IMI University Programs
At the New Jersey Institute of Technology's School of Architecture (NJSOA), a design/build competition that allows architecture students to experience both masonry materials and collaboration with masonry professionals is now part of the curriculum for second-year architecture students. "As you would imagine," said Urs Gauchat, dean of the School of Architecture, "a more informed designer will certainly create a higher quality product."
For this year's competition in April, 65 members of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers (BAC) spent two days teaching building techniques to 120 students.
"The students saw how a thought in their head is turned into a wall made out of brick and mortar," said Professor Thomas Ogorzalek. "It's magic for the students, and they will remember that day for the rest of their lives."
The competition is sponsored by the Masonry Contractors of New Jersey (MCNJ), with BAC NJ Locals 2, 4 and 5 and the International Masonry Institute (IMI).
The competition and related curriculum, said MCNJ President Michael Schmerbeck, "has turned into the most ambitious and rewarding educational joint venture between educators and industry."
On other campuses, IMI programs take different approaches. In Michigan, IMI sponsors professors who teach structural masonry at several campuses. At the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, IMI sponsors a column-crushing contest that helps students understand material strengths and loads.
From materials labs to lectures to the annual University Professors Masonry Workshop, IMI works to instill a career-long appreciation for masonry, and craftsmanship.
For more information on the IMI, please visit www.imiweb.org.
About the Author
The International Masonry Institute (IMI) is a strategic alliance between the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and their contractors, promoting quality masonry construction. For more information visit www.imiweb.org.