students use technology in the field for surveying course.
(Photo by Chris Aulerich)
For students of Arizona
State Universitys Del E. Webb School of Construction,
Saturdays arent for sleeping late. Students in faculty
associate Christopher Aulerichs surveying courses start
Saturday labs at 5 a.m. However, Aulerichs evaluations
are consistently among the highest at the School of Construction,
according to Director Bill Badger. Thats because as
president and owner of Brady Aulerich & Associates, Aulerich
brings students into the field to use the cutting edge equipment
his company uses for projects.
"When Badger called me in
to look at ASUs equipment in 1989, their equipment was
from the 1960s, not what was actually being used in the industry,"
Aulerich says. "I offered our equipment, and he asked
me to teach."
Teaching about 100 students a year
means that Aulerich has taught 1,300 students in surveying,
and half of those students now own construction companies.
"As vice presidents of companies,
these kids think of me when they need surveying done.
My company hasnt had to do
marketing since I started teaching the classes," Aulerich
(Photo courtesy of Chris Aulerich)
Aulerich teaches skills that are
necessary in the general contracting industry, from reading
blueprints to laying out projects. Because the prints and
laying out is for real projects at Brady Aulerich & Associates,
students are immediately able to do work in the field upon
"We lay out parking lots,
buildings, and utilities," Aulerich says. "I try
to incorporate the real world."
For Peter Trowbridge, a former
student of Aulerichs, the surveying course was the most
important class he took at ASU. Now owner of general contracting
company TrowTierce Precision Construction, LLC in Phoenix,
Ariz., Trowbridge uses Aulerichs company for much of
his surveying needs. Although he makes students come to class
at 5 a.m. on Saturdays, Aulerich isnt always working,
according to Trowbridge.
"I remember Chris would ask
the students for a pack of cigarettes, and would hold it horizontally
for ten seconds," Trowbridge says. "If a drop of
rain fell on the pack, then class was cancelled for the day.
On a Notre Dame football game day, no rain fell, but he cancelled
Another former student of Aulerichs,
Cal Detwiler, says that the course was one of the toughest
at the School of Construction.
"Even though hes a tougher
teacher, it taught me a lot about surveying, where you cant
afford to make mistakes," Detwiler says. As a project
manager at Kitchell Contractors in Phoenix, Detwiler uses
Aulerich almost exclusively for surveying.
Badger says that Aulerich makes
a great professor, because, "hes young, dynamic,
and loves being in front of a class. The students like getting
their hands on survey equipment, and they like the high tech
aspect of the work," he says. This semester, "high
tech" includes a new $65,000 GPS System and an HP 48
GX Data Collector and Tripod Data System. Aulerich even donates
part of his salary back to the School of Construction, according
Aulerich has always been fascinated
with land surveying and being in the field. After interning
with an engineering firm at the age of 18, Aulerich spent
ten years in the field and has been in management ever since.
He says, "I have something where 90% of Monday mornings,
I love going to work."
ASUs School of Construction
includes classes taught by 15 other faculty associates, industry
professionals who also take the time to teach classes. Beyond
college, Aulerich offers his students help.
He says, "I tell them Ill
help them with problems they come across, they just have to