Above, Vanderbilt’s Catherine Gay presented the talk “Dispersion of CNFs in Cement Composites” at the recent 2nd Advances in Cement-based Materials meeting organized by ACerS Cements Division and ACBM. Credit: P. Wray, ACerS.

Monday was a busy day at the Cements Division meeting, hosted by Vandy’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, with lots of great presentations, a lively Della Roy Lecture by Karen Scrivener (I’ll write about this in another post) and a division meeting where new officers and award winners were announced.

The officers for 2011-2012 are:

Besides the talks presented, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Division leaders challenged the audience to launch a discussion on “Future Directions for Cementitious Materials.” The challenge to identify the most important areas of future research, advancements, education and multidisciplinary work seemed to be enthusiastically embraced by the crowd beginning with an hour group discussion to identify three or four topic areas, each of which would be fleshed-out during focused small-group meetings during the Monday and Tuesday lunch periods.

The initial discussion—in the large-group setting—fairly easily narrowed in on four potential strategic avenues of interest (the exact wording may be a little off here): 1) Multiscale modeling; 2) Hydration mechanisms (particularly in regard to supplementary cementitious materials); Best practices (particularly in regard to examining and comparing data sets, test beds and cases, building data repositories); and Sustainability (particularly in regard to the use of SCMs).

"Future directions for cements" roundtable discussion on sustainability. Credit: P. Wray, ACerS.

Each of these was then discussed in smaller groups over lunch, Monday, with the discussions to continue at lunch today. I was only around Monday, but it appeared that all of the groups were making progress and starting to layout some suggestions for plans that would be reported out. My understanding is that division leaders and other volunteers will attempt to gather these ideas and start developing some specific proposals for collaborative efforts, white papers and funding proposals, at least in time for next year’s meeting.

Speaking of the 2012 Cements Division meeting, the hope is to hold it in June in Austin, Texas.

Meeting chair Zach Grasley present the 2010 Brunauer Award to Rouzbeh Shahsavari on behalf of the group of authors. Credit: P. Wray, ACerS.

Cements Division chair Zach Grasley, left, presents the 2010 Brunauer Award to Rouzbeh Shahsavari on behalf of the group of authors. Credit: P. Wray, ACerS.

As part of the meeting’s activities, the division announced the winner of its 2010 Stephen Brunauer Award for best cements paper published by ACerS during the previous year. The winning paper, First-Principles Study of Elastic Constants and Interlayer Interactions of Complex Hydrated Oxides: Case Study of Tobermorite and Jennite (doi:10.1111/j.1551-2916.2009.03199.x) appeared in JACerS and was written  by Rouzbeh Shahsavari, Markus J. Buehler, Roland J.-M. Pellenq and Franz-Josef Ulm, who are connected with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT and the Centre Interdisciplinaire des Nanosciences at CNRS-Marseille Université (France).

One of the highlights of the meeting was the announcement that two members of ACerS’ Cements Division will be members of the Society’s class of Fellows for 2011. Kim Kurtis and Joe Biernacki will be inducted along with other new Fellows during ceremonies at the ACerS Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Oct. 17, 2011.

Finally, the meeting organizers recognized six poster presenters for the exceptional quality of their work:

  • Lesa Brown (“Durability of Carbon Nanofiber/Cement Composites”);
  • Amal Puthur Jayapalan (“Properties of Cement Replaced with Titatnium Dioxide and Limestone Particles”);
  • Christopher Jones (“Extracting Realistic Mechanical Constitutive Properties of Cement Paste Using Atomic Force Microscopy”);
  • Eric Kim (“Effect of Calcium in Geopolymers Using X-ray Diffraction and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance”);
  • Sarah Taylor Lange (“Concrete Constituent Contributions to Indoor Radon Emissions”); and
  • Peter Stynoski (“Effects of Silica Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes in Portland Cement Mortar”).

Meeting co-chair Jeff Chen, left, with poster winners Brown, Jayapalan, Stynoski and Lange. Credit: P. Wray, ACerS.