Georgia Chapter ACI, Summer Newsletter
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Summer Newsletter

September 2014: Issue 5

Inside This Issue...

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Upcoming Events

ACI Field Tech Grade I Training

ACI Field Tech, Grade I Certification Exam

ACI Field Tech, Grade I Certification Exam

GA Chapter ACI Lunch Meeting

ACI Strength, Aggregate & Lab Tech Exam Training

ACI Field Tech Grade I Training

ACI Field Tech, Grade I Certification Exam

ACI Strength, Aggregate & Lab Tech Exam


2014 Georgia Chapter Officers:

Vance Robinson
Ready Mix USA

Vice President:
Angela San Martin, P.E.

Elizabeth Harwood

Ralph Hodgins

Board of Directors:

Steven Maloof
TEC Services, Inc.


Howard Allred, P.E., F.ACI
Allred Engineering, LLC


Wilbur Bragg II, P.E., CDT
T. Y. Lin International


Kelly L. Roberts, P.E., LEED AP
Walter P. Moore


Gary Knight
Lehigh Cement

Dr. Wasim Barham

Tom Pfeifer, P.E.
Uzun & Case Engineers


Immediate Past President
George Harrison

President's Message

We made it through the “Dog Days of Summer” and now it is even hotter outside. It seems that some old paradigms no longer hold true. As I look back I see that change has been a common theme in my contributions to this newsletter. I guess this would be the perfect time for the Dylan tune “These Times are A- Changing” to be playing in the background.
I was at lunch with an old colleague recently and he asked business was doing. I answered that it was pretty good, and then after a pause I added “Do you mean compared to last year or five years ago?”. It struck me that we are finding a new normal. Next year if asked the same question, I may not pause and add a caveat.  I have found change is a constant and has a pattern.
Water-cement ratio theory was cutting edge in 1918. In the 1930s we learned the benefits or air-entrainment to protect against freeze thaw damage.  In the 1970s the use of fly ash in concrete was not common and replacement values were limited. Today supplementary cementitious materials are used in all concrete with increased replacement percentages.  I remember when I first tested  and evaluated magical “superplasticizers” and today they are just another material in my tool box.  I recently read an article about research on a concrete that can generate solar power. What once was only imagined in science fiction can become our new normal.
We are continually changing. I believe progress is achieved when we embrace the pattern of change by remembering where we came from while we are open to new concepts. Concrete is such a simple building material but yet so complex. I believe that why I love this job. I learn something new every day. 

Thank you,

Vance Robinson
Georgia Chapter ACI, President

Skipper Seminar Recap

The ACI Georgia Chapter hosted it’s annual Skipper Seminar this past July, featuring  three different speaker and over 4 hours a fascinating topics. Our speakers included (in order of appearance):

  • Doug Gruber- whose topic was advances in Fly Ash technology as a performance pozzolan.
  • Jon Belkowitz- whose topic was colloidal silica and its application in mix design.
  • Richard Szecsy- whose topic was the proposed changes to ASTM C94

All of these speakers did a great job and were very dynamic in their presentations, keeping it lighthearted while at the same time covering some significant material. Thank you to everyone who attended, as well as our planners, Vance Robinson and Gary Knight, who put together a great program and kept it moving along.

May Meeting Recap

We had a pretty good crowd on hand for our last lunch meeting before the summer break to hear a presentation on the new Civil Engineering Program at the University of Georgia, which was started in 2012.  Dr. Stephan Durham, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Structural and Materials Engineering opened with a little history of engineering at UGA.  UGA offered a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from 1883 to 1932, when the State of Georgia consolidated all engineering degree programs at Georgia Tech.  Engineering resurfaced at UGA in 1993 with a Degree offered in Biological Engineering; followed by Computer Systems in 2007, Biochemical and Environmental in 2008.  Traditional Engineering Degrees in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical were reinstituted in 2012-2013.

The current Civil Engineering College has 6 Faculty and approximately 180 Students, with the first graduating class expected in 2015.  Dr. Durham went over some general details on the type program offered at UGA; with particular focus being made on creating “blue collar” or work ready engineers.  Specific examples given were classes on engineering failure case studies, construction project field trips, design build projects, urbanization problem solving projects, etc.  Dr. Durham added that concrete and concrete making materials was big part of the curriculum and that involvement with ACI was key with ACI Field Tech certification being offered as part of their concrete materials class.  He thanked the GA Chapter ACI for making certification available to his students.

Dr. Durham closed with some course study specifics and a mention of the great industry response to the new program with more than 12 companies currently offering student internships. 

The slide deck was made available for our member review.  Chapter Vice-President, Angela San Martin, closed with our Georgia Chapter Cup presentation and thanked everyone for their attendance and support.


This Month in Concrete International... 

Reprinted from the August 2014 issue of Concrete International with permission from American Concrete Institute (

This month’s article, We Must Correct the Misconceptions about Sustainability was chosen for reader interest and to highlight the winning entry of the 2014 ACI Young Professional Essay contest.   The author argues that actions taken to meet the short-term goal of rapid construction can have long-term consequences. While big steps have been taken to improve the sustainability of concrete construction, more emphasis should be focused on one of the key factors hindering us from being more sustainable: assuring the performance and longevity of our concrete structures. A major part of this emphasis should be educating every person involved with concrete construction.

GC&PA Name Change

For those of you not previously aware, our associated industry organization, the Georgia Concrete & Products Association, formally changed it's name to the Georgia Ready Mixed Concrete Association. The name change was made in an effort to more clearly identify who GRMCA represents. All other contact information remains the same.

Copyright © 2014 Georgia Chapter ACI, All rights reserved.

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