BSCI Alumni Spotlight: Mackenzie Searle
Mackenzie Searle served over 12 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, most recently as a Senior Construction Engineer at the Corps’ headquarters in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities included developing and maintaining enterprise-wide policies, guidance and best practices regarding design, construction and construction project management for USACE’s over $15 billion annual construction portfolio. She recently transitioned to DRMP, Inc., a full service firm focused on delivering sustainable civil infrastructure services, where she currently works in the Construction Engineering Inspection group.
Her primary area of expertise is in addressing construction contract administration challenges and balancing post-award resourcing and risk alignment. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, she was kept busy providing guidance and support to field teams responding to the unique challenges and contract issues arising from various local, state and national COVID-19 policies.
Prior to her work at the USACE, Searle was a Resident Engineer and Administrative Contracting Officer leading the development and execution of construction contracts at Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Fort Polk, Louisiana. Searle says that her favorite project was the $390 million Martin Army Community Hospital Replacement, the Army’s first ever design-build hospital. She is most proud of the fact that the team on this project served as the model of an integrated Project Delivery Team committed to providing a world-class health facility for the Fort Benning community on time, under budget and with high quality.
In 2013, Searle completed the McWhorter School of Building Science’s Executive Graduate Certificate Programs to earn her Master of Building Construction degree. She is a registered Professional Engineer and also holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Florida. She has served as an Ex-Officio member on the Board of Directors for the Construction Management Association of America since 2019.
Searle credits Auburn’s program, and support from her mentor Assistant Professor Alan Bugg, with helping her achieve success in her field, and she fondly remembers Paul Holley and Ben Farrow as being some of her favorite instructors. “Paul Holley’s scheduling class provided techniques to assess the construction schedule sequencing and identify potential issues before they impacted the project. Both Paul and Ben really challenged me to see the construction processes, from pre-award planning and bidding through turnover, from the contractor’s perspective.”