The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association has announced Membership Department staff changes as part of a broader, increased focus of delivering more value-added services, education, research and certification offerings. Amanda Muller and Alex Land have joined the department, each holding the title of director of Membership Engagement.

Muller arrives from her alma mater California State University – Chico, where she served as associate development director and gained experience in recruiting and retention strategies for the Concrete Industry Management program. She holds bachelor of science and master’s degrees in Business Administration. Land joins NRMCA from the American Staffing Association, where he focused on creating revenue opportunities and driving growth through prospecting and delivering new members. Prior to ASA, he worked for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, focusing on client engagement and program management. He holds a University of Central Florida bachelor of science degree in Hospitality Management.

Dawn Decker

Dawn Decker has been named Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Mid-Atlantic executive director. Serving as marketing consultant this summer, she onboarded a new agency partner and developed a strategy to target transportation, design, construction, and academic audiences to grow specifications of precast concrete products in the Mid-Atlantic region. She has also worked with PCI regional directors in support of their webinar series as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and need to provide quality education programs to members’ customers.

“By building awareness of precast concrete benefits and use, supporting member success, and educating professionals in construction, design, and academia, my goal as executive director is to make precast building and transportation products an early structural and enclosure choice for new projects,” Decker affirms.

Portland Cement Association honors six producer members in its 2020 Energy and Environment Awards. The program recognizes outstanding environmental and community relations efforts across plant operations by category: Energy Efficiency, Argos USA, Harleyville, S.C.; Environmental Performance, Ash Grove Cement Co., Midlothian, Texas; Innovation, GCC of America, Odessa, Texas; Land Stewardship, LafargeHolcim, Holly Hill, S.C.; Outreach, Roanoke Cement/Titan America, Troutville, Va.; and, Overall Environmental Excellence, Lehigh Hanson, Inc., Union Bridge, Md.

“America’s cement manufacturers continue to focus on researching and developing new and innovative ways to reduce environmental footprint,” says PCA President Michael Ireland. “The companies receiving these awards are great examples of our industry’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.”

ASTM International opens this month with a virtual meeting to potentially seed a technical committee tasked with developing standards for stormwater control measures. Standards could support efforts to reduce pollution from runoff; create uniform testing, verification and certification programs; and, unify varied stakeholders. Meeting organizers aim to identify specific standards needs, determine if ASTM should formally pursue the activity, and develop a new technical committee title, scope and structure.

Manufacturers, users, trade associations, professional societies, government agencies, consumer groups, academia, engineers, and testers are driving the effort. They are interested in creating standards in areas such as laboratory performance methods, field monitoring practices, plus installation and maintenance guides. Companies and individuals interested in participating and charting a path to technical standards for stormwater control measures can contact ASTM Technical Committee Operations Manager Frank McConnell, [email protected].

Separately, a proposed ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates standard (WK73384) will be used to evaluate the tensile performance of fiber-reinforced concrete using cylindrical specimens with double-punch loading. An indirect tensile measurement, double punch shows much less variability and is more expeditious than typical beam-type testing, notes University of Texas, Arlington Professor of Civil Engineering Shih-ho Chao, adding: “It only requires a very simple and small capacity compression testing equipment to perform the test. This method can be used for investigating various properties of FRCs such as strength, stiffness, ductility, and mix quality.”

The Slag Cement Association is finalizing the next version of a Product Category Rule informing ground granulated blast furnace slag producers’ Environmental Product Declarations. A committee of industry stakeholders has incorporated appropriate updates and opened the draft to public comment. Individuals and parties interested in reviewing the PCR can contact Andrea Burr, standards development liaison for the NSF International National Center for Sustainability Standards, Ann Arbor, Mich., 734/913-5794; [email protected]. The document succeeds a charter version issued in August 2014 under ASTM International. Slag Cement PCR production follows the NSF Center’s April 2020 issuance of the North American Product Category Rule for Portland, Blended, Masonry, Mortar, and Stucco Cements, dubbed Cement PCR 2.0.