At the end of March, MSOE hosted the 2015 Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) Conference at the Pfister Hotel and on campus. A new record attendance was reached with more than 300 attendees: roughly 100 students from across the country and more than 200 professionals from around the world. Dr. Christopher Raebel ’94, MSOE associate professor and conference chair, planned and organized the conference along with help from AEI’s Board of Governors, ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) staff and MSOE’s student Chapter of AEI. Student activities were planned and organized by juniors Brittany Vitkovich and Adam Laux. Faculty from the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management (CAECM) Department and volunteers from various CAECM student organizations assisted with the conference as well.

The conference kicked off with the CAECM Department’s annual Career Night. More than 70 companies were represented, and the event was open to MSOE students and students participating in the AEI Conference.

The two-day main conference began with an opening plenary session where MSOE President Hermann Viets, Ph.D. gave a welcoming address. He was followed by keynote presentations by Vince Bertram, president and CEO of Project Lead The Way, who discussed preparing the future workforce. The second keynote speaker was Victor Sanvido, senior vice president of Southland Industries, who presented about a lean approach to planning, design, construction and the operations of buildings.

Five universities participated in the student competition presentations: MSOE, Kansas State, Penn State, Lawrence Technological University and the University of Nebraska. MSOE’s team consisted of Patrick Alcock (electrical specialty), Ali Borrelli (structural specialty), Brock Gerbyshak (construction management), Thomas Kral (construction management), Jacklyn Lesser (structural specialty), Crystal Marmolejo (construction management), Cory Miklas (electrical specialty), and Mark Slonina (mechanical/electrical specialty). MSOE’s team was runner up in the Electrical Systems Design category and the Construction Development category.

The conference also consisted of more than 120 presentations in 34 breakout sessions, professional project award presentations, student chapter leaders workshop, and tours of Johnson Controls Inc., and Marquette University Engineering Hall. There also was a welcome reception at the Grohmann Museum, and keynote lectures by Mitchel W. Simpler, managing partner at Jaros, Baum and Bolles, who discussed the perfect office building, and Nicholas Holt, director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, who discussed the integration and innovation in the build environment.

At the 2015 AEI Conference, students and professionals had many opportunities to interact with one another. Assigned seating at the awards banquet encouraged professionals and students to interact with each other. Students, faculty and professionals also attended the Milwaukee Admirals hockey game and a tour of MillerCoors Brewery.