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SU Engineering Students Will Get Hands-on Experience at New Construction Lab

As new buildings rise in Syracuse or transportation infrastructure is improved, the next budding construction and civil engineers could also be dreaming up new designs and solutions. Syracuse University cut the ribbon on a new construction engineering lab this morning. The space will allow students to create practice exercises similar to actual construction site activity.

Chancellor Kent Syverud thinks the lab could have a real connection between future area projects and students.

"We are hoping that as Syracuse and Central New York blossom, which I think they will in the coming years and construction happens, our students will learn from it and see it," Syverud said.

Syverud says one of the first questions he was faced with when he became chancellor is the future of the University's main sporting venue. Does he think students who utilize the lab may also impact any future updates to the Carrier Dome?

"It's a teaching facility that also is a doing facility and, yes, I think our Carrier Dome as it evolves could be the same thing," Syverud said.  

SU's Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering Sam Salem says this facility will help students tackle real-world issues.

"That could be one research topic for a couple of PhD students thinking about something big like that. I could see that happening here as well," Salem said. 

Salem says about five years ago the construction engineering program didn't exist. Salem explains some of lab work that could lend to better infrastructure or green building.

"Structure health monitoring of say bridges or pipelines, even hands-on practice like green roofs on a smaller model," Salem said.

Salem says the construction of the building happened from several in-kind donations. He estimates the total price tag is somewhere between $1.5 and $1.7 million.