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Global Leaders students visit Panama

4/22/2009 8:16:00 AM

Fourteen students from CEE’s Global Leaders in Construction Management Program, accompanied by their professor, traveled to Panama in January to view some of the country’s high-profile construction projects. Established in 2005 to prepare students interested in construction management for leadership roles in the industry, the Global Leaders program gives students an opportunity to visit major construction projects around the world and learn new methods. The Panama trip was the fifth international trip; previous trips included visits to Japan, United Kingdom, France, Dubai, and China. “Currently, Panama is a strong international construction market with a diverse set of signature projects under construction,” said Visiting Assistant Professor Carlos Arboleda, who accompanied the group. For 12 days, the Global Leaders group visited a wide range of projects, including the expansion project for the existing Canal; the Trump Ocean Club; the Museum of Biodiversity, designed by Frank Gehry; The Tower of the Americas; and the expansion of several ports in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, such as Balboa, Manzanillo, and Cristobal Ports. The trip’s highlight was the visit to the Panama Canal, including a ride on a tug boat in Gatun Lake, access to some of the facilities build by the U.S. almost 100 years ago, and a field trip to the excavation of the new canal. Each of these projects presented different challenges such as equipment management, high rise construction, land reclamation, and massive excavations. “The Panamanians were very proud of their achievements since the United States transferred the operation of the Canal Zone in 1999, and thus far they have been very successful in that task,” Arboleda said. “As part of the trip, the students were exposed to all sides of the construction process and the Panamanian culture, including its music and traditional food.” In addition to job site visits, the group participated in meetings with real estate professionals, the Senior Commercial Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Panama, structural designers, and the President of the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. The Global Leaders students who took the trip were undergraduates Jennifer Henry, Lindsay Carpenter, Louie Sevandal, Tom Dieball, Luke Bailey, Kevin Bayci, and Kevin Foster; and graduate students Tamra Harkey, Monica Shenouda, Stephanie Larson, Robert Schneider, Matt Bayer, and Brandon Tonarelli.