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Faculty and Staff Listing

Kirk D. Alter 
Associate Professor 
Office: SERV
Phone: 765.496.7450
Fax: 765.496.2246 
Email: alterk@purdue.edu  
  • BCM 216 Electrical Construction
  • BCM 416 Electrical Construction Management
  • BCM 417 Design/Build for MEP Contractors

Education

MS in Management, Purdue University, 1997
MS in Special Education, National University, San Diego, 1994
BA in History of Science, University of California, San Diego, 1986

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Building Construction Management Technology, August 2000

Assistant Professor, Building Construction Management Technology, Date of Initial Appointment: August 1995

Industry Experience

Southland Industries, Inc., Long Beach, CA
(10th largest mechanical/electrical contractor in the U.S., $120 million)

  • 1989-1995 Vice President, San Diego and International Divisions
  • Grew division from $0.5 million to $22 million in annual revenues and successfully expanded into the international marketplace.
  • 1988-1989 Operations Manager
  • 1987-1988 Design Engineer
  • 1986-1987 Estimator

Progressive Air Systems, Inc., Santa Ana, CA

  • 1984-1986 Field Superintendent

General Mechanical Corporation, Garden Grove, CA

  • 1979-1984 Field Foreman

Pierce Associates, Inc., Alexandria, VA

  • 1978-1979 Journeyman
  • 1974-1978 Apprentice

Scholarly Activities

Publication in practitioner journals

Alter, K. D.  (1999, September).  Keep the Good Times Rolling!  IEC Insights, 14-18.

Alter, K. D.  (1999, December).  The 10 Commandments of Project Management.  Electrical Contractor, publication pending.

Alexander*, A., Alter*, K. D., Condreay*, E. S., Glon*, P. L., Hall*, M., Koontz*, J. R., Lew*, J. J., Muehlhausen*, F. B., Orczyk*, J. J., Zabel*, W. F.  Projects Management Process Course.  Falls Church, Virginia: Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC-NA).  Professor Alter edited this approximately 800-page manual which is used in the PHCC-NA continuing education program at Purdue. Additionally, he authored approximately 300 pages.

Publications

BC 234 Course manual: Electrical construction materials and methods. (August 1996). West Lafayette IN: Learning Systems.

BC 234 Lab manual: Electrical construction material, methods, and systems. (pending). 
Change order procedures. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 7-47 through 7-57). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Claims, construction law, and using the contract as a management tool. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 4-1 through 4-12). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Commissioning of mechanical systems. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 13-1 through 13-9). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Curriculum development and continuing education in project management for the specialty subcontracting industry. (April 1996). Associated Schools of Construction Journal of Construction Education [On-line], I. Available: http://138.87.133.3/asc/jce/index.htm

Curriculum development and continuing education in project management for the specialty subcontracting industry. (April 1996). Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction.

Developing a laboratory for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) courses. (pending April 1997). Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction.

Developing a laboratory for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) courses. (pending). American Society for Engineering Education Journal of Engineering Education.

Development and implementation of electrical and mechanical specialization programs in the undergraduate curricula. (November 1996). Proceedings of the Great Lakes Regional Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction. 

Development and implementation of electrical and mechanical specialization programs in the undergraduate curricula. (pending April 1997). Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction. 

Editor 838 pp. Projects management process course. (1996). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Leap-Frogging to success. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 14-5 through 14-18). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Managing change in the organization. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 1-59 through 1-67). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Managing the risk in subcontracts: A study prepared for the subcontractor. (February 1996). San Diego CA: Southland Industries.

Partnering with industry: Developing a curriculum in the project management process with specialty subcontractors. (November 1995). Proceedings of the Great Lakes Regional Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction.

Partnering, the project team, and your role as project leader. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 5-49 through 5-62). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Personality and your management style. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 12-9 through 12-11). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Professionalizing the construction industry: The role of licensing, continuing education, and certification. (pending April 1997). Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction.

Project closeout. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 13-11 through 13-12). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.
Qualifying, coordinating, and managing the general contractor. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 5-11 through 5-40). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Selection and management of subcontractors. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 10-1 through 10-11). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

Shop and field construction standards. (1996). In K. D. Alter (Ed.), Projects management process course (pp. 11-1 through 11-6). Falls Church VA: National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors foundation.

With J. R. Koontz--principal author. Improving an existing course in mechanical construction. (April 1996). Associated Schools of Construction Journal of Construction Education [On-line], I. Available: http://138.87.133.3/asc/jce/index.htm

With J. R. Koontz--principal author. Improving an existing course in mechanical construction. (April 1996). Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction. 

With J. R. Koontz--principal author. Teaching mechanical construction: Industry and educator information for course improvement. (November 1995). Proceedings of the Great Lakes Regional Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction. 

Refereed journal articles

Alter*, K. D. (1999). Killer app or a killing thing? Incorporation of IT strategies by the small contractor. International Conference on Construction Information Technology Proceedings (publication pending).

Alter*, K. D. & Sims, B. (Summer/Fall 1997). Professionalizing the construction industry: The role of licensing, continuing education, and certification. The Project Manager, vol.5, Issue 1 and 2.

Alter,* K.D. & Koontz, J. R. (1997). Curriculum development and continuing education in project management for the specialty subcontracting industry. Journal of Construction Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, 49-63.

Alter, K. D., & Koontz*, J. R. (1997). Improving an existing course in mechanical construction. Journal of Construction Education, Vol. 1, No. 1,  64-69.

Alter*, K. D. (1998). Electrical construction management specialization program: A formative evaluation. Journal of Construction Education, Vol. 2, No. 2, 90-102.

Wentz*, T., & Alter, K. D. (1998). Developing a laboratory for heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning courses. Journal of Construction Education, Vol. 2, No. 3, 244-253.
Refereed conference proceedings (with presentation)

Lew*, J. J., & Alter*, K. D. (1998). Partnering 2000: Collaboration with the electrical construction industry to develop an undergraduate curriculum in electrical construction management. BEAR 98 - CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education & Research 1998 Conference Proceedings.

Alter*, K. D. (1998). Electrical construction management specialization program: A formative evaluation. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction, (pp. 1-13).

Alter*, K. D., Koontz*, J. R., & Lew*, J. J. (1997). Development and implementation of electrical and mechanical specialization programs in the undergraduate curricula. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction, (pp. 127-152).

Wentz*, T., & Alter, K. D. (1997). Developing a laboratory for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning course. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction, (pp. 119-126).

Alter*, K. D., & Sims, B. (1997). Professionalizing the construction industry: The role of licensing, continuing education, and certification. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction, (pp. 267-274).

Alter*, K. D., & Koontz, J. R. (1996). Curriculum development and continuing education in project management for the specialty subcontracting industry. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction, (pp. 37-48).

Koontz*, J. R., & Alter, K. D. (1996). Improving an existing course in mechanical construction. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction, (pp. 49-54).

Invited presentations presented at meetings of educational societies, conferences, and other educational institutions

1998 Federated Electrical Contractors, Mid-Year Conference. Professor Alter was invited to present a discussion on the recruitment and education of college students into the electrical contracting industry.

1998 MYR Group, Inc., National Managers Meeting.  Professor Alter was invited to present a lecture entitled Personal Brand Equity for Electrical and Mechanical Construction Managers.

1998 NECA Central Indiana Chapter, Mid-Year Board Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.  Professor Alter was invited to present a discussion entitled Utilizing Summer Interns.

1998 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals 668 & 2344, Central Indiana. Professor Alter was invited to present the commencement address at the Annual Apprentice Program Graduation.

1997, 1998 Associated General Contractors.  Professor Alter was invited to serve as moderator at mid-year roundtable on general contractor/subcontractor relations.

1997 PHCC-NA, National Leadership Conference. Chicago, IL. Professor Alter was invited to present a lecture on Managing Change in the Organization.

1997 NECA Central Indiana Chapter, Mid-Year Board Meeting, Cincinnati, OH.  Professor Alter was invited to present a discussion entitled Developing Student Chapters.

1996, 1997 NECA Large Contractors Annual Conference. Chicago, IL.  Professor Alter was invited to present a discussion on the looming management personnel crisis in the electrical contracting industry.

Honors, Awards, and Grants

Academic

  • Featured Speaker for School of Technology Academic Review Process with Purdue University President, Dr. Beering, Fall 1996
  • Appointed Electrical Construction Management Education Coordinator, Fall 1996
  • Co-Coordinator of the PHCC Continuing Education Program
  • Obtained Laboratory and Curriculum Development Awards

Professional

  • Who's Who in Construction 1994, San Diego Daily Transcript
  • Moral Fibre Award, Kiwanis International, April 1988
  • 1995-present  Developer and faculty advisor to the first student chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  NECA represents over 2,500 contractor members, and is the most influential industry group in the electrical contracting industry.  They support the student chapter with donations of capital, equipment, and outside educational training opportunities of more than $15,000 annually.  The student chapter of NECA has the largest active membership of any student group in the BCM department.
  • 1999  Wrote scholarship grant proposal to the Electrical Construction Foundation (ECF) resulting in an annual $1,000 scholarship to a student enrolled in the ECM specialization.
  • 1997  Wrote grant entitled Developing Scholarships in the Electrical Contracting Industry.  Funded by NECA, $9,195.  Professor Alter is the sole researcher for this study.

Summary laboratory and curriculum development grants

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) - Service Grant, pending

$ 9,000

PHCC - Curriculum Development Grant (with Prof. Koontz)

$130,000

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) - Curriculum Development

$ 31,000

Gaylor Electric - Lab Donation

$ 5,000

Gaylor Electric - Curricula Materials

$ 3,000

Southland Industries - Lab Donation

$ 5,000

Bergelectric - Lab Donation

$ 5,000

Professional Affiliations

Professional association service and recognition

  • 1997-present  Member, Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)
  • 1999-present  Member, National Education Committee
  • 1995-present  Member, Associated Schools of Construction (ASC)
  • 1996-1999  Member, Journal of Construction Education Editorial Board
  • 1996-present  Member, Undergraduate Education Committee
  • 1996-present  Reviewer for Refereed Papers, ASC Proceedings
  • 1993-present  Member, Association of Energy Engineers
  • 1995-present  Charter member, Energy Services Marketing Society,
    1994  Elected Senior Member
  • 1986-present  Member, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

American Society of Energy Engineers, 1993-present.  Senior Member, and Charter Member of the Energy Service Marketing Society of AEE, 1995-present

American Subcontractors Association, 1993-present.  Member

National Environmental Balancing Bureau, 1995-present.  Certified to perform and manage Air & Hydronic Systems balancing.   

Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. (IEC) 1999-present  

American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, 1986-present.  Member

Associated Schools of Construction, 1995-present
Member and Journal Reviewer
National Chairman of Subcommittee on Electrical and Mechanical Construction
American Institute of Constructors, 1996-present
National Certification Exam Writer, 1996

Certifications

1999 Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI)

  • Certified Trainer & License Holder
  • Telecommunications Cabling Installation

1995 Certified Air & Hydronic Environmental Systems Manager

  • National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB)
  • License #2953

General

Partnering with Industry

Electrical / Mechanical / Academia Consortium (MEAC), 1996-present.  Founder of a national consortium of industry professionals and educators from NECA, the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA), six major universities, and electrical and mechanical equipment suppliers organized to create a national framework and clearinghouse for electrical and mechanical construction management education. The goal of the consortium is to encourage other universities to develop specializations in electrical and mechanical construction management in order to meet industry demand, and for contracting organization and suppliers to provide both input, resources, and jobs. The consortium meets twice a year, and Professor Alter sits on both the standing committee and the advisory board. This consortium is the work product of a grant from NECA that Professor Alter has developed.

1999-2000  Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. (IEC), Education 2000.  Professor Alter, working in concert with the National IEC Education Committee, was tasked with developing and presenting a 16-hour project management training program to be presented at local and regional training centers.  During the period from April 1999-May 2000, he has presented, or will be presenting this program to IEC chapters in Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas/Ft.Worth, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Sacramento, Las Vegas, Nashville, Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Hartford, Alexandria, and Trenton.

1999  Collins Electrical Company, Inc. (Sponsor).  Professor Alter developed and coordinated the first-ever NECA/IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) project management training program to be offered via videoconference.  Electrical contractors and IBEW members from California, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, New York, and Illinois participated in the 8-hour training program entitled The 10 Commandments of Project Management.  The technical aspects of the program were coordinated by the Purdue University Distance Education office.

1997-present  Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) / Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Project Management Training Program.  Professor Alter developed and secured a long-term commitment with IEC/ABC to be the sole source provider for a project management training program for electrical contractors to be offered to the member firms of each association.  The combined membership of the associations is 6,000 firms.  The initial value of the contract to develop the program was $48,000, with annual revenues of the program exceeding $180,000.  Revenues to Purdue from this program total $348,000 to date.  Professor Alter is the coordinator for the program, and developed and teaches 43 hours of the 80-hour curriculum.  The course is offered three times per year, and is currently booked at full capacity through the year 2002.

1996-present  Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC-NA) Projects Management Process Course.  Professor Alter assisted in securing and developing a $105,500 contract for the development of a continuing education program in project management for PHCC-NA.  He is personally responsible for developing and teaching more than 34 hours of this 80-hour curriculum.  This program produces annual revenues to Purdue of $130,000.

Service

  • Reviewer , Purdue Global Initiative Grants Program 1995-97; reviewed five grant proposals each year
  • Referee, ASC National Proceedings 1995-97; reviewed two proposed papers each year
  • Department Captain, United Way 1995-96; promoted and received 100% participation
  • Departmental Academic Counseling.  Professor Alter currently provides academic counseling to 36 students in the department. Additionally, Professor Alter acts as the informal international education liaison encouraging and assisting students in seeking and obtaining international co-ops. He is currently working with students interested in studying abroad in Israel, New Zealand, Australia, and China.
  • Building Construction Management Technology Department Committees
    Curriculum, 1995-97
    Counseling, 1995-97
    Search, 1995-97
    Graduate Education, 1995-97
  • School of Technology Committees
    International Programs, 1995-97
    Physics 219 (ad hoc), 1995-97

University service

  • 1995-99   Global Initiative Faculty Grants reviewer

School committee membership

  • 1999-present   Assessment Committee
  • 1995-1999   International Activities Committee
  • 1996-97  Ad Hoc Committee on Physics 219

Department committee membership

  • 1999-present   Assessment Committee, Chair
  • 1999-present   Library Committee
  • 1999-present   Facilities Committee
  • 1999-present  New-Lab-Building Committee
  • 1997-present  Graduate Committee
  • 1995-present  Curriculum Committee
  • 1995-97  Search Committee
  • 1995-97  Counseling Committee

Consulting

1998-present  Robertson Systems.  Professor Alter was invited to develop a field incentive plan for electrical contractors.  Since his development of the plan, he has assisted firms in Texas, Ohio, and Georgia in developing and adopting similar plans.

1998-present  Denier Electric / Berg Electric.  Professor Alter was invited to assist in developing a standardized approach to pre-fabrication for electrical contractors. The methodology codified under this project has been adopted by firms in more than 10 states. Professor Alter has provided seminars on this topic in Connecticut, Texas, and Colorado.

Previous Courses Taught

  • BC 234 Electrical Construction, Fall/Spring 1995-1997, 70 students enrolled per semester
  • BC 455 Construction Contracting, Fall 1995, 30 students enrolled
  • BC 492 Construction Career Seminar, Fall/Spring 1996-1997, 30 students enrolled per semester
  • BC 499P Electrical Estimating, Spring 1997, 12 students enrolled
  • BC 499 Independent Study (Electrical Project Management), Fall/Spring 1995-1997, 2 students enrolled per semester
  • BC 900 Building Construction Seminar, Fall 1996, 580 students enrolled
  • CEU Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC), Spring 96-Spring 97, 24 students enrolled per semester

Professional Development

  • NECA Annual Large Contractors Conference, 11/96
  • ASC Annual Great Lakes Regional Conference, 11/96
  • NECA / MCAA / Academia 1st MEP Conference, Hosted, West Lafayette, IN, 10/96
  • Norwegian Electrical Contractor Roundtable, Hosted, West Lafayette, IN, 10/96
  • NAPHCC Annual Convention, 10/96
  • NECA Annual Convention, 9/96
  • Estimation Annual Users Conference, Baltimore, MD, 6/96
  • NECA Annual Convention, 10/95
  • PHCC Annual Convention, 10/95
  • A/E/C Conference - Chicago, Fall 95
  • ASC Regional Conference, 11/95
  • ASC National Conference, 4/96
  • NEBB Annual Conference & Recertification, 11/95
  • Purdue Division of Sponsored Programs--An Introduction to Proposal Writing, 11/95
  • AIC Test Writers' Seminar, 1/96
  • Visited Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; discussed faculty and student exchange program possibilities, 3/96

Conferences Attended

1998-1996 Associated Schools of Construction National Conference Portland, ME; Seattle, WA; and College Station, TX.  Attended the annual Undergraduate Education Committee meeting each year.

1996 National Electrical Contractors (NECA)/ Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Industry-Educators Conference, Purdue University.  This conference was the direct work-product of a grant that Professor Alter developed for NECA. It was designed to develop an alliance among six universities, NECA, and MCAA tasked with assisting in the development of electrical and mechanical specializations at major universities. The outcome of this conference was the development of the Mechanical/Electrical/Academic Consortium (MEAC). 

1995-1997 Associated Schools of Construction, Great Lakes Regional Conferences in Richmond, KY; Normal, IL; and East Lansing, MI. Actively participated in the peer referee process that takes place each year.

Workshops

1998 Teaching-at-a-Distance Workshop Series: Instructional Design of Web-Based Courses. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Professor Alter was one of only twenty faculty selected campus-wide to participate in this 10-session workshop series.

1996 Constructor Test Writing Workshop, American Institute of Constructors, Cleveland, OH.

Courses taken

  • 1999 Information Systems in Education
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • 1998 Supervision of Instruction and Personnel
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • 1997 Program Evaluation
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Conferences attended

1999 Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc., Annual Leadership Conference, Las Vegas, NV.  Facilitated the strategic planning session for the National Education Committee. Following this conference, he was appointed as the first-ever non-contractor member of the committee.

1995-1999 National Electrical Contractors Association, National Conventions in Anaheim, CA; Miami, FL; San Diego, CA; Las Vegas, NV; and New Orleans, LA.  Presented grant proposals, research findings, and reports on student chapter activities at every national convention since 1995.

1997 Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC-NA) Projects Management Process Course, Philadelphia, PA. Provided a project management workshop, and addressed the PHCC-NA Foundation on the progress of the PHCC-NA Projects Management Process Course offered at Purdue University.

1996-1999 Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. National Conventions in St. Louis, MO; Orlando, FL; Las Vegas, NV; and Denver, CO. Provided project management workshops at each of these annual conferences

Workshops

  • 1997 Fiber Optics Certification Workshop, at NECA National Conference, Miami, FL.
  • 1996-1997 Estimation Users Conference, Orlando, FL

Industrial visits

  • 1999 Each summer, Professor Alter visits electrical contracting firms around the nation which he has identified as industry leaders evidencing some facet of "best practices." In 1999, he visited with: Electrical Excellence, Colorado Springs, CO - Traffic Signalization and Smart Highways; EC Electric, Grand Junction, CO - Incorporation of Information Technology into the Small Electrical Contracting Firm; Valley Electric, Aspen, CO - Voice/Data Installations in Large Custom Homes; Ludvik Electric, Denver, CO - Electrical Construction of the Pepsi Center; and ANECO, Clearwater, FL - Design/Build Construction of Professional Sports Arenas.
  • 1998 Each summer, Professor Alter visits electrical contracting firms around the nation which he has identified as industry leaders evidencing some facet of "best practices." In 1998, he visited with: Berg Electric, Los Angeles, CA - Pre-fabrication, pre-construction planning, CAD, and the use of new technologies (CAPS) in coordinating layout of underground systems at the Long Beach Aquarium; Morrow Meadows, City of Industry, CA - Design/Build of low voltage systems; Dynalectric, San Diego, CA - Alternative wiring and cabling systems, pre-planning, and design/build construction; McMillan Technology, Denver, CO - Specialized Low Voltage Systems in High Security Applications; Whitney Electric, Colorado Springs, CO - Design/Build Construction of Clean Rooms.
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Department of Building Construction Management
Knoy Hall of Technology, Room 453
401 N. Grant Street
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Fax: (765) 496-2246

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