Undergraduate Programs

Clarkson University Students Participate in The Moles Annual Students Day at  MassDOT Project

Image shows 6 Clarkson University Students an one professor standing shoulder to shoulder posing for a picture in their UV High Vis bright yellow construction vests. The group is standing in from on what seems to be a crane and some construction vehicles, including some white pick up trucks.

Clarkson University juniors majoring in Civil Engineering traveled to Westborough Massachusetts for an unforgettable experience of professional development and networking opportunities through The Moles “Annual Students Day.” As a part of Clarkson University’s Construction Engineering Management program’s commitment to hands-on learning, the program took advantage of an invitation from The Moles to have the unique opportunity to view and walk an active heavy civil project. 

The morning of their experience students and faculty gathered near the construction site. The Moles equipped everyone with essential personal protective equipment (PPE) including hard hats, safety vests, and goggles, ensuring a safe and informative experience for all. 

William Olsen, GISP, Professor of Practice and GIS Coordinator for the Construction Engineering Management Program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Clarkson accompanied the students on the trip.  “It was an unforgettable experience for the students to see the level of coordination required to complete a project of this scope. Bridges were being replaced concurrently with ramp closures and road widening, all while traffic flow and safety for crews had to be maintained.The day’s activities were very well organized by The Moles and our trip to Boston included an NHL game and meeting local alumni from different backgrounds.”

The students’ experience centered around their visit to the MassDOT I-495 & I-90 Design Build Project, a live highway construction site situated in Westborough, Massachusetts. Here, the students had a chance to explore several key points of interest, including an exclusive tour of the MassDOT materials testing laboratory.

Students also experienced a series of presentations by industry luminaries. These included Moles President Al Daloisio Jr., MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Vin Barletta of Barletta Heavy Division, and Don Cooke, the Interchange 495/90 Improvements Managing Director at VHB..

Following the eventful day, The Moles members and volunteers enjoyed a lunch with the Clarkson University students as they made valuable career connections. ”The Moles trip allowed me to experience what life as a geotechnical engineer, field engineer, design engineer and engineers who work in a lab testing materials looks like as they all work together to tackle a large project,” Morgan Jones, a junior civil engineering major at Clarkson shared. “My professional experience thus far has been limited to the Department of Defense, this opportunity allowed me to be immersed in an unfamiliar field and opened my eyes to a new outlook on my career.”

Following their time at the construction site, students were given the chance to explore downtown Boston. Later, they joined local Clarkson alumni for dinner and a hockey game, organized by the Clarkson Alumni Boston Chapter. Emily Smith (‘15, ‘18), the President of this chapter, expressed her enthusiasm for the occasion, saying, “I love seeing undergraduate students getting involved…events like this are also great networking opportunities for students early in their college careers.” This event facilitated discussions about the construction industry, career paths, and future prospects. Erica Richards, the Director of Alumni Relations for Clarkson University, emphasized the significance of regional events, noting, “regional events are a great way to meet new people and explore new locations in the area.” This opportunity provided a unique chance for students to connect with alumni in a relaxed setting, strengthening their professional networks and granting them valuable industry insights. Richards shared that “having students in attendance added a special dimension to this fantastic event, allowing them to experience the exciting opportunities available to them not only after graduation but also while they are students.”

The Moles organization is composed of individuals now or formerly engaged in the construction of tunnel, subway, sewer, foundation, marine, sub-aqueous or other heavy construction projects.  They have been hosting their Annual Students Day since 1962.

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