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New Department of Construction launches with plans for "greener" education

June 07, 2011 12:00AM

Moving quickly to create one of the most impressive construction education centers in this part of the country, the new Department of Construction Management and Construction Engineering Technologies (CMCET) at Pittsburg State University is celebrating their official launch this fall with "green" educators and cutting-edge technology for students.

As part of the department's plan to incorporate green and sustainable construction practices into the curriculum, several CMCET faculty members recently completed the difficult Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional (AP) examination, which provides a set of performance standards for certifying the design and construction phases of commercial, institutional and high-rise buildings. The LEED AP evaluates and accredits faculty knowledge about green building design and construction and the entire LEED application process for buildings. Many general contractors hire LEED APs to manage their green/LEED certified projects. Faculty members Shannon Nicklaus, Bill Strenth, Justin Honey, Seth O'Brien and James Otter passed the examination.

Administrators next will work to incorporate the Green Associate accreditation as part of the current required CMCET 691 Professional Certification Seminar course.

Already handling some of the largest enrollment on campus at 350+ majors, the department is getting a lot of help in the area of equipment from industry friends. Recent additions include new 250,000# universal testing machine, a hydraulic soil compactor, two robotic total stations, three GPS rovers and a base station, TEKLA software, new estimating software, a plumbing/mechanical connections display, and a cement storage silo. A new 40-seat computer-based estimating and construction management computer lab, funded primarily by student technology fees, is almost complete, and will facilitate the incorporation of 4D/5D BIM and 3D site modeling into the curriculum.

The CMCET department, which parted from the Department of Engineering Technology after experiencing overwhelming growth in enrollment, now houses the current four-year degrees in construction management and construction engineering technology, a safety minor, as well as a bachelor of applied science degree with an emphasis in construction for students transferring with an associate's degree. The department also offers an online master's degree in engineering technology. Future plans for the curriculum include new construction emphasis areas and the conversion of the safety minor into a four-year degree.

To contact the department, call 620-235-6555 or go to

---Pitt State---

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