Workshop: Advancing Faculty Skills in Mass Timber Construction

June 24, 2024 - June 26, 2024

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI


Mass timber construction is growing rapidly in the US, experiencing exponential growth since 2014. Despite this, a lack of an educated and knowledgeable workforce remains as a top barrier to wider use of these materials and techniques in domestic markets. The Advancing Faculty Skills in Mass Timber Construction Workshop helps to resolve this barrier through a hands-on, small-group workshop that will guide faculty participants through current topics of interest regarding mass timber construction, provide them with experience on mass timber construction sites, and give them an opportunity to develop the framework for incorporating mass timber topics into their teaching. The three-day workshop features construction of a small mockup, takes participants to several mass timber buildings and construction sites, and allows them to consider how these topics can be incorporated into their teaching. The workshop is led by faculty from Michigan State University, as well as industry experts in timber design, manufacturing, and construction.  

Location and Format  

The workshop will be held June 24-26, 2024, at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Featured facilities during the session will include the MSU STEM Teaching and Learning Building, the first significant mass timber project completed in Michigan and the MSU Construction Management Research and Education Laboratory.  

The three-day workshop will include lectures, tours, and hands on activities. The first day will focus on providing an overview of mass timber materials and construction and will introduce the two projects that participants will work on during the workshop: 1) construction of a Rothoblaas mass timber mockup and 2) identification of a mass timber-related instructional topic that participants will include in their teaching. The second day will feature tours of in-process and recently completed mass timber projects; the new mass timber pavilion at Stine Community Park in Troy and JST Corporation Campus (multiple mass timber projects) construction site in Farmington Hills, including interactions with project team members around key construction topics. The third day will be focused on completion of mockup construction and a lightning presentation round where participants will share their curriculum plans, as well as a concluding discussion.  


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  • Pre-tenure and recently tenured faculty 
    • 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities 
    • Construction management, construction engineering, and construction science 

There is no cost associated with the workshop. Travel expenses will be reimbursed, and meals will be provided or offset. The workshop will host a target of 25 participants; a wait list will be developed if applications exceed available slots.  


Primary Instructors  

  • George H. Berghorn, PhD, CGP, LEED AP, Assistant Professor of Construction Management and Research Director of MassTimber@MSU at Michigan State University 
  • Sandra Lupien, MPP, Director, MassTimber@MSU 
  • William Broderick, Rotho Blaas USA Inc
  • Brandon Brooks, WoodWorks
  • Jerry Carlisle, Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights
  • Todd Hamilton, Simpson Strong-Tie
  • Michaela Harms, Sterling Structural
  • Jason Ruffles, Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights
  • Jason Smart, American Wood Council
  • Tym, Kinsol USA 
Learning Objectives  

Objective 1: Participants will learn about unique aspects of the mass timber construction process from preconstruction through project execution.  

Objective 2: Participants will learn about the challenges of building with mass timber through hands-on construction of mass timber mockup that allows them to gain familiarity with various connector types.  

Objective 3: Participants will understand the basics of mass timber structures, products, building systems, and types of connections and connectors commonly found in mass timber construction.  

Objective 4: Participants will visit mass timber buildings, learning about the applications of mass timber in the built environment and the unique costing, builder’s risk insurance, integrated design, logistics, and installation considerations.  

Objective 5: Participants will explore ways to incorporate a mass timber topic into one of their classes for the coming academic year.  


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