Hard Hat Day
Each year, the University of Houston – Downtown Student Chapter – ACI honors students who participated in ACI certification
courses by awarding them with a plaque and a hard hat. The most recent event, which took place in April 2019, was attended by
Houston Chapter – ACI President Will Squyres and Student Committee Chair Jacob Borgerson (photo courtesy of Arash Rahmatian)
strength values and density values, etc., they need to realize
how those values are actually determined and why those values
are important. They need to make sure that, when tests are run,
the reported values are accurate and considered reliable.”
Lawrence and his father, Bob (retired; also a Pittsburgh
Area Chapter – ACI Board member), conduct classroom
instruction and serve as examiners at the two college
campuses. Other chapter members volunteer their time
providing hands-on instruction and serving as proctors and
supplemental examiners for the performance portion. The
universities provide the lab space.
“Because certification is administered by the chapter, very
little work is required on the university end,” says Penn State’s
Aleksandra Radlińska, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering
and Faculty Advisor of the school’s ACI student chapter.
At Pitt-Johnstown, Brian Houston, Associate Professor in
the Engineering Division and Faculty Advisor of the ASCE
student chapter, makes his lab space available for certification
sessions. He says the certification course aligns well with
what he teaches in his materials of construction course.
“About half of our students enter the workforce in
construction as opposed to design, so this is a sought-after
certification for them,” says Houston.
Being mindful that many students face financial burdens,
the Pittsburgh Area Chapter – ACI provides certification
courses essentially free to student chapter members. Each
56 NOVEMBER 2019 | Ci | www.concreteinternational.com
student pays $5 for the manual.
“It may cost the chapter to administer the exam for free to
students, but it is the most rewarding thing our chapter does,
in my opinion,” says Lawrence. “It’s an amazing feeling being
able to educate and teach young people about something we
are passionate about. The concrete industry has the best
people, hands down, and certifying students helps bring more
people to our industry.”
How to Launch a Student Certification
••Research local universities and colleges to find courses and
programs that align with certification offerings; ••Identify professors/university staff who are passionate
about educating students about concrete (they may be
sitting on your Board); ••Reach out to student chapters; ••Consider subsidizing courses. Seek industry sponsors to
provide grants because many students face financial
hardships; ••Ask chapter members to donate time as guest speakers,
••proctors, and supplemental examiners; and Take collegiate schedules into consideration when
coordinating certification courses and exams.
Selected for reader interest by the editors.