Sessions & Events


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Concrete Through The Ages

Sunday, October 17, 2021  1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

This session is intended to introduce individuals to the historical aspects of concrete and concrete construction practices. Attendees will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the development of the concrete industry.
Learning Objectives:
(1) State the origins of portland cement use in concrete;
(2) Describe the history of concrete pavements;
(3) Identify the historical relevance of high-strength concrete;
(4) Summarize the history of concrete fireproofing.

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.


History of Tall Buildings in Latin America

Presented By: Richard Yelton
Affiliation: World of Concrete
Description: Dr. Augusto Carlos de Vasconcelos has compiled a report on the history of tall building constructed in Latin American. His paper showcases structures located in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Paraguay. The presentation will demonstrate the engineering and construction expertise of the region by featuring excerpts of his document.


A Look at One of the Earliest Concrete Pavement Overlays

Presented By: Kurt Smith
Affiliation: Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.
Description: Concrete overlays have a long history of use as a cost-effective method of pavement rehabilitation for both existing concrete and existing asphalt roadways. One of the earliest known applications of a concrete overlay—and sometimes proclaimed as the first concrete overlay in the U.S.—was constructed in 1918 as a white topping overlay (concrete over a bituminous pavement) on a county highway just outside of Terre Haute, Indiana. This presentation examines the design and construction of that early concrete overlay, which demonstrated the viability of that technology in providing a long-lasting rehabilitation solution and laid the foundation for its future use by highway agencies.


A Brief History of Aluminum and Concrete

Presented By: Anne Werner
Affiliation: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Description: Aluminum is the thirteenth element on the Periodic Table. Today aluminum is used for and in a wide variety of products and materials including building materials, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that aluminum could be produced on a large scale. Before that time, it was rare and expensive. Although portland cement contains aluminum in the form of tricalcium aluminate (C3A), it is well known that aluminum and aluminum alloys should not come in direct contact with fresh or recently placed portland cement concrete due to adverse reactions. A number of research projects were carried out on this issue in the mid-20th century. In this presentation, some of that research will be reviewed and its relevance to concrete in the 21st century will be discussed.


Why is the Splitting Tensile Strength Test Known as the “Brazilian test”?

Presented By: Jussara Tanesi
Affiliation: AET - American Engineering Testing
Description: Historically, the splitting tensile strength test (ASTM C496/C496M) has been called the Brazilian test. In 1943, Rio de Janeiro, was a fast-growing city in Brazil. However, an old church, built in 1732, was hindering the expansion of one of its avenues and, in order to avoid its demolition, the city decided to move the church from one side of the avenue to the other. At that time, Europe employed steel rollers to move structures, but Brazilian engineers decided to innovate by using concrete rollers instead. When one of the engineers, Lobo Carneiro, started testing the rollers, he noticed that the cracking pattern was very different than that observed with the steel rollers, i.e., the concrete rollers were breaking in tension. He studied the stress distribution and proposed the equation that we still use to determine the splitting tensile strength. This test was first standardized by ASTM in 1962.


The Middle Road Bridge (1909): Canada’s First Reinforced Concrete Arch-Truss Bridge

Presented By: F Michael Bartlett
Affiliation: University of Western Ontario
Description: The Middle Road Bridge, constructed in 1909 primarily to carry farming traffic, was the first reinforced concrete arch-truss bridge in North America. The Toronto-based firm of Barber & Young designed the structure, following the principle that “mathematics and aesthetics go hand-in-hand”. James Franklin Barber (1875-1935) was a very prominent bridge designer of over 200 bridges in Ontario between 1908 and 1920. Clarence Richard Young (1869-1964) joined the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto in 1907 and eventually became Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering between 1941 and 1949. The builder, Octavius Laing Hicks (1873-1930), was a widely known bridge contractor around Toronto.


Chicago’s Water Tower Place: Advancement of High-Strength Concrete

Presented By: Jacob Borgerson
Affiliation: Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Description: Named after the Chicago Water Tower, the Water Tower Place in Chicago was the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world from 1975 to 1990. The 74-story, 859 feet tall building is supported by 176 caissons sunk 88 feet below street level. When constructed, it reportedly required a total of 140,000 cubic yards of concrete reinforced by 24 million pounds of steel. Eight different concrete mixtures were used on the project, varying from 3,000 psi for the slabs to 9,000 psi for the columns. When it was built, the Water Tower Place served as an example of how reinforced cast-in-place concrete could compete with structural steel.

Upper Level Sponsors

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Metromont Corporation
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