Oregon State University has won the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institue’s (PCI) 2023 Engineering Design Competition, also known as the Big Beam Competition. The national competition, in its 23rd year, teaches college students important structural engineering skills in an applied learning environment that will benefit them in their future professions. 

Teams of students and a faculty advisor design, build, and test a 20-foot, precast, prestressed concrete beam. Local PCI-certified precast concrete producers mentor and fabricate the beams for the teams. Entries are judged on a variety of criteria, including the beam’s load-resisting performance in tests that simulate real-life conditions structural building and infrastructure components must endure to ensure life safety, as well as the quality of their analysis and reports, and a video overview of their project.

"PCI Big Beam competition helped students learn different perspectives compared to the knowledge gained from the classroom,” said Tanarat Potisuk, faculty advisor for the winning team. “This included performing design calculations, building the beam, and observing actual behavior of the beam through the test. The results were eyeopening for them, showing that when design assumptions were well thought out and calculations were correctly executed, it could predict the actual behavior of the beam closely.” 

“This competition facilitates a link between engineering calculations and real-world precast concrete fabrication,” added Jared Brewe, PCI’s Vice President, Technical Services, who served as a judge. “It’s exciting to see how the teams approach the problem, adapt to meet limits of their producer partner, and learn through the process of design, fabrication, and testing. The creativity in the video submissions also demonstrates the ingenuity of these students and their excitement for the opportunity to visit and work with our producers.”

The 2023 PCI Big Beam Competition was sponsored by ALP Supply and ASPIRE magazine.




Overall Results

First Place: Oregon State University

Faculty Advisor: Tanarat Potisuk

Student Team: Sean Freitag, Nicholas Peterson, Kobe Wagner

PCI Producer: Knife River Prestress


Second Place: University of Minnesota Duluth

Faculty Advisor: Brock Hedegaard

Student Team: Justin Entinger, Eric Gibson, Kate McCabe, Abby Norman

PCI Producer: Molin Concrete Products


Third Place: Iowa State University

Faculty Advisor: Hartanto Wibowo

Student Team: Anisha Karki, Gata Milla, Lucas Reidel, Chandra Shekhar Lakavath

PCI Producer: Rinker Materials


Remaining finishers in alphabetical order.


University of British Columbia

Faculty Advisor: Lisa Tobber

Student Team: Alay Bhagat, Sara Darsi, Jassimrat Deol, Vishawjit Singh Gill,

Navsift Kaur, Samantha Krieg, Mahya Moghadasi, Kiana Youssefian Sahzabi, Grant Shishido

PCI Producer: Rapid-Span Precast, a Limited Partnership


University of Illinois at Chicago

Faculty Advisor: Didem Ozevin

Student Team: Said Elferachi, Haider Himairi, Caitlin Koziel, Raguez Taha

PCI Producer: County Prestress


Lehigh University

Faculty Advisor: Clay Naito

Student Team: Tj Briscoe, Urinrin Otite, Constantine Patmandis

PCI Producer: High Concrete Group LLC


University of Massachusetts Amherst

Faculty Advisor: Sergio Brena

Student Team: Andrew Lochner, Lukas Souza, Omid Monshi Toussi 

PCI Producer: Unistress Corporatiion


University of Massachusetts, Team 2 

Fsculty Advisor: Sergio Brena

Student Team: Joshua Govina, Thien-Thanh Nguyen, Lucia Pan, Cameron Ritchie

PCI Producer: Unistress Corporation


New Jersey Institute of Technology

Faculty Advisor: Mohamed Mahgoub

Student Team: Armin Saadegh-Vaziri, Alexander Savekin

PCI Producer: Jersey Precast


Northern Arizona University

Faculty Advisor: Robin Tuchscherer

Student Team: Anthony Eschen, Hunter McCormick, Joshua Sewell, Farrah Young

PCI Producer: Tpac


Keith Kaufman Award for Best Report

Judges considers the overall presentation of the report when deciding on a best report winner. In addition to verifying the report contains all the requested sections and required signatures, judges look for clear presentation of data, professional look and formatting, and an overall well-written report.


Oregon State University

Faculty Advisor: Tanarat Potisuk

Student Team: Sean Freitag, Nicholas Peterson, Kobe Wagner

PCI Producer: Knife River Prestress


Best Video

Requirements include a video taken of the precast concrete beam being tested. Teams are encouraged to be as creative as they wish when preparing the final video. Videos with a storyline related to the big beam competition are clear standouts and the judging committee may elect an entry to receive a best video award.


Lehigh University

Faculty Advisor: Clay Naito, PhD, PE

Student Team: Tj Briscoe, Urinrin Otite, Constantine Patmanidis

PCI Producer: High Concrete Group LLC


To see the student videos, visit PCI’s Big Beam Channel on YouTube.