World of Concrete offers 'endless possibilities'

Published 03.17.2023

Photos provided

Corporate Relations
Building Construction
Faculty & Staff
Student Experience

Eight students, two faculty members and Pennsylvania College of Technology’s senior corporate relations director recently ventured to the Las Vegas Convention Center for this year’s World of Concrete, the only annual international event dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry industries.

The Penn College contingent sees the "World."
The Penn College contingent sees the "World."

Students attending are Nate M. Carsley, of Elverson, concrete science technology; Jacob R. DeSimone, of Youngsville, concrete technician II; Boyd C. Heckman, of Duncannon, concrete science technology; Ian K. Lampert, of Milford, New Jersey; Ryan M. Madigan, of Warren, building construction technology; Kaden M. Park, of Summerville, concrete science technology; Brad J. Papura, of Mountain Top, residential construction technology & management; and Lucio C Pendolino, of Hummelstown, building construction technology.

They were accompanied by Franklin H. Reber Jr. and Scott A. Bierly, instructors of building construction technology, and – from the College Relations Department – Elizabeth A. Biddle.

The trip is made possible by industry generosity, noted Reber, who said this year’s sponsors donated nearly $10,000 for the students to attend.

“These companies have been 100% supportive since the start of the concrete science degree,” he added, citing the ongoing contributions of Forcine Concrete, Lithko Concrete, Conewago and Durable Surfaces. “These companies also donate materials and equipment on a continual basis for our degree. “

Reber shows his strength, resourcefulness and good humor.
Reber shows his strength, resourcefulness and good humor.

To help give the campus community a better understanding of the size and scope of the industry, and the opportunities available to Penn College students, Reber shared these comments from the participating students:

  • “Walking around the World of Concrete was eye-opening, seeing how many people have the same interest as me, while also getting to learn about the latest and greatest of all concrete equipment. Along with that, I was able to receive knowledge while talking to vendors or watching demos that I more than likely would have never received … if I was not at the World of Concrete.”
  • “I would recommend this degree to other students because the concrete industry is growing bigger and bigger, which is creating many job opportunities. In the concrete field, there are many different routes you can take as a career path, so it will be easy to find the one thing you may like. WOC was a great experience, getting to walk around and see the newest and greatest things out there. Having the ability to talk to different companies and see where things are heading was huge, I believe. I think, for students that want to go into concrete, that the WOC would be great so they can see the big picture on what is going on; they just aren't reading about it, they are able to see it in person and experience it.”
  • “For starters, I’m thankful for everyone that made it possible for the Penn College concrete students to attend this event. It was a well-organized educational trip. The WOC opened my eyes to different parts of the concrete industry that I have never even thought about. Inside the convention center, there is any and every company that plays a role in the industry. Booths range from decorative concrete display all the way to the protective fall equipment that is needed on the job. The majority of all companies really enjoyed talking to us, as college students actually getting a degree in concrete. I was able to demo new tools and fasteners that have not yet reached the market.”
  • "I would encourage anyone interested in concrete … to look into the concrete science degree at Pennsylvania College of Technology. This degree has taught me everything from making the concrete to pouring it, and then testing to see if everything is up to the specifications. It is a hands-on degree where you will be thrown into real-world jobs. We perform tasks both in the concrete lab and outside on school projects/maintenance. The school has a great selection of concrete equipment along with quality professors. This allows students to graduate with a well-rounded knowledge base that they can take with them into the workforce.”

  • “World of Concrete is great for anyone that is in or wants to experience the concrete industry. As a student in the concrete science degree, World of Concrete offered an incredible experience for me as I was able to gain even more knowledge on the cutting-edge products and niches of the industry. Seeing what the concrete industry is truly all about is mind-blowing because there is much more out there than you may think. I recommend Penn College’s concrete science program because it offers the best knowledge and hands-on experience in concrete. With that, students get to learn about forming and pouring and can obtain certifications, all while gaining an extensive concrete education.”
  • “I believe the World of Concrete really helps students understand the endless possibilities there are in the concrete industry. It shows that concrete is used to the max of your imagination. It also helps students to talk to companies about what they stand for; helps them make connections to learn the endless amount of information on concrete. It also helps put the Penn College name out there.”
  • "I would 110% recommend the World of Concrete trip. It was an amazing experience in which I gained great knowledge, got to see how many companies work with concrete and was introduced to many new kinds of technologies. Along with this, it really helped tie together the class work and real-life experiences in the field. It was also an amazing experience and opportunity to see the Hoover Dam and the Pat Tillman Bridge. I would totally recommend to any students interested in or already in the concrete science degree to take advantage of the opportunity to go to the World of Concrete, as it is an excellent experience!"
  • "The World of Concrete was a great experience to be a part of, thanks to Penn College. We were able to attend this convention and speak with the best companies about the new advances in the concrete industry. There were hundreds of exhibits that had demonstrations on new tools, equipment and various products that can help companies around the world find new ways to get the job done. Even as a student, I was able to learn so much on the newest innovations that the construction world has to offer. Aside from the convention, the World of Concrete is held in Las Vegas, which made time after the convention very fun – and a fun place to travel to.
  • The Cconcrete science technology program is an ideal program to join due to its hands-on learning. In class, we learn so many different key aspects to the industry by going outside of the classroom and pouring decorative slabs, pouring concrete countertops, and even concrete testing. The program also covers the science behind concrete, estimating and structural applications, and we can obtain a number of different certifications. Many companies come to our program looking to hire students every year because there are very few schools that offer this sort of program. I highly recommend this program to anyone that sees their career in construction or concrete."
Hoover Dam, as seen from Pat Tillman Bridge
Hoover Dam, as seen from Pat Tillman Bridge