Missouri State University
Technology and Construction Management News

Department Newsletter | May 2017

A Message from Dr. Callahan – Department Head  

    As we finish another busy semester, I would like to congratulate those of you who are graduating this May.  As is tradition we will hold the Departmental Graduation Reception and Hard Hat ceremony just prior to commencement on Friday, May 19th.  The reception will be held from 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM in Kemper Hall 116 with the Hard Hat Ceremony at 8:30 AM. This is a great way for graduates to share the day with family and friends so please plan to attend.  As you leave Missouri State and begin your careers please stay in contact and let us know about your progress.  We wish you the very best of success in the future!
    This has been another productive and successful year for the Department. Construction Management students had an excellent showing at the ASC Competitions in Nebraska as well as the ABC Competition in Dallas. The Mechanical Engineering Technology program continues to grow as well as the Construction Management, Interior Design, and Project Management Master’s programs.  Students from various areas of the Department attended conferences and field trips on numerous occasions.  The Department continues to be active and engaged with industry through the career fair, advisory boards, and a number of on-campus events.  It is great to see so many excellent employment opportunities for TCM students for both internships and permanent placement.  
    Due to major construction and remodeling in Glass Hall, the TCM Departmental office will move to Kemper Hall 104 this summer starting May 24th and will return to Glass Hall in early August.  You will still be able to contact the Department office using the same email addresses and phone numbers.

Further details concerning Departmental news and events are listed below.  Have a great summer!




Dr. Neal Callahan
Department Head



Jacob Nelson Receives Award



Instructor Jacob Nelson was recently honored with the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Regional Teaching Award in Seattle, Washington.  This award recognizes his contributions to construction education, excellence in teaching, service to ASC and dedication to the construction profession.  Mr. Nelson’s award was well earned based upon his success in developing the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) emphasis within the construction management (CM) program.  In addition, he has been instrumental in the ASC Region 4 student competition through his efforts as Specialty Division coordinator.  The TCM Department and students are excited to have him as part of the faculty and look forward to his continued contributions and success






Interior Design Program Hosts Annual Senior Showcase


On April 7th, 2016, the Interior Design program hosted it’s annual Senior Showcase at the Veridian in downtown Springfield. The showcase was an opportunity for all of the current graduating seniors to present and display various projects from their studio classes. This year, there were fifteen seniors who participated in Senior Show and each designed a unique way to highlight their work. The Springfield Design Association had judges evaluating each person’s display and then determined first, second, and third place winners. First place went to Samantha Knaebel. Second place went to Megan Clause. And finally, third place went to Kaitlynn Tomblinson. 


MET Students to enter into Nation-Wide Competition

The Missouri State University student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has formed a team to compete in the nation-wide Baja competition.  In this competition, which is sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, teams design and build a Baja style dune buggy.  Each team is judged on the quality of the engineering design for their vehicle, as well as the vehicle’s performance in load, power, and endurance tests.  The team, which is comprised of students in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program, is finishing up its design.  During the 2017-2018 year, the team will fabricate and assemble a Baja buggy.  The competition will take place in the Spring of 2018.





Students and Faculty Participate at First-Ever Springfield Build My Future Event


TCM students volunteered their time on April 12th at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex for the first ever Build My Future Event. The event was created by local construction related organizations which included Springfield Contractors Association, Home Builders Association, and Local Unions.The purpose of the event was to introduce and highlight the field of construction and provide construction education for roughly 1,000 high school students from the southwestern Ozarks area.  Approximately 25 TCM students and several TCM faculty members volunteered. The TCM bridge building activity was a popular booth at the event as groups of students competed to see who could assemble two 20-foot long PVC bridges the quickest.  A student group from Kickapoo High School was the most successful in completing the bridge with their record setting time of 3 minutes and 13 seconds. Not to be outdone, the TCM students completed their bridge in 1 minute and 58 seconds!


SDA Students take a Trip To Las Vegas


In January, Springfield Design Association – MSU Chapter had 24 students and 2 professors attend the Las Vegas Winter Market in Las Vegas, NV.  Trips like this are essential for students to get exposure to the business-world, not just outside of the classroom but outside of Missouri as well.  Students attend Market to experience the latest trends and find inspiration from the industry’s top brands.  Markets provide an efficient venue to meet with multiple vendors at one time, in one location.  Successful retailers are not creating their success sitting in their stores. They are getting out, networking, learning, and thriving through interaction with industry peers, tastemakers, and like minded professionals.

The group as a whole met with 3 industry professionals on the first day of the trip, including renound designer Christopher Guy Harrison, owner and designer of the Christopher Guy brand. He stressed to the students that “If you are always busy looking at the neighbors, you will never see anything outside of the neighborhood.”  He encouraged them to travel and see different places and styles, and was impressed that ,at a young age in school, MSU students were already getting out of their hometowns in the Mid-West.  


Construction Management Spring Trip


A group of twenty construction management students took part in what has become an annual tradition for the construction management program – the CM Spring Trip. This year students toured six projects throughout St. Louis, MO and Nashville, TN. The total contract value of the projects visited surpassed $1 billion. Each project presented the students with challenges and lessons learned that will hopefully shape their future careers.  On the first day of the trip, students toured ACW Alliance’s Washington University and BJC Healthcare Project.  This large project, in excess of $500 million, demonstrated the importance of coordination and communication while working in a tight and crowded work environment.  The second project visited was the Gateway Arch Renovation and Grounds Project.  The McCarthy Project Superintendent, a CM program alum, showed the group around the iconic facility and explained the challenges of working on such a public structure while keeping the facility operational for visitors from around the world.  The last stop in St. Louis was Ladue High School.  Another recent alum who works for SM Wilson explained to the group the scheduling and logistic difficulties of working around an occupied school.

The following day, the group toured the 505 Tower – a massive 45 story residential building in downtown Nashville.  The use of a self-jacking core was one of many innovative ideas that was new to both the Nashville area and the students visiting.  The second stop in Nashville was the M Tower project being built by Hoar Construction.  Students were able to compare and contrast the construction means and methods with the previous projects as they were both high-rise residential buildings.  Lastly, the group visited JE Dunn’s 222 Office Tower along the banks of the Cumberland River.  This 25-story, class AA office building was in the process of topping out and students got to climb up to the last few decks to watch the pouring process.  All in all, this was an amazing learning opportunity that very few people have the chance to witness. It is at the heart of our “Build Your Future” motto that helps our students and graduates excel in the construction industry.

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Students recognized at the 2017 MCAA Conference in San Diego, California

In the first week of March, selected MEP Club students spent a week in San Diego, California to attend the Mechanical Contactors Association of America Conference for the first time ever in the club’s history. MCAA is a National Convention where industry professionals, their families, and students attend educational workshops, riveting special sessions, supplier/manufacturer and student chapter exhibits, student chapter competitions, social functions, and major events. This convention grows every year, with attendance this year topping 4,000+ participants. Noteworthy attendees in 2017 included: Former Speaker of the House John Boehner, Former Dallas Cowboys player Emmitt Smith, Oscar & Golden Globe Winner Goldie Hawn, CEO & Scientist Dr. Peter Diamandis, and 1St Sgt. Matt Eversmann from the 1993 civil war in Somalia (Black Hawk Down), and on the last night they were given a special concert from OneRebublic.

The ending firework show at the Opening Celebration on the deck of the USS Midway.

The MCAA convention started Sunday night, March 5th, with an Opening Celebration on the USS Midway, the famous 74 year old aircraft carrier that was commissioned a week after World War II and was the largest ship in the world until 1955. The celebration consisted of a live band, great dinner, interactive exhibits, and ended with a firework show on the deck. Student, and MEP Club Vice President, Wyatt Rapp said, “The conference was awesome. Where else could you sit at a fancy dinner on the deck of an aircraft carrier while a live band plays ‘Danger Zone’ with fireworks shooting off into the background? My guess is nowhere.” After the kick-off celebration, the week continued with multiple different seminars, workshops, and the 2016-2017 Student Chapter Competition where the Final Four student chapter teams present their project proposals to 5 judges. Although they did not compete this year, the MSU Chapter is looking forward to compete in the student chapter competition next year.

Students & their Industry sponsors after being recognized at the Awards of Excellence Breakfast. Pictured: Bryan Fielder (SECO), Wyatt Rapp, Dylan Weddle, Emily Bozarth, Jacob Nelson (Chapter Advisor), and Danny Edwards (Connelly Plumbing)

On the last day of the conference, Missouri State students were recognized for creating a new Student Chapter of MCAA at the Awards of Excellence Breakfast hosted by the former Dallas Cowboys player Emmitt Smith The students, chapter advisor, and industry sponsors were brought up on-stage to receive their new Chapter Charter plaque in front of 4,000+ attendees. Student, and MEP Club President, Emily Bozarth said, “I was absolutely blown away by MCAA and attending this conference was a once in a lifetime experience. Being first timers at MCAA and becoming a new chapter was amazing in itself, and everyone that welcomed us with open arms. Getting recognized in front of that many people was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.”

All who went on this exciting trip had a great time. Needless to say, the MEP Club is excited for the upcoming 2017-2018 MCAA Conference, which will be held in the 3rd week of March 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.

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University buildings honored at bi-annual program

The recent bi-annual Design Awards, sponsored by the Springfield Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, honored several Missouri State buildings. At the awards ceremony, the public jury cited five projects for recognition and the professional jury (from the east coast) also recognized five projects for recognition for a total of 10 awards given. MSU received five of […]

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Faculty Spotlight – Jacob Nelson




FROM | Springfield, Missouri

BS | Kansas State University – Architectural Engineering

MS | Kansas State University – Architectural Engineering


Nelson_Jacob_9803 copy



  • Teaching
    • Mechanical Systems
    • Facility Design
    • Energy & Control Systems
    • Construction Drawings & Take-Offs
    • Mechanical & Electrical Estimating
  • Consulting
    • Consulting on various mechanical and electrical systems for local architects and building owners
  • Learning
    • Pursuing an additional Master’s degree in Business Administration at MSU
  • In his free time
    • Coaching Little League
    • Golfing
    • Mountain Biking




Mr. Nelson is a Springfield native with family ties to both the area and MSU. Growing up, he “really liked math and enjoyed the design aspect of architecture,” which is why Architectural Engineering had an appeal to him. As he furthered in his studies he found that quality MEP engineers were in demand which led to him earning his degrees with an emphasis in MEP.


Before changing career paths to teaching, Mr. Nelson was a MEP consultant at Colvin Jones Davis for 9 years. He looks forward to the “different perspective and different pace that teaching provides.” He is also looking forward to bringing an engineering perspective to Construction Management.





Having grown up in Springfield, naturally he likes it. His favorite lunch spot is Grad School and his favorite family meal restaurant is Mexican Villa. One thing that Mr. Nelson really likes about Springfield is “how close it is to Branson, Table Rock, and golf courses!”


In regards to MSU, he feels that there are “lots of talented students here” and that “the new facilities have really done a lot for the campus.”





To be successful in one of his classes, Mr. Nelson recommends that students “do the homework, come to class, and take notes”. He says that he has learned that “hard work takes time to develop” and that “long term hard work does pay off.”


If he were to give advise to soon to be graduates, Mr. Nelson would say to “have patience.” “Sometimes you learn as much from bad experiences as you do the good experiences.”

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Faculty Spotlight – Amir Behzadan




Behzadan_Amir_0939 copy


FROM | Tehran, Iran

BS | Sharif University Of Technology – Civil Engineering

MS | University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Construction Engineering and Management

PHD | University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Civil Engineering





  • Teaching
    • Structural Design Principles
    • Construction Soils and Foundations
    • Construction Surveying
    • Statics
  • Researching
    • Construction workflow simulation for quality and productivity improvement
    • Augmented reality visualization and collaborative learning technologies
  • Exploring Springfield
    • Trying different BBQ places in search of good brisket
  • In his free time
    • Hiking and enjoying the natural beauties of the Ozarks
    • “I love traveling, especially to destinations that are not necessarily touristy, such as South America, or East/Central Asia.”





ON HIS BACKGROUND:Behzadan_Banff_01


His interest in building started young. He would build sand castles and have toy trucks and excavators move around them. He says he has “always been fascinated by how buildings, roads, and dams are built.” As he grew up, he developed a strong passion for science – math and physics. Ultimately, he realized that the best way to use his science skills was to build things that help people live better and healthier lives.

While an undergraduate, Dr. Behzadan had the opportunity to be an intern for a multinational construction firm in Tehran, Iran. Through this internship he was able to work on a 64-story high-rise construction project. This internship ended up turning into a full time job where he “was responsible for construction supervision, quality control, and field inspection of materials.” He says that this experience resulted in him later deciding to pursue construction engineering and management at the graduate level.

Before coming to Missouri State University, Dr. Behzadan taught at the City University of New York and University of Central Florida.




Behzadan_Banff_02He says that he likes the Midwest. “It has the best of everything, even including the weather!” Over the last few months, he has been searching for his new favorite BBQ place with a good brisket – but so far, has been unsuccessful.

He thinks that MSU’s campus looks great and is well taken care of. “Missouri State turns out to be an up and coming school.” When interviewing here, he says he was impressed with the resources, facilities, collegiality among faculty and staff. The only complaints would be the long line at Subway in the PSU.







Dr. Behzadan says that his teaching style is shaped around student participation. He does not like dry lectures where the professor talks and the students fall asleep. He thinks the best learning experiences occur when students participate and discuss problems among themselves. He tells his students to come to class prepared, show enthusiasm, be respectful, and doamir quote their best, and leave the rest up to him.

Throughout the years, he has learned that you can always wish for what you want to be or what you want to have, but there is no guarantee that you will get what you want. “However, nothing should keep us from thinking big and being ambitious. At times it is hard and even frustrating when you see others get what they want while you are struggling. But always remember nothing in this world is meant to be fair and balanced. The universe is expanding and so are opportunities.”

If he were to give advice to soon-to-be-graduates, it would be to “make connections with the right people, learn many new things (both inside and outside the classroom), interact with successful people, and establish the cornerstones of your future life.” Dr. Behzadan goes on further to say to “take this time very seriously; you will never have it back, but the experiences you will gain can transform your life in ways you could never imagine.”


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New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Nebil Buyurgan





FROM| Isparta, Turkey

BS| Istanbul Technical University – Industrial Engineering

MS| Missouri University of Science and Technology – Engineering Management

PHD| Missouri University of Science and Technology – Engineering Management

ON WHAT HE’S BEEN UP TO RECENTLY:Buyurgan_Nebil_1213 copy

1. Teaching

  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Principles of Project Management
  • Project Management

2. Researching

  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Scheduling and dispatching unmanned aerial vehicles in military surveillance

3. Spending time with his kids

  • Taking them to after school activities

4. In his free time

  • Learning the aspects of Hydroponics – growing garden plants in a mineral rich solution



Growing up, Dr. Buyurgan was always good in math and science, so engineering was “the right fit.” In Turkey, he went to a gifted high school that was geared toward a profession in math and science. After he received all of his degrees, he worked for 9 years at University of Arkansas in the Industrial Engineering program. Later Dr. Buyurgan moved to Connecticut, where he helped start a new Industrial Engineering program in the Engineering Department at Quinnipac University.



Dr. Buyurgan likes Springfield and truly enjoys having everything here. He and his family are still exploring the area, but are very pleased to say that this is truly “a bigger and better version of Fayetteville.” Dr. Buyurgan’s family loves the variety of food that is available here. He says, “We love sushi, but are still looking for our favorite place.”

Missouri State is “excellent” in his opinion and he really likes both that the campus is the “right size” and that the stadium is “so close” to all of the other buildings. He admits that “parking is a problem, but it’s a problem everywhere.” So far, he has encountered many returning students in his classes, which he finds unique. He is excited to help start and be an integral part of the new Mechanical Engineering Technology program. The significance is very important to him.



Dr. Buyurgan strives to use hands-on, active learning practices in the classroom. “Students learn by doing,” he states. To be successful in his classes, he also suggests students to not only be prepared for class, but to “show up with an open mind.” Dr. Buyurgan recommends that asking questions during class time and attending office hours for extra help are both examples of highly effective students.

Some of the best advice Dr. Buyurgan has been given is that, “Education gives you unlimited opportunities.” He has also learned that one should strive to be flexible and be adaptable. For advice to soon to be graduates, he states. “Go out and see the world. Don’t just look for jobs in your area; get out of your comfort zone! Learn about other cultures, places, and ways of life – broaden your perspective.”

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Boots to Books: Mohammed Mehany


FROM | Cairo, Egypt
BS | Arab Academy for Science and Technology — Construction and Civil Engineering
MS | Colorado State University — Construction Management  
PHD | Colorado State University — Civil and Environmental Engineering with Construction Management




In short: Teach class. Do research. Eat. (Repeat) 

image0041.  Teaching
     — Scheduling and Cost Estimating
2.  Researching
    — Infrastructure Systems, Construction
    Claims Management, Risk Management,
     Project Delivery Systems, Construction
     Safety, Fracking, and Construction Education
3.  Eating
      — Everything. “I’m always hungry!”
4.  Other
      — When I have the time I love to travel, go
      scuba diving, go climbing, do CrossFit, play
      soccer and football, and watch sports.



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My teaching style is based on having a personal obligation to prepare and conduct courses that are intellectually engaging, informative and rigorous.  I provide students with substantive information and marketable skills to equip them for their future careers in a stimulating, safe learning environment.  And because graduates will represent the construction management job force when they leave the university educational environment, I help them to understand how education prepares them for their future and encourage and assist them in pursuing their educational and vocational goals.

I think it is critical that students be able to learn in new ways.Technology is a passion of mine and I truly believe through its integration into standard curriculum.  Students should receive the best education we have to offer to prepare them for an industry headed toward innovation.



Teaching higher education curriculum in the construction industry is extremely challenging but it can also be very rewarding. Though work experience is crucial to student’s success in the design and construction fields, I believe the most valuable skills we can teach students in college are collaboration, self-education, and critical thinking within the context of their specific discipline.  Those are the skills that they will take with them into adulthood and utilize day to day.  I also believe education must be delivered with a sense of humor and a positive attitude.  The more engaging I am, the more excited my students will be.






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