Congratulations, Sean Warner!

Building Construction Alumnus Named to Forbes' '30 Under 30'

As a senior in 2013, Sean Warner totally aced BC3600.

Daniel Castro, chair of the School of Building Construction and Warner's professor for the construction cost management class, was not surprised. "He was one of the best students in the class," Castro said. 

This year, Warner made it to the top of another class, the Forbes' "30 under 30" list for Manufacturing & Industry. The company Warner cofounded with fellow Tech alum Patrick Pittaluga -- Grubbly Farms -- promotes sustainable farming by making livestock feed with insects instead of corn. 

The leap from construction to agriculture/chemistry could easily leave people scratching their heads, but Castro and Warner know better.

"There is actually a good bit of overlap," Warner said. "A large portion of my time is planning out future facilities on computer-aided design (CAD) programs to accurately show future facilities and process lines."  He uses the CAD work to estimate equipment needed and costs for manufacturing facilities, as well as to schedule daily operation tasks.

"It doesn't matter what field you work in, if you use the basic principles of sustainability and conscious management, you will end up succeeding," Castro said.

The programs offered by the School of Building Construction teach students to apply technical principles and foundations used in the building construction industry in ways that have positive impacts on communities. "It's about efficiency, sustainability, and closing loops," Castro said. 

"Sean really thought outside the box. He's changing a practice that's been the same for hundreds of years -- agriculture -- and he said, 'I think we can do things differently.' He came up with this concept that is more sustainable and cost-effective."

A more personal experience with peers and teachers is what drew Warner to building construction in the first place. 

"As much as I love mathematics and engineering, I enjoyed the combination of engineering and creativity used in construction. I have always had a creative side that I wanted to utilize," Warner said. The hands-on approach he learned in the School's small classes was easy to apply to a variety of career paths, he said.

A creative and transitional approach to technology and design are hallmarks of the School of Building Construction and the College of Design. While technology and research are a vital part of every college at Georgia Tech, College of Design schools also use design thinking and early adoption of technology as particularly innovative methods of solving real-world problems.

Warner's advice for his fellow building construction students is, "Don't be afraid to take a risk, especially at a younger age. A degree does not constrain you solely to that field for employment. Sometimes it's good to go with the flow, but it can be more rewarding to take the path less traveled. Look for problems with everything."