Active construction site with the steam beams placed for a building

Construction Engineering and Management

Construction engineering and management (CEM) is a professional area of study within the field of civil engineering that prepares students for leadership and managerial careers in the construction industry. It integrates efficient managerial approaches with the conceptualization, design, and execution of a construction project from its inception to its end. Through effective CEM processes, the management can ensure the achievement of project objectives such as time, cost, and the maintenance of high-quality standards.


Construction Managers

A construction manager is a skilled professional leader who is tasked with supervising both the construction activities and the construction workers. Their range of duties encompasses planning the project execution, controlling the quality of performance, ensuring the safety of construction operations and adherence to regulation, and solving day-to-day issues that arise. Technical proficiency coupled with effective leadership and communications skills are paramount for the success of construction managers. The ideal construction manager demonstrates exceptional attention to detail and precision. They must adeptly manage numerous tasks concurrently without losing sight of the overarching project goals. 


Construction Engineering and Management Program at Penn State

The construction engineering and management program at Penn State is a technical specialization area in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Within the CEM program, students learn to develop leadership skills and effective managerial techniques with the art of planning, designing, and executing projects from their inception to their end, while considering factors such as time, cost, and quality oversight. The curriculum involves the completion of specific technical electives and a final construction engineering capstone course. Examples of coursework for the CEM program are shown below. 


Program Benefits and Experiences

The CEM program presents pathways to promising leadership careers within the construction industry, one of the largest industries in the United States and around the world. At Penn State, students have a wealth of opportunities to learn state-of-the-art construction management techniques and train on utilizing leading technologies and software used by industry professionals. Students also have plenty of opportunities to directly engage with construction companies and industry stakeholders, participate in internships, and engage in community service projects. 

The American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter, a prominent student organization within Penn State, welcomes students to join and learn essential engineering skills, all while making a positive impact on their profession and community. This organization provides exciting opportunities including field trips, guest speakers, professional training, student competitions, and various other engaging activities. 


Is Construction Engineering and Management Right for Me?

Students pursuing this area of specialization are attracted to hands-on work environments and a variety of experiences woven into their daily agendas. They enjoy strong interpersonal skills and the capacity to collaborate effectively with peers. A foundational command of mathematical and scientific principles is important for engaging with the technical and analytical facets of this profession. 

Where Do Our CEM Graduates Work?

  • Allan Myers
  • ARCO Design/Build Industrial
  • Chesapeake Contracting Group
  • Colaska Inc. 
  • Deloitte
  • Gilbane Building Company
  • Harvey-Cleary Builders
  • IA Construction Corporation 
  • Keller Engineers
  • KCI Technologies
  • Kiewit Corporation
  • MYR Group Inc. 
  • Shell
  • Turner Construction Company
  • Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Program Sponsors and Stakeholders

the beavers charitable trust

The Beavers Charitable Trust



allan myers logo


Allan Myers | Worcester, PA



ARCO Design Build logo


ARCO Design/Build | Columbia, MD


Brayman Construction Corp.


Brayman Construction | Pittsburgh, PA 



Entact logo


Entact | Westmont, IL


glenn o hawbaker


Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. | State College, PA 



jacobs engineering


Jacobs Engineering Group | Dallas, TX


jd eckman logo 

J.D. Eckman, Inc. | Atglen, PA


kiewit corporation


Kiewit Corporation | Omaha, NE


Kinsley construction

Kinsley Construction | York, PA


Lane Construction


Lane Construction | Cheshire, CT


Mascaro Construction


Mascaro Construction | Pittsburgh, PA


new enterprise logo


New Enterprise Stone & Lime | New Enterprise, PA

Trumbull Corporation


Trumbull Corporation | Pittsburgh, PA

turner logo


Turner | New York, NY

whiting-turner logo


Whiting-Turner | Baltimore, MD



The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, established in 1881, is internationally recognized for excellence in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate engineers through the integration of education, research, and leadership.

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

212 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1408

Phone: 814-863-3084