The PCI Foundation and the Georgia/Carolinas PCI brought together a diverse group of A/E/C professors from around the country to discover how the ideas and experiences of previous grant recipients might inspire the future of building education. The program was hosted by the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Metromont’s Charlotte plant. Twenty-two attendees including twelve professors from nine schools joined together for a three-day program focused on educating professors in teaching precast concrete.
The program focused in part on the work of Associate Professor Thomas Gentry from the school of architecture and Assistant Professor Brett Q. Tempest of the school of engineering who conducted an innovative integrated design studio as part of a six-year grant from PCIF.
“The UNCC program broke new ground for us when it began six years ago because it was able to look at precast concrete from both an architecture and engineering perspective,” says Marty McIntyre, executive director of the PCI Foundation. “That integrated approach prepares students much more realistically for their future when working with teams will be necessary to complete a design. We wanted to share that success with other university professors who are teaching materials courses.”
In addition to taking an integrated design approach, the UNCC program developed a close working relationship with the local precast concrete industry and the local PCI region. “Our students at UNC Charlotte have benefitted tremendously from the on-site plant instruction and the opportunity for hands-on exploration of materials with the local pre-cast manufacturing industry, such as Metromont,” says Professor Chris Jarrett, director of the School of Architecture. The professors program allowed the school to share some of that work with other educators and precast industry members
“The Professor's Seminar Series brought together a diverse range of faculty from AEC programs across the country to share their ideas and unique experiences teaching architectural materials and technology courses,” says. Jarrett. “The focus of the program on precast/prestressed concrete prompted excellent dialog and exchange between colleagues on best practices for university-industry partnerships in teaching technology courses in design schools.”
For more information about these and other programs done in conjunction with the PCI Foundation, visit the website at pci-foundation.org.