International Symposium on Innovative World of Concrete (IWC24)

The International Symposium on Innovative World of Concrete (IWC24) was held at Raajkutir, Kolkata, India, from 18th to 20th January 2024. The symposium focused on the theme "Concrete Construction: Present and Future." Organized by the Indian Concrete Institute (ICI) Kolkata Centre, the event aimed to bring together professionals, researchers, and industry experts to discuss and explore advancements in concrete technology and construction practices.

The International Symposium on Innovative World of Concrete

The symposium was held with the association of three technical institutes - Department of Construction Engineering, Jadavpur University, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kharagpur and Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Shibpur, Howrah, as well as three renowned professional bodies -- Asian Concrete Federation (ACF), International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib) and Concrete Institute of Australia ( CIA).

The three-day event was inaugurated by Honorable Minister Sri Sovandeb Chottopadhyay, Department of Agriculture and Parliamentary Affairs, Govt of West Bengal. Prof Amitava Dutta, Pro Vice Chancellor, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, was present as Guest of Honour. Prof. S. Saraswati, Past president ICI, was present on behalf of the Organizing Committee. Er Partha Gangopadhyay, President, ICI, discussed the activities of ICI and the event. Prof Saroj Mandal, Chairman, Organizing Committee, gave a welcome address and the Vote of Thanks was given by Prof Kaushik Bandopadhyay, Co-chairman of IWC 24.

Symposium Highlights

Plenary Sessions: Nine eminent experts in the field of concrete construction gave presentations in three different plenary sessions. Prof S P Shah (USA), Dr S.K Ghosh (USA), and Prof Caijun Shi (China), deliberated on carbon capture and utilization in concrete construction, observation from the massive Turkish earthquake of 2023 and novel method for design of HPC respectively in the first session. In the second plenary session, presentations were made by Dr. Anjan K. Chatterjee (India) on Digitalization in the Concrete Construction sector, Prof Mark Alexandar (South Africa) on Durability Indexes and concrete construction specifications, and by Prof. Stephen Foster (Australia) on Exploring the Future of UHPC (ultra-high performance concrete). In the final plenary session, three important presentations were made by Dr. S Chowdhury (India) on Cement and Concrete beyond now- a realisation and preparedness imperative, Prof. Johann Plank (Germany) on Novel Chemical Admixtures for low carbon and zero clinker binders, and by Prof S. K Bhattacharya (India) on Retrofitting of Fire Damaged Structures.

The International Symposium on Innovative World of Concrete

Keynote Addresses:
Renowned experts in the field of concrete technology and related fields of concrete constructions, gave a broad perspective on the present and future of concrete construction. Prof Ashutosh Bagchi (Canada), Dr K N Gunalan (USA), Dr. Serina Ng (China), Mr. Victor Perry (Canada), Prof Abhijit Mukherjee (Australia), Mr. David Millar (Australia), and Prof Tamon Ueda (Japan) presented their keynote speeches. Prof R Gettu, Prof Manu Santhanam, Prof Radhakrishna G Pillai, Prof. Amlan K Sengupta (all from IIT Madras), and Prof Ananth Ramaswami (IISC, Bangalore) gave presentations on diverse topics. Presentations were also made by Indian industry experts viz. Dr Gopal Rai, Er Nilotpal Kar, Dr Satish Jain, Er. Rajib Chattaraj, Er Vivek Naik, Er. Vinay Gupta, Dr. M. R. Kalgal, and Dr. V. Ramachandra.

Technical Sessions: The symposium featured 20 technical sessions covering various aspects of concrete technology including innovative materials, construction methodologies, sustainability, and durability. About 500 delegates from different organizations from all over India participated in the mega symposium.

Exhibition Area:
The exhibition area showcased cutting-edge technologies, products and services related to concrete construction. Attendees had the opportunity to explore and connect with industry vendors. About 34 organizations participated in the exhibition.

Presentations and Papers: Researchers and practitioners presented their latest findings and case studies at the symposium. Topics included advancements in concrete mix design, structural engineering, smart concrete technologies, and sustainable construction practices. The organizing committee published proceedings consisting of over 65 high-quality scientific papers, including 18 state-of-the-art keynote papers aligned to the different sub-topics comprising different fields of concrete construction. The committee also published a souvenir to mark the event.

The International Symposium on Innovative World of Concrete

IWC24 provided ample networking opportunities, fostering collaboration among professionals, academics and industry stakeholders. Participants exchanged ideas, established connections, and explored potential collaborations for future projects. Particularly, the young minds played a pivotal role in such opportunities.

Social and cultural events provided participants the chance to relax and experience the local culture of Kolkata. There were performances by Poushali, a folk singer, and by Dilip Beerbanshi, a boul singer, followed by a gala dinner.

The Symposium was a resounding success; it brought together a diverse group of professionals and experts to discuss the present and future of concrete construction. The exchange of knowledge and ideas during the event is expected to have a significant impact on advancing the field of concrete technology, as was evident from the participants in the valedictory session.

The organizers extend their gratitude to the international keynote speakers, authors, researchers, sponsors, participants, and volunteers, whose contributions made IWC24 an enriching event.
NBM&CW - March 2024
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