Chapter Talks

Chapter Technical Presentations

Now Offering In-Person & Virtual Chapter Talks

ACI offers once-a-month 1-hour webinar presentations and up to two in-person presentations a year to help support the educational needs of your chapter. Sessions are presented by ACI staff and executive professionals from the American Coal Ash Association, the American Shotcrete Association, and the Slag Cement Association.

Scheduling is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Step 1 - Select topic

Step 2 - Contact ACI

Step 3 - Receive confirmation



ACI 318 PLUS (PDH credit is not provided for this presentation)

In March 2021, ACI launched a new online document platform. This platform easily and conveniently links the content of one ACI document with curated, related content from other ACI forms of information such as committee documents, periodicals, videos, and 3-D graphics. The platform also allows each user to create their own sets of electronic notes for personal information and resources that can be shared with other individuals. The platform is built around ACI CODE-318-19 and the related design and detailing manuals. The platform will continue to grow to include additional ACI documents. This presentation will provide an overview of the platform and show you how you may be able to obtain free, no-obligation access to the platform.

ACI Code Advocacy*†

Advocacy You Can Do! – Local Advocacy Is an Important Part of the Adoption Process

This presentation provides an overview of general building code development and applications, highlighting the need to reference ACI committee work in building codes. The use of model codes and reference standards is addressed. Understanding the politics, both the potential for support and opposition, for modifying building codes is described as a lead in to identifying opportunities to have a role in code advocacy efforts. ACI codes and many of its standards and programs are intended to provide for the good of the general public by providing minimum requirements for safety, health, and welfare. The benefits of exhaustive ACI committee work and mission of ACI as a technical professional society best serve the public where appropriate, current ACI requirements are integrated into the general building code and enforced.

Learning Objectives:

    • Describe ACI’s revised mission statement
    • Summarize the components of building codes
    • Explain the model code development process
    • Identify model code development advocacy roles
    • Explain the state code development process
    • Identify state code development advocacy roles

ACI Certification, Now and the Future*†

This presentation will introduce and review new certification programs as well as what’s on the horizon. Certification is an important part of our industry and having well-trained, qualified, and certified personnel is critical to any projects success. This presentation will explain the rugged process ACI follows in creating these industry-relevant programs and include a brief outline of:

    • Adhesive Anchor Installer (AAI);
    • Post-Installed Concrete Anchor Installation Inspector;
    • Concrete Quality Technical Manager (CQTM)
    • Masonry Field Testing Technician;
    • Masonry Laboratory Testing Technician; and
    • Self-Consolidating Concrete Testing Technician.

ACI Reference Specifications: Unraveling Concrete Specs*†

The art of writing good concrete specifications can be a daunting task. ACI reference specifications are designed to help engineers easily and consistently write quality concrete specifications and benefit contractors through a consistent standard of practice. The most common reference specification for concrete construction is ACI 301, “Specifications for Structural Concrete.” This presentation will cover how to properly use reference specifications to enhance project specifications and minimize the amount of specification editing required for a project. Significant changes and updates to ACI 301 that help specifiers and contractors place more durable and resilient concrete structures will also be presented. These changes not only address some new issues, such as changes in minimum cementitious content, but also coordinate ACI 301-20 with the requirement of ACI 318-19. Topics covered in this presentation include:

    • What are ACI specifications
    • Common features of ACI specifications, using ACI 301
    • Summary of the ACI 301 checklists
    • Important upgrades in ACI 301-20

ACI Repair Code 562-21*‡

This talk will introduce ACI 562-21, “Code Requirements for Assessment, Repair, and Rehabilitation of Existing Concrete Structures and Commentary,” which is the first code produced specifically for the repair of reinforced concrete. A new guide document for the code with additional information and project examples that help users interpret the code requirements will also be highlighted. Topics covered in this presentation will include:

    • Why a repair code is needed
    • The philosophy behind ACI 562
    • How the code promotes consistency in repair design
    • Recognizing repair construction challenges
    • Significance of a quality assurance program for successful repairs
    • How the code can save the owner money

Post-Installed Concrete Anchor Installation Inspector Certifications‡

This presentation will cover program content and the requirements for Adhesive Anchor Installer certification and Adhesive Anchor Installer Inspector, ACI’s newest certification program, as well as both programs’ connection to ACI 318. The AAI program has been available the last 4 years and the Inspector program is planned to roll out soon. This presentation will be of interest to contractors who use these products, engineering firms and agencies that offer inspection services, as well as engineering firms that write repair specifications.

Topics covered include:

    • Need for the AAI certification program
    • How the programs were developed
    • Understand the requirements to obtain these certifications
    • Understand the process and availability of these programs in your area
    • Understand criteria associated with new AAI Inspector program

Programs of the Future… 2017 and Beyond

    • ASME Code Exam for Concrete (Nuclear Rider to CQTM)
    • Adhesive Anchor Installer Inspector
    • Cement Physical Testing Technician
    • Nondestructive Testing Technician
    • Self-Consolidating Concrete Technician
    • Decorative Concrete Finisher
    • Concrete Construction Sustainability Assessor

Changes to the Concrete Design Standard*‡

This new edition of "Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete" (Code) is the first since the reorganized format was published in 2014 and includes new and updated code provisions along with updated color illustrations for added clarity. The Code provides minimum requirements for the materials, design, and detailing of structural concrete buildings and, where applicable, nonbuilding structures. This presentation covers a few of the significant changes to this code including high-strength reinforcement, shear strength, development length, and shear lugs.

    • Understand where higher grades of reinforcement are accepted and changes to the requirements for structural concrete to allow the higher reinforcement grades.
    • Identify changes to development lengths for straight bars, hooks, and headed deformed bars.
    • Learn the new requirements for post-installed screw type anchors and shear lug design for anchoring to concrete.
    • Describe the changes to shear design provisions and equations.

Concrete Cracking*†

This topic is both a contentious and unfortunately common issue. Often, the key to addressing cracking is learning how to properly determine the cause of the crack so it can be mitigated and prevented in future projects. Topics covered in this presentation will include:

    • Causes and control of cracking
    • Evaluation methods
    • Mitigation
    • Crack repair

Concrete Sustainability & Resilience*†

NEW! The presentation provides an overview of low-carbon concrete, sustainability, and resilience specific to the concrete industry. Topics include terminology and acronyms, state of the practice, what to expect in the future, legislation, and resources.

Learning Objectives:

    • Describe the concepts of sustainability and resilience in the context of the concrete industry;
    • Identify ways the concrete industry can contribute to sustainability;
    • Summarize the current status of the concrete industry in providing low-carbon solutions; and
    • Define the following low-carbon concrete-related terms: GWP, EPD, LCA.

Curing is Good*†

Concrete curing is the process by which hydraulic cementitious concrete matures and develops hardened properties over time. It is a result of the continued hydration of the cementitious materials and requires the presence of sufficient water and heat. This presentation will give a short overview of concrete curing. It will mainly focus on external curing of flatwork concrete; however, internal curing will also be briefly discussed. Different curing methods will be reviewed and their effect on desired concrete properties will be presented.

The learning objectives for this presentation are as follows:

    • Define curing and related terms
    • Recall different curing methods
    • Examine research findings on curing
    • Review minimum curing requirements from ACI, AASHTO, and state DOTs
    • Explain curing timing in relation to construction activities

Durability – how do we measure it?*†

This presentation will discuss the importance of durability and current test methods. Topics covered in this presentation include:

    • How to define durability
    • Where to find durability requirements and guidance
    • Commonly used durability tests for freeze-thaw and alkali-aggregate reactivity

Ethics – Various shades of Grey, just like concrete!*†

Ethics is usually not an easy decision. Rarely are we faced with an Ethical question that is clearly black and white; right or wrong. It is rarely a clear decision and some shade of grey. Doing the ethical thing is not always an easy decision and determining the correct path may include many variables that cause us to pause and consider what the right decision may be. We will discuss some ethical scenarios, fictional and non-fictional, that illustrate this point and provide us some insights into the ethical issues and the various factors that influence our decision-making process.

    • Summarize and review various codes of ethics.
    • Explain the factors that affects ethical decision making processes.
    • Explain the factors that affects ethical decision making processes.
    • Identify ways to practice ethical decision making.

Evaluation of Concrete Cores Test Results According to ACI 318-19* (Virtual Presentation Only)

This presentation by Luke Snell, P.E. and Honorary Member of ACI will take us step-by-step step through the process of how to evaluate concrete cores test results in accordance with ACI 318-19, “Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary.” When concrete compressive strengths are in question, everyone involved is on edge. Topics that will be discussed include determining when coring is needed, who selects the core locations, the number of cores required, the size of the cores required, and what is the acceptance criteria per ACI 318-19. Snell will discuss the actions that are taken if a single core or multiple cores are below the acceptance criteria.

    • Identify the compressive strength acceptance criteria in ACI 318-19.
    • Explain when coring is needed and who selects the core locations.
    • Identify the number and size of concrete cores when evaluating strength in accordance with ACI 318-19.
    • Describe actions taken when one or more cores are below the acceptance criteria.

FRP – Strengthening*†

Fiber-reinforced-polymer (FRP) strengthening is common in rehabilitation and repair construction projects. Products for this type of strengthening come in several different shapes and sizes including sheets, precured shapes, and near-surface-mounted bars. FRP can be used to add shear and flexural strength to structural elements and can also be used to add confinement in existing structural members with significant seismic forces.

Topics covered in this presentation include:

    • Strengthening options
    • Components and general properties
    • System selection
    • System design
    • Construction
    • Maintenance

History of Concrete – How it Started* (Virtual Presentation Only)

Concrete is the second most used material in the world, only exceeded by water. It is also one of our oldest construction materials starting thousands of years ago. It continues to evolve and allows us to make the tallest buildings, bridges, and roadways.

So how did our ancestors find out that if we heated rocks, we could make cement and then make concrete? How did we discover the multi-step process of making our modern concrete?

This presentation will take us through the journey of how cement and concrete developed. Along this journey, we will see how the discovery of fire, bricks, pottery, pyramids, and lighthouses played a major role in the development of concrete.

Learning Objectives:

    • Explain the definitions of cement and concrete.
    • Show how early man may have accidentally discovered our first cement.
    • Identify how mud bricks, fired bricks, and pottery led to the discovery of our first concrete.
    • Describe the first kilns that were developed to make cement.
    • Show the evolutionary steps from making lime to our modern portland cement concrete.

Introduction to Shotcrete*

The shotcrete process offers numerous quality, efficiency, and sustainability advantages, but proper knowledge of the process is critical to the creation of a quality specification and for the success of any specifier /owner employing the process. This presentation is an excellent tool for all involved in maintaining a high level of quality for concrete placed via the shotcrete method. Presentations can be tailored to cover specific topics, but a typical general presentation would include the following:

    • Introduction to shotcrete
    • Advantages and benefits using the shotcrete process
    • Dry-mix and wet-mix processes
    • Specifications, material considerations, and typical performance guidelines
    • Surface preparation
    • Pre-construction, jobsite conditions, and curing methods
    • Questions and answers

Low Compressive Strength Test Results? What They Mean and Next Steps…*†

Compressive strength tests are used for concrete acceptance based on criteria defined in ACI 318 and ACI 301. Tests results not meeting these criteria are referred to as low strengths. This presentation covers the “low strengths” topic in detail and provides answers to questions such as: what is considered a strength test and what is not, what the minimum frequency of testing is, what the acceptance criteria for strength tests are, and how to investigate strength tests not meeting the acceptance requirements. In addition, steps needed by a concrete supplier, in case acceptance criteria are not met, will also be discussed. To better understand discussed concepts, the presentation will use statistical concepts and numerical examples. A list of reading resources will be provided for those interested to study it in more detail. Topics covered in this presentation include:

    • Definitions related to strength testing
    • Methods of sampling, fabrication, handling, and curing strength test specimens
    • Acceptance criteria for strength tests
    • Interpretation of strength test results not meeting acceptance requirements
    • Investigation of non-compliant concrete
    • Addressing low strength concrete issues in production

Mass concrete — How Big is Big?*†

What is mass concrete? ACI 207.1R defines mass concrete as any volume of concrete with dimensions large enough to require that measures be taken to cope with the generation of heat from hydration of the cement and attendant volume change to minimize cracking. But how does one predict whether mass concrete problems will occur and what steps should be taken? This presentation will discuss how to identify mass concrete, ACI 301 requirements pertaining to it, and good construction practices. Topics covered in this presentation will include:

    • Examples of mass concrete structures
    • Identifying mass concrete in the field
    • Specification requirements
    • Factors influencing mass concrete
    • Mitigation or design

New ACI Code 440.11-22: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete Reinforced with Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) Bars*†

NEW! This presentation will identify the basic material performance properties of GFRP reinforcing bars; how they compare to traditional steel reinforcement, and how they should be used. It will discuss the basic code requirements for GFRP reinforced concrete, and how the new code relates to other key codes and standards from ACI, ASTM, and ICC.

    • Identify the basic material performance properties of GFRP reinforcing bars and how they compare to traditional steel reinforcement.
    • Explain where the new ACI code for GFRP reinforced concrete applies, what the limitations are for using this code are, and how it relates to other standards from ACI, ASTM, and ICC.
    • Gain a basic knowledge of mechanics of GFRP reinforced concrete and how it compares to steel reinforced concrete.
    • Describe the code requirements they relate to the installation of GFRP bars and other general considerations for their field application.

Slag Cement for Sustainable Concrete Construction (only available to North America chapters)

This session focuses on the sustainable benefits of slag cement use. The presentation will cover how the use of slag cement can reduce the environmental footprint of a structure, help projects qualify for LEED accreditation, and contribute to enhanced concrete performance. Case studies will illustrate how different mix designs using slag cement can reduce carbon emissions while increasing the strength and durability of concrete. Attendees will also get a tutorial of the Slag Cement EPD and Life Cycle Assessment Calculator tool available to download on the SCA website.

Slag Cement in Concrete (only available to North America chapters)

This session covers the basics of slag cement use in concrete mix design as well as how slag cement enhances the strength, durability, and overall performance of concrete. Learn how to incorporate slag cement in combination with portland cement and/or other supplementary cementitious materials to reach your project’s desired outcomes, creating a less permeable and more sustainable concrete. Presenters will also review the various specifications and standards regarding slag cement use. The session will wrap up with case study examples of projects that used slag cement successfully in a variety of applications.

Using Infrared Thermometers in Concrete Construction* (Virtual Presentation Only)

There are many instances where temperature measurements are required on a concrete construction jobsite. In most cases, the infrared (IR) thermometer allows the user to quickly measure the temperature and determine if the concrete is within specifications. Luke Snell, Honorary Member of ACI, will lead you through the process of selecting and using the IR thermometer.

This presentation will:

    • Discuss how to select an appropriate IR thermometer for use in concrete construction;
    • Recognize what specifications and good practices require the measurements of concrete temperatures;
    • Explain when it is appropriate to use the IR thermometer and when it cannot be used; and
    • Demonstrate how to determine if your IR thermometer is accurate.

What does coal have to do with concrete?

The cement and concrete industries consume almost 20 million tons of fly ash, bottom ash, and synthetic gypsum annually. These materials are recovered following the combustion of coal in power plants generating electricity. This presentation by the American Coal Ash Association will provide an overview of the utility industry and a look at the future supply of these materials.

*ICC credited.
†Approved by ICC for 0.10 CEU (1 PDH). Approved by AIA for 1 LU hour.
‡Approved by ICC for 0.10 CEU (1 PDH). Approved by AIA for 1 LU/HSW hour.

Chapters Talks Available for Translation

Due to the language limitations of our speakers, our Chapter Talks presentations are available primarily in English. For chapters outside of North America who wish to conduct one of our Chapter Talks presentations in a language other than English, ACI will provide a single-use license to the chapter to translate the instructor notes and presentation deck. ACI will retain ownership of the translated materials however you can conduct the session with a speaker of your choice.


Thomas H. Adams was appointed Executive Director of the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) in February 2009. Prior to joining the ACAA, he was employed by the American Concrete Institute managing chapter relations, international activities, and serving as Executive Director of the American Shotcrete Association. Adams has over 30 years of experience in a variety of management positions in the ready mixed concrete industry in sales, marketing, technical services, and operations. He is active in a variety of technical and trade organizations relevant to the industry including ASTM International, the American Concrete Institute, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association serving on a several technical committees in these organizations. He is a native of Detroit, MI, and attended Wayne State University and Aquinas College studying business administration and strategic management.

Katie Amelio, PE, is an Engineer at the American Concrete Institute. Her role at ACI is to provide technical and administrative support to ACI's Educational and Technical Committees. She received a BS in General Engineering from the University of Illinois. Prior to joining ACI, she was a Senior Engineer & Supervisor at CTLGroup in Skokie, IL. There, she gained over ten years of experience in construction materials testing. Additionally, she has taught and proctored ACI Level I - Field Testing Technician certification programs for the ACI Illinois Chapter.

Rex Donahey received his PhD from the University of Kansas. His career has included stints as a faculty member at Oklahoma State University and the University of Illinois; a structural engineer with Ellerbe Becket, Inc.; and the director of research at Composites Technologies Corporation. For the past 14 years, he has been Editor-in-Chief of Concrete International, the magazine of the American Concrete Institute. Rex holds two patents related to insulated concrete wall panels. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Oklahoma and Florida, and he is a member of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.

Charles Hanskat is the current American Shotcrete Association Executive Director. He received his BS and MS in civil engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Hanskat is a licensed professional engineer in several states. He has been involved in the design, construction, and evaluation of environmental concrete and shotcrete structures for over 35 years. Hanskat is also a member of ACI Committees 301, Specifications for Structural Concrete; 322, Concrete Pool and Watershape Code; 350, Environmental Engineering Concrete Structures; 371, Elevated Tanks with Concrete Pedestals; 372, Tanks Wrapped with Wire or Strand; 376, Concrete Structures for Refrigerated Liquefied Gas Containment; 506, Shotcreting; and Joint ACI-ASCE Committee 334, Concrete Shell Design and Construction. Hanskat’s service to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), and the Florida Engineering Society (FES) in over 50 committee and officer positions at the national, state, and local levels was highlighted when he served as State President of FES and then as National Director of NSPE. He served as a District Director of Tau Beta Pi from 1977 to 2002. He is a Fellow of ACI, ASCE, and FES and a member of ACI, NSPE, ASTM International, and ASCC.

Robert Howell joined ACI as Professional Development Program Engineer in 2014. Previously, he was a Lead Structural Engineer at IBI Group, formerly Giffels Associates, Inc. Robert has 26 years of structural design experience in health care, industrial, research, power plant, educational, and commercial facilities. He also has 7 years of experience as an Owner’s Representative Project Structural Engineer with GM Worldwide Facilities Group. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from Wayne State University and his MBA in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University; he is a licensed Professional Engineer in Michigan.

Michael Morrison has 28 years of experience in project management related to construction materials testing and evaluation and development and execution of training programs within the construction industry. He serves as Manager, Certification Program Development, for the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and leads the development of potential new certification programs, assisting ACI Subcommittees with current Board-approved programs. He also serves as ACI's certification representative to standards development organizations and specifying agencies to promote inclusion of language requiring certification programs in standards and specifications. Mike is the past president of the ACI Illinois Chapter and an active member of ASTM and sits on the Executive Committee of C09-Concrete and Aggregates, as well as the C01, Cement Lime and Gypsum, Executive Committee.

Khaled Nahlawi, PhD, PE, is a Distinguished Engineer at the American Concrete Institute. His role at ACI is to provide technical and administrative support to ACI's Technical Committees and communicate the work of these committees to other Standard Developing Organizations and Regulatory Agencies. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and has over 20 years of experience in the design and strengthening of structures. He joined ACI in 2009 and has supported, among other duties, the re-organization effort of 318 and is the secretary to ACI 562. Khaled is the author of the Reinforced Concrete Design Handbook (MNL-17), the Detailing Manual (MNL-66), and Guide to the ACI 562 Code (MNL-3). He is a licensed engineer in California and Michigan.

Matthew Senecal, PE, is Director of Engineering at the American Concrete Institute. His role at ACI is to provide technical and administrative support to ACI's Technical Committees and communicate the work of these committees to other Standard Developing Organizations and Regulatory Agencies. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and his MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Kansas. He worked as a Civil and Structural Engineer for 14 years before joining the ACI Engineering Department in 2004.

Luke M. Snell is a Concrete Consultant and Emeritus Professor from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL. He has done extensive consulting work on construction and concrete problems throughout the United States and internationally. He has also written over 400 articles on concrete, construction materials, and construction education. He has worked with China, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia to start concrete certification programs. He is a Past Chair of ACI Committees 517, Accelerated Curing of Concrete; E702, Designing Concrete Structures; Chapter Activities Committee; International Chapters, Educational Activities Committee, and was on ACI’s Board of Direction. Snell is an Honorary Member of ACI and received the ACI Joe W. Kelly Award (Teaching award) in 1995, the ACI Chapter Activities Award in 1997, and was the ACI Educational Committee Member of the Year in 2002. He was named one of the Ten Most Influential People of the Year in the Concrete Industry by Concrete Construction and Concrete Producer magazines in 2007, Construction Laureate of Mongolia (2007), the Henry L Kennedy Award from ACI (2008), the ACI Certification Award (2015), and received an Honorary Doctorate from Aria University of Sciences and Sustainability. He is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Missouri.

Sureka Sumanasooriya, PhD, is an Engineer at the American Concrete Institute. Her role at ACI is to provide technical and administrative support to ACI's Technical Committees. She received her BSc in Civil Engineering from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University, NY. She worked as an Instructor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Clarkson University before joining the ACI Engineering Department in 2018.

Mike Tholen, PhD, PE, is Managing Director, Engineering & Professional Development, at the American Concrete Institute (ACI). He received his BS in architectural engineering, with distinction, in 1992, his MS in civil engineering in 1995, and his PhD in civil engineering in 1996 from the University of Kansas. He previously worked at ACI as the Engineering Editor of Concrete International. Prior to joining ACI in 2005, he spent over 8 years as a structural engineer in the Aviation and Architecture Division at Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company in Kansas City, MO.

Gregory Zeisler, PE, is an Engineer with American Concrete Institute and has been with the organization since 2009. He works with several technical committees as staff liaison, including ACI 318, and is the secretary for the ACI 318 code committee. Greg has several years of structural design experience in parking and retail facilities, working previously as a Structural Engineer with Durrant. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and his MS in Civil Engineering from Purdue University; he is a licensed professional engineer in Indiana and Wisconsin.

Jerzy Zemajtis, PhD, PE, is an Executive Director of NEx, An ACI Center of Excellence for Nonmetallic Building Materials. He received his BS and MS in civil engineering from the Technical University of Gdansk, Poland, and his PhD in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He worked as a Structural Engineer in Virginia Beach, VA, and Vancouver, Canada, as a Civil/Materials Engineer at Construction Technology Laboratories in Chicago, IL, and as Senior Engineer at the Engineering Department of ACI. He is a licensed engineer in Washington and British Columbia.

Download the Chapter Talks presentation flyer.

Download the Student Chapter presentation flyer.

To schedule your Chapter Talks presentation, contact Denesha Price or call +1.248.848.3830.

Chapter Activities Committee

The Chapter Activities Committee (CAC) advises the Board of Direction on strategies, policies and programs related to Chapters and Chapter relationships with ACI consistent with the objectives outlined in the Institute’s Strategic Plan.

Learn More about CAC »