.
Watch the video presentations by Karan Sharma and Shreyas Bedekar:
- Posted: May 5, 2009-