Eric Showalter: course under construction

Eric Showalter

Eric Showalter’s students used iPads to track construction projects in his Cost Estimating and Scheduling course. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Old class: Eric Showalter, associate teaching professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, has taught a construction management course called Cost Estimating and Scheduling for more than a decade. One semester-long assignment requires students to pick a construction site and keep a diary of everything that happens — from weather conditions to which subcontractors are on site and what work is being done. It gets them in the habit of observing and writing.

New twist: Last fall, instead of keeping a paper diary, his students tracked their progress on iPads using an app called Construction Superintendent.

The gift: Robert “Bob” Brinkmann, CE’71, CEO of Brinkmann Constructors, believed that S&T students should be exposed to new, high-tech approaches to project management. He brought together a group of alumni and corporations with construction-based interests (see list at right) to donate 30 iPads to the S&T civil, architectural and environmental engineering department.

Up next: Showalter is using the iPads and Construction Superintendent in his senior design course. He’s teaching 70 students, 11 of whom are on the Missouri State University campus in Springfield. Each team of students is designing a water treatment plant from the ground up.

In his words: “I really appreciate this donation. It has great potential. We can do some really neat things in coming semesters, as I learn more. There is so much to explore.”

iPad Donors

  • Brinkmann Constructors
  • Bradley Hornburg, CE’69
  • Landmark Contract Management Inc.
  • Richard “Dick” Arnoldy, CE’69
  • ARCO Construction Co.
  • John Mathes, CE’67, MS CE’68
  • William Clarke, CE’74, MS CE’79
  • Raymond Betz, CE’66

About the App
Robert “Bob” Brinkmann, CE’71, Bob Wacker, CSci’77, and Bryan Baehr created the iPad app through their joint venture, Construction Centrics, and donated 30 apps.

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