Nathan Blinn, Ph.D. candidate in construction management, has made invaluable connections during his time at DCP. While his classes have certainly taught him plenty, it is these personal connections with passionate faculty and staff that have best prepared him for his future career.

1. What have you valued most about your time at the College of Design, Construction and Planning?
My time in the College of Design, Construction and Planning has been full of great memories, experiences and people. The family that you join when you begin a degree in DCP never ceases to amaze me. In this regard, the connections I have made and the extra-curricular experiences I have been a part of, both in research and beyond, are what I value most about my time in DCP. The professors I have had the pleasure of working with demonstrate a great passion for the field as well as a vested interest in my development as an academic, as a professional and as a person.

Furthermore, the staff members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep things moving have been amazing to work with over the years. The personal nature of the educational experience here at DCP is something I could never have imagined and has made my time here extraordinarily meaningful. The education provided at DCP, and specifically at the Rinker School, is one of the best in the world, especially in the field of construction technology. This educational prowess coupled with the supported spirit of academic inquiry and the passionate DCP family I have come to know have provided me with incredible opportunities as I move into my career, for which I will be forever grateful.

2. What class have you enjoyed the most so far at DCP?
The class I enjoyed the most was BCN 6785: Construction Information Systems. I took this course in my first semester at Rinker, and then had the pleasure of teaching the course for a number of years while pursing my doctorate. CIS is a course at the leading edge of construction technologies that exposes students to technological processes that are reshaping the future of the AECO industry. During the course, students work through a series of individual classwork assignments designed to develop technical modeling and model management skills, including the use of 3D, 4D and 5D BIM processes.

In addition, students participate in a group project that simulates a real-world project team format and requires students to complete a fully information-loaded model of a local school. These models are completed in collaboration with the local public school district, where schools in the area are then able to use the models after the course is completed. Not only does this provide students with a real-world application for BIM processes, but it also creates a great partnership with the local community.

The CIS course is, in my opinion, one of the most beneficial classes any student can take during graduate school in DCP. The ability to effectively leverage and comprehend advanced technological processes is becoming all but a necessity throughout the industry and will lead to countless career opportunities in the future. Whether a student has to use advanced technologies or will be managing those who do, the experience gained in this course is truly invaluable.

3. What will you take away from your time here at DCP?
During my time at DCP, I have grown a great deal as an academic, professional and person. My time here has provided me with experiences and knowledge that make up the foundation for a potentially successful and meaningful career. Aside from the technical skills, pedagogical knowledge and industry expertise I have earned, the biggest things I will take away from my time here at DCP are the personal connections and bolstered passion for the AECO industry I have gained. The countless people I have met and interacted with along the way have stoked the fire for industry advancement that began during my time in architecture school at a different university.

My desire to improve the industry and the lives of those impacted by it has come largely from the people I have interacted with, most importantly by my mentor and Ph.D. advisor Dr. Issa, whose dedication is truly unparalleled. I have become exceedingly passionate about the role of advanced construction technologies in the future of the industry, as well as how such technologies can be taught to future generations of industry professionals. The constant desire for knowledge, improvement and a forward-thinking mentality has been nurtured in me by the personal connections and industry passion I have experienced during my time here at DCP and has prepared me for a meaningful career in the AECO industry.

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