Long-time friends, classmates, and now masters of new, environmentally friendly concrete technology: Kyle Buntin, left, and Jake Knight.

WHEN KYLE BUNTIN AND JAKE KNIGHT chose Pittsburg State to pursue degrees in construction engineering technology, they learned quickly how access to the right materials and instructors can make all the difference in an education.

Lifelong friends from Erie, Kan., Buntin and Knight saw research opportunities in the developing area of pervious concrete, a form of concrete that allows water to flow through – a more sustainable choice for many contractors today. The two began spending long hours in the lab experimenting with a variety of rocks and filler materials. In the end, they created about 30 different concrete samples that were durable and permeable, allowing the maximum amount of water to filter out.

Their samples were so good (the best used a mixture of quartz and fiber) that they finished second last fall and again this spring at the Kansas-Missouri American Concrete Institute’s Pervious Concrete Competition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Pitt State was the only Division II school represented in the competition.

With sustainable techniques proving to be the wave of the future in construction, Buntin and Knight are looking forward to using these successes to build their careers.

“It gives you confidence knowing you can go out and achieve goals you set for yourself,” said Knight.