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The Greektown Casino Parking Structure in Detroit was one of three winners of the PCI's 2008 Harry H. Edwards Industry Advancement Awards. The precaster was National Precast Inc., Roseville, Mich.

The precast and prestressed concrete industry will focus on “Expanding Opportunities in a Changing World” at this year's Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Annual Convention and Exhibition. The event will be held in conjunction with the PCI National Bridge Conference, Oct. 4–7 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla.

PCI chairman Bill Simmons hopes the convention will provide producers with the resources to continue delivering innovative materials and processes, and the best product solutions. “Our customers are informed and continue to seek out progressive thinking and solutions that resolve today's design and construction challenges,” says Simmons. “It is within this environment that precast/prestressed concrete producers and PCI stand ready for the challenge.”

The convention will offer attendees plenty of opportunities to sharpen their competitive edge, including educational sessions. Sessions will be organized into five tracks: executive, technical/ research, sustainability, marketing/training, and operations.

The wide range of topics will include creating a culture of innovation, seismic design and research issues, sustainability case studies, designing with architectural precast concrete, and leveraging growth opportunities in single- and multifamily housing. Several education sessions at the PCI Convention have been approved for continuing education credit to maximize attendees' professional skills.

Precast industry suppliers will also display their products, materials, and services. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with them and learn about the latest innovations, applications, and techniques.

In keeping with the convention's theme of change, the keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Kriegel, author of the national bestseller, If it Ain't Broke... Break It! The author and speaker teaches out of the box strategies for keeping ahead of the changes, challenges, and competition in today's evolving marketplace. U.S. News & World Report named him as one of this country's leading authorities in the field of change and human performance.

Kriegel will deliver his presentation, “Reinventing the Game: New Rules for the Precast Industry in the 21st Century,” at the Awards Ceremony Breakfast on Monday, Oct. 6, from 7:30 to 10:30 am. Exhibits will open on Oct. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a Grand Opening reception from noon to 5 p.m. Exhibit hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 6; and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 7.

Attendees can also take advantage of offsite activities: a precast plant tour, wine tasting, visit to Kennedy Space Center, Airboat and Alligator Experience, golf outing, and more. PCI's 45th Anniversary Design Awards Banquet will wrap up the event on Tuesday from 6:30 to 11 p.m. The awards recognize excellence in precast concrete design, and will be given to the best buildings, bridges, and custom solutions in North America.

National Bridge Conference

With so much attention focused on the nation's bridges over the past year, precast and prestressed producers who work on transportation projects need to be at the top of their game. These producers can attend two important events at the same time. The National Bridge Conference will be held concurrently with the PCI convention, and co-sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This year's spotlight state will be the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Attendees will have “the unique opportunity to network and be immersed in the state-of-the-art of concrete bridges,” says John Dick, PCI's director of transportation systems. This educational experience will include 23 different sessions and 90 different papers on concrete bridge design and construction. (A CD-ROM of these papers will be provided at the event.)