Yushun Zou ’24 teams up with Clemson University students to create a first-place museum design

A dual-university student team including Lehigh civil engineering major Yushun Zou ’24 (pictured above, far right) won the Project Precast Design Competition held in Denver during the 2024 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Convention in February.

Thirty-two students were chosen from across the U.S. to participate in the event, which is organized by the PCI Foundation and sponsored by PCI member organizations. 

Group photo of Project Precast participants in front of mountains in BoulderThe competition was a first for Zou, who heard about the event from Professor Clay Naito, a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “I thought it would be a fantastic experience for me and a good opportunity to network with my coaches and other passionate students in this industry,” Zou says.

The individual participants are assigned to teams consisting of four members: two architecture majors, one construction management major, and one engineering major. The teams are given 48 hours to design a location-specific project. This year, the project was to design a hypothetical museum of mountain sports.

Zou was teamed up with three students—Jared Fasshauer, Parker Welsh, and Anna Durfree—from Clemson University. Each student on “Team Gate” netted $1,000 in prize money for their first-place finish.

“I worked as a construction manager, so I was responsible for the project schedule and cost estimation, based on the design provided by my teammates,” Zou says. “Lehigh's structural design and construction management classes honed my skills and taught me a lot of necessary skills for doing my work on the project. For example, the Gantt Chart I used for presenting the project schedule was something I learned from my construction management class.” 

The competition was a unique opportunity to “learn how to communicate with people from other departments and interact with students from other universities,” he adds. 

Learn more about the team’s winning entry on the Clemson News website. 

—Emma Eggelston ’24 is a student writer for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

—Photos courtesy of PCI Foundation