Faculty, Student and Alumni Updates

Meet New Faculty and Staff

Carl Braun

Carl Braun, a new instructor for aviation studies, received his bachelor’s degree in aviation technology at Western Michigan University and his master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. He worked in the aviation industry in the commuter, charter, freight and corporate fields as a pilot for the past 20 years. In addition, he was a former director of operations for an air charter corporation based out of Grand Rapids, MI. The past 10 years of his flying career was spent in Detroit flying corporate for Ford Motor Company. Prior to his employment at BGSU, Braun was an adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan University teaching undergraduate courses in aviation as well as graduate courses in the technology studies program. He is a director in the International Leica Society (LHSA), a camera collector and photographer. Additionally, he enjoys camping, skiing and visiting his family farm in Sandusky, Ohio.

Brandi Barhite

Brandi Barhite started as the assistant director of recruitment and outreach on Dec. 28. She graduated from BGSU with a bachelor of science in journalism and worked as a reporter for 10 years before returning to BGSU to earn a master of arts in communication. Barhite covered city government for the Sandusky Register for six years. She also worked as a special projects editor for the Toledo Free Press. Before joining the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, Barhite worked as a media relations specialist for The University of Toledo Medical Center and served as the assistant director of BGSU's Student Enrollment Communication Center.

Faculty Profile

Christopher Kluse

Christopher Kluse, assistant professor of quality systems, is an experienced manufacturing and quality systems professional who spent the past 15 years as manager of quality systems within the automotive industry.

Additionally, Kluse was a part-time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) teaching in the masters of quality program and an adjunct instructor at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) where he taught graduate courses in quantitative studies and operations management.

Kluse holds a Ph.D. in technology management with a concentration in quality systems and a master’s degree in industrial technology with a concentration in quality systems. Both degrees were earned at EMU. He is a certified manager of quality and organizational excellence through the American Society for Quality, where he is a senior member.

In his spare time Kluse enjoys golf and assisting his wife Carman with her koi pond, water garden and landscape business. He is a fitness enthusiast who recently completed the Tough Mudder Challenge held in Brooklyn, Michigan. His daughter, Cassondra, graduated from Valparaiso University and is a geospatial analyst.

ASCE Fellowship Honor for Atalah

According to the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), ASCE Fellows make celebrated contributions and develop creative solutions that change lives around the world. It is a prestigious honor held by fewer than 3.5% of ASCE members. The college is proud that Alan Atalah, associate dean for graduate affairs, faculty affairs, and assessment in CTAAE, was bestowed with the ASCE Fellowship recognition.

Atalah’s contributions include his involvement in construction of water and wastewater projects for more than 34 years; 26 years of which were in trenchless technologies construction.  Trenchless technologies are technologies to install underground pipelines with or without minimum excavation.

Atalah started his career on construction of wastewater projects in very challenging conditions for American and British companies in Cairo, Egypt for eight years. These challenges included high ground water table, stratified soils, unknown utilities, congested streets, and nearby high rise buildings. After graduating with a doctoral of engineering from Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA in 1998, he worked on construction of water and wastewater projects in very challenging conditions on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. These conditions included tunneling in very sensitive tourism and commercial areas where construction disturbance had to be minimized.

For the past 15 years at BGSU, Atalah has taught and mentored hundreds of construction management students. He has written ten peer-reviewed-journal papers and 24 peer-reviewed-conference papers. He has made hundreds of trenchless technology and construction management presentations in many national and international conferences and educational seminars. He has also developed and taught seven professional workshops on soil mechanics and trenchless technologies engineering and construction.

Kolla Selected for Fulbright Scholar Committee

Sri Kolla, professor for the electronics and computer engineering technology program, has been invited to serve on the peer review committee of the Fulbright Scholar grant awards for the electrical engineering discipline for a three-year term starting from 2014 by the Council of International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), Washington, DC.

Hall invited to prestigious photographers society

Jeffrey Hall, a senior lecturer in Visual Communication Technology (VCT), has been invited into the membership of the Professional Photographers Society of Ohio. This is a select group of some of the finest photographers in the state. It was started in 1908 and is the second oldest professional photographers organization in the world. It is second only to the British Society of Photography. The members of this group founded the Professional Photographers of America (PP of A). PP of A is the world's largest non-profit photography association. Hall is honored to be a member of this prestigious organization.



Students volunteer at the Black Swamp Arts Fest

Student Construction Management Association (SCMA) and Architecture and Environmental Design (AED) students led by Lisa Schaller, construction management instructor, and Heidi Reger, AED adjunct instructor, had more than 600 children visit the ARCH/CM tent at the Black Swamp Arts Festival this past summer. We heard numerous compliments from the BG and BGSU communities on their efforts.

Student Photography Exhibit

Jeffrey Hall, senior lecturer in VCT, held a photo contest in his Photography II Class with students. The assignment was to explore the Wood County Historical Center and Museum’s grounds for thirty minutes then snap their favorite images at different exposures—underexposed for good highlight, overexposed for good shadow, and proper exposure. The three images were then processed using Photomatix software that combines the features to produce a High Dynamic Range image.

The Historical Center and Museum was going to pick a photo or two and have it on display. They ended up choosing multiple photos and will display them at an exhibit starting in April.

Alumnus working on $22.5 billion Riyadh Metro project

One of the world's largest public infrastructure projects is taking place in Riyadh, the capital of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An ultra high-tech driverless subway network is being built there, and when finished it will cover 109 miles in the bustling city of nearly six million people, with 85 air-conditioned stations.

As the critical initial phase of the $22.5 billion venture progresses, BGSU graduate Naif Alquaid ’14 is leaving his imprint on the massive undertaking. When it is completed in 2018, the system will have 70 two-car automated trains moving passengers about the sprawling metropolis.

The Saudi native is putting his master’s of technology management, with a specialization in construction management, to very practical use as a project controller on the Riyadh Metro venture.

Alquaid came to Bowling Green with a degree in quantitative methods that he had received from King Saud University in his homeland, but he lacked the training in construction that he would need to pursue a career in that field, where a number of his family members were already working. Alquaid approached Dr. Alan Atalah, associate dean for graduate affairs and a professor in the construction management program.

“He came to me and said he wanted to switch careers and learn construction, and he impressed me with how interested he was in the field,” Atalah said. “We worked out a plan to take him through the admissions process, and get the remedial courses he would need to begin his education and training as a construction professional. He was very committed to learning, and we had the programs that he needed.”

Atalah said that as the construction industry continues to evolve and incorporate many advances in technology, the training and education of construction professionals needs to follow a similar developmental track. He added that Alquaid’s ambitious approach to building the foundation for a career in construction made him an ideal candidate for the BGSU program.

“He came here interested, and he was willing to work to make up for the shortage in his construction background, and it helped that he was also a people person. He has a way of making people comfortable around him, which in my judgment is essential in construction, especially in very large projects such as what he is involved with now in Saudi Arabia,” Atalah said.

“That ability he has of getting people to work for him, be part of a team and understanding the team approach – that, along with the training he received here, gives him a very good chance of success in his career.”

Alquaid said the classes he took at BGSU were instrumental in preparing him for the work he now does on the huge subway project in his homeland.

“The most valuable things that I learned in BGSU were advanced construction contracts and dispute resolution, statistical analysis, lean construction, and Six Sigma (process improvement),” he said.

“However, my acquired knowledge and skills in construction scheduling, especially using the Primavera P6 software and trenchless technology, were the keys for my success in this current job. I spend most of my day planning, scheduling, monitoring, and controlling the construction progress.”

Alquaid, who completed his degree late in 2014 and then started work on the subway project just a couple of months later, said he also values the intangibles that Dr. Atalah cited, and the opportunity he had at BGSU to fine-tune those abilities.

“The most valuable non-academic thing that I acquired from my time at BGSU was sharpening my people skills, which is crucial for working with many entities on a big project, like the Riyadh Metro,” he said.

Atalah said he expects more students to enroll in the construction management program at BGSU in order to take advantage of the tailored training, and the opportunities for advancement in the profession that it provides.

“As construction projects get more complicated and more complex, there is room for more advanced education in construction, and one of my strategic goals in this program is to shorten the pathway of the graduate to upper management,” he said.

“In the past, if a student had an ambition to be a CEO or part of upper management in a construction company, it could take them many years of work to get there, but I believe we can shorten that considerably by giving them more training in strategic management and leadership.”

Atalah said he expects a significant number of international students to continue to find their way to the construction management program at BGSU.

“A good percentage of our students are international with undergraduate degrees in construction, civil engineering or architecture. However, we also get some students whose undergraduate preparation is not necessarily in construction, but they want to switch to the construction field,” he said.

 “The competitive advantage we have is basically flexibility – our ability to address the needs of the students and deliver value to them. Our program enables students to receive a good, hands-on education, with the business, management and technology content.”

Alquaid found just that on the campus of Bowling Green, halfway around the world from his home. He has taken the skills, education and training back to Saudi Arabia, and said he urges any Saudi students who come to BGSU to work hard and then make a positive difference in their country. Atalah said that is exactly what Alquaid has done.

“What he learned here about project management and technology was essential in his development and education,” Atalah said. “I can say with high level of certainty that without the education he got with us, he would not have been able to get this job on the subway project.”