Department of Building Construction Management Technology, Purdue University
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2008)|
The Department of Building Construction Management grew from a craft-oriented, non-degree program that was initiated in 1946 to re-train the returning GI's. The nature of this program slowly shifted from post-war, non-academic teaching of construction craft skills to academic teaching of drafting and surveying skills through the 1950s.
After this period, in 1964, the post-war program became the new Department of Architectural and Civil Engineering Technology, of the newly created College of Technology. The new Department was housed on the three regional campuses--Fort Wayne, Hammond, and Indianapolis—with eight full-time faculty and 187 students in the two associate-degree programs of architectural technology and civil engineering technology.
In 1966, the department name was changed to the Department of Construction Technology, and Prof. D. Dorsey Moss, a faculty member at the Fort Wayne campus, was appointed department head. The following year, a two-year, add-on baccalaureate curriculum—construction technology—was approved. During the same year, the position of department head was moved to the West Lafayette campus where the construction technology program could be initiated there.
By 1974, the four-campus department had grown to 588 students and 27 full-time faculty. However, 427 the students and 26 the faculty were located at the regional campuses, leaving 161 students and Dr. Moss (as the lone full-time faculty member and department head) at the West Lafayette campus. At that point in time, the University granted autonomy to the regional campuses which, for all practical purposes, made them separate institutions, and freed the department at the West Lafayette campus from responsibility to the regional campuses. Dr. Moss was able to pursue his goal of excellence in construction management education at the West Lafayette campus.
The Department continued to grow to an enrollment of 200 students and a faculty of 6 by 1976, and its name was changed to the Department of Building Construction and Contracting.
Additionally, revisions in the curriculum were initiated to meet the standards of the American Council for Construction Education, and by July 1979, the Department was accredited by the Council and has continued to be accredited in 1984, 1989, and 1994.
In 1981, funding was approved for the construction of a College of Technology building. Construction began in 1982 on the new Knoy Hall College of Technology. By 1984, the Department of Building Construction and Contracting, along with six other departments and the school's administrative offices, moved to Knoy Hall. For the first time, the Department would have dedicated space for classrooms and laboratories.
Also in 1981, Dr. Moss stepped up to devote all of his energies to the teaching of future constructors, and Prof. Donald C. Ellison was appointed department head in 1982. Prof. Ellison remained in that position until 1992 when Prof. Stephen Schuette was appointed to the leadership position.
From 1981 until today, many improvements and positive changes have taken place. In order to reflect today's departmental vision and mission that incorporate the changing technology and advances, the department's name has changed to the Department of Building Construction Management (BCM), effective late 1996."
The BCM Department was the first program in the nation to offer specializations in the areas of mechanical, electrical, residential, and recently, demolition and reconstruction, as well as healthcare construction. It was recently hailed as the number one program of its type at the Mechanical Contractors Association national conference.
The D. Dorsey Moss Construction Lab in the basement of the Knoy Hall of Technology features an overhead crane which students use to construct wood-frame, steel-frame, and concrete structures each semester.
The Field Engineering Lab in the basement of the Knoy Hall of Technology features 24 computers each equipped with the latest surveying software. The lab has numerous surveying instruments, including dumpy levels, auto levels, total stations (EDM), digital levels, laser devices, and GPS units, and two-way radios for team communication.
Purdue University also hosts the largest construction roundtable in the nation each Spring and Fall, with over 100 companies seeking full-time positions and undergraduate internships.