Sessions & Events


Known globally as the world’s gathering place for advancing concrete, the ACI Concrete Convention is dedicated to bringing together the international concrete community to improve the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of concrete projects. Attendees can experience dozens of technical and educational sessions that provide insight into the latest concrete innovations, research, and case studies.


Featured Sessions

Legal Issues in Concrete Construction—Lessons Learned

This session will bring together individuals with extensive experience in litigation related to concrete construction to share their experiences as lawyers, expert witnesses, and engineers through case studies and experience-based recommendations. Moderated by Jeff Coleman, with speakers Randy Poston, Bill Rushing, Matt D’Ambrosia, and Jeff Coleman. Monday, March 29, 2021 (11:00 AM - 1:30 PM).

The Concrete Industry in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

This session will provide insight on the merit of using artificial intelligence (AI) in the concrete industry with focus on how to better the performance of concrete materials at ambient and elevated temperatures and showcase the substantial potential of using AI to improve design of concrete structures under traditional and fire conditions. Moderated by M. Z. Naser, with speakers Henry Burton, Andrew Fahim, Pouria Ghods, Aali Alizadeh, Tahmid Medhi, Hayder Rasheed, Alaaeldin Abouelleil, Eric Fletcher, Emilio Taenqua, Liberato Ferrara, Ali Al-Obaidi, S. Gupta, and M. Z. Naser. Monday, March 29, 2021 (4:00 PM - 6:30 PM).

Adjusting Workability of Successful 3-D Concrete Printing

This two-part session will highlight the importance of controlling fresh-state properties for the successful execution of 3-D concrete printing. Moderated by Nicos Martys and Scott Jones, with speakers Mohamadreza Moini, Jan Olek, Pablo Zavattieri, Jeffrey Youngblood, Gaurav Sant, Jason Timmons, Iman Mehdipour, Shang Gao, Hakan Atahan, Narayanan Neithalath, Mathieu Bauchy, Edward Garboczi, Samanvaya Srivastava, Wilson Ricardo Leal da Silva, Thomas Andersen, Nicos Martys, Scott Jones, William George, Timothy Wangler, Robert Flatt, Peter Stynoski, Eric Kreiger, Megan Kreiger, Viktor Mechtcherine, Karthik Pattaje, Chuanyue Shen, David Lange, Lex Reiter, Sooraj Nair, Manu Santhanam, Gaurav Sant, Narayanan Neithalath, Mohammed Sonebi, M. Dedenis, Sofiane Amziane, Arnaud Perrot, Joseph Biernacki, Hajar Afarani, Edward Garboczi, Newell Moser, and Ebrahim Nasr-Esfahani. Part 1: Sunday, March 28, 2021 (10:00 AM - 12:30 PM). Part 2: Sunday, March 28, 2021 (1:00 PM - 3:30 PM).

Impact of Hot Weather Conditions on Concrete Repair

This two-part session will assist contractors, material suppliers, and specifiers with practical information that can be used for planning, constructing, and designing successful hot weather repair projects. Moderated by Mike Faubel and Tarek Khan. Part 1: Thursday, April 1, 2021 (10:00 AM - 12:30 PM). Part 2: Thursday, April 1, 2021 (1:00 PM - 3:30 PM)

Productivity in the Concrete Industry—Why Has it Stagnated and How Can ACI Help?

Productivity in the U.S. construction industry has been flat for 50 years, while productivity of U.S. industry in general has nearly doubled in that same time frame. Why? And what can ACI do about it? This session will explore answers to these and other questions and will include presentations from designers and contractors offering their perspectives on how ACI can help confront this very important industry issue. Moderated by Cary Kopczynski, with speakers Oscar Antommattei, Mike Schneider, Mario Garza, Mike Tholen, and Cary Kopczynski. Tuesday, March 30, 2021 (11:00 AM - 1:30 PM)


Session & Event times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time: EDT (UTC-4). All sessions & events are included in convention registration.

To access all committee meetings, sessions, and special events, please register for the convention. Once registered, you can access the web-based convention at http://crowd.cc/acis21 or by downloading the convention app on your mobile device.

Convention Highlights

March 30, 2021


10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Moderators: Yvonne Nelson, Brian D Young

This session will provide insight into the design and construction process of The REACH project (winner of the 2020 ACI Excellence Award) with a behind the scenes virtual “tour” of the project and insight into specifying concrete mix designs.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Identify strategies to specifying high performance concrete mixes for use in architectural concrete;
(2) Name advantages of utilizing mockups for architectural concrete in order to mitigate potential failures during construction phase;
(3) Identify various uses of form liner and how it can be used for acoustic function;
(4) Through a virtual “tour” of the project, identify unique geometric contours that can be created with cast-in-place concrete.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Moderator: Ali Ghahremaninezhad

This session will feature presentations of original, unpublished results from ongoing research projects and leading-edge concrete technology and research throughout the world.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Recognize ongoing structural reinforced concrete research projects from a wide range of research topics;
(2) Discuss recent techniques, research methods, and procedures related to structural aspects of concrete research;
(3) Describe engaging ideas in structural concrete design and research;
(4) Summarize recent technical information related to concrete structures.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Moderators: Ivan Diaz-Loya, Farshad Rajabipour

Fly ash has been the most widely used SCM in concrete for decades. For this reason, significant changes in its production and quality during the last 10 years, have driven a growing interest in harvesting fly ash from impoundments or landfills for use in concrete. Processed coal bottom ash and other CCPs that are currently not used in concrete have also been identified as an emerging supplementary cementitious materials that can help meet the demand for materials that can impart fly ash-like benefits to concrete. This session will provide the opportunity to learn about the characteristics and performance of new and emerging coal combustion products for use in concrete. Students, academics, concrete producers, contractors, specifiers and material suppliers will benefit from the information presented in this session.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Discuss material characteristics of new and emerging CCPs for use in concrete;
(2) Describe performance of new and emerging CCPs in cementitious mixtures;
(3) Review case studies and technologies to beneficiate CCPs for use in concrete;
(4) Compare reactivity of new and emerging CCPs for use in concrete.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

$0.00

Moderator: Cary S Kopczynski

Productivity in the U.S. construction industry has been flat for fifty years, while productivity of U.S. industry in general has nearly doubled in that same time frame. Why? And what can we ACI about it? This session will explore answers to these and other questions, and will include presentations from designers and contractors offering their perspectives on how ACI can help confront this very important industry issue.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Define constructability as it relates to concrete construction;
(2) Review the causes leading to stagnated construction productivity over the last fifty years;
(3) Describe the importance of constructability in construction productivity and the role that ACI documents play in improving it;
(4) Explain why the solutions require that all industry stakeholders – owners, designers, contractors, and others – understand and embrace the problem.

1:00pm - 1:30pm - Please join us after the session for a 30-minute Question and Answer period. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and speakers will answer the questions live.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Moderator: Robert E Sculthorpe

The ICF industry in Canada has developed a Prescriptive Structural Design for ICF Walls for Houses and Small Buildings (Part 9 Buildings within the National Building Code of Canada). The scope of this prescriptive design is greater than the design tables provided for ICF flat walls in the ACI 332-20 Code, PCA 100 and the IRC. The presentation will be directly applicable for the Canadian members of ACI, and of interest to American members and other international members with respect to the differences in approaches taken to achieve designs compliant with the Canadian reinforced concrete design standard.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Recall the different structural design criteria for reinforced concrete walls in Canada;
(2) Discuss the different applicability limits when compared to American prescriptive designs for ICF walls in ACI 332-20 code, PCA 100 and the IRC;
(3) State the minimum shear wall requirements to resist lateral loads;
(4) List maximum story heights and lintel design.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 1 PDH (0.1 CEU). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit.


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

This event is an opportunity for student chapter members and leaders to exchange best practices and ideas for running a successful student chapter. This year’s program will focus on how to navigate hosting virtual meetings while university campuses are closed or social distancing.


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Speaker: Coleman A. Jordan
Presentation Title: Rethink the Nubian vault in Sub-Saharian Africa

Coleman A. Jordan Bio: coleman a. jordan / ebo is a Lecturer at Morgan State University's School of Architecture and Planning, Graduate Architecture Program. He is the Principal of studio caj.e, an interdisciplinary research design practice, and co-founder of the not-for-profit organization in Canada called corners. His projects focus on social justice and development in underrepresented communities in both domestic and international contexts.

Presentation Abstract: The Nubian Vault's mudbrick process has advantages for economic and educational growth in the building industry for local communities. As the revival of the Nubian Vault construct has taken hold in Sub-Saharan Africa, the rainy season continues to halt progress in Africa's more tropical regions. With assistance from Dwell Earth, a company founded by two brothers in Texas, and the measured use of concrete, the Nubian Vault's failures have the potential for success in the tropics. My presentation will look at the history of the Nubian Vault from ancient Egypt to Hassan Fathy's twentieth-century revival and the recent work of the French /Burkinabé NGO La Voûte Nubienne. Lastly, I will show the failed experiments and the subsequent potential for success.


1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Moderators: Luna Lu, Yaghoob Farnam

The ACI 123 Concrete Research Poster Session complements the existing Research in Progress and Open Topic sessions and provides further opportunity for the presentation of original, unpublished results from ongoing research projects and leading-edge concrete technology throughout the world.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Recognize ongoing cementitious materials research projects from a wide range of research topics;
(2) Discuss recent techniques, research methods, and procedures related to material aspects of concrete research;
(3) Describe emerging ideas in concrete materials research;
(4) Summarize recent technical information related to concrete materials research.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Moderators: Yvonne Nelson, Brian D Young

Learn how the architects, structural engineer, and formwork designers worked together to achieve the overall vision of The REACH.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Describe how the architect blended The REACH design with the original Kennedy Center monument;
(2) List advantages of void slab construction for long span slabs;
(3) Identify how concrete formwork pressure can impact formwork cost;
(4) Recognize the importance of quality control for the success of architectural concrete.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Moderators: Ivan Diaz-Loya, Farshad Rajabipour

Fly ash has been the most widely used SCM in concrete for decades. For this reason, significant changes in its production and quality during the last 10 years, have driven a growing interest in harvesting fly ash from impoundments or landfills for use in concrete. Processed coal bottom ash and other CCPs that are currently not used in concrete have also been identified as an emerging supplementary cementitious materials that can help meet the demand for materials that can impart fly ash-like benefits to concrete. This session will provide the opportunity to learn about the characteristics and performance of new and emerging coal combustion products for use in concrete. Students, academics, concrete producers, contractors, specifiers and material suppliers will benefit from the information presented in this session.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Identify materials, such as processed coal bottom ash, that are emerging supplementary cementitious materials;
(2) Discuss performance of concrete mixture properties using new and emerging CCPs;
(3) Discuss durability of concrete mixtures made with CCPs;
(4) Review the process for harvesting fly ash from landfills.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


1:59 PM - 3:00 PM

Moderator: Anol Kanti Mukhopadhyay

The mechanism of ACR and its resulting distress in concrete is controversial and still not well understood as reflected by the five different proposed hypotheses in the literature. Further validation is needed to establish whether expansion solely from dedolomitization and subsequent brucite crystallization reaction (conventional mechanism of ACR) can be adequate to cause visible distresses in the field. Recent studies found ASR is the main cause of distress in concrete made from fine-grained argillaceous dolomitic limestone containing fine siliceous inclusions. It may be possible that a combined effect of both conventional ACR and ASR causes the visible distress. This session will highlight these aspects and improve our understanding on ACR mechanism.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Explain how mechanisms combined with application of innovative approach of testing lead to a better control on ACR mitigation;
(2) Review reaction mechanisms of ACR;
(3) Summarize updated knowledge on the connection between ASR and ACR;
(4) Discuss innovative approach of ACR testing.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 1 PDH (0.1 CEU). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit.


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Moderator: Amir Bonakdar

For many years, fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) has been evaluated using a flexural test ASTM C1609 (un-notched) and EN 14651 (notched) beams. While there are various similarities in the test procedures and data, the differences are worth discussing. The purpose of this mini session is to compare studies specifically looking at the effect of notch in FRC beam test.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Review the basics of a proper flexural test for evaluating the performance of FRC;
(2) Compare the two common test methods: ASTM C1609 (un-notched) and EN 14651 (notched) beams;
(3) Describe the effect of creating a notch in ASTM C1609 beam and its effects on the residual strength accuracy and deviation;
(4) State the proper correlation of the residual strength data with and without a notch.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 1 PDH (0.1 CEU). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit.


4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Moderators: Robert Thomas, Mohammad Pour-Ghaz

Alkali-activated concrete (AAC) is a class of clinkerless binders made by activating aluminosilicates (e.g., fly ash or slag) with alkaline solutions. Alkali-activation is not a recent innovation—its first mention in scientific literature dates back to more than a hundred years ago. Over the past two decades however, researchers have focused intently on advancing AAC as an alternative to portland cement concrete. Despite widespread academic interest, the concrete industry has yet to adopt AAC into practice. Some experts question the sustainability of AAC; some challenge its long-term durability; others claim the materials and technology do not scale. This forum will discuss the practice-readiness of AAC, highlighting its perceived benefits and the obstacles that hinder its potential widespread acceptance.
The forum will answer the following questions:
• What is the current state of knowledge regarding AAC?
• Where has AAC been used in the field, and to what success?
• What are potential future applications for AAC?
• What are the major research needs for AAC?
• What are the major barriers to adoption of AAC?
A diverse panel of experts will discuss these questions and present the audience with the newest information regarding sustainability from different perspectives. The forum will start with a short presentation by each of the panelists. The presentations will be followed by an interactive discussion with the audience.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Explain the history and development of AAC;
(2) Summarize the state of knowledge and ongoing research efforts related to AAC;
(3) Discuss examples of actual and potential applications of AAC in concrete practice;
(4) Identify remaining barriers to adoption of AAC in concrete practice.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Moderators: Luna Lu, Yaghoob Farnam

The ACI 123 Concrete Research Poster Session complements the existing Research in Progress and Open Topic sessions and provides further opportunity for the presentation of original, unpublished results from ongoing research projects and leading-edge concrete technology throughout the world.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Recognize ongoing structural research projects from a wide range of research topics;
(2) Discuss recent techniques, research methods, and procedures related to structural aspects of concrete research;
(3) Describe emerging ideas in structural concrete research;
(4) Summarize recent technical information related to structural concrete research.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Moderator: Ann Harrer

This session is intended to present ACI Committee 515's recently published document, “Guide for Assessment and Surface Preparation for Application of Protection Systems for Concrete”. The session will present various assessment and in-place testing, various surface preparation methods, and evaluation methods following the completion of surface preparation. The benefits and potential issues with various surface preparation methods will be addressed. Best practices and case studies will also be presented. The session is intended for all conference attendees, including engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and students.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Describe various techniques and tests to assess existing surface conditions;
(2) Describe various surface preparation procedures and equipment;
(3) Summarize tests utilized to evaluate surface preparation prior to installation of a protection system;
(4) Identify surface conditions that may reduce or limit the adhesion and performance of a protection system.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 2 PDHs (0.2 CEUs). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit. On-demand sessions do not qualify for PDH/CEU credit.


6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Moderator: Jan Vosahlik

This mini session is a recurring event focused on the latest developments, case studies, and lessons learned in the area of concrete constructability. Arguably, constructability is one of the most overlooked components of concrete project design and planning. Yet if not properly addressed, it can result in a variety of issues during the construction phase of the project, including negative impacts on the project schedule and budget. Often, the devil lies in the details when it comes to constructible projects. This session will aim at discussing a variety of constructability-related topics that will be based on real-world experiences and case studies.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Name recent developments in the area of concrete constructability;
(2) Describe frequent issues occurring on concrete projects that negatively impact constructability, schedules, and project budgets;
(3) Identify potential constructability pain points and acquire proven strategies to prevent them from occurring;
(4) Explain the design behind complicated project elements and alternative methods to construct them.

This session has been approved by AIA and ICC for 1 PDH (0.1 CEU). Please note: You must attend the live session for the entire duration to receive credit.


6:00 PM - 6:45 PM

All registered attendees to the ACI Virtual Concrete Convention are invited to join ACI President Jeffrey W. Coleman, the ACI Maryland Chapter, the ACI National Capital Chapter, and the ACI Board of Direction for the ACI Virtual Concrete Mixer on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (UTC-4).

One of the largest and most-attended events of each convention, this event has transitioned to a virtual platform to provide you with the opportunity to meet new friends and connect with ACI’s global community. To attend the free virtual mixer, attendees must first register for the convention.

When attending the mixer, plan to:
- Showcase your favorite concrete by setting your Zoom virtual background! Come to the mixer with your Zoom virtual background set to a recent concrete project, your current jobsite, your office/lab, or your favorite concrete structure. Will be great to use this virtual platform to see – actually see! – how the people in our community build the concrete throughout our world!
- After the opening remarks from the ACI Maryland Chapter and the ACI National Capital Chapter, grab your favorite drink and join one of the breakout rooms for conversation with ACI leadership, ACI staff, and our many global attendees.



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