Blog

  • 15 May 2017 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    My Story with ACI


    It is a true honor to become the 94th President of ACI. Words can't describe this exceptional milestone in my career. Sharing my background with you, and how ACI has been the core driver for my success, might best explain how humbled I am.

    I graduated as a civil engineer from AUB—the American University of Beirut, Lebanon—in June 1985. The only job I could find was in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was a laboratory engineer position with Ready Mix Beton, a fast-growing ready mixed concrete company in the Arabian Gulf.

    I learned the hard way that being a civil engineer does not necessarily mean someone understands concrete. This was particularly true in the Gulf region, with its perfect recipe for concrete corrosion: very high humidity, exceptionally high temperatures, and plenty of airborne salts because of the adjacency to the sea. Much more than academic knowledge or the technical resources available locally at that time was needed to overcome the challenges of producing durable and workable concrete in the Gulf.

    My first employer, Khaled Ghandour, to whom I owe a lot of my professional advancement, sent me to the 1987 World of Concrete in Houston, TX. It was at the ACI booth, while looking at the dozens of codes, guides, and publications, that I truly started drinking from the fire hose of concrete knowledge.

    Back then, other than ACI, no authority in the world had addressed hot weather concrete. In ACI 305, Guide to Hot Weather Concreting, I found the appropriate correction for so many misperceptions in the local industry.

    The pumpability chart in ACI 304.2, Placing Concrete by Pumping Methods, was my key reference for designing concrete mixtures, and ACI 308, Guide to External Curing of Concrete, was my post-placing gift for every contractor.

    ACI helped my employer and me in educating the market in Abu Dhabi. A few years later, Ready Mix Beton grew to become a multinational company, and ACI had an indirect equity in its technical success. In 1995, I asked the ACI Certification Department how I could certify my field and lab technicians. At that time, there was no local sponsoring group for ACI in the Middle East. John Nehasil, ACI's current Managing Director of Certification, sent me all the required documentation to start the first sponsoring group in the region, as it was impractical to send technicians to the United States.

    The moment I received John's letter, I decided it was time I started my own business. I went back to Lebanon in 1996 to establish Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS), a consulting firm with laboratories for testing concrete and other construction materials. To expedite the certification initiative, John introduced me to Wally Rooke, ACI examiner and at that time Secretary of the Manitoba Chapter – ACI. Wally helped me in developing the training materials and assisted ACI in metricating the certification exams. We started promoting ACI Certification in every country of the Middle East, and we held the first ACI Certification session in Lebanon in December 1996. We then expanded to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and Qatar. By 1998, with the help of Wally who traveled with me to deliver the programs, and the support of ACI staff, ACI Certification (and ACTS) became popular in most countries of the region. Wally also assisted me in establishing the Lebanon Chapter – ACI.

    Today, ACTS has become a multinational company, enjoying a unique reputation for integrity and knowledge. Needless to say, ACI has so much equity in this success.

    ACI Past President Jim Wight once said during a board meeting that people become emotional when they receive an ACI award—not just because of the recognition bestowed on them, but because the award was a strong reminder of how ACI helped them become who they are. This could not be more true for me.

    For that, and for the bigger mission of advancing concrete construction that ACI represents, I am full of enthusiasm to serve you in the best possible ways during my Presidential term. I am also very aware of various expectations about having a President from outside the Americas for the first time in ACI's history. I look forward to joining with the ACI staff, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Direction in living up to your greatest expectations.

    Khaled W. Awad


  • 12 Dec 2016 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    YOU CAN’T COMPETE WITH THE REAL THING This is World of Concrete—a firm foundation for the entire concrete and masonry industries and the first and most important annual international event of the year. It’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. Put in four high-efficiency, low-cost, smart-work days at WOC 2017 and you’ll see your bang/buck ratio go through the roof.

    2017 WOC Exhibit Hall Hours
    Tuesday, January 17-Thursday, January 19
    9:30 am -5:00 pm
    NEW! Friday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Exhibits Only
    $70 by 12/1/16; $85 after 12/1/16
    Exhibits Only Spouse
    $70 by 12/1/16; $85 after 12/1/16
    Shuttle Bus (If NOT booking hotel through WOC Housing)
    $30 by 12/1/16; $40 after 12/1/16
    WOC 3-Hour Seminars
    $145 by 12/1/16; $175 after 12/1/16
    WOC 90-Minute Seminars 
    $105 by 12/1/16; $135 after 12/1/16
    WOC 4-Hour Certification Seminars
    $190 by 12/1/16; $225 after 12/1/16
    Super Pass 1
    $425 by 12/1/16; $550 after 12/1/16 (Incl. FREE Exhibits-Only)
    Super Pass 2
    $425 by 12/1/16; $550 after 12/1/16 (Incl. FREE Exhibits-Only)
    Super Pass 3
    $525 by 12/1/16; $650 after 12/1/16 (Incl. FREE Exhibits-Only)

    2017 WOC Education Program Hours:
    Monday, January 16 (Pre-show Education all day)
    WOC 3-Hour Seminars: 8:00 am - 11:00 am; 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    WOC 4-Hour Certification Seminars: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    WOC 90-Minute Seminars: 8:30 am - 10:00 am; 10:30 am - 12:00 pm;
             1:30 pm - 3:00 pm; 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

    Tuesday, January 17 - Thursday, January 19

    WOC 3-Hour Seminars: 8:00 am - 11:00 am
    WOC 4-Hour Certification Seminars: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    WOC 90-Minute Seminars: 8:30 am - 10:00 am; 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Friday, January 20
    WOC 3-Hour Seminars: 8:00 am - 11:00 am
    WOC 90-Minute Seminars: 8:30 am - 10:00 am

    Something for everyone:

    WOC will once again feature special product and action areas, including The Producer Center, a marketplace of materials, equipment, demos, and seminars for concrete producers; Material Handling, offering trucks, excavators and more for material delivery, distribution, concrete placement, and earth moving; Concrete Repair & Demolition, housing a display of surface preparation equipment, scarifying, grinding, sawing equipment, and other demolition products; World of Masonry, showcasing products, tools, information, and technology for masonry professionals; Technology for Construction, featuring the newest products and tools for the commercial construction industry from top information technology and systems providers; and Concrete Surfaces & Decorative showcasing the popularity of decorative concrete for both commercial and residential applications. Precast was launched in 2016 and highlights the latest products and technologies in the precast/prestressed sector.

    NEW FOR 2017
    Concrete Masonry (North Hall)
    This area showcases everything for the producers of concrete masonry (block, segmental retaining wall units, veneer, slabs, pavers, and more.)
    • Admixtures
    • Equipment & Supplies
    • Pigments

    Concrete Reinforcement (North Hall)
    Features the leaders in concrete reinforcement showcasing reinforcement bending, cutting, straightening, and fabricating machinery.
    • Reinforced positioners & locators
    • Epoxy-coated, steel, glass fiber, galvanized bar
    • All types of reinforcement accessories


    BENEFITS OF ATTENDING WOC:
    See it all in one place.
    Find everything you need to win more jobs, make more money and streamline your business.
    Get connected.
    Make new contacts and strengthen your industry connections.
    Work smarter.
    Learn how to work leaner, get the safety training and courses you need in today's economy.
    Get hands-on.
    See, touch and test the latest products under real-world, jobsite conditions.
    Find new opportunities. Capitalize on the trends that will drive future markets and provide opportunities to profit.
    Get your questions answered.
    Attend expert-led seminars for the new skills, practical solutions and creative strategies to improve your business.


    Please note: All info is subject to change. During normal show hours, persons 17 years-old and under will be admitted only with parental supervision. THIS RULE IS STRICTLY ENFORCED. Persons 18 years-old and over must register and pay in order to receive a badge.  The use of Segway and Segway-type units are prohibited on the show floor unless the Segway is identified with and ADA placard



    Go to Registration Page

  • 01 Jul 2016 3:00 PM | Anonymous

     

    The Concrete Convention and Exposition is coming to Philadelphia, PA this fall! All convention events will take place at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.  October 22 - 26th, 2016.

    REGISTER HERE:

    https://www.concrete.org/events/conventions/currentconvention/registernow.aspx?step=Start_MemberInfo

  • 01 Jul 2016 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    The mission of ACI is to develop and disseminate consensus-based knowledge on concrete and its uses. How does this happen? Here is a brief summary of a very daunting task. ACI is a Standards Developing Organization (SDO), which means we must follow generally accepted consensus guidelines. The Technical Activities Committee (TAC) is the group that manages these consensus guidelines and therefore manages ACI's mission.

    I recently attended the ACI Chapter Leadership Training, which is held annually in Farmington Hills, MI, at ACI headquarters in mid-May. This 1.5-day event was attended by U.S. and international chapter officers. There were 28 ACI members present, plus staff. This is the second year in a row that I have had the privilege of attending this event. Every chapter had the opportunity to send their leadership to this training session. The intent was for participants to return to their local chapters with tools to help improve chapter performance, to gain access to a network of fellow chapter officers to call if necessary, and receive an update of what is going on with ACI. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm, candor, and information sharing between the participants. Everyone participated and shared their best practices. Staff did a great job of coordinating this event. If your chapter has not participated in this training, I would personally recommend it for next year.

    The local ACI chapter is the initial ACI experience for many of our members. Many in the Institute consider local chapters as the roots of ACI. The local chapters are independent organizations that follow guidelines for chapter operations established by ACI. The chapter is where "the rubber meets the road." In other words, most chapter members are deeply involved with the local concrete construction community and are often the instructors and examiners for the various concrete certification programs. At present, 55 chapters serve as sponsoring groups for ACI certification programs.

    In the current ACI Strategic Plan, chapters play an important role under the Engagement pillar to strengthen the relationships between chapters, ACI national members, and staff. When this plan was approved, ACI had less than one full-time equivalent (FTE) staff member supporting chapter operations. I remember ACI Past President Ken Hover coming to the Executive Committee with a proposal to hire additional staff to support the chapters. At that time, Ken was the Chair of the Chapter Activities Committee (CAC). Today, thanks to the input of CAC, ACI now has three full-time people who support the chapters: John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities; Cheryce Haddad, Chapter Awards and Activities Coordinator; and Kanette Mwanjabala, Chapter Services Coordinator.

    The ACI Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards Program traces its roots to the local chapters. A number of chapters have held award programs for years. Suggestions were made to have the chapter winners compete for international awards. In 2015, ACI held its first Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards Gala. All entries came through local chapters or International Partners. If your chapter is not currently participating, ACI's Project Awards Guide is a step-by-step online reference on how to set up an awards program.

    ACI has developed a series of 1-hour technical meeting presentations delivered by ACI staff for use by chapters. Programs are available on a first come basis and ACI will cover the speaker's travel expenses in the United States. Topics for 2016 include ACI Repair Code, Concrete Cracking, ACI Certification – Now and the Future, and Adhesive Anchor Installer and Inspector Certifications. Additional programs are being developed for 2017.

    Each year, chapters submit an Annual Report Form, which is scored to determine the official Excellent or Outstanding Chapter designations. These chapters are all recognized at The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition in the spring. Will your chapter be recognized in Detroit in 2017? I personally hope that we are able to recognize more chapters. Review the criteria to receive an Excellent or Outstanding Chapter Award designation and make the necessary adjustments to qualify. I know of chapters that successfully review this on a quarterly basis.

    A new member benefit for local chapter members is currently being implemented: a free electronic version of Concrete International magazine. This will allow local chapter members who are not ACI members to stay up to date on what is happening at ACI. The only requirement for the local chapter is to provide a member list that includes e-mail addresses on an annual basis.

    I began my ACI journey at the local chapter level in Southwest Ohio in 1978. The local chapters provide the opportunity for members to meet and connect with other professionals in this rewarding industry that we have chosen as our career. I still maintain that our chapters are the front line of the Institute and are critical for ACI as we carry out our mission.

    Michael J. Schneider


  • 01 Jul 2016 1:38 PM | Anonymous

    This year, the Portland Cement Association is celebrating its centennial year.

    The organization sees its centennial year as an opportunity to celebrate not only the association itself, but also the great progress the industry has made and the role that concrete will continue to have in building a resilient, sustainable world.

    "On behalf of the ACI Board, Membership, and staff, I congratulate PCA on 100 years of outstanding services to not only the industry, but to all those who benefit from effective and beneficial use of concrete." Ron Burg, ACI Executive Vice President

    ACI has a long history of working together with PCA for the benefit of all concrete industry professionals. Many PCA members and staff work on ACI Committees, helping develop the latest codes and reports related to concrete. PCA is also a member of the ACI Foundation’s Strategic Development Council (SDC). SDC provides an in-house forum where the concrete industry can come together with companies and entrepreneurs with new technologies at senior levels to discuss strategic issues and tactics including support of practical research to the benefit of all.

  • 15 Mar 2016 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    MRMCA + ACPA + SHA + FHWA presents: 

    16th Annual Concrete Conference for the Maryland Transportation Industry 

    When:  March 16, 2016 7:00 a.m.- 3:30p.m.

    Radisson Hotel North Baltimore - 2004 Greenspring Drive

    Timonium, Maryland 21093  (410)252-7373

    Hotel rooms blocked thru February 19, 2016 under “Concrete Conference" 

    General Session:

    Keynote Address by SHA Administrator

    It’s Competition

    Norfolk Midtown Tunnel Project

    State Highway Specification Updates

    Field Testing Hall of Shame

    Afternoon Session: A & B Run Concurrently

    PAVEMENTS Session “A”

    BWI Pavement Selection

    MD 210 Overlay Case Study

    Full Depth Recycling with Grout

    Local Applications of RCC

    STRUCTURES Session "B"

    Making Beams Continuous for Loading

    Boyers Mill Road Bridge Case Study

    Innovative Crack-free Bridge Deck

    Architectural Treatments

     

    Registration Information 

  • 09 Mar 2016 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The Post-Tensioning Institute is hosting a Level 1 & 2 Boned PT Field  Specialist certification workshop March 9-11 in Baltimore, MD.

    The Three day workshop is specifically aimed at field personnel involved in the installation, stressing, grouting,  and inspection of bonded post-tensioning multi-strand and bar systems used in bridge and building construction. 

    For more information on this event and to register visit their website at www.post-tensioning.org





  • 07 Mar 2016 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    It has been my honor to represent the American Concrete Institute as its 92nd President during the past year. I have interacted with members from across the Institute and met people from around the world, and they all shared a vision for improving our infrastructure, and the overall quality of life, through the use of concrete.

    2015 was a very strong year for ACI, and I am pleased to share with you some key metrics:


    All of these achievements, and many others, are the result of countless hours from our volunteer members. Thank you for your interest in and commitment to the Institute.

    As a member of technical committees for more than 30 years, I was quite familiar with ACI’s reputation as a source of state-of-the-art technical information. The importance of providing unbiased technical information continues to increase with the development of new products and materials. ACI members continue to impress me with their commitment to vetting technical information thoroughly and developing comprehensive design standards to facilitate safe and reliable use of concrete.

    I have also been extremely impressed with the ongoing activities within ACI’s educational committees. ACI is moving from in-person seminars related to a single technical document to a suite of online educational options. This change allows concrete professionals to obtain the technical information that they need in a timely fashion and on a schedule that can be accommodated within their busy careers. By all reports, ACI University and the certificate programs have been extremely well received by ACI members, and I look forward to further expansion of options in this area.

    "ACI members continue to impress me with their commitment to vetting technical information thoroughly and developing comprehensive design standards to facilitate safe and reliable use of concrete."

    Perhaps the thing that surprised me the most was the passion exhibited by ACI members and Chapter members in the area of certification. A severe shortage of workers in the U.S. construction industry is projected within the next 10 years, but through its certification programs ACI is dedicated to ensuring that the concrete workforce of the future is well-trained and ready to move our industry forward. In addition, the development of country-specific certification programs has the potential to improve the quality of concrete construction worldwide.

    I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Past Presidents Jim Wight, Anne Ellis, and Bill Rushing. Each of you has served as a mentor for me. Your advice and insights have been instrumental to me during the past year. Vice Presidents Mike Schneider and Khaled Awad bring new ideas and insights to the executive committee, and I am confident that they will provide strong leadership of ACI. Finally, I want to thank all the ACI staff—an amazing group of dedicated professionals.

    Thanks again for this opportunity. I look forward to seeing many of you at the ACI Convention in Milwaukee, WI, this spring.

    Sharon L. Wood

    Sharon L. Wood

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