Professor Sergio Brena, the associate department head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, was presented with the Distinguished Educator Award by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) at its annual Committee Days and Technical Conference. The PCI gives the award to educators who have made significant long-term contributions to the educational mission of PCI, including teaching and research. See PCI press release
Winners of the award must also demonstrate high impact on the education of undergraduate, graduate, and/or continuing education students. Brena is past chair of PCI’s Student Education Committee, and he received the PCI Young Educator Award in 2011.
Brena has been a member of the PCI since 2003, and he has served on the PCI’s Educational Activities Council (2014-2018), Student Education Committee (voting 2010-present, chair 2014-2018), Academy Advisory Board (2015-present), Handbook Blue Ribbon Review Team (2015-2018), Handbook Committee (voting 2018-present), and Design Specification Committee (voting 2018-present).
Brena has also been the faculty advisor for the UMass Big Beam Student Competition Team in 2002 (best report, 6th place nationally), 2003 (5th place nationally), 2007, 2010, and 2012.
According to the PCI, it was founded in 1954 and is a technical institute for the precast concrete structures industry. PCI develops, maintains, and disseminates the information for designing, fabricating, and constructing precast structures. It also provides technical resources, certification for companies and individuals, and continuing education. In addition, the PCI conducts research and development projects, conventions, conferences, awards programs, and much more.
PCI members include precast concrete manufacturers, companies that provide products and services to the industry, precast concrete erectors, and individual members such as architects, consultants, contractors, developers, educators, engineers, materials suppliers, service providers, and students.