USC launches master’s program in Advanced Design and Construction Technology

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USC Viterbi School of Engineering image
Image from USC Viterbi School of Engineering

The University of Southern California’s (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering has launched a new master’s program in Advanced Design and Construction Technology (ADCT).

The multi-disciplinary program will focus on the built environment, pulling together experts in various engineering disciplines such as civil and environmental engineering, computer and data sciences, large-scale 3D printing and artificial intelligence, to develop professionals who will apply design and engineering towards the creation of sustainable cities, infrastructure, buildings, and systems of the future, the university says in a statement.

In this program, students will take an integrative approach to design, engineering and construction technology to develop expertise in topics such as sustainability, data analysis and visualization, computing, modeling, simulation, process engineering and manufacturing. Innovation and entrepreneurship will also be part of the curriculum.

“The lingua franca for our industry’s future and imperative for building a sustainable world, is data,” said Program Director David Gerber, associate professor of practice in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC. “We would like our future professionals to be agents of change…people who are technically savvy, design savvy and business-minded, with a real focus on computing and data, including modeling, simulation, AI, and user experience technologies such as AR and VR.”

Students will have access to experts in computer science, construction, design, entrepreneurship, in addition to civil engineering and will be able to leverage expertise from USC centers such as the Center for Intelligent Environments and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Graduates of this program are expected to have an understanding not just of the building process itself, but also how people behave within buildings. Further, the program’s founders would like students to have an understanding how artificial intelligence and Internet-of-things technologies can be employed to optimize energy usage and ventilation, for example. In addition, the program will put emphasis on real-world opportunities and industry engagements.

Lucio Soibelman, Viterbi Dean’s Professor and Department Chair of the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering said, “We are living now on an inflection point in time. For many years machines and now robots have been replacing humans on jobs that require manual labor but today, for the first time in history, computers are intelligent enough to be capable of replacing humans on knowledge-based jobs. This is happening on many industries and there is not reason to think that the construction industry is not the next one to be affected by this trend. We developed this new graduate program to prepare civil engineers for this new era.”

“This program seeks to fundamentally change and enliven the way we are preparing the built environment professional. Its focus on data and people is key to driving efficiency, sustainability and quality in the design, engineering and construction of our environments,” Gerber said in the statement.

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