David Birkelbach Pic
David Birkelbach
UNF Degree: B.S. - ’01; M.B.A. –‘05
Employment: Employment: Project Manager, Elkins Constructors Inc.

Birkelbach builds UNF legacy

When David Birkelbach looks at the new Social Sciences building on the University of North Florida campus, he takes special pride in the 63,000-square-foot building.

Birkelbach was the building’s project manager assigned by Elkins Constructors Inc., the contractor for the $13.3 million facility. “Helping with this project on my home campus was a privilege and honor for me. Everyone worked as a team to complete this project on time and on budget. It was as close to a flawless construction project as you can get, which is an unbelievable accomplishment in this industry,” he said.

As a 2001 graduate of the Building Construction Management program, Birkelbach is particularly proud that the facility, which opened in 2006, is the first LEED-registered building in Jacksonville and the first “green” building on campus. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) represents buildings that have minimal impact on the environment.

However, Birkelbach’s accomplishments go beyond the Social Sciences building which he considers part of his legacy to UNF. In 2005, Birkelbach received his M.B.A. from UNF. “UNF prepared me extremely well. The University has one of the best construction management programs in the nation,” he said.

In addition to being a project manager, Birkelbach also supervises the internship program at Elkins and is involved in the company’s recruiting activities. This responsibility has given him a good opportunity to see the quality of UNF graduates. “The practical knowledge and readiness of the people who come out of UNF is so much better than graduates from other schools,” he said. “They have the perfect balance between academics and real-world experience."

Not too long ago, Birkelbach himself was an intern. While at UNF he was active in student organizations, serving as vice president of the student chapter of ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors). Since graduation, he has also become active in the UNF Alumni Association, currently serving on its board of directors. The Jacksonville native also met his wife, the former Melinda Meehan, at UNF. She was also in the construction management program and was secretary of ABC. The couple has one daughter, Emily.

He fondly recalls the accomplishments of the student chapter such as the college’s Career Fair and the Hard Hat Banquet. “We started these projects and it’s great to see them blossom today into major events. We take a great deal of pride in these accomplishments,” he said.

Birkelbach finished his undergraduate degree at UNF after spending the first two years at the University of Florida. “I’m so grateful I came to UNF. I couldn’t have made a better decision in my life.”