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Sacramento State University

Within the Georgia Tech School of Architecture, there is a focus on the relationship. The focus of the new precast program at Sacramento State, known as the Precast Bridge Studio (PBS) is bridges. But the reach of the program goes beyond just the precast industry and looks at the needs of the ultimate customer, the state of California, to address how precast and the students will best serve the needs of the future of the bridge market, bolstered by the California Senate Bill 1, a transportation investment that invests $54 billion over a decade to improve California’s transportation system.

In Fall 2018, Dura-stress’s Glen Switzer, PCI Foundation Trustee liaison to the program, spoke to the students to kick off the program, which combines key stake holders in the precast concrete bridge industry, including precasters (Confab, Clark Pacific), Caltrans, consulting bridge engineers, contractors, and specialty providers like strand producers (Sumiden Wire) and precast software companies. Five bridge engineers, including two from Caltrans and three consultants, are working as bridge mentors. Students learn to design precast bridges in one of three teams, each under a different consultant mentor, with Caltrans serving as oversight with Dr. Eric Matsumoto, their professor.

In addition, students have expanded their active PCI Club, the second in the nation. The club’s first meeting focused on the new on- campus precast concrete hybrid moment frame for Parking Structure 5, designed, fabricated, and installed by Clark Pacific. More than 30 students attended the meeting, where they also elected club officers. A construction management (CM) student, hired by Clark Pacific full-time as a Project Engineer, shared the main presentation, thus starting a Civil Engineering (CE) / Construction Management collaboration that is further developing in Spring 2019.

Dorie Mellon, PE, Accelerated Bridge Construction expert at Caltrans, presented during the club’s first Precast Bridge Seminar, joining CE and CM students together for the first combined event in the college’s history.

At the end of the fall semester, the PBS student teams presented their final bridge design before nearly two dozen precast bridge industry representatives, including their bridge mentors, Caltrans, precasters, and other consultants and contractors, as well as other students and faculty. An awards event followed the reception, recognizing the significant contributions of the precast industry to the PBS program. PCI’s Jon Grafton gave the keynote presentation on “Notable California Precast Bridges.” Several students were given job offers shortly after their presentations.

INDUSTRY PARTNERS

• BridgeSight Software

• Caltrans
• Con-Fab California

• Dura-stress Inc.
• MGE Engineering

• PCI West

• Viking Construction

• Sumiden Wire
• TY Lin International