You Deserve Some Credit

Rich Rago
Rich Rago, BSPM 13; MSFM 15

Earn credit for what you know, no matter where you learned it.

by Kelly Jenkins Lin

Richard Rago had been working in construction and project management for 10 years before he decided to return to school.

“I was passed over for a promotion,” he explains, “not because I didn’t have experience but because I didn’t have a degree. That was the push I needed.” At first, his goal was to earn an associates degree from Wentworth but, in 2009, with encouragement from faculty in the College of Professional and Continuing Education, he enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Project Management.

That was when Rago discovered how valuable his job experience was.  Continue reading

How Far Will You Go?

Man sitting at a desk in a classroom
Joe Masello, BSPM 2015

Joe Masello had a dream.

“My goal was to earn an associates degree,” he says, “but then I found out about the Project Management program at Wentworth and immediately transferred.” A graduate of Wentworth’s Master Electrician program, Joe knew he could count on a degree from Wentworth to help him achieve his dreams.

But he didn’t realize just how far it would take him. Continue reading

6 Things Every Part-time Student Can Do (Right Now) To Be Successful

Friendly, happy adult education students sitting in class.

Going back to school is a big commitment. And it can feel overwhelming at times. Below are 6 things that every part-time student can do to help manage the workload and be successful in their program.

  1. Learn to say “no:” Establish school as a priority and set boundaries. Let your friends and family know that you are in school and that you might not be available for certain events and activities.  Ask for their support and understanding.  You have made a commitment to your studies, and you are setting a good example for others by following through on your commitment.

Continue reading

How Fast can the MBTA Go? The Future of Rapid Transit in Boston

The massive snows of 2015 have long since melted, but they did leave behind one, positive, long-term effect. The MBTA is finally getting the attention, and funding, it needs to bring existing rapid transit, trolley and commuter rail systems up to a “state of good repair.” As a result, a lengthy list of deferred maintenance will be addressed over the next several years, and the long-delayed Green Line extension to Somerville, 30-years in the making, is now fully under construction, with completion scheduled for 2022. Progress comes slowly with major transportation infrastructure in the Boston area. Continue reading

13 things you (probably) didn’t know about the 4th of July

If you will be spending this 4th of July with friends and family, you are not alone. Nearly 41 million Americans will spend the holiday at other people’s homes. As you gather around the grill, or are waiting for the fireworks to begin, you can impress your loved ones with these fun but little-known facts about this patriotic day:

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Haylee Bacik

The Future of Construction: Haylee Bacik (MSCM ’18) shares her insights

Haylee Bacik has been called the “future of construction,” and a role model for young women who want to get into the industry. She recently received a Master of Science in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology and is currently employed by Gilbane Building Company as the lead project engineer on a $12 million expansion project in western Massachusetts.

Phil Hammond, Director of Graduate Programs in the College of Professional and Continuing Education at Wentworth Institute of Technology recently asked Bacik for her thoughts on the past, present and future of construction, particularly for young women.

PH: What inspired you to consider construction as a career?

HB: I attended Greater Lowell Technical High School where I took carpentry as my trade for four years. I had always wanted to go to college and Wentworth offered the perfect blend of hands on learning with real world application that I was looking for. There are so many aspects of construction management people can pursue as careers but being in the field and solving problems is something that I enjoy doing, and that stems from my carpentry shop roots.

PH: Imagine you’re in a time-traveling machine (built by a construction management company, I might add) and you are time-traveling in the past and the future.What would you tell young girls thinking about construction in the year 1919?

HB: I would tell young girls that pursuing a career in construction is something that is not just for young men to consider. Being able to stand back from a finished project and take pride in how hard you worked to either physically contribute to or manage the building process is something that both men and women can share.

PH: What would you tell young girls thinking about construction in the year 2040?

HB: I hope that by 2040 construction is a more popular and regular choice for young women to consider as a career. I would tell young women to think about how buildings have been built over the past 100 years and to think about what they can do to improve building techniques and project planning in the future.

PH: What technological innovation will change Construction Management and how we build?

HB: I think that continued virtual integration in the construction industry is going to keep revolutionizing how we build. Developing fully functional BIM models that can be built off of in the field will be key in the future. Utilizing BIM models to estimate, buy-out, and schedule a project will help streamline projects as well as increase efficiency during both pre-construction and post-construction. Additionally, advanced planning that utilizes lean building techniques such as schedules developed by all project participants, prefabricated materials, and design assist will continue to allow us to finish projects faster without sacrificing quality.

PH: You’ve been called “the future of construction.” How does that make you feel? What do you think it means?

HB: I am absolutely honored to be a part of this industry and I am humbled to be thought of in this way!  I think that the meaning of the “future of construction” reflects on the growth of diversity in the construction industry over the last 25-50 years. The construction industry has opened up to provide careers to people with different backgrounds, genders, and educational experience. In my opinion, we are going to be most successful when we have a team of people who all are going to react differently to a situation to come up with fresh ideas and new outlooks on how to improve our everyday work and the challenges we face. For me, being the “future of construction” is being a part of this team that is contributing to the overall growth and development of our industry.

Haylee Bacik

Hard hat, mortarboard, softball cap: Haylee Bacik shares how she balances work, school, family and fun

To hear many of Haylee Bacik’s professors and colleagues talk, she is something of a superstar. A 2014 graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology, Bacik earned her Master of Science in Construction Management in 2018, while working full-time and keeping up with a busy social life. Along the way, she received numerous awards and accolades, including this year’s Dean’s Award from the College of Professional and Continuing Education.

But, like so many part-time learners, Bacik wears a lot of hats—full-time employee, student, family member, teammate. And she has faced her share of challenges. Still, she has managed to find time for the things she enjoys—softball, volunteering, and a cat named Bandit.

Below are excerpts from a recent interview with Bacik.

L/L: Tell us about yourself.

Bacik: I grew up in Lowell Massachusetts and attended Greater Lowell Technical High School where I fell in love with carpentry. I first came to Wentworth as an undergraduate because it offered the perfect blend of hands-on learning and real-world application that I wanted. Now, I am a Project Engineer at Gilbane Building Company. Being in the field and solving problems is something that I enjoy doing and that stems from my carpentry shop roots.

[Outside of work and school] I enjoy playing softball. When I was an undergraduate [at Wentworth] I was captain of the team and received the Sweeney Award. Currently, I play in a summer co-ed softball league. I also enjoy knitting, sewing, and all sorts of crafts. And I have traveled to some incredible places—Mexico, Jamaica, Ecuador, and Ireland—but would love to visit France, Africa, and Greece sometime.

And I have a cat named, Bandit.

L/L: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Bacik: When I was younger…I wanted to be a veterinarian. However, in high school, I fell in love with the carpentry trade [which] led me to my current path. In my spare time, I volunteer for the Lowell Humane Society where I help plan events and care for the animals in the shelter.

L/L: What was a typical day like for you while you were going to school?

Bacik: Balancing school and work is no easy task, but it can absolutely be done with good time management. Often, I would wake up very early in the morning, go to the gym, go to work all day, and then stay at work through the early evening until my homework was finished. Every week I planned what I would work on for homework each day based on the weekly deliverables. Chipping away at the work day by day is key, as weekends are never as free as you plan them to be.

L/L: What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you solve it?

Bacik: The biggest challenge completing school while you are working full time is balance. The balance between work, school, your social life, family, and friends can be a real struggle. For me, it was making plans way ahead of time and fitting those planned events into my weekly schedule. There are going to be events and gatherings that you just won’t be able to attend. Knowing your limits and not stretching yourself too thin is so important, because making too many commitments is going to burn you out.

L/L: If you had to do it over again, what 3 things could you absolutely not do without?

Bacik: 1. A good, reliable laptop with a strong internet connection. (My classes were online)
2. A weekly/monthly planner. I used Outlook often to keep track of both work and school.
3. The support of my family, company, co-workers, and friends.

L/L: What is next for you?

Bacik: Post-graduation I have continued to work as a Project Engineer for Gilbane Building Company on a $12 million freezer/cooler expansion project in western Massachusetts. This is a great opportunity for me to learn about ground improvements, foundations, steel, and refrigeration systems as well as cost management. I look forward to gaining more field experience to further develop my career in project management.

L/L: Finally, If you were only allowed to post one Tweet what would it say?

Bacik: Be Kind. Be Driven. Be Humble.

a man and woman kneel next to a car with the Lowell Humane Society logo men and women pose on a softball field 

Check back for Part II of our interview with Haylee Bacik as she shares her thoughts on a career in construction management and the past, present and future of construction.

Additive Manufacturing: 3D printing grows up

Professor Chomyszak Additive ManufacturingAn interesting thing happened in my Computer Aided Manufacturing class recently.  In the spirit of EPIC—an initiative at Wentworth which promotes collaborative, interdisciplinary learning–this class combines engineering and industrial design students in mixed teams, taught by faculty from both disciplines who challenge students to employ engineering, design and manufacturing solutions.

During this particular session we were critiquing the concepts of each of the student teams and, as is customary at the early stages of the design process, the work that we were looking at consisted of conceptual sketches.  We asked the students to come to class the following week with prints which would reflect deeper thought and less ambiguity so that we could begin to focus our critiques on the details of their solutions.

Then it happened . . . “Professor? By prints, do you mean 2D prints or 3D prints?”  It occurred to me at that very instant that we were talking about removing ambiguity from their designs and yet the very word that we have used for years, “prints,” was suddenly ambiguous.

3D printing has become so pervasive and commonplace that we must now qualify what we mean when we use the word “print.”  For those of us in the engineering and design profession, this is no surprise and it is an indication that 3D printing is here to stay.  However, 3D printing is no longer just the little darling of the prototyping world.  It has grown up and has a new name: Additive Manufacturing.

In fact, not only does it have a new name, but it now has a newly approved, one semester, four credit course at Wentworth, Intro to Additive Manufacturing, dedicated to providing students with a useful foundation of knowledge and experience on which to build their careers.  Wentworth is one of a number of higher education institutions that is a member of the Stratasys Educational Customer Advisory Board (eCAB).  As a group we have worked together to create the curriculum, content, and examinations leading to a Level 1 Certification Exam in Additive Manufacturing.

According to McKinsey & Company, Additive Manufacturing is poised to have an economic impact of $100B – $250B per year beginning in 2025.  That’s right, somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter of a trillion dollars per year and 2025 is just around the corner.  In preparation for this, not only has Wentworth approved a new course (with more to follow), but it has committed nearly 2500 square feet of lab space and well over $1M of additive manufacturing equipment to be located in its new Multi-Purpose Academic Building scheduled to open in January 2019.

This lab will house equipment capable of printing in standard, engineering, and high-performance thermoplastics; continuous carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass composites; multi-material, multi-color photopolymers; metals and ceramics.  It will provide hands-on experience with FDM, PolyJet, SLA, SLS, MJF, sintering, and post-processing equipment.

Why is this so important to Wentworth?  As the opportunities for additive manufacturing continue to grow, so too will the demand for a knowledgeable and skilled workforce. A leader in education for the built environment, Wentworth wants to be proactive in meeting that demand and preparing students to actively participate in this important field with so many potential opportunities.

Here is a sample of the industries that are already being impacted and are taking advantage of additive manufacturing: Aerospace, Automotive, Consumer Products, Medical, Dental, Robotics, Pattern Making/Foundry, Injection Molding, Industrial Design, and Architecture.  The list goes on and is only limited by the number of creative people who have the knowledge base to apply all of this new technology.

The demand is growing, the time is right; be a part of it.

Oh yeah, we really meant 2D prints when we were speaking to the students.  The 3D printing comes a little later in the course.

Steve Chomyszak is an Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, at Wentworth Institute of Technology and has his Bachelor of Industrial Design from Syracuse University and his Master of Science, General Engineering from Stanford University.  Steve has 25 years of industrial experience designing, engineering, building, and testing unique positive displacement machines. He has been at Wentworth since 2012.

a few things (and people) facility managers should know!

Do you know what the top security threats for facility managers are? Would you like to reduce your energy operating costs? Are you wondering about ways to advance your education and your career in facility management?

Then come to the NORTHEAST BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT SHOW AND CONFERENCE, June 13-14, 2018 at the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center.

The Northeast Buildings & Facilities Management Show & Conference, now in its 13th year, features over 250 exhibitors displaying products and services necessary for the operation, management, maintenance and renovation of buildings and facilities in the greater New England region. Running concurrently with the trade show will be an educational conference featuring 22 individual one-hour talks covering a wide range of topics including: LEED, Green, Sustainability, Energy, Building Commissioning, Facility Maintenance, Construction and Renovation Planning.

For the third year in a row, the College of Professional and Continuing Education from Wentworth Institute of Technology will be among the exhibitors. This fall, Wentworth will launch (2) new degree programs: a Bachelor of Science in Facility Management (BSFM); and a Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM). The Bachelor of Science in Facility Management (BSFM) offers instruction which reflects the integrated nature of today’s FM environment and is designed to prepare students for professional careers in facility management for  in a wide spectrum of organizations. The new Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) will help working FM professionals elevate their business acumen, strategic thinking and interpersonal skills, all within the context of an increasingly complex and strategically critical technical world.

There will also be a networking event on Wednesday, from 4:00pm – 5:00. Attendees & Exhibitors are invited to join all the Show Sponsors for drinks and hors d’oeuvre

The Northeast Buildings & Facilities Management Show & Conference brings together a wide range of trade associations including;

  • Association of Energy Engineers New England
  • Association for Facilities Engineering Region 8 New England
  • Building Commissioning Association – Northeast Chapter
  • Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts
  • BOMA Boston
  • Boston Society of Architects
  • Community Associations Institute – New England Chapter
  • IREM of Boston
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • USGBC – MA Chapter

With a mission to educate and inform, Northeast Buildings & Facilities Management Show & Conference serves varied markets and professions, for example;

  • Schools & Universities
  • Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities
  • Municipal & Government Buildings
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Hotels & Resorts
  • Shopping Malls
  • Manufacturing Facilities
  • Multi-Housing Complexes
  • Major Sports Facilities
  • Warehouses
  • Airports & Seaports
  • Worship Facilities

Whether you are exploring Smart Energy Tips for Facility Managers and Practical Action Steps to Reduce Your Energy Operating Costs; or are concerned about the Top Security Threats for Facility Managers;     or you want to learn about the basics of Commissioning Control Systems, the Northeast Buildings & Facilities Management Show & Conference is the place to be! Mark your calendars for June 13-14 and register at