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Kokosing gift an investment in experiential learning

Kokosing Design Studio

Associate Chair of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering Michael Hagenberger often says “If we want students to be professionals when they graduate, we need to provide opportunities for them to work in a professional environment.”

Civil engineering alumnus Brian Burgett was listening.

Brian Burgett

Thanks to Kokosing, Inc., where Burgett is president and CEO, undergraduate students in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering (CEGE) soon will learn and innovate in the new Kokosing Design Studio. The remodeled 14,000 square foot space on Bolz Hall’s 4th floor primarily will serve seniors working in teams on capstone projects. The renovation will begin in fall 2019.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Kokosing is one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the country. Kokosing’s primary business lines include industrial, transportation, water and wastewater, buildings, pipelines and marine work. Additionally, Kokosing owns construction material supply companies. Known for unwavering integrity and exceptional safety and quality, Kokosing provides extensive resources for its customers.

The long-standing partnership between The Ohio State University and Kokosing provides students with experiences and opportunities that will enhance their education. Through a variety of internships and co-op programs, students have a solid foundation for future growth and are well prepared to enter the workforce. Kokosing is proud to employ more than 80 Ohio State graduates.

“The company’s financial contribution for the new design studio is a natural extension of our long-term partnership with the university,” said Burgett, BSCE ‘73. “Ohio State is continuing on an exciting trajectory and I can’t wait to see where it leads."

The Kokosing Design Studio will feature an Autocad lab, collaborative space for students to work in teams or to engage visiting professional engineers, and flexible space for guest lectures, career events and presentations. More than 150 computer stations with state-of-the-art software will be integrated, and undergrads and grad students will be able to access the space to study and collaborate at all hours. A student lounge with kitchenette undoubtedly will encourage 24/7 utilization.

“The vision for the new student centered space is to create an environment where students can collaborate with each other, faculty, and industry professionals as they prepare for their future careers,” Hagenberger said. “It will also foster a sense of community by creating space where students can work and socialize with other members of our department.”

Kokosing Design StudioArchitect's rendering (courtesy: ms consultants)

Each year, up to 150 CEGE students are working on capstone design projects. Hagenberger thinks the Kokosing Design Studio’s impact will be seen immediately in the quality of those projects. He also knows that it will catch the eye and interest of visiting high school students narrowing their lists of future college destinations.

Understandably a little envious that his senior successors will enjoy the new confines after he graduates, senior Sam Rankin appreciates Kokosing’s investment in the future. “The new lab space will allow students to more effectively collaborate and engage with relevant technology,” he said, “both of which should better prepare them for their future endeavors in civil engineering."

With the experience they gain in the Kokosing Design Studio, future civil, environmental and geodetic engineering graduates will be even more marketable to potential employers. And rest assured that Kokosing will be following these new professional engineers closely.