At 50, Pci Journal Revisits Hollywood Debut

Less than two years after formation of the Prestressed Concrete Institute (officially named the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute in 1989), the inaugural

Less than two years after formation of the Prestressed Concrete Institute (officially named the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute in 1989), the inaugural PCI Journal was released in May 1956 at the second PCI convention in Hollywood, Fla. That debut occurred six years after completion of Philadelphia’s 160-ft.-long Walnut Lane Memorial Bridge Û the first major prestressed concrete bridge in the U.S., whose construction helped launch the North American precast/prestressed industry.

During the 1950s, a shortage of structural steel in the U.S. made concrete, especially prestressed concrete, an attractive building material. While new prestressing technology was applied initially only to bridge construction, its effectiveness for buildings and other structures was soon recognized. Wider application of the technology was spurred by the development of seven-wire prestressing strand and long-line stressing beds for the production of standardized precast/prestressed concrete members. As prestressing operations became more economical and efficient with the implementation of new precasting techniques, large-scale prefabrication gained impetus in plants established nationwide.

Yet, realization of a full-fledged industry was hampered in its early years by the absence of code provisions. Accordingly, PCI’s founders saw the necessity of a technical journal to document and disseminate the rapidly growing body of knowledge concerning prestressed concrete applications in the U.S. The PCI Journal thus was first produced by the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Florida at Gainesville with Professor Alan Ozell serving as editor, supported by professors Ralph Kluge and Donald Sawyer, as well as instructor Paul Zia (since named a PCI Fellow and a long-time PCI Professional Member, plus a former ACI president).

Published quarterly in the beginning, PCI Journal was conceived as a hybrid, comprising primarily technical material in the form of authored papers and committee reports, as well as current industry events and technical developments, plus advertising. In addition to technical papers presented at PCI conventions with question-and-answer panel discussions, independently authored research papers were published after thorough peer review. To date, that basic format continues to serve the industry.

A glance at PCI Journal history is adapted from Historical Overview of the PCI Journal and Its Contributions to the Precast/Prestressed Industry, appearing in the PCI Journal 50th Anniversary Issue, January-February 2007, Vol. 52, Nol 1.


1956 Û Inaugural issue debuts at second PCI convention

1959 Û PCI headquarters are relocated from Boca Raton, Fla., to Chicago, expanding the scope of the group from regional to national.

1961 Û Tom D’Arcy is hired as PCI’s publications director.

1962 Û Following conversion from a quarterly schedule, the first bimonthly issue of PCI Journal is published in February.

1964 Û PCI Technical Director Russel Hammersmith is appointed editor of PCI Journal.

1966 Û Daniel Jenny, PCI’s new technical director, assumes journal editorship.

1972 Û George Nassar (at the time, associate editor of the ACI Journal for the American Concrete Institute) is hired as a full-time editor.

1989 Û Journal format is changed from 6 in. _ 9 in. to 8.5 in. _ 11 in. magazine dimensions.

1992 Û PCI’s Technical Activities Committee establishes the Journal Advisory Committee to function as an advisory group and guide the editorial staff.

2003 Û Frank Kurtz is installed as editor in chief.

2005 Û Emily Lorenz, formerly an editor with ACI’s Concrete International magazine, is hired as editor and implements editorial and aesthetic changes.