PCI Competition Offers University Students $25,000 In Prizes

September 28, 2010

Applications for university teams competing in the annual Engineering Student Design Competition conducted by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), Chicago, IL, are due to the organization on March 15, 2009, with results to be completed by June 15.

Known as the “Big Beam Contest,” the contest offers $25,000 in prize money.

It challenges teams of students from universities nationwide to design, fabricate and test a precast, prestressedconcrete beam with the help of a faculty advisor and a local precast concrete producer member.

Prizes are awarded for most efficient design, highest load capacity, best report, and other categories.

Awards are presented for each of PCI's seven regions. National champions are selected from the regional winners.

In 2008, some 21 teams of students from universities across the country won prizes in the competition. A team of three students from the United States Military Academy won the National Championship Award.

“The competition is always very popular with engineering students, because it allows them to see their design come to fruition in the plant,” says Paul Johal, PCI research and development director.

Each team must have a faculty advisor for support, but a single advisor can work with multiple teams from the same school.

To learn more about the program or to obtain application materials, contact Paul Johal at 312-360-3213 or pjohal@pci.org. Application materials and rules can also be downloaded from the PCI website, https://www.pci.org/education/big_beam/index.cfm.