By Colin Sheehan, RCS Reporter.
In Season 3, Episode 43 of Roofing Road Trips, Heidi J. Ellsworth visits with Dhaval Gajjar, Assistant Professor at Clemson University about his passion for roofing. With several years, projects and degrees studying roofing, Dhaval is bringing the love of roofing to the students of Clemson and beyond. They also discuss the university-level roofing classes the Roofing Alliance and Dhaval have developed for construction management schools, as well as Clemson coming in first place during the Roofing Alliance Student Competition. At the end of the podcast, you will also get a sneak peek into some new research projects happening in the industry.
Dhaval received his master's degree in construction management and his master's thesis in evaluating performance of roofing systems. He’s walked over 500 roofs, worked on roofing inspections and has done everything you could imagine with a portfolio of roofing projects.
For his PhD, he explored the contracting side of the industry to better understand how to predict a roofing system’s performance based on a variety of factors. After attaining his PhD, Daval worked in the construction industry on both the contracting and owner rep side of the business.
“Roofing has always been close to me,” said Dhaval. "Roofing is one of the [most] critical components of a built environment system. So, when I came to Clemson one of the things that I wanted to focus on [was] bringing more exposure to our industry because it's such a critical industry and such an important sector within construction.”
When Dhaval first started teaching at a four-year university within the construction management sector, he was surprised to find out that within his whole curriculum, he and his students discussed roofing for maybe an hour. This obviously struck Dhaval as an inadequate way to teach construction.
“[As] you can imagine, roofing is such a critical component on built environment systems and buildings overall and we only talk about it for 50 minutes,” said Dhaval.
Dhaval marks his relationship with the Roofing Alliance as his most exciting endeavor at Clemson. Dhaval met Bill Good when he visited Clemson and the two quickly connected. Now Dhaval and the Roofing Alliance conduct research and participate in the Roofing Alliance’s Student Competition to bring roofing into the college construction curriculum.
"Our students need to be educated about our industry not only on the education aspect but really showing them there's a different career that they would have never thought about before,” said Dhaval. “Traditionally students in the four-year program are focused on the contracting side, so introducing a roofing curriculum and educating them on what the industry is about [is so important]. All the different career options and just how sophisticated, how professional and how intricate this industry is, and on top of that, just the amazing people that you work with.”
Listen to the entire podcast to learn more about Dhaval and his efforts with the Roofing Alliance to build better construction curriculums across the U.S.