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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Grant Funds New Program on Campus

"Building a Concrete Future" program was started this fall.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-25-2014

Mankato, Minn. – A $100,000 grant has enabled two departments in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology to start a new joint program this fall that is teaching precast and prestressed concrete concepts to the University’s civil engineering and construction management undergraduate students.

The “Building a Concrete Future” program is a collaboration between the University’s departments of Construction Management and Mechanical & Civil Engineering and is funded by a grant from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) with more funding from Wells Concrete Products, Inc. in Albany, Minn.

Minnesota State Mankato is the 10th school (and first in Minnesota) in the United States to receive a PCI Foundation grant.

As part of the program, Wells Concrete CEO Dan Juntenen said his company will provide access to “real-life” projects for students and faculty to use as case studies and for research. According to Juntenen, students will be able to follow a project’s progression through phases such as preconstruction planning, engineering design and 3D modeling, production of the components and finally field installation.

In addition to reaching undergraduate students, the new “Building a Concrete Future” program will serve as a resource for professional engineers in southern Minnesota to gain continuing education in both basic and advanced topics of precast/prestressed concrete.

The “Building a Concrete Future” program will enable Minnesota State Mankato students to advance their knowledge of materials, methods, and design principles of prestressed concrete. The program will also allow students, whether studying civil engineering or construction management, to work together to learn the benefits of building information modeling (BIM), particularly when BIM is shared between the engineer and contractor.

Construction management students will learn the unique attributes of precast concrete, and they will learn how to facilitate their ability to assess constructability, schedules and cost estimates.

For more information, please contact the following Minnesota State Mankato faculty members who are leading the project: W. James Wilde (professor, civil engineering; also a licensed professional engineer) at 507-389-5252 or; Farhad Reza (associate professor, civil engineering; also a licensed professional engineer) at 507-389-5081 or; and Mohamed Diab (assistant professor, construction management) at 507-389-2114 or

NOTE: Reza, Diab and Wilde are pictured (left to right) in the photo at left.

The other nine schools that have received a PCI Foundation grant include the California Polytechnic Institute at Pomona (architecture & engineering); Illinois Institute of Technology (architecture); New Jersey Institute of Technology (architecture); Rhode Island School of Design (architecture); South Dakota State University (architecture & construction management); University of North Carolina Charlotte (architecture & engineering); University of North Florida (engineering); University of Southern California (architecture); and University of Texas at Arlington (architecture).

The PCI Foundation provides grants for educational and research initiatives focused on state-of-the-art innovative approaches to the integrated use of precast concrete design, fabrication and construction. It is an independent 501(c) 3 and has provided support for programs at accredited schools of architecture, engineering and construction management in the United States. The PCI Foundation began sponsoring learning studios at schools of engineering and architecture in 2007.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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