Skip navigation

Seminar: Teaching, Researching, Consulting, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership in Academia

Event Date: April 10, 2017
Speaker: Yvan Beliveau, PhD
Speaker Affiliation: Virginia Tech
Time: 11:30am
Location: HAMP 2123
Contact Name: Becca Miller
Contact Phone: (765) 494-2240
Contact Email:
Priority: No
School or Program: Construction Engineering and Management
College Calendar: Show
Yvan Beliveau — Head of Building Construction in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech—will speak at 11:30am Apr. 10 in Delon and Elizabeth Hampton Hall of Civil Engineering Room 2123. He is returning as an alum to give his talk as part of the Construction Engineering and Management 40th Anniversary Speaker Series.

Teaching, Researching, Consulting, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership in Academia

Yvan Beliveau, Ph.D.
Department Head, Building Construction
Myers-Lawson School of Construction
Virginia Tech

April 10, 2017
11:30 AM
HAMP 2123

For more information:  Becca Miller,


Academia presents a palate of opportunities for faculty. The title mentions a few of those. As someone starts in a career, this palate becomes apparent and choices need to be made. I have had the opportunity to do all of these and will discuss each in turn.

Teaching: It is no longer a sage on the stage type of teaching environment. Students hate it and they retain very little of it. No matter how entertaining a professor. The world is about active engagement in the classroom. Prepare outside of class and do inside the classroom. The student of today demands this. And, that student is correct.

Research: Far reaching research outside the mainstream is fun. It is often not reference as much as mainstream research activities; therefore, your indexes are low to start and often hit their stride several years after the work is done. I had two students who created a schedule to CAD interface for 4D CAD in 1990. We published in Project Management Institute and assumed that was sufficient. Several others have made this into their lifetime academic endeavor. Very often not citing this work. A research team set out to solve a positioning system that we could integrate directly into a CAD model. We did this and launched a company. This company took the concept to a product. This product was the first to do what we had hoped. This company was sold and the product has since become mostly obsolete as new technologies emerged.

Consulting: This can be a great source of academic recognition. However, one must be ready to not sway to the demands of attorneys or others. Ethics here is essential. Also, it is not for everyone. I prefer to consult for government agencies. They are normally searching for the truth not to win.

Entrepreneurship: If you come up with a great idea through research, there is the opportunity to create a company. This requires that you are not risk averse. Myself and two partners started a company to commercialize the early invention that came from the research. You must work thru intellectual properties of the University to be able to do this.

Leadership: As a career continues, there is the opportunity to seek leadership. This is hard at the same institution where you are employed. Therefore, most of the time you must be willing to relocate. In order to be good at leadership, you must believe in something and you must want to actually do something. The Job is not sufficient. You cannot be just enamored by the position; you must do the position. In my case, I help elevate a fledgling department with the help of many others. However, the clear vision was necessary to galvanize others and to put a common direction. When the opportunity to create a cross college initiation thru a school of construction came about, the belief in this interdisciplinary and the respect for all entities in the school is essential. Because if you do not believe this, you will never survive the challenges that such an enterprise has.

Dr. Yvan Beliveau is currently the Department Head of Building Construction within the Myers-Lawson School of Construction. He previously was the Director of the School. Prior to this most recent appointment in 2012, he held the position of Department Head of Building Construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies for 12 years. Yvan spent 10 years in the Construction Engineering and Management Program within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. He received his BSCE and MSCE from the University of Vermont and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. He has worked in various capacities within the construction industry ranging from the organizational-macro view of project manager, and owner; to the micro view of getting the job done as tradesman, foreman, and superintendent. He was a principal in a consulting engineering firm specializing in construction management. He was a cofounder of a high tech laser positioning company specialized in advanced technology for the construction industry and manufacturing. He also owns Beliveau Development Corp a land development company. He and his wife own Beliveau Estate. This is a winery/vineyard, a B&B and event center in Blacksburg. He holds a Class “A” contractor license in Virginia and he is a registered Professional Engineer in Vermont and Virginia. He holds 27 national and international patents.

As further background, he was born in St. Valere, Provence de Quebec, Canada. His grandfather owned a water powered sawmill and gristmill. His family immigrated when he was six to a dairy farm in Northern Vermont. He started a construction company with his older brother when he was 14 and his brother 16. This company built pole barns and renovations during the summers until he went to university.

Professor Bliveau has been teaching for 35+ years. He has been active in changing the classroom where students are specialist or acquire a specialization in required background areas to make up truly collaborative teams that are goal oriented. He has participated in several Charrettes for project scoping and definition.