Part I of Haylee Bacik’s story can be found here: Hardhat and Mortarboard
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.