Ryan Kaminski

IMSE Undergrad Class of 2016

Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal

What does the company do? Kalkreuth is a roofing and sheet metal subcontractor which was established in 1920, and one of the top 10 subcontractors in the country.

Current role: Project Engineer

How I get to my current role:

  • Kalkreuth Intern/Co-Op- Sheet Metal Division 01/2015 – 02/2015
  • Kalkreuth Intern/Co-Op – East Coast Metal Systems 03/2015 – 05/2015
  • Kalkreuth Intern/Co-Op- (Production) MD Division 05/2015 – 07/2015
  • Kalkreuth Project Engineer- MD Division 06/2016 – Present


A day in life of Construction– When taking on a Project Manager career path in constructions no two days are the same. You will face a new set a challenges and obstacles that will test everything that you have learned to the limit. While this may seem discouraging, it is quite the opposite. I never feel that I am just “going through the motions” when I work. Every day is a new exciting challenge, and I get to exercise my brain regularly. Not only am I exercising my brain, I also give my legs a work out as well. In the business as a manager to many different on going jobs I am not confined to my desk at the office. I get to regularly make site visits, to track progress and ensure that the job is progressing correctly. This is a path I highly suggest if you do not want to be staring at a computer for 8-10 hours a day. Below is a typical day in my schedule:



7:00AM – This is when my day begins. I most likely am just arriving to a jobsite at this time. I take a material count, track progress, try to foresee any future problems that my crew might run into, receive input from my foreman, estimate projections of completion dates.

8:00AM – Depending on the amount of ongoing jobs that I am on at once I will visit another site and repeat the previous step, or make my way back to my office.

10:00AM – At this time I typically begin my office work. After drinking a cup of coffee, I check my emails and return any calls that I have received. Because we are a subcontracting company we work for general contractors. We have to coordinate our work with other trades. This requires a lot of coordinating and planning whether it regards to shipping or labor work.


12:00PM – I take my daily hour lunch break.

1:00PM – Lunch break is over so it’s time to get back at it! Now, I begin prepping for our routine production meeting. Our Division VP runs these meetings, and generally wants to know how well your jobs are going from a number stand point as well as a production stand point.

2:00PM – This is when my production meeting begins.

4:00PM – Now I begin wrapping up any leftover work I have for the day. And begin to plan my site visits for the next day. I must let general contractors know when I expect to be arriving so that I may walk the roof with them, I also make a to do list so that I don’t forget to do anything that I need to be finished for the following day

5:00PM – Quitting Time


Why chose construction management? If you are a person who learns from hands on experience, and you don’t see yourself being confined to a desk and computer everyday this is the type of work for you to get into. There is a huge market for this industry and plenty of growth for yourself personally. While at first this work does not seem like it goes hand in hand with traditional Industrial Engineering, you would be surprised with how many IE principles that I learned that I still use today.


What’s the end goal? My end goal is to reach Division VP level. This is the leader/manager of an entire division. This obviously will not happen overnight. I have a lot of things to learn on the business aspect of things before I can even get into a role such as this.


Most surprising thing that I didn’t expect coming out of college – No long papers that I must write. In college, you write a lot of reports and research papers. That take hours on end, and you must watch your grammar. In this business I very seldom write reports, and if I do they are very small. The most writing I do is for memos and emails.


Least favorite thing about construction – This is something you will deal with in whatever career path you choose, but I have to work with many people outside of my company. Some people are very sincere and nice, others well are harder to work with. This is something that you must learn to deal with and work around.


My 2 cents – My advice to you is something that Dr. Byrd told me on one of his very last lectures before I graduated. It’s not about the money you made, or the power you had at the end of your career. None of that is going to matter when it’s all said and done. It’s about the lives you touched, the friendships you made, and what you accomplished for the world. So, make that leap of faith, make a bold decision, and make mistakes. Don’t ever forget that you are human, and mistakes are a part of our nature, just remember to learn from them!

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