UNK Grad Makes Mark on the World

Dr. Kennard Larson
Department of Industrial Technology, 308.865.8292

James Wewengkang, a 1996 Construction Management graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, currently runs a very successful business in his homeland of Indonesia, in a small town called Kakaskasen. Wewengkang and his employees build quality “knock-down” timber houses, gazebos and pavilions for the local Indonesian market as well as buyers in Australia, Spain and Japan.

With a bit of self-confidence, five employees, a few tools and a 10 x 20 meter shed, Wewengkang and his company began constructing “knock-down” houses for the local market. After only one year, “Mahoni Knock-Down Timber Houses” has built four houses locally and six houses and ten gazebos and pavilions for worldwide export. More houses and gazebos are currently underway.

According to Wewengkang, “knock-down” timber houses are built using an interlocking construction technique, which allows the houses to be built at the workshop and then easily “knocked-down” and reconstructed on site. The interlocking system also allows the house to move in the event of an earthquake, which is a common occurrence since Indonesia is located in a volcanic region.

“I thought the houses had good export potential because of their unique and simple construction, their low cost of labor and the plentiful supply of good quality timber. All of this would make them very competitive pricewise for sale overseas.”

With the help of the Internet, Wewengkang could show potential buyers 3D, Computer Aided Drafted drawings and clearly explain construction techniques.

“While studying at UNK, I acquired valuable knowledge in all areas of my current business. I not only gained skills in management, design and presentation, but practical, on-site knowledge I use in the everyday operation of my company.”