Life Sciences Construction Projects Calls on Engineering Students

When construction breaks ground on Loyola Marymount University’s new Life Sciences building, May 6, 2013, a select group of engineering students in the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering will be able to take part in an invaluable learning experience thanks to internships with the lead contractor. The Pasadena, Calif.-based C.W. Driver and its subcontractors will offer internships to two dozen students during the two-year course of the $110 million project.“We want our students to be practicing engineers and this internship program will give them the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in their curriculum, to use their classroom knowledge on a project that impacts LMU directly,” says S.W. Tina Choe, professor and associate dean for undergraduate studies and academic affairs.

The students will gain hands-on experience in many facets of the work, including administration, design drawing and submittal reviews and administration, according to senior project manager Brian Rush.

“The students are going to assist us and get a taste of what it’s like to manage a construction project, everything from coordinating sub-contractors, to safety and scheduling, to quality control,” says Rush.

Operating since 1919, C.W. Driver is one of the oldest general contractors in California. The company has worked on a number of LMU projects, most recently a utility infrastructure job in 2012 and a major renovation of the Charles Von Der Ahe Building, completed in 2011. The firm also has worked on several of LMU’s most revered buildings, among them the Malone Student Center, Xavier Hall and St. Roberts Auditorium.

“We have a great relationship with LMU, it’s a great place to work,” Rush says.

The Life Sciences internship program marks the first time that LMU students will have an opportunity to take part in a construction project on their campus. “To be able to have an internship program on the campus with actual students taking part is such an awesome experience,” Rush says. “And some of the younger students will actually be able to take classes in a building they had a hand in creating.”

Details on the application process will be available later.

“This will be an open, live laboratory in our backyard for our students,” Choe says. “That’s a powerful learning opportunity.”