Construction Engineering Academic Career Paths

Start Date: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Center

Professor Carl Haas

Professor Carl Haas of the University of Waterloo will present "Construction Engineering Academic Career Paths" for the Tishman Construction Management Program John L. Tishman Distinguished Lecture.

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Reception to Follow


Seminar series on careers in academia tend to focus on topics such as ethics, proposal writing, and teaching effectiveness. A topic that is not often addressed is career path, perhaps because most of us are still stumbling along on that path. Some observations on construction career paths based on my own experiences are offered in this seminar. Possible career goals are identified and supplemented with some very preliminary empirical analysis of available open data sources.

Alternative career path navigation strategies are identified and contrasted with archetypical fictional models from authors such as Snow, Galbraith, and Davies. Success factors and skill sets are suggested based on personal experience and observation of others. Common mistakes are illustrated with some examples from my own career. A few ideas for how to continuously renew, reinvent and refresh research portfolios over a long time horizon dominated by increasingly rapid change and a competitive funding environment are presented. Career phases are compared with other professions and vocations. Also, what might be learned and gained personally over a career is discussed.

The observations and ideas presented are quite tentative but hopefully will provoke some discussion.


Carl Haas is the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Construction and Management of Sustainable Infrastructure and a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He holds degrees from UW and CMU. Before UW, he served on the faculty at UT Austin. He has had visiting appointments at AZ State and Ecole Centrale de Lille in France. He has received several research and teaching awards, and has numerous publications. His impact on practice has been primarily in technologies such as automated materials tracking and in practices such as modularization, multi-skilling, and productivity improvement. Impact on science has been through publication of basic research results and development of many current and future academic leaders.


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