The Design Studio at the University of Nebraska

The Design Studio at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is housed within the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction (DSAEC). This studio takes advantage of the phenomenal industry partnerships and multi-disciplinary faculty of the DSAEC. To reach as many undergraduate and graduate students as possible, a series of modules have been developed to foster repeated exposure of students to precast concrete design and construction multiple times throughout their programs. These two to four week modules will be implemented as early as the freshman year through senior / graduate level elective courses.

Modules and courses are managed by Dr. Marc Maguire and Dr. George Morcous and ideally delivered by a combination of DSAEC Faculty and volunteer industry experts affiliated with PCI Midwest, such as regional Architects, Engineers, and Construction Managers. This delivery system reaches the three separate degree tracks of Architectural Engineering, Construction Engineering, and Construction Management with over 600 undergraduate and graduate students. This program augments three degree programs with a robust set of educational modules such that students are routinely exposed to precast concrete concepts like production and construction techniques, estimating, quality control, structural design, safety and occupant health.

Modules include site visits to precast plants at least once per semester and additional visits to construction sites as needed by the curriculum. Course content is made in conjunction with local precast plant engineers, managers, erectors, and architects. Local precast partners take the lead in producing precast products for educational purposes. Such products are used as teaching tools and demonstrations for students to gain first-hand experience constructing precast concrete components.

The following outcomes are expected from this studio: (1) familiarity and competence among the recent graduates across the construction and architectural engineering fields (2) understand the benefits of precast and prestressed concrete as compared to other building systems (3) preparation for future careers related to the precast concrete industry. Outcomes will be tracked for improvement in each iteration of the program.


George Morcous, PhD, PE

Professor, Construction Engineering, Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction

Marc Maguire, PhD

Assistant Professor, Construction Programs, Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction