University of North Florida (Jacksonville) School of Engineering Professor Dr. Adel ElSafty is the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute 2015 Educator of the Year. Accompanied by a plaque and $1,000, the award recognizes engineering, architecture and/or construction technology educators who have made significant contributions to the precast/prestressed concrete industry in their early careers in academia.

ElSafty has been instrumental in developing UNF courses focused on precast/prestressed concrete for the first time. He has included prestressed topics into courses on reinforced concrete design, bridge engineering and advanced mechanics of materials, and developed a course specifically focused on prestressed concrete. He advises students participating in the PCI Big Beam Competition and works with graduate and undergraduate students on various concrete research projects. The PCI Foundation has also recognized ElSafty’s efforts by supporting his development of a UNF precast/prestressed engineering design studio.

The Florida PCI region supported ElSafty’s nomination, citing “his classroom teaching style, interactions with students and motivation to expand precast engineering” as clear examples of deserving the award. The professor has been a member of PCI since 2011 and received numerous other awards, including a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant; International Scholarship and Paper Award; National Teaching and Research Award; UNF Award of Research Excellence; and, Florida Prestressed Concrete Association Education Foundation Award.

He holds a doctorate in civil engineering from North Carolina State University and lists among his research interests bridge engineering, fiber reinforced polymer applications, nondestructive testing/evaluation of structures, concrete durability and structural rehabilitation/strengthening. The School of Engineering at UNF provides diverse learning opportunities in the technical and professional aspects of engineering that prepare all participants to thrive in an evolving world.

Also at PCI, the Student Education Committee has named Lehigh University Associate Professor of Structural Engineering Dr. Clay Naito Distinguished Educator for 2015. The committee developed the award to recognize engineering, architecture, and/or construction technology educators who have made significant and sustained contributions to the precast/prestressed concrete industry. Dr. Naito has been teaching at the Bethlehem, Pa., school for more than 13 years. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii, Manoa and University of California, Berkeley, respectively, and completed a Ph.D. in civil engineering at the latter school.

Dr. Naito is associate chair of Lehigh Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. A PCI member since 2003, he serves on the Technical Activities Council and has held Blast Resistance and Structural Integrity Committee and Strand Bond Task Force officer posts. He served on a Blue Ribbon review committee for the 7th edition of the PCI Design Handbook and is currently a member of a committee overseeing the 8th edition.

Supporters of Dr. Naito’s nomination as Distinguished Educator cite his impact in the area of blast and progressive collapse, underscored by wall and panel research in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory. In the classroom, he has taught precast/prestressed concrete structure design since 2007, and advised PCI Big Beam Competition student teams since 2008.

The American Society of Concrete Contractors Safety & Risk Management Council recognized members logging exemplary 2014 safety records during the ASCC annual conference in Dallas. The council educates contractors on all aspects of safety relating to concrete contracting and insurance matters, and provides oversight on publications and events.

W. Burr Bennett Awards for Safety Excellence went to specialty contractor Keystone Structural Concrete of Houston, and general contractor Barton Malow of Southfield, Mich. The awards are presented in partnership with CNA to contractors that place the highest priority on safety. Entries are judged on three years of performance indicators, values and trends; self-assessment checklist of company safety practices; and, detailed descriptions of safety plans and culture. 

Additional awards based on 2014 incident rates were presented to general and specialty contractors in four categories. General contractors receiving the Outstanding Safety Achievement Award for the lowest incident rate were Walbridge of Detroit (> 500,000 work hours); Korte Construction of Highland, Ill. (110,000–500,000 work hours); and, California Engineering Contractors of Pleasanton (< 110,000 work hours). Specialty contractors receiving the Outstanding Safety Achievement Award were T.B. Penick & Sons of San Diego (> 200,000 work hours); Bass Commercial Concrete of Little Rock, Ark. (68,000–200,000 work hours); and, Albanelli Cement Contractors of Livonia, Mich. (< 68,000 work hours).

The council also presented 54 contractors awards for zero lost time due to accidents and the same number were recognized for having lowered their incident rate from the previous year; 71 contractors received certificates for achieving an incident rate below the national average. Three companies were recognized for outstanding fleet safety records: Citadel Contractors of Apex, N.C., 467,483 miles with zero accidents; Lloyd Concrete Services of Forest, Va., 950,000 miles; and, Jordan Foster Construction of El Paso, Texas, 2,314,000 miles.

Turner Construction Co. and the National Building Museum have named the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recipient of the 2015 Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction. The general contracting giant established the prize—accompanied by a $25,000 honorarium—at the Washington, D.C., museum to recognize an advance or high achievement in the process of construction.

CTBUH was selected for its history of leadership in facilitating research and promoting education, plus contributions to the building industry, which has benefitted from the group’s work related to tall buildings and urban planning issues around the world. Chairman David Malott notes the council’s intention “to utilize the honorarium to conduct an audit of the cutting edge technologies across all fields that contribute to tall buildings. We will create a positional paper that would be of value to all our membership, especially tall building developers who always want to know what the latest technologies are in each field.”

CTBUH is widely known for its role as the arbiter of what constitutes a tall building, a role that has grown increasingly prominent with the rise of supertall and megatall projects. In addition, the council has created an international community of industry professionals—developers, architects, engineers, builders, urban planners and environmentalists—and affording them such resources as a robust technical paper, video, and building information database. Through publications, best practices, and other materials developed by scientists, engineers and thought leaders on nearly every aspect of tall building construction, the council has established itself as the industry’s resource when it comes to planning, designing, constructing and maintaining increasingly sophisticated and complex tall, supertall and megatall structures.

Members of the H.C. Turner Prize jury are Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Chairman Emeritus David Childs; Turner Construction Vice President Chris McFadden and past President Hal Parmalee; and, Engineering News-Record Editor-in-Chief Jan Tuchman. Turner Construction CEO Peter Davoren and National Building Museum President Chase Rynd were set to present the prize during the late-October CTBUH International Conference in New York City.

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla) Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Kristen Donnell is pioneering a nondestructive testing method for concrete structures using microwave energy. The active microwave thermograph (AMT) highlights flaws that could compromise safety or effectiveness; it works by using microwave energy to heat a defined section of material, which is looked at using infrared thermography imaging. 

Donnell, who earned her master of science and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 2003 and 2010, respectively, began working on AMT about two years ago. She uses a 1- to 20-GHz high-frequency horn antenna to heat objects then view them with an infrared sensor that relays data to a computer. Because the heat burst lasts only a few seconds, her method reduces the risk of damage when using traditional flash heat lamps. AMT is also able to focus the heat at a predetermined depth instead of heating the whole object. When using a flash heat lamp to look at a problem in a wall, for example, the whole wall would need to be heated; in contrast, the AMT method focuses heat on only a small section. It’s not exactly an X-ray, Donnell observes, “but it does allow us to look inside the interior of a structure to show defects or problems.”

In the lab, she can set the AMT device to focus on the middle of a 4-in. concrete section. When the images are produced on a computer, they can show if the rebar is compromised (rusted, corroded, broken) or still in good working order. She also can look at the concrete for cracks or other weakening defects. Donnell also can use AMT to look at materials that are wrapped in carbon fiber, verifying adhesion at point that aren’t properly bonded. Testing of the method will continue with a long-term view of AMT commercial prospects in concrete.

28 ConExpo 400The Association of Equipment Manufacturers reports that ConExpo-Con/Agg has been named the number-one exhibition of any industry in the U.S. in the annual Gold 100 list of top trade shows. Staged every three years at the Las Vegas Convention Center, ConExpo-Con/Agg is billed as the international gathering place for the construction-related industries, showcasing the latest equipment and product innovations and attracting exhibitors and attendees from all industry segments around the world. The Gold 100 award is presented by Trade Show Executive magazine and is based on exhibit space. ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 earned the honor for its size of 2.35 million net square feet.

“ConExpo-Con/Agg is the number-one destination … in size, value and industry importance; this is a result of our focus on being run by, and for the benefit of, industry. The satisfaction of our attendees and exhibitors and return on investment for all stakeholders are our measures of success,” says AEM Vice President, Exhibitions Megan Tanel. The (March 7-11) 2017 show is poised to be one of the best ever, she adds, citing robust space sales, coupled with new features to spur attendee and exhibitor engagement and showcase industry vitality and contributions.

The Decorative Surface Solutions Group (DSSG) has announced the first wave of Preferred Suppliers who have signed on to support the contractor network. DSSG aims to connect top industry suppliers with premier contractors across several decorative flooring channels, with collective sourcing programs and national marketing services driving growth. 

“Right on the heels of our announcement of our first group of Charter Members, we wanted to highlight a great group of suppliers who are supporting our members,” says DSSG CEO Curt Thompson. “In just six months, we have built a very solid foundation of both member and suppler partners and the interest level continues to grow as people now see the strength of group.” 

DSSG targets the rapidly expanding architectural concrete and decorative flooring solutions that include polished concrete, concrete topping slabs, terrazzo, epoxies, and other hybrid flooring choices. Charter Supplier Partners are Aggretex, Ardex, Blastrac, B.R. Funsten & Co., Ermator, Brickform, Capital Planning Partners, Diamatic, EPIC Insurance, Fidelity Capital, Hubbell, Jon Don, Procrete Resources, Prosoco, QC Construction Products, Scanmaskin, Schonox, Solomon Colors, SpecChem, Specified Surfaces, and Tom Duffy Co. DSSG has scheduled its first member and supplier meeting for February in Las Vegas.

ASTM C13 honors Hamilton Kent’s Selig
29 Hamilton 400

Joining Roman Selig III (second from right) are (from left) American Concrete Pipe Association’s Josh Beakley; National Precast Concrete Association’s Eric Carleton, and C13 member Fred Cash.

ASTM Committee C13 on Concrete Pipe has presented Roman J. Selig III with The Frank J. Heger Memorial Award, recognizing distinguished services and dedication to the committee and its standards pursuits. Selig is based in Birmingham, Ala., and serves as national accounts manager for concrete products at Hamilton Kent LLC. An ASTM International member since 1991, he works on several C13 subcommittees and is past chairman of Subcommittee C13.05 on Special Projects. His past honors with ASTM International include the Merlin G. “IB” Spangler Award in 2003—recognizing outstanding technical contributions—and the Award of Merit in 2011.

Selig joined Hamilton Kent in 2010, bringing a deep resume in concrete drainage products that includes tenure with Sherman Industries, as director of Marketing and Engineering, and Hanson Pipe & Precast, as technical resource director. After he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas, Selig served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam. Outside ASTM International, Selig is a member of the American Concrete Pipe Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, Transportation Research Board and Water Environment Federation. ACPA honored Selig with the Richard E. Barnes Award for lifetime achievement in 2010.