Thomas Shelby

Building Construction Management '81
Senior Vice President/Division Manager for Peter Kiewit and Sons

After one year of accounting at another university, Thomas Shelby knew it wasn’t for him. He did some investigating at Purdue and met with a counselor who walked him through several options. Because of
his summer construction jobs, which he enjoyed, he settled on building construction management. That counselor’s attention and guidance, and similar attention from professors like Wes Crawford, helped Shelby succeed and prepare for a successful career with two well-respected construction companies. During his time with Peter Kiewit and Sons, Shelby has pushed for increased recruiting at Purdue. It is now the highest ranked school to recruit college graduates – technology and engineering – for Kiewit.

This mantra from Peter Kiewit illustrates how engrained Shelby is in his work. He is pleased with his career, but he would like to achieve more. He is responsible for the profit and loss of Kiewit’s power plant work, which accounts for about $3 billion in annual revenue. Within that, he maintains relationships with clients and ensures that projects are executed flawlessly from bid to delivery. Shelby began his career at Bechtel.

Shelby enjoys golf, travel (often blending work travel with personal exploration), and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Lenexa, Kan., with their daughter, Hannah.

This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2012.