Technical Presentations

Chapter Talks 

Chapter Technical Presentations

ACI Chapter Talks Program offers two free 1-hour sessions per year on technical and practical topics that support your chapter's educational needs. Sessions are presented by engineering, certification, and executive professionals from ACI, the American Coal Ash Association, the American Shotcrete Association, and the Slag Cement Association.


Scheduling a speaker is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Step 1 - Select topic

Step 2 - Contact ACI

Step 3 - Receive confirmation


ACI Repair Code 562-16

This talk will introduce ACI 562-16, “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

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)
    • Concrete Quality Technical Manager (CQTM)
    • Masonry Field Testing Technician
    • Masonry Laboratory 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 alkali-silica reactivity, but also coordinate ACI 301-16 with the requirement of ACI 318-14. 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 301-16

Adhesive Anchor Installer and 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

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

FRP – Strengthening

Topics covered in this presentation include:

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

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

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:

  1. Introduction to shotcrete
  2. Advantages and benefits using the shotcrete process
  3. Dry-mix and wet-mix processes
  4. Specifications, material considerations, and typical performance guidelines
  5. Surface preparation
  6. Pre-construction, jobsite conditions, and curing methods
  7. Questions and answers

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

SLAG Cement for Sustainable Concrete Construction

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.

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.


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 a Professional Development Program Engineer at the American Concrete Institute (ACI). Previously she was a Senior Engineer & Supervisor, CTLGroup, Skokie, IL. She has 10 years of experience preparing and reviewing contract reports for standardized and specialized cementitious material testing programs, evaluating concrete materials for railroad specification compliance, and evaluating curing compounds, sealers, grouts, precast stone veneer, and various other concrete products. Additionally, she has taught and proctored ACI Level I - Field Testing Technician certification programs for the Illinois Chapter. She received her BS in general engineering from University of Illinois in 2000. Amelio is a Professional Engineer in Illinois.

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. Donahey 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 S. 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; 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/Giffels LLC formerly Giffels Associates, Inc. Howell 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. Howell received his BS in civil engineering from Wayne State University and his MBA in supply chain management from Michigan State University. Howell is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and is a LEED Green Associate.

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 and assists 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 Senior 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. Has over 20 years of experience in the design and strengthening of structures. He joined ACI in 2009 as a senior engineer and has supported, among other duties, in the re-organization effort of 318. He is a licensed engineer in California and Michigan.

Matthew Senecal, PE, is a Senior 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 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.

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 a Senior Engineer with ACI. He has been with ACI since 2009. Zeisler works with several technical committees as staff liaison including ACI 318 and is the secretary for the ACI 318 code committee. Previously he was a Structural Engineer at Durrant. Zeisler has 8 years of structural design experience in parking and retail facilities. Zeisler received his BS in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and his MS in civil engineering from Purdue University. Zeisler is a licensed professional engineer in Indiana and Wisconsin.

Jerzy Zemajtis, PhD, PE, is a Senior Engineer at the American Concrete Institute. His role at ACI is to provide technical and administrative support to ACI's Technical Committees. 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, and as a Civil/Materials Engineer at Construction Technology Laboratories in Chicago, IL, before joining the ACI Engineering Department in 2010. He is a licensed engineer in Washington and British Columbia.

Download the Chapter Talks Presentation Flyer.

To schedule your Chapter Technical 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.

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