Cristen Ferguson

Cristen Ferguson

Senior Estimator
Years in the industry: 21

Growing up, Cristen Ferguson was always encouraged by her family to pursue a career in whatever interested her most. It didn’t take her long to figure out that was construction. “I have always been interested in math and science, so I knew engineering was a good fit for me,” Cristen said. “Engineering led me right to the construction industry.”

Cristen attended Purdue University and majored in structural engineering and minored in construction. During college, she accepted a co-op job with the Ohio Department of Transportation. “It was during that time I realized my heart was in construction,” she said. “My co-op job gave me experience in the engineering department and field experience on the construction side, and I really enjoyed getting out in the field and being involved in projects. I liked putting the big puzzle together and being involved in several aspects of the building process and helping make a project happen.”

After various positions like project engineer and assistant project manager, Cristen found her niche as an estimator. “Estimating is something I really enjoy doing,” she said. “I enjoy running cost estimates and determining what costs will be for a project.”

For the past year, Cristen has held the position of senior estimator at Robins & Morton. She believes her background in the field helps her better understand her role on a project. “Because of my field experience, I bring a different understanding when it comes to estimating the cost of putting a building together. Since I used to be out in the field myself, I understand the schedule and procuring materials and moving preconstruction materials and other functions to make projects happen on time. I feel that it gives me a little more diverse view.”

Cristen has utilized that diverse view to help successfully complete numerous projects throughout her career. One of her favorites was a high school in Texas. “I was involved from the conceptual level all the way through to the bidding of the project,” she said. “It was a great project because we worked with the school district and were able to accommodate everyone’s needs. And that school was one of the first high schools in Texas to go for LEED silver certification.”

While Cristen has enjoyed the many projects in which she has played a part over her 20 years in the industry, another aspect of the job she has valued just as much is mentoring the younger generation.  “That’s one of the things I enjoy most,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s the mother in me—I have two young children—or what exactly, but I enjoy mentoring younger professionals, especially women, as they work through their career and assisting them where I can.”