Master Studies Construction Law and Management: Lars Mentrup - Sustainable Efficiency

2024-04-14 The civil engineer completed the Lean Construction Expert university certificate at the Leuphana Professional School while working. As a lean coordinator, he uses his knowledge to optimise the organisation and workflow of a construction site. He will soon be completing his Master's degree at the Professional School - and is also writing his Master's thesis on lean management.

Lars Mentrup ©Jens Ahner
"I will continue to work for the company after my studies.", reports Lars Mentrup.

Processes on construction sites are complex. Inadequate construction site organisation always leads to disorderly, unstructured procedures on the construction site and often ends in legal disputes. With the philosophy of lean construction, however, time, materials and labour on the construction site are used as efficiently as possible. "We want to minimise waste, save costs and ensure quality," explains Lars Mentrup. The 26-year-old civil engineer completed the university certificate Lean Construction Expert according to VDI 2553 at the Leuphana Professional School while working and now works for the Berlin-based company Makeo - Lean Works - on a major construction site in Kiel. There he tries to streamline processes and minimise waste in workflows. To this end, processes are being restructured, for example: "Normally, work is carried out in parallel in many areas of the construction site, so that incomplete work can be found. On our construction site, however, only individual floors - which are divided into repetitive areas (so-called cycle areas) - are completed in order to avoid systematic errors. The intention is that the repetitive work develops a learning curve for the next area," explains Lars Mentrup. If, for example, the wall has already been completely closed by the drywall installer without the wiring having been laid in the wall by the electrician, the error is only present in one cycle area. The error is already known in the following cycle area and the wall is closed later. Through daily stand-up meetings and the use of Makeo software, the construction process is visualised transparently for all tradespeople involved. The need for meetings also arises when work areas are blocked off: "Ideally, materials should be ordered and delivered in such a way that storage times are short and the materials can be installed just-in-time," explains the construction engineer. He benefits from the certificate on the construction site: "In terms of content, the training has clarified things for me once again."

Lars Mentrup already dealt with lean construction in his bachelor's thesis: "I developed a refurbishment concept based on lean construction management for a construction section of Kiel's Christian Albrechts University," he reports. He also used the software offered by his current employer. Makeo - Lean Works - also covered the costs of the part-time Master's programme at Leuphana Professional. "I will continue to work for the company after my studies. My employer sees great benefits in the Master's degree," reports Lars Mentrup. The aim of the Master's programme is to gain in-depth knowledge of the areas of construction law and construction management and their interfaces. "By adding construction management, I can acquire additional knowledge and look at it from the perspective of lean management, so that the conventional way of working in construction projects will be given a new, leaner edge in future," explains the Master's candidate. For Lars Mentrup, the opportunity to complete the Master's while working offers the chance to see and discuss the knowledge he has learnt in practice: "I benefit greatly from the interlinking of the course with practice and the interdisciplinary exchange with the other students. The information content is very high. My fellow students come from both legal and technical backgrounds," reports Lars Mentrup. He is also writing his Master's thesis on the current construction project for which he is working as a lean coordinator: "The aim is to develop a construction schedule using a 3D model in order to implement it on site with the help of control instruments based on lean philosophy. The aim is to achieve a smoother construction process and increase the added value of the activities on the construction site. In fast-moving times, it is important to structure the construction process and make it as transparent as possible."

Prospective students can find out more at the online information day on 15 June. The certificate programmes will also be presented on 20 June.