Architectural Engineering and Construction Management
Class of 2012
“Sports were a great release from school work and helped me to balance work with play.”
Brent Verhyen ’12 never questioned his decision to attend MSOE. He double majored in architectural engineering and construction management and said, “Throughout my five years at MSOE, I never doubted that it was where I belonged.”
“If you are interested in engineering, construction management, nursing or business, MSOE is a great choice. The classes are tough, but the teachers make you work hard so when you graduate, you are ready to start contributing to the industry,” said Brent. “It’s a small enough school for all of the teachers in your department to know your name, but big enough to give you a full range of classes.”
Brent is an assistant project manager at Hunzinger Construction Co. where he oversees the construction process and coordinates activities. Along with a project manager, Brent writes and enforces the contracts for subcontractors based on the drawings and specifications given to them by an architect. “We coordinate change orders, RFIs and submittals, and hold weekly coordination meetings. We see the construction process through from the initial design phase coordination to the close out paperwork and owner manuals,” he remarked.
When Brent was hired, his first projects were for MSOE. He immediately began work on the athletic field and parking complex. He also helped complete MSOE’s Ruehlow Nursing Complex. “Working with MSOE so closely right after graduation has been a great transition from school to the working world.” In this video, Brent takes us on a tour of the athletic field/parking complex construction site.
“The construction management classes at MSOE were targeted at general contracting. A lot of what I learned applies directly to my job today. Scheduling and estimating were backbone courses as well as project management, and those are things I do every day,” said Brent. “The architectural engineering classes helped me to understand the general principles of structural design and have been implemented when writing RFIs and understanding the reasoning for the way things are constructed in the field.”
When asked what some of his favorite moments at MSOE were, he didn’t hesitate. “Participating in intramural sports was probably among the top things that I liked about MSOE. Two or three nights a week, depending on the season, my team would participate in different sports. We were one of the more well-rounded teams for most sports and I have quite a few championship T-shirts to show for it. Sports were a great release from school work and helped me to balance work with play.”
Brent also participated in varsity Track and Field for four years where he threw the shot put, discus, hammer and javelin. “With all of the sports I was involved in, I was able to better plan my schedule to include recreation activities along with school. By participating in sports, I was able to stay in shape which in turn helped me stay more focused and motivated in the classroom.”
Since he double majored, Brent participated on two senior design projects—one for architectural engineering and the other for construction management. “I had the pleasure of having two excellent senior design teams. Both of my teams distributed the work load evenly and got along very well. We never had late work and we counted on each other to get projects done. No one had to worry about carrying the team,” said Brent. “Our projects were among the largest and most challenging both years, from the downtown theater and office tower to the Admirals hockey arena.”
On a final note, Brent offers some words of wisdom to current students: be thankful for your humanities classes. “I met my wife in Professor Bell’s fine arts class. She was a nursing major, and I would have never known she went to MSOE if we weren’t required to take credits in the humanities and social sciences.”