A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology recently placed first among nine university teams in the American Concrete Institute Pervious Concrete Design competition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The goal was to develop a concrete mix design that would drain water from the surface, yet still be durable and maintain its strength. This competition is new to the ACI lineup, and was the first of its kind for the S&T team.
“When we compete, we have to become real engineers,” says Dane Shaw, S&T student and vice president for the American Concrete Institute chapter on campus. “We modify theories and ideas taught to us and use them in real life applications.”
The team won $600 in travel funds that will allow them to attend the annual spring ACI convention to be held March 21-25, 2010, in Chicago.
The spring competition, called “Xtreme Concrete,” is a national event involving two separate tests; a version of the pervious concrete challenge and the construction of a hollow, perfectly spherical fiber-reinforced concrete bowling ball.
The S&T team includes Shaw, a junior in civil engineering from Warrenton, Mo.; Tony Neer, a senior in civil engineering and physics from Higginsville, Mo.; Derek Aholt, a senior in architectural engineering from Washington, Mo.; and Sihem Belarbi, a senior in architectural engineering from Rolla. The team’s advisor is Dr. D.J. Belarbi, professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering.
Belarbi, who is leaving the Missouri S&T faculty soon to return to his alma mater, the University of Houston, was the founding advisor for the S&T ACI chapter in 1993.
“We would like to express our thanks for his years of service to the campus and the ACI organization,” says Shaw. “Without his support and expertise, we could never have gotten where we are today.”
In addition to winning first place in the Pervious Concrete Design competition, the team competed in the ACI International competition held in New Orleans Nov. 7-9. In this competition, teams designed a two-inch-square cube with specific criteria for weight, strength and sizing. S&T placed 17th among 40 teams from around the world, including teams from Mexico, Canada and Peru.