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CalPoly Pomona teaches interdisciplinary course on precast

Guest Blog by Mikhail Gershfeld (CalPoly Pomona)

Cal Poly Pomona has pioneered the concept of the AE (interdisciplinary architectural engineering materials studio) and have been teaching it with precast concrete as primary material for the last three years.


The course is taught in progressive competition format with mid- and final reviews performed by the professional panel of local practicing structural engineers and architects. The first two years students worked on TVE (Tsunami Vertical Evacuation) facilities and in year three the students worked on design of the University Football and Soccer Stadium. The students in one quarter (10 weeks) were able to perform case studies of 10-12 similar constructed projects, develop individual conceptual designs, in small teams develop  8-10 preliminary designs and larger teams complete 4-5 design development level designs.

The projects culminated in financial awards to winning teams and publishing of project booklets summarizing student's work for the quarter. The course has now been fully integrated into Civil Engineering curriculum as an elective and is being combined with capstone project activities.  This would not have been possible without generous financial support from PCI foundation, local hands on support from Coreslab (Bob Konoske), and continuous support by PCI West (Doug Mooradian).

I worked closely with architectural professor Axel Schmitzberger to create a unique educational experience for architectural and engineering students and with personal examples demonstrate the benefits of successful collaboration between architects and engineers.


Mikhail Gershfeld (on left) with architectural professor Axel Schmitzberger

Mikhail Gershfeld, S.EProfessional Practice Professor Civil Engineering California State Polytechnic Univ

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