Brasfield & Gorrie partnered in July with the Dallas chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) to host a day camp that educated young girls about construction.

Participants included more than 90 girls ages six through nine from Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit that delivers life-changing programs and experiences to help girls overcome socio-economic barriers.

Educational events at the day camp included a panel discussion with industry professionals, a hands-on planter building activity, and presentations focused on various topics, including safety and construction equipment.

Brasfield & Gorrie employees volunteered by helping manage the events of the day and providing professional insights from their roles as leaders in the construction industry.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) South Texas Chapter recently hosted a family STEM night at Poe Middle School in San Antonio. Professionals from different firms in the area volunteered at the event to inspire students about science, technology, engineering and math.

Among the civil engineering activities were: building boats out of aluminum foil to learn about buoyant forces; playing paper football to learn about velocity and drag forces; and checking out construction photos of site excavation, pipe installation and a concrete pour at a pump station.

“It was encouraging to see students who had never considered the field of engineering become interested in our water system and the projects I was working on,” says Helen Salama, a civil engineer with Freese and Nichols Inc. “I reminded them that even if they struggled in math in school, it doesn’t mean they should rule out engineering.”

Pictured below are AWWA civil engineering volunteers, including Jesse Guerra with Alan Plummer Associates, Salama, Sam Johnson with JQ Infrastructure, and Gabby Morales with Freese and Nichols.

In the bottom photo, Poe Middle School students watch the Water Geek video to learn about water systems and see how elevated storage tanks supply water to neighborhoods.

MMR Group Inc., in conjunction with the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Engineering, hosted a ribbon-cutting to officially open the MMR Building Simulation and Information Modeling Construction Management Studio and MMR’s Advanced Materials and Methods Laboratory. MMR President and CEO James B. “Pepper” Rutland was joined by LSU Engineering Dean Judy Wornat and Dr. Charles Berryman, chair of the Dept. of Construction Management.

LSU’s College of Engineering is now the largest academic building in the state of Louisiana and the largest engineering building in the U.S.

The BIM “Cave” (below) is a virtual-reality environment that features 44 55-in. 4K OLED displays in a circular formation and is designed to fit in a space of 24 ft by 48 ft, allowing a sizable group of students inside. Using virtual reality and BIM software within the environment, students can see a building or structure before it is built, allowing designers or contractors to make changes well before actual construction has begun.

In the Advanced Materials and Methods Laboratory (above), researchers and students collaborate on groundbreaking techniques to improve concrete and asphalt durability and sustainability. This includes studying the use of microcapsules and their ability to heal concrete upon cracking.