For the past five years, University of Wisconsin – Platteville engineering students have participated in a hands-on plant tour to learn how reinforced concrete pipe is made and why it’s the preferred material for long-lasting storm water management systems in local communities. The annual tours are hosted by County Materials’ Madison, Wisconsin, pipe manufacturing plant each spring and fall. Brian Kolden, Technical Resource Engineer for County Materials, was invited by Dr. Danny Xiao to be a guest lecturer after the two met at a conference where Kolden staffed a booth for County Materials.
Students in the Construction Materials class are introduced to various pipe products and watch the processes and equipment County Materials uses to manufacture durable reinforced concrete pipe and precast products. Students learn why the specification of quality materials – from concrete to steel – meets rigorous ASTM C76 standards. Kolden also demonstrates County Materials’ quality control testing processes.
Kolden said many of the students work in local engineering and contract firms after graduation and are directly involved with designing and specifying materials for storm water management systems for growing communities. The awareness and hands-on education they gain during the plant tours better prepares them to select construction materials that build safe, reliable, and cost-effective storm water management systems. County Materials is an industry leader that invests in education, provides resources for students and construction professionals, and manufactures reliable concrete construction and landscape products for growing communities.