The New Jersey Institute of Technology's Concrete Industry Management  program sent six students to London, England to participate in a 6-day working field course known as Constructionarium. Established over ten years ago, 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 all around the world. The purpose is to link academic institutes with industry and to ensure that the students are able to apply the knowledge they have gained in a practical, safe, and relevant environment.

Ravenspurn North is a North Sea gravity oil platform off the Humber estuary. Designed by Ove Arup, it was built on Teeside at Graythorp for BP.  It was the platform that established the viability of concrete gravity structures and showed a different way forward from the US approach. The student version was a 4m2 concrete caisson with a steel scaffold superstructure and plywood platform. The students built the structure in a dry dock, flooded the dry dock, floated the platform into position in a small pond, then sink the platform to the “seabed.” Their challenge was to handle the creation of a large structure in a short time.

The basic model consists of a triangle formed by an academic institution, a contractor, and a consultant; working in partnership to deliver a new learning experience which combines the academic perspective with those of the design professional and practical site delivery.  Delegates are assessed throughout the week in respect of budgetary control, methodolgy, and project management.

The UK trip was a successful and memorable trip for the students. Michelle Neri from NJIT was the Project Manager, Ruben Castello from NJIT was the Assistant Project Manager, and Hayden Bilyue from Middle Tennessee State University was the Construction Manager. “We hit some bumps in the road but manage to get back on track.  We constructed everything ourselves. We did all the formwork and even poured our own concrete. We also did all the paperwork required for a huge project like this. Each student was assigned specifics roles for the week and they were responsible for the work getting done. The days started at 7 a.m. and ended around 8 p.m. All the students had a great time and learned so much. Our team's name was CIM USA and we opened the door for other students to come next year. They were very 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!”, said Michelle Neri.

To see more step by step photos of the platform construction, click here.