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Networking opportunities plentiful at concrete conventions


The School of Construction & Design Technologies’ concrete science technology major was well-represented by students and faculty at a trio of industry gatherings during the Fall 2019 semester.

Joseph F. DiBucci, of Glenshaw, an applied technology studies student and founder/president of the college’s ConCreate Design Club, attended all three: the American Concrete Institute convention, Oct. 20-24 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati; the International Concrete Repair Institute convention, Nov. 11-13 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City; and the Pennsylvania Aggregates & Concrete Association annual meeting, Nov. 18-19 at the Hotel Hershey.

Penn College's Joseph F. DiBucci (back row, second from left) joins other American Concrete Institute honorees at the organization's annual convention in Cincinnati. In the front row is Tricia G. Ladely, assistant director of the ACI Foundation. (Photo provided)
Penn College’s Joseph F. DiBucci (back row, second from left) joins other American Concrete Institute honorees at the organization’s annual convention in Cincinnati. In the front row is Tricia G. Ladely, assistant director of the ACI Foundation. (Photo provided)

Also attending the Philadelphia event were students Adam J. Korona, of Reedsville, majoring in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration, and Jeremiah Dyer, of State College, enrolled in applied technology studies; and Franklin H. Reber Jr., instructor of building construction technology. DiBucci was joined at the Hershey convention by Aaron J. Marsh, a 2015 building construction technology graduate now working toward a concrete science degree, and Susan K. Armstrong, a member of the building construction faculty.

“Each convention was a great experience that offered educational seminars throughout, said DiBucci, who earned a building construction technology degree in 2018 and is a 2019 recipient of the Richard D. Stehly Memorial Fellowship from the ACI Foundation. “The gained knowledge was a great benefit for myself, but I viewed the ability to network with industry professionals the most valuable. The conventions have been a life-changing experience and I would recommend any student to look into the possibility of attending their industry’s yearly conventions.”

“The convention was loaded with technical sessions from concrete industry repair experts, as well as networking opportunities through social events and committee meetings,” Reber noted. “The convention also boasted numerous exhibitors sharing the latest and greatest innovations in the concrete repair industry. The benefits of these types of events will last the students a lifetime and help them gain knowledge and add to their professional resumes. The opportunity to mingle with the best and brightest minds in the concrete repair industry does not hurt, either.”

The Philadelphia trip was made possible by Dave Mahofski, of the Delaware Valley ICRI chapter, who paid for the hotel, and the certifications were made possible by Steve Brunz, who reached out to institute members for faculty and student sponsorships. The total savings per individual was around $1,200, Reber said.

“The ICRI convention was a great opportunity to see the latest innovations and products being used in the today’s concrete repair industry,” added Jeremiah Dyer, also enrolled in applied technology studies. “It was an excellent opportunity to learn from vendors and leaders in the industry as we sat in on restoration presentations and committee meetings at ICRI.  We were also able to attain our Level 1 and Level 2 CRST certifications for future employment opportunities.  The conference was an awesome experience.”

“The students had an opportunity to network with industry personnel representing concrete producers, aggregate suppliers, cement and admixture manufacturers,” Armstrong said of the PACA sessions. “They were also able to sit in on the Concrete Innovations Seminar and learned about four up-and-coming technologies in the concrete industry: calcined clay as a pozzolan, fiber-reinforced concrete, the SMARThatch air entrainment system and self-flowing concrete.”

For more about the college’s concrete science technology major, the only one of its kind on the East Coast, visit the School of Construction & Design Technologies.

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