top of page

University of Minnesota Duluth


For the University of Minnesota Duluth, the focus will be on resilient precast. Ben Dymond of the Department of Civil Engineering will coordinate the program in conjunction with the Department of Civil Engineering, the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Master of Business Administration program. John Saccoman of Molin Concrete Products will be the industry champion for the program. This multidisciplinary educational program aims to combine the traditional approach to concrete engineering education with cutting-edge knowledge related to resiliency and business management.

Traditionally, engineers learn the basics of concrete design, while possibly discussing precast concrete, but they fail to investigate why to choose precast concrete or how does resilient precast concrete fit into an organizational dynamic. This program will address those questions and others while challenging students to push the envelope of resiliency in precast concrete.


The program will include new content in four courses taken during a student’s junior and senior years. Once a student completes the courses they will have a special certificate on their transcript noting the special interest of the student in resiliency and precast concrete design. All students in the department will now be exposed to some precast concrete curriculum.


This class is now required by UMD and about 50% of the content is about precast concrete. It includes a plant and jobsite tours, and students are able to reference a scaled precast structure with various connections that Molin permanently installed in the teaching lab as a demonstration tool. Students learned how to erect precast and studied a precast parking deck.


This class includes a precast plant tour and uses the PCI Design Handbook as a reference book throughout the semester. It introduces the students to Concise Beam design software used by Molin and incorporates a design project where students completed in the annual Big Beam Competition.


This course presented students with a broad introduction to management processes and the complex world of managing in today’s business environment. Topics include what managers do and skills they must possess to achieve organizational objectives, the management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling and organizational dynamics such as globalizations, social responsibility and change.

Completion of the course will yield insight into the project organization and management side
of precast concrete and resiliency. Students who complete this course will also be exposed
to several “non-engineering” skills (e.g. the management functions of planning, organizing or leading) which can be used in their resiliency capstone design course when working as a team and used when entering the workforce as young professionals.


Finally, an engineering capstone course will be the first course taught at the University with a focus on resiliency. Typically a senior design student takes information learned along the way in other courses and brings it all together for one project. This unique curriculum will be co-taught by Mary Christiansen and Alison Hoxie, a mechanical engineer specializing in thermal efficiency and resiliency. Students will work with a professor or Molin mentor on their project that may involve research and analysis of resiliency in precast concrete.


• PCI Midwest

• Molin Precast

bottom of page