Preservation Engineering at Manhattan College

by Marie Ennis on February 21, 2012

Preservation Engineering is being taught as a new course this semester at Manhattan College, as part of what we hope will become a masters degree program within the Civil Engineering department. Pat Morrissey (Conspec) recruited interested preservation professionals through a LinkedIn website to participate in establishing a course at his alma mater. After several meetings with the Department Chair, Dr. Moujalli Hourani, Marie Ennis and John Matteo (Robert Silman Associates) developed the syllabus for the class and recruited lecturers. Lecturers include Marie and John, Donald Friedman, Timothy Lynch, Joseph Tortorella, and Derek Trelstad.

The course, which is open to senior undergraduate and graduate students, provides an overview of preservation engineering including philosophy, terminology, the evolution of building codes and the development of various building systems. There are lectures focused on the analysis of historic materials – iron, steel, concrete, masonry, wood – that augment the students recently acquired analytical tools for the design of new buildings. Investigation and evaluation are touched on throughout the course.

The subject of higher education for engineers in the preservation and conservation fields has been the focus of many professional groups including the Association for Preservation Technology over the past decade or so. We at OSE are very excited about the nascent program at Manhattan College and are pleased to be participating in its development.


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