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Industry Updates

AU Generates New Construction Knowledge with Doctorate Program


A common complaint we heard before the COVID-19 pandemic was that there weren’t enough skilled associates for companies to hire in the construction industry. Contractors sometimes recruited workers out of college, but now it looks like the level of talent they may find could increase.

Auburn University (AU) in Auburn, Ala., recently announced that its McWhorter School of Building Science in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction will launch the state’s first doctorate program in building construction this fall. According to AU, this is one of only seven such programs offered in the United States.

This will align the terminal degree of the McWhorter School with graduate programs in building construction and construction management like those offered at the University of Florida, Virginia Tech and Purdue University. The doctorate, AU explains, is a research-based degree focused on generating new knowledge through the exploration of theory, development of creative perspectives, and applications of new technologies for the challenges of creating and maintaining a sustainable built environment.

This degree also will be a good fit for those who want to improve their knowledge and skills when it comes to high-performance buildings; n-D modeling and simulation of building construction processes; sustainable construction; integrated project delivery; facilities maintenance and management; and innovative construction education.

“The Ph.D. program will create opportunities for the school to bring funded research from key funding agencies like the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Construction Industry Institute that have a Ph.D program requirement for large research grants,” commented Salman Azhar, the chair of graduate programs at the McWhorter School.