Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

CEE Alumnus Now Helps Construction of Campus Renovations

IMG_0056Native Knoxvillian Jay Emison followed in his family’s footsteps when he chose to attend UT for his undergraduate degree, and he followed his own calling when he stayed for his Master’s. After graduating with a CEE in 2011, he rolled right into the department’s graduate program where he concentrated in Construction and Structures.

Now that he’s employed by Knoxville-based construction firm, Rentenbach where he’s worked for two and half years, Emison has a hand in helping with the renovation of UT’s Student Union renovation. Over the years, Rentenbach has built several sections of Neyland Stadium, Hodges Library, Stokely Management Center, the Howard Baker Center and is currently constructing The Student Union, Strong Hall and the Ken and Blaire Mossman Building.

“My education at UT prepared me for my career in construction in several ways,” he said. “It helped me learn how to multi-task to meet deadlines while developing an understanding of structural components.”

In his role at Rentenbach, he is responsible for the submittal process of Phase 2 of the Student Union, which entails procuring all materials that are used to construct and finish the building and maintaining constant communication between suppliers, trade contractors (installers), the design team and UT to ensure the correct material is procured and installed.

All structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, life safety systems, utilities, building envelope, skylights, framing and drywall, millwork, floor finishes, ceiling finishes, kitchen equipment, classroom furniture, auditorium equipment (seats, curtain, lighting and audio systems), security, telecommunication, lighting, restroom fixtures, landscaping and irrigation and all other materials and systems go through Emison to get approved by the design team. It is his responsibility to ensure that all of these materials make it to the jobsite on time, as well as updating the contract drawings and communicating changes, among many other administrative and project management tasks.

“My greatest satisfaction comes from pleasing a client by providing a building that was constructed with integrity,” he says. “I enjoy observing construction activities and being a part of an ever changing professional environment that is evolving from lessons learned from previous projects.”

U.T. not only provided Emison the education he would need to succeed in his career, but it also gave him the connections to meet the right people and land a job right out of school. He thanked the person who put him in touch with Rentenbach, and in response was told that he had earned it. “It really made me look back on what all I accomplished throughout my education and feel proud of being a part of UT CEE,” he says.

Emison couldn’t be more pleased with landing at Rentenbach. “Our motto is ‘Building with Integrity,’ and our goal is to be the most sought after contractor in the markets we serve,” he says. “These core values are why most of our business is from repeat clients. We have been and always will be the contractor clients can count on to make every decision with integrity.”