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Amit Poshiya, graduate student in engineering technology, tries to get softballs off of cones with a Wacker Neuson tracked conventional tail excavator on Wednesday, April 17. Wacker Neuson was one of many companies that allowed students to operate their equipment. Logan Wiley

Pitt State hosts annual construction expo

Nearly 100 exhibitors and vendors from across the country gathered at Pittsburg State’s Kansas Technology Center (KTC) for the School of Construction Expo. 

With an estimated 800 guests from all over the Four State region, the Construction Expo attracts high school, community college, and university students, as well as contractors and instructors, to discuss and gain hands-on experience with the newest in construction technology in addition to scouting future employment opportunities. The expo took place April 15-16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“It was pretty neat,” said Eric Sazama, a senior in construction management. “There was a lot more equipment than I remember. (It) seemed like there was a lot more involvement with the students.” 

The first day of the expo was dedicated to breakout sessions, with industry leaders giving talks over rigging planning, 3D drone mapping, the importance of hydraulic fluid, trench safety, and the uses of white topping and thin concrete pavements. On Wednesday, attendees had the opportunity to operate a variety of different tools on display, such as: aerial lifts, cranes, concrete placement and finishing equipment, HoloLens and virtual reality displays, and more. 

“They poured part of the parking lot in like a real expo, but the pump truck and the concrete really caught my attention,” Sazama said. “And the drones, that was cool. They actually flew some drones this year.” 

The expo ended each day with a speaker featured in the Overman Student Center’s Crimson and Gold Ballroom from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday’s speech was delivered by William Praderio, vice president of Massman Construction Co. as part of the Beavers Association Distinguished Speakers series. Serving as keynote speaker for the event was Dirk Elsperman, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Tarlton Corporation, as well as this year’s president of the Associated General Contractors of America.  

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