University of Vermont

College of
Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

School of Engineering hosts historic preservation colloquium

Release Date: 06-29-2009

Author: Dawn Marie Densmore
Phone: Array Fax: 802-656-8802

The University of Vermont's School of Engineering and the National Center for Preservation Technology & Training (NCPTT) hosted a two-day colloquium June 22-23, 2009 at UVM devoted to the development of curricula in historic preservation engineering.

The organizing committee, lead by Prof. Doug Porter, included Profs. Donna Rizzo, Mandar Dewoolkar and Jeff Marshall from the UVM School of Engineering. Sponsored by the NCPTT, the Getty Foundation, and the UVM Transportation Research Center, the goal was to develop curricula for an engineering program focused on quantitative techniques and methodologies applied to the engineering evaluation and remediation of heritage structures, and to ensure that students acquire the competencies necessary to address the challenges of the market.

Undergraduate and graduate curricula were developed across a broad engineering spectrum including: sustainability; the history of engineering and technology; code development; structural analysis of existing construction and design of alterations; materials characterization; energy, heat, and moisture transfer in buildings and components; fire safety of archaic assemblies; and remote monitoring platforms. New curricula will include heritage preservation modules to be added to existing courses, as well as new courses focused specifically on heritage preservation engineering.

Sessions were presented on the worldwide need for heritage preservation engineering programs, the market requirements to be met by such programs, and the educational and institutional challenges likely to be associated with such programs. Other topics of discussions were:

  • History of engineering and technology, code development
  • NDE/Sensors/Diagnostics
  • Preservation ethics, standards, and legislation
  • Sustainability (efficiency, economics, environmental physics)
  • Engineering and disaster preparedness for heritage structures
  • Materials, deterioration processes, and testing procedures
  • Masonry/earthen structures
  • Timber structures
  • Stabilization, repair and treatment strategies
  • Geotechnical design
  • Building performance (mechanical, electrical, and other building systems)
  • Documentation/recording

For additional information, please contact Professor Doug Porter at