The Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program sent 14 students to London to participate in a six-day working field course known as Constructionarium. The team consisted of six students from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), six students from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and two students from California State University in Chico. The students were tasked with building a scaled-down version of the Ravenspurn North, a North Sea gravity oil platform off the Humber estuary.

The team, named CIM USA, built a 4 m2 concrete caisson with a steel scaffold superstructure and plywood platform in a dry dock, flooded the dry dock, floated the platform into position in a small pond, and then sank the platform to the “seabed.” The challenge was to handle creating a large structure in a short time.

Michelle Neri (NJIT) was the project manager, Ruben Castello (NJIT) was the assistant project manager, Hayden Bilyue (MTSU) was the construction manager, and Professor Jon Huddleston (MTSU) was the team advisor. “We hit some bumps in the road but managed to get back on track,” says Neri. The 14 students constructed everything, did all the formwork, and poured their own concrete. They also completed all of the paperwork required for a huge project like this.

CIM USA completed the challenge and the students learned much. “They were impressed with us because not only were we the smallest team but also we were able to build the project under budget. We saved half a million pounds! And we opened the door for other students to come next year,” adds Neri.

Constructionarium provides a hands-on construction experience for students and professionals where participants construct scaled down versions of bridges, buildings, dams, and civil engineering projects from around the world. The goal is to link academic institutes with industry and to ensure the students apply the knowledge they have gained in a practical, safe, and relevant environment. For more information, visit