Stanford Courses
46Q - Success Requires Failure | 140 - Field Surveying | 149/249 - Career Skills
247 - Personality, Leadership & Negotiation | 254 - Cost Estimating | 258 - Industry Segments

Industry Courses
Risk and Uncertainty | Negotiation | Career Segments | Different Generations | Difficult People | Leadership
Design Build Issues | Developing Foremen | Success Requires Failure | Resumé Writing
Underground Construction | Avoiding/Collecting Claims | Specification Writing
Business of Contracting | Private vs. Public Work | Historical Projects

Stanford Courses

This class focuses on real world failure with an emphasis placed on the people issues and the lessons learned regarding the necessity to take risks and fail. Well known examples of failures in engineering, sports, politics, history and specific cases from the professor's thirty years experience as a construction engineer are studied.
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This Friday afternoon laboratory provides practical surveying experience for the students. The class combines hands-on operation of the more common traditional field survey tools with an introduction to the newest generation of digital measuring, positioning, and mapping tools that are emerging as modern standards.

Clough on New Mexico job - 1965
This two unit weekly seminar explores the skills necessary for successful careers. The class provides opportunities for students to speak with industry guests about summer and/or permanent positions and is designed to help them better understand career options, find a good personal match, and develop the skills required in that industry.

Case discussions regarding the management of projects. The emphasis is on the understanding of personalities, thinking styles, negotiation, and difficult people. Field trips to local projects augment the cases.

Cases in the application of construction methods and estimating costs. Emphasis is on the fundamental driving forces in the industry. Classes are based on field trips and students are graded on competitive estimates and presentations.

Students on a cement quarry field trip.
Students hear panels of industry speakers discuss career options in various segments of the construction industry.

Industry Courses

This class is based on recent economic events and books such as The Black Swan, Predictably Irrational, The Flaw of Averages, Outliers, Certain to Win, etc. and how to apply a better understanding of risk, uncertainties, and human behavior to the planning and building of construction projects. (back to top)

This class emphasizes the instructor's experiences on dispute boards and mediations using specific examples.

Discussion class regarding career options where the focus is on matching one's personality or thinking style and attitudes to various industry segments.

The differences (real and perceived) among the various generations in the workplace are examined. What makes the younger generation (latch key kids, free agent attitudes, technology-savvy) different? Why are they difficult? How is this generation similar to other generations? How do we recruit the best, keep them satisfied, motivate them and maximize their productiveness?

Examples of ten different "difficult people" types are discussed. Class addresses the reasons behind the behavior and suggests ways of dealing with the people.

Principles of leadership based on historical examples as well as specific case studies from business based on the instructor's work experiences.

Panel discussions on issues arising from specific design build projects.

Simple principles and techniques for success as a foreman. Uses the principles developed in the other classes on personalities, leadership, negotiation, working with difficult people, etc.

This class focuses on real world failure with an emphasis on the necessity to take risks and fail. Well known examples of failures in engineering, sports, politics, and specific cases from the professor's experience are studied.

How to write resumes that work and avoid common pitfalls of interviews.

One to four-day class for inspectors or engineers responsible for tunnel construction. Examine various methods, equipment, materials, and design of underground structures.

Discussions and cases based on personal experiences in business and on dispute boards.

Discussion regarding what to include and not include to create specifications that minimize conflict and maximize effective completion of projects.

Discussion of the fundamental principles for successful contracting businesses based on the instructor's experiences in running his own company.

Discussion and examples of the pros and cons of both systems based on the instructor's experiences.

Videos, photos, and discussion of the Trans Continental Railroad, Brooklyn Bridge, Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge, Red Hill Oil Caverns, etc.