Last summer, I worked as an intern to the project management team of Barton Malow on the Saint Clair Compressor Station. The natural gas refinery and storage plant was going through a major re-haul, and we had most of the contracts totaling $87 million in demo and construction.
The management team had about 15 full time staff- but we were very undermanned. Our team continued to run into unexpected difficulties, but we worked around the clock to keep the project on schedule. This was a perfect opportunity for me on a summer internship. I was needed as part of the team, and I got to work as many hours as I could handle. I had the opportunity to be a real asset for the team.
As an intern, my role wasn’t well defined. Which was awesome. One day I’d be hammering forms and shoveling cement, the next I’d help organize the month’s activities and take notes at an owner’s meeting to decide a multimillion dollar dispute. I spent the summer trying to find new ways to be as useful as possible.
I designed a new system compiling IFC drawings, shop drawings, RFIs and other design related documents onto one page. For one, the site was all paper, and this complicated the way information went out into the field. Each of these documents, sometimes as many as 7, were necessary to ensure accurate installation of each foundation. Because I worked with the foremen, superintendent, and project engineers, I got to see the key information at each stage of the process. I knew which pieces each department needed, and how they needed it presented. My solution used packets to save time in the field and helped the foremen cut back on mistakes.
Another project I loved was subcontractor management. I coordinated scrap steel and domestic waste removal to maintain streamlined construction flow during critical outage conditions. I was in charge of removing junk from the site during the most critical part of the build. Most of the work was focused on a small work site during a tight timeframe; I had to keep the trucks moving in and out to get steel, cement, and waste products out without getting in the way of the rest of the machinery, men, and active pipes.
I worked heavily with the civil team- which oversees the cement and foundation. I scheduled work, kept track of cement trucks, and made sure decisions were communicated properly with the foreman. I managed subcontractors in 3rd party quality assurance, auger drilling, and delivery. Cement work is very time sensitive, and I made sure each task was completed on schedule.