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K-State Today

June 18, 2019

Tilting the future in their favor: Students earn certification from American Concrete Institute

Submitted by Kimberly Kramer

Twenty-three Kansas State University construction science and management students worked to construct their futures by receiving Tilt-Up Concrete Technician Certification following completion of coursework and successfully passing an exam administered by the American Concrete Institute.

Adam Spencer, Brian Carpenter, Miguel Chacon-Andrade, Randal Chushuk, Justin Friensen, Benjamin Haukap, Alex Howard, Samuel Howell, David Jacobson, Allison Lancaster, Jack Newlin, Ryan Nordyke, William Purpura, Tanner Roberts, Trevor Scheumann, Syed Shabbir, Karen Silerio, Cade Soringston, Francisco Trevizo, Matthew Boigt, Cannon Woodward, Riley Woodward and David Zahner, all sat for and passed the exam for certification by demonstrating an understanding of safety, plan reading, scheduling, site preparation and foundations, slabs on grade, layout, forming, concrete properties and placement, erection and structural systems for producing tilt-up projects.

The tilt-up course, developed and taught by Kimberly Kramer, professor and G.E. Johnson construction science chair in the G.E. Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science, was supported in part with resources from the Tilt-up Concrete Association. Kramer is a member of the National American Concrete Institute's Committee 551 Tilt-Up Construction, which writes the standards on tilt-up design and construction. In addition, she has served as keynote speaker at the association's annual meeting and is director of graduate studies for her department.

K-State is one of a few if not the only university to teach a course in tilt-up construction. It has strong industry support from Ted Strahm, Joseph Ballentine, Jarred Henry and Darin Feist with Lithko Contracting; Jason Blakenship with Needham & Associates; and Rusty Owings with Geiger Ready Mix. These individuals guest lectured or provided construction drawings for the course, taught for the first time this semester as a regular semester course instead of an intersession course.

In 12 years, more than 200 students have taken Kramer's course and approximately 130 have become certified as tilt-up technicians with a 99 percent pass rate.

"Construction companies that do this type of construction are required to have a certified technician performing the work," Kramer said. "K-State has facilitated in tripling the number of technicians in Kansas throughout the last several years, as well as helped to certify the first two female tilt-up concrete technicians in the nation. This year the student group is the most diverse compared to previous years."

"Our department has placed an increasing emphasis on attracting quality individuals to the construction industry during their college careers," said Ray Buyle, professor and department head of architectural engineering and construction science. "Professor Kramer's input and direction have been a strong impetus in that accomplishment."

Definition: Tilt-up is a construction technique for casting concrete elements in a horizontal position at the job site and then tilting them to their final position in a structure.

Tilt-up concrete wall panels most often serve as load-bearing wall elements spanning vertically from the foundation or slab-on-ground to intermediate floors, the roof or both. Tilt-up panels are generally handled only once. They are lifted or tilted from the casting slab and erected in their final position in one, continuous operation. Tilt-up panels are generally of such large size and weight — 120,000 pounds —they can only be constructed on site and in close proximity to their final location in the structure.