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Black & Veatch Signs for Engineering Management Instruction

Monday, October 9, 2006

 [Black & Veatch and KU officials sign an agreement establishing a Project Management Program for B&V employees.]

The University of Kansas and Black & Veatch Corp. have agreed to develop courses in engineering management for Black & Veatch Energy's business professionals that will eventually reach all their global offices.

The curriculum includes courses such as project management, construction management, marketing and sales, and finance and accounting. The Engineering Management program, based at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, is an integral part of the KU School of Engineering. Faculty in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering also will bring their research and teaching expertise to the program.

The program, announced Aug. 30, offers live instruction at Black & Veatch's Overland Park location that is electronically transmitted initially to Black & Veatch regional offices in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Houston where its employees can interact with KU faculty. Future classes will be available to all global offices of the Black & Veatch Energy division.

"Today, Black & Veatch and the University of Kansas are pioneering global education," said Fred Pawlicki, executive director of KU Continuing Education, which will assist in coordinating enrollment for the program. "This ground-breaking program, developed with a world-class company, illustrates how the latest technology enables the University of Kansas to share its valuable resources with communities in every corner of the planet."

Curtis Kling, chief engineer of Black & Veatch's energy business, said, "By working with the University of Kansas, we now have a delivery method that will allow all our professionals to access the highest quality training regardless of their location or current job assignment. This program directly supports the career development of our professionals and the growth of Black & Veatch."

The program was conceived in the summer of 2005 through the efforts of Engineering Management Assistant Professor Chick Keller and Jim Lewis, executive vice president and director of production for Black & Veatch Energy.

The program's focus is on developing Black & Veatch employees to become great project managers, said Herb Tuttle, assistant professor and director of Engineering Management at KU.

"It's not a training program. It's an education program," Tuttle said. Black & Veatch indicated they wanted to draw upon the "KU Way" — outstanding instruction and attention to student success. "That's why they tapped into us."

The 43-week program will begin modestly with roughly 20 specially selected participants, 12 of whom are already in the Kansas City area. Because of the strength of the Engineering Management master's degree program and its long history of providing a distance learning experience, all involved expect the program to mushroom throughout Black & Veatch.

"This new partnership may best be summed up as one that provides new perspective to both the professionals at Black & Veatch and all of us at KU," said Stuart Bell, dean of the KU School of Engineering. "Black & Veatch is taking steps to ensure its employees are always at their peak, thinking creatively and employing the gift of knowledge and perspective."

Delivered through a combination of live video, PowerPoint and conference calls, the Engineering Management Program will allow professionals to participate in a class virtually on-demand. The program also will be offered in cycles, permitting the course participants to temporarily leave the class and return at the same point that they left off, only in a different cycle.

"Upon completion of the course, a joint certification will be awarded by KU and Black & Veatch," Kling said. "Professionals will also have the option to apply the program credits, with additional classes and fees, toward a master's degree through KU. The Engineering Management Program is an example of how Black & Veatch is raising the bar and building for the future by expanding the opportunities for our professionals to receive the best education and training possible."

Black & Veatch Corp. is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, information and government markets. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch develops tailored infrastructure solutions that meet clients' needs and provide sustainable benefits. Solutions include conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, information technology, environmental security design and consulting, and management-consulting services. The employee-owned company has more than 90 offices worldwide. Black & Veatch is ranked on the Forbes "500 Largest Private Companies in the United States" listing.

KU's Engineering Management master's degree program, founded in 1984, has more than 200 active students. Typical students are full-time working professionals ranging in age from 24 to 50. To support the full-time working engineer who often has extensive work-related travel, the program is now offered with distance-learning options and supports students globally.

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