The American Concrete Institute has promoted key staff with an eye to increasing alignment and flow from ACI technical documents to educational products: Michael Tholen to managing director of Engineering and Professional Development, Claire Hiltz to manager of Professional Development, and Matthew Senecal to manager, Engineering.

Michael Tholen
30 ACIMatt 200

Matthew Senecal
30 ACIClaire 200

Claire Hiltz

Tholen will coordinate the efforts and resources of both the Engineering and the Professional Development departments, and continue the supervisory and coordination aspects of his previous role as head of Professional Development and act in a similar role for Engineering. He will oversee both departments’ engineering staff to allow better interdepartmental coordination and align their strengths with project requirements. Prior to serving as managing director of Professional Development, he was Concrete International engineering editor.

The ACI Engineering Department will be under the direction of Senecal, who worked as a civil and structural engineer for 14 years before joining the ACI Engineering Department in 2004, where he most recently served as Senior Engineer. Hiltz will coordinate and implement programs necessary to increase Professional Development department effectiveness and productivity. She transitions to the management role after previously serving as course developer.

The National Precast Concrete Association has recognized new Top Gun members and veterans who have advanced to higher levels in the NPCA member sponsorship program. Two of Top Gunners, Andy Wieser of Wieser Concrete Products Inc. and Leo Feuerstein, Western Precast Concrete Inc., advanced to the 20-member level during the last 12 months and will receive the Top Gun Club leather bomber jacket during the 2015 annual convention this month in Minneapolis.

Also advancing to higher levels were Brent Dezember of StructureCast (15-Member Level) and Greg Stratis of Shea Concrete Products (10-Member Level). Joining the club this year with at least five members sponsored are Jennifer Burkhart of Arrow Concrete Products; Michael Hoffman of Lindsay Precast; Sam Lines of Concrete Sealants; Greg Roache of Gainey’s Concrete Products; and, Marvin Smith of SI Precast.

NPCA Foundation President Darryl Cloud, national sales manager for Concrete Sealants, committed to a 2,500-mile bike ride across the southern United States on a fundraising journey for the Semper Fi Fund. He aims to raise enough to donate six Action Trackchair or Action Trackstander off-road wheelchairs to the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides support to wounded veterans. Cloud’s “Boot Camp to Boot Camp” journey started at Camp Pendleton near San Diego and will end in Parris Island, S.C.

The Pennsylvania Precast Association has appointed Monica Schultes, P.E., as its new executive director. An industry veteran, she spent 13 years as director of the Mid-Atlantic Precast Association and several years with a precast manufacturer. Her experience spans the technical, business and marketing sides of the business. At PPA, Schultes will represent the industry as a liaison with the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation, consulting engineers and academia.

The U.S. Green Building Council board has named Chief Operating Officer Mahesh Ramanujam as incoming chief executive officer, succeeding Rick Fedrizi, who will step down at the end of 2016.

“Mahesh has a highly impressive track record of success in both his role as USGBC’s COO and president of Green Business Certification Inc.,” says USGBC Board Chair Marge Anderson. “He is a proven leader who has exhaustive knowledge of the organization, respect from its volunteer leadership and strong support from its team. He has extensive global experience and broad business acumen. He is the perfect choice to lead the organization into the future.”

“Since Mahesh joined USGBC in 2009, he has transformed every corner of the organization, focusing on high performance and putting the needs of our customers and community members first,” adds Fedrizi. “His personal core values are deeply aligned with our mission and his comprehensive understanding of our work make him the ideal leader for this role.”

Ramanujam has committed to “keeping innovation as a top priority” and modernizing and enhancing Council “capabilities and performance to ensure we deliver the future that our founders envisioned.” He served as senior vice president, Technology, before being named COO in September 2011. In December 2012, he was also named president of the Green Building Certification Institute, where he broadened offerings to better serve a wider client base, leading the organization to change its name to Green Business Certification Inc. earlier this year. Prior to joining USGBC, Ramanujam was COO for Emergys, a business transformation consulting firm in North Carolina. As a consultant to IBM, he was part of the team that led various business transformation initiatives including the sale of IBM PC systems to Lenovo and its printer divisions to Ricoh.

Separately, a strategic partnership involving Informa Exhibitions, manager of USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, and the National Association of Home Builders will position the latter as Greenbuild 2015 Top Tier Partner—alongside the American Institute of Architects and Building Owners and Managers Association. In addition to Greenbuild, Irving, Texas-based Informa Exhibitions produces World of Concrete (February 2-5, 2016, Las Vegas).

Greenbuild 2015 (November 18-20, Washington, D.C.) will feature a variety of residential offerings, among them a product pavilion, LEED v4 Platinum, net zero electricity demonstration home on the show floor, and an extensive educational track. The latter has increased to 15 sessions focused on both multi-family and single-family that runs throughout the conference. Thursday, November 19 will be the primary residential day, with 12 sessions across three different time slots.

“Greenbuild has historically featured a small residential contingency, and this is the time to expand our offerings to keep apprised of marketplace demands. NAHB is the perfect partner to provide additional support in this critical sector,” says Greenbuild Show Director Lindsay Roberts. “Their commitment to sustainable residential building is evident in their support of Greenbuild.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute has named recipients of the four 2015 PCI Journal awards, recognizing the authors’ contributions to the institute and industry through technical and engineering articles in the bimonthly publication.

Ataur Rahman and Sri Sritharan have received the Martin P. Korn Award for “Seismic Response of Precast, Post Tensioned Concrete Jointed Wall Systems Designed for Low-to-Midrise Buildings Using the Direct Displacement-Based Approach” (March-April issue). It spotlights research expanding on previous work for post-tensioned shear walls to support further use of prestressed concrete for seismic applications in mid- and low-rise buildings. Named in honor of the first PCI executive director, the award recognizes the paper offering the greatest contribution to advancing precast/prestressed concrete in the area of design and research.

Christopher Vanek, Victor Ryzhikov, Bijan Khaleghi and Stephen Seguirant received the Robert J. Lyman Award for “Restoring a Collapsed Span over the Skagit River” (January-February), which details the cost effectiveness and schedule advantages of prestressed concrete girders to replace a damaged major arterial bridge in northern California. The article illustrates the cooperation among design, construction and fabrication parties to achieve exceptional results. The award recognizes the Journal article offering the greatest contribution in the area of plant production, site erection or general construction using precast/prestressed concrete.

“Seismic Design Guidelines for Solid and Perforated Hybrid Precast Concrete Shear Walls” (Summer 2014) won the 2015 Charles C. Zollman Award. It tracks research complementing previous efforts to use precast, post-tensioned concrete walls for seismic design by providing clear and direct design guidance. Brian Smith and Yahya Kurama received the award, earmarked for the article covering the best state-of-the-art precast/prestressed concrete application.

Recognizing authors 40 years of age or younger who deliver outstanding papers on design, research, production or construction, the 2015 George D. Nasser Award went to Samuel Keske and Eric Miller for “Live-Load Response of In-Service Bridge Constructed with Precast, Prestressed Self-Consolidating Concrete Girders” (Fall 2014). The full-scale evaluation of in-service bridge girders demonstrates that self-consolidating concrete performs comparably to conventional mixes in bridge girders, thus expanding the potential market and answering concerns about SCC specification. Keske, Miller and other authors will be recognized at the 2015 PCI Fall Committee Days and Membership Conference this month in Louisville, Ky.