Center for Construction Innovation and Collaboration (CCIC)
Many scholars believe that innovation is the key to our nation's economic growth. Innovation may be particularly critical in the construction arena. The more traditional approaches to research and development are rapidly becoming outdated. Recent research highlights the critical relationship between innovation and collaboration. Innovations are increasingly brought to the market by networks of groups and individuals operating in a coordinated fashion. These new models require new skill sets, and the ability to collaborate effectively is becoming a critical component driving effective innovation. The Center for Construction Innovation and Collaboration (CCIC) promotes innovative and collaborative projects in the McWhorter School of Building Science and serves as a showcase for faculty and student achievements.
The Center for Construction Innovation and Collaboration promotes academic excellence and the importance of the collaborative process in order to form strong relationships with students, industry, product producers, and other academic institutions. The Center focuses on innovative approaches to problems and processes, while maintaining core values centered on sustainability and impact on built environments.
Industry and University Commitment
The McWhorter School of Building Science is fortunate to have a strong relationship with the Alabama Construction Industry Fund (CIF). The initial concept of a center for collaboration and innovation was suggested by the leadership of CIF in 2004. Subsequent to that time the CIF has provided significant funding for a pilot program involving a unique collaboration with the Department of Industrial and Graphic Design. Based on the demonstrated success of this pilot program, and several other factors, the formation of the center was formally approved by Dr. Jay Gouge, on November 5, 2009.
As a result of the pilot program with Industrial Design and the support of the Construction Industry Fund (CIF), faculty members from the McWhorter School of Building Science have published eight refereed articles. Two grant proposals, two licensing agreements, and two pending patents have been awarded. Professors Holley, Farrow, Tatum, Killingsworth, Weiss, Smith, Hosey, and Olsen have made considerable donations of time and significant intellectual contributions to this program.
Recent efforts involving innovation and collaboration in the McWhorter School of Building Science have expanded beyond well beyond product development. Professor Holley and others have championed the development of a unique Integrated Design & Construction Masters program focusing on collaboration with School of Architecture and significant help from industry partners. Professors Kramer, Ruth, Hein, Smith, Weiss, Liu, Sattineni, and Burt have developed one of the most innovative international studies programs in the United States. Professors Azhar, Hein, Sattineni, Liu, and Taylor have developed a exceptional curriculum making BSCI graduates some of the most digitally sophisticated in the United States.