• Marty McIntyre

University of Nebraska to Introduce Prestressed Modules Throughout Curriculum in New Precast Studio

Two professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) will team-up with three precast producers and the rest of the PCI Midwest to create a new prestressed program within

the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction (DSAEC) starting in the fall of 2021. This studio will take advantage of the industry partnerships and multi-disciplinary faculty of the DSAEC. To reach as many undergraduate and graduate students as possible, a series of modules will be developed to foster repeated exposure of students to precast

concrete design and construction multiple times throughout their programs. These 2 to 4 week modules will be implemented as early as the freshman year through senior / graduate level elective courses. Modules and courses will be managed by Dr. Marc Maguire and Dr. George Morcous and ideally delivered by a combination of DSAEC Faculty and volunteer industry experts affiliated with PCI Midwest, such as regional Architects, Engineers and Construction Managers. This delivery system will reach the three separate degree tracks of Architectural Engineering, Construction Engineering and Construction Management with more than 600 undergraduate and graduate students.

"One of the major benefits we see in this studio is that it's not only focused on grad students, but it involves undergrad, we never taught students at the undergrad level anything about precast or prestressed concrete," says Morcous. "The other benefit, which is more important, is having the heavily involved industry in this process. So we usually, like other institutions do from time to time, some plant visits for limited number of students. But with this studio, that will broaden the base of the pool of students to include all the undergrad in architecture, construction engineering, and the construction management."

This program will augment three degree programs with a robust set of educational modules such that students will be routinely exposed to precast concrete concepts like production and construction techniques, estimating, quality control, structural design, safety and occupant health. Modules will include site visits to precast plants at least once per semester and additional visits to construction sites as needed by the curriculum. Course content will be made in conjunction with local precast plant engineers, managers, erectors and architects. Local precast partners will take the lead in producing precast products for educational purposes. Such products will be used as teaching tools and demonstrations for students to gain firsthand experience constructing precast concrete components. The following outcomes are expected from this studio: (1) familiarity and competence among the recent graduates across the construction and architectural engineering fields (2) understand the benefits of precast and prestressed concrete as compared to other building systems (3) preparation for future careers related to the precast concrete industry. Outcomes will be tracked for improvement in each iteration of the program.

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