Beyond the Classroom
Illinois State University Students Visit Mortenson’s Equipment Facility for an inside look at the prefabrication process
collage of students at site

Recently, students from the Illinois State University Construction Management program visited the Mortenson Chicago Equipment Facility in efforts to educate students with real-world visualization and experiences, rather than just reading a textbook. This is the second of multiple visits the ISU Construction Management program hopes to have with Mortenson.

Last year during the construction of Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital and Physician Clinic– Riverside in Rockford, IL, ISU students visited the project to experience a real-world construction site and processes being used.

This year, Dr. Euysup Shim, from the Department of Technology at ISU was interested in showing the students more about prefabrication and the preconstruction process, something they were discussing in class. Chicago’s equipment facility team, along with project managers, BIM/VDC experts and superintendents, teamed up to tour students through the equipment facility and show them the history and hands-on application of prefabrication. They also covered the importance of prefabrication and why it ultimately results in a higher level of safety, quality and efficiency.

“Construction management students can enhance and reinforce their learning by seeing/observing what they learned from classes,” said Dr. Shim. “Site visits and tours are very beneficial to these students, specifically in the areas of advanced technology which are not taught in detail. Students are motivated to learn better after these site visits and tours as well. As a professor, I hope that all of the construction management students at ISU can join in and take advantage of these experiences.”

Assistant Project Manager with Mortenson, Michael Krueger, says it’s a rewarding experience to see students interested in innovations of the A/E/C industry.

“It’s exciting to get to share the things we’re excited about,” Krueger said. “I like that we can introduce students to the future of the industry and they can see something they might not have been aware of before. We all want the students to be excited about their future and what they could be working on one day.”

Dr. Shim says the experience from the visit will help the students understand the importance of collaboration not only in the construction phase, but also through all phases of a project. Mortenson and ISU hope to collaborate on more site tours in the future and continue to broaden the bandwidth of hands-on experience for students.