The first Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) bridge in the United States was built in Iowa. It’s thus fitting that Iowa State University (ISU), paired with the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the University of Connecticut (UConn), would host the First International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete, held in July. Ben Graybeal was the FHWA Co-Chair for the symposium, along with co-chairs Sri Sritharan of ISU and Kay Wille of UConn.
“The symposium successfully united the growing UHPC community and highlighted the unique opportunities provided by this class of materials,” Graybeal says of the event.
Symposium events took place in several locations: Des Moines’ Iowa State Historical Building, the Marriott Downtown Des Moines, and ISU’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE). The symposium also included tours to various Iowa bridges that have been constructed using UHPC. According to Jennifer Vit of ISU’s Conference and Planning Management, the symposium attracted nearly 250 attendees from 17 countries and 39 states.
Symposium attendees heard from several keynote speakers, including FHWA Office of Bridges and Structures Director Dr. Joseph Hartmann and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne Professor Eugen Brühwiler.
“The interactive format was excellent and the symposium was very well organized!” Brühwiler says of his First International Interactive Symposium on UHPC experience.
Wille agreed, noting, “The interactivity throughout the UHPC symposium facilitated and revitalized engagement, appreciation and collaboration across different disciplines, societies and interests.”
Attendees of the symposium presented more than 75 technical papers in topic areas ranging from material behavior to architectural application to structural design to bridge construction. In addition, several panels of international experts engaged the attendees in interactive discussion. These topics included mixture proportioning and formulating, design of UHPC members and codification, accelerated bridge construction and rehabilitation and retrofitting with project examples. (Click here for the full symposium program and list of sponsors)
Dominique Corvez is head of Ductal/UHPC, LafargeHolcim, Americas. His company was one of the four platinum sponsors of this symposium, along with the Iowa Department of Transportation, BEKAERT and the CCEE Department at ISU.
“The symposium clearly demonstrated the expanded application of this material technology for the construction and rehabilitation of our infrastructure,” Corvez says.
While at ISU, researchers and industry partners attended the First International Interactive Symposium on UHPC Student Beam Test Competition and took part in structures laboratory tours and presentations. (Click here for the latest news release on the symposium and competition)
In all, the competition drew eight teams from the U.S., Canada, and China. Symposium gold sponsor Larry Rowland of Lehigh White Cement Company, who attended the student beam competition and ISU CCEE Department lab tour says, “The symposium and its competition gave students an opportunity to show off their skills and test out design concepts in a competitive and collaborative atmosphere. It was a great learning experience.”
Events at ISU took place Tuesday, July 19. The full symposium was held Monday through Wednesday of the week of July 18. Visit us on the web at ccee.iastate.edu, where you can find this and other research news.