ICS Magazine

Purdue University developing disaster restoration specialty

September 18, 2007

BURLINGTON, Washington – September 17, 2007 – Dri-Eaz partnered with Bob Bonwell of Advantage Marketing to drive the creation of a new educational program for restoration contractors at Purdue University. At the recent Restorative Drying Symposium in Las Vegas, Dri-Eaz President Bill Bruders announced that a specialty in disaster restoration project management will be established at Purdue University within the Department of Building Construction Management (BCM) in the next year.

Bruders said, “Dri-Eaz and Advantage Marketing spearheaded financial recruitment efforts while contributing to this program as a way to help expand current restoration contractors’ knowledge base plus foster the next generation of restorers. Purdue’s new program will complement existing restoration classes and certification programs, adding another level of educational opportunity to the industry.”

Bonwell and Bruders led the effort to secure the $1.5 million in financial support required to match Purdue’s commitment to this new specialty.

At the Symposium, Purdue’s BCM Department Head and Professor Robert Cox, PhD, announced the names of all 10 contributors to the program, each committed to donating $15,000 per year for the next 10 years. Along with Dri-Eaz, the donors include: Advantage Marketing, Bridgepoint Systems, Claude Blackburn (former owner of Dri-Eaz Products, Inc.), Disaster Kleanup International, Evans Garment Restoration, Independent Mitigation and Cleaning/Conservation (IMACC), ServiceMaster Clean, Therma-Stor and Unsmoke.

Dr. Cox said that his 10-year goal is to develop the specialty into a full degree program, so that ultimately a student could obtain a degree in disaster restoration management.

Purdue will build the new specialty from the ground up. Dr. Cox is seeking subject experts, guest lecturers and contributors of case studies to assist in the development of course materials. “We have to go from 0 to 60 over the next 6-8 months, so I’d encourage any interested contractors to contact me about helping to develop this program,” Dr. Cox said.

To complete the new specialty, students must take two technical electives in disaster restoration during their four-year BCM bachelor program, plus work for at least 800 hours in the field of construction , with at least half of that in disaster restoration.

Disaster restoration will join several existing specialty areas within the BCM department at Purdue, including residential, electrical, mechanical, demolition and health care construction management. In the future Purdue also plans to develop on-line certification and continuing education courses related to disaster restoration.