Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Civil Engineering Graduates Land Jobs at Whiting-Turner

Tyler Markle (left) and Reed Zeiher work on a job site for Whiting-Turner.
Tyler Markle (left) and Reed Zeiher work on a job site for Whiting-Turner.

Two University of Mississippi civil engineering graduates are headed to Florida this fall to begin their careers in the engineering world.

Tyler Markle of Memphis, Tennessee, and Reed Zeiher of Newburgh, Indiana, have accepted positions with Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. According to its website, the nationwide firm is capable of providing numerous construction delivery services across the United States.

Markle and Zeiher were introduced to this opportunity through events hosted by the School of Engineering.

“I met representatives from Whiting-Turner at the engineering career fair last fall,” Markle said. “They offered me an on-campus interview, and then I was offered the opportunity to travel to Atlanta for a second interview. I was offered the position about two months after the interview.”

Similarly, Zeiher recalled being connected with the company through a campus informational session hosted by the engineering school. He also met representatives from the company at the bi-annual engineering career fair.

While Markle and Zeiher are proud Ole Miss alumni, their paths to enroll at the university were quite different.

Markle grew up knowing that he would eventually become a Rebel, as it is near his home in Memphis.

“I have been an Ole Miss Rebel since I was a little kid and knew that I wanted to attend the university, the flagship,” he said.

Zeiher, on the other hand, was initially drawn to institutions in his home state. At the suggestion of friends who were already students here, he visited campus.

“Two guys from my high school were freshmen at Ole Miss when I was a high school senior, and they suggested that I come down for a campus visit,” he said. “I just fell in love on my tour.”

During their undergraduate studies, both Zeiher and Markle were able to gain real-world experiences that likely made them competitive for post-graduation opportunities. Each held separate internships that complemented what they were learning in the classroom and helped determine their career paths.

Markle worked for Precision Engineering Inc. in Oxford and with A2H Inc. in Memphis. At Precision, he worked as an engineering technician, testing concrete that was being used on job sites. Many of the jobs that he worked were actually on campus, such as new residence halls and some of the new parking lots.

While at A2H, he worked on a surveying crew that tackled projects including bridges, football fields and residential housing. He reflected that his time at A2H was a great experience since surveying is involved in every construction job.

Zeiher served as an intern with a geotechnical company in Evansville, Indiana, during the summers of his freshman and sophomore years. There, he worked as a materials testing technician doing on-site quality control testing of geotechnical building materials.

He also spent time working for a tire recycling company in Columbus, Ohio, where he researched environmental legislation and regulations. He also performed loss-prevention analysis on national accounts and designed processing lines through AutoCAD.

Both graduates were appreciative of faculty members who helped them achieve their goals. Zeiher said of Cris Surbeck, associate dean of academic and student affairs and associate professor of civil engineering, always made her expectations known and was always available to help answer questions. Markle remembers Elizabeth Ervin, associate professor of civil engineering, for always being very straightforward, a quality he valued in her classes.

At Whiting-Turner, Zeiher will be working as a project engineer responsible for contacting and obtaining bids from subcontractors and reviewing their submissions. He will eventually be responsible for overseeing portions of the construction process and ensuring their proper and timely completion.

Markle’s role will be as a field engineer, ensuring that operations are running smoothly. He will also make sure that everyone on the job is in a safe working environment.

Both graduates are interested in continuing their careers in the construction field, and they hope to gain skills to advance in the industry in the near future.

“I believe I will still be in the construction field in the next five years,” Markle said. “I hope to work towards a superintendent-on-the-jobsite role to be able to help the next new engineer.”

“Ideally, I would like to be back in the Atlanta area working in the construction field, but I hope to be able to work in a higher position like an assistant project manager,” Zieher said.

Courtesy of Ryan Upshaw and UM School of Engineering

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