Mechanical Engineer Lewis Digs Construction with Skanska

2009-07-20 10:24

A native of Baltimore, Maryland and a rising senior, Jordan Lewis is one of many Duke students to take on a summer internship this year. A mechanical engineering major who is also pursuing a markets and management study certificate, Lewis decided to put his skills to use working for Skanska USA Building. Skanska, an international construction management company based in Sweden, is a leader in environmental design and construction industries in Durham and has conducted many projects on Duke’s campus.

As an intern, Lewis had an opportunity to be a part of renovation work at Duke. Lewis’ team has proposed a series of renovations for Duke’s campus at large, but they will begin construction on the Edwin L. Jones Cancer Research Building on Duke’s medical campus. Fittingly, the Jones building was developed through the support of engineering alumnus Edwin Jones, of the J.A. Jones Construction Company.

“My job is to create a sales representation for that project,” Lewis explains. This includes conducting market research and working closely with the logistics team asking questions such as would the renovations support LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) design recommendations. LEED is a green building council Skanska is working closely with.jordan_lewis_small.jpg

“We’re doing lots of research to see whether or not these renovations would make sense for Duke,” said Lewis. Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering now has two LEED certified buildings, and the university has made a strong commitment to green building. The Home Depot Smart Home is Duke’s first LEED Platinum building, and the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences has a LEED Silver rating.

Lewis also had the opportunity to do estimates on projects for the Durham Parks and Recreations Department. These were two smaller projects, one at the Campus Hills Park and the other at Rock Quarry Park, both of which were good learning experiences for Lewis. “It was more of an educational project for me rather than contributing towards the actual estimate that Skanska produced” Lewis explained.

“Working at Skanska made me aware of a different side of the construction industry,” said Lewis. “I’ve never really thought of the construction industry as an option for a mechanical engineer.”

Lewis says the combination of engineering/markets and management education at Duke gave him the right combination of ‘technical stuff along with sales and business marketing aspects’ to help him be successful. Now he’s even considering taking some more construction-oriented classes during his senior year.

Lewis is looking forward to his future, and is ready to apply for jobs in the spring semester. But he is especially excited about finishing up his final fall season as a player on the men’s soccer team. Lewis is a central defender for the Duke Men’s Varsity soccer team entering his fourth season with the Blue Devils. He has been playing since he was 4 years old, and is now in his 18th year of playing soccer.