India Opens Doors to World's Foremost Concrete Technologists

Release of Conference Proceedings
Release of Conference Proceedings

One of the leading concrete events of the world – the R. N. Raikar Memorial International Conference on Advances in Science & Technology of Concrete – held in Mumbai in December 2018, saw a stellar participation of over 100 global concrete experts. The two-day event titled 3rd R. N. Raikar Memorial International Conference & Gettu-Kodur International Symposium, was helmed by the India Chapter of American Concrete Institute (ICACI) and its parent body, the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

With a spotlight on present-day issues like sustainable development, corrosion, rehabilitation, fire impact, steel structures and bridges, concrete technologists, scientists and practitioners thronged the halls of Hotel St. Regis to hear some of the most acclaimed voices in the field of concrete.

India has become an important destination for the world to participate in as it clocks consistent annual growth rate of 6% and above. Hence, it was only befitting that the ACI Committee 364 Past Chairs together with global veterans conducted a full session on 'Repairs' outside of the USA for the very first time.

In another significant development, the world's foremost concrete expert and father of SCM, Prof. Mohan Malhotra introduced his book on 'The use of high volume fly ash' to the Indian concrete fraternity at the event. Adoption of this technology will be a saviour in the times of shortage of sand and limestone.

The R. N. Raikar biennial conferences are the most widely attended technical gathering of decision makers and practitioners of concrete technology. - Prof. Ravindra Gettu and Prof. Venkatesh Kodur - two towering personalities who have made a mark in the international concrete arena - were felicitated by an international symposium in their honour.

Prof. Ravindra Gettu is currently Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras. He is also the first Asian to hold the position of Vice-President in one of the world's most prestigious international bodies of concrete research – RILEM, the International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures, France.

Mohan Malhotra
Prof. Mohan Malhotra lights the traditional Indian lamp

Prof. Venkatesh Kodur was part of the FEMA/ASCE Building Performance Assessment Team that studied the collapse of WTC buildings as a result of September 11 incidents. He is a University Distinguished Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and heads the Centre on Structural Fire Engineering & Diagnostics at Michigan State University.

David A. Lange, President, ACI, said: "I extend my best wishes to all attendees of the 3rd R. N. Raikar Memorial International Conference and hearty congratulations to the organizing committee. I especially appreciate the hard work and commitment of Dr. Surendra K. Manjrekar who has led the India Chapter of ACI to convene a strong and enduring technical conference with participation from around the world. All of us at ACI celebrate this year's conference as a significant event for the profession. ACI is a community of experts from industry, design, and research who have joined together to develop state-of-the-art guidance for concrete construction. For over 100 years, ACI has promoted the best ideas about concrete materials and structures. Conferences like this are a wonderful opportunity to convene the community, give voice to new insights, and advance healthy discussion and debate."

Ronald G. Burg, Executive Vice President, ACI, added: "The advances in concrete technology and science are occurring at an ever-increasing pace, and it is conferences such as this one that allows all of us to stay abreast of the rapid changes in our industry. These changes are taking place worldwide, thus it is both appropriate and encouraging to see the diverse background of the presenters and attendees of the conference. The body of knowledge that will be documented in the proceedings of this conference will be of great value to the industry at large."

audience is enthralled
The audience is enthralled
ACI Honorary Member and Conference Convenor, Dr. Surendra K. Manjrekar stated: "Since its inception in 1904, ACI has been synonymous with the tagline 'Progress through knowledge'. More recently the tagline, 'Always Advancing', has gained momentum as part of ACI's Global Outreach initiative. It gives me great pleasure to state that the India Chapter of ACI is probably 'more than' obsessed to implement these two philosophies. A surging India today boasts of huge production facilities. Hence, a defect-free construction service to users, responsibility towards sustainability and creation of durable structures is becoming imperative. The India Chapter is now a frontrunner in knowledge dissemination related to every aspect of construction through larger-than-life international conferences such as this one."

"Through such programmes let us forge alliances, establish technologies, contribute to the cause of sustainability and play a major part in the story of national growth. Further, let us employ the take-aways from this conference to re-establish our role of natural leadership in the Middle East, Asia and the Far East to showcase 'Progress through Knowledge' as well as make India's development sustainable and growth oriented," he added.

The concluding plenary session was as well attended as the inaugural plenary session. A key take-away that emerged was appreciation for the opportunity for representatives from like-minded concrete professional bodies from all over the world to exchange ideas and set up paths for future collaborations.

ACI was set up as a non-profit membership organization dedicated to public service. It gathers and distributes information on the improvement of design, construction and maintenance of concrete products and structures. Its India Chapter (ICACI), of which Mr. Raikar was one founding member, is in its 40th year.

Global support
  • Institute of Concrete Technology UK
  • The Concrete Society UK
  • RILEM France
  • IC-IMPACTS Canada
  • LEEDS University UK
  • University of British Columbia Canada
  • Institute of Structural Engineers UK
  • Alconpat Brasil
  • Instituto del Cemento y del Hormigon de Chile
  • Instituto Mexicano Del Concreto Susten- able Mexico
  • Concrete Society of Southern Africa
  • IBRACON
  • Asian Concrete Federation
  • Hong Kong Concrete Institute
  • Japan Concrete Institute
  • Korea Concrete Institute
  • Jordan Concrete Association
  • Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia
  • Concrete Institute of Australia
Association of high-impact journals

Technical papers submitted by various countries are being evaluated by a worldwide editorial board for inclusion in:-
  • Revista Alconpat - the premium technical journal in Latin America.
  • Journal of Cement & Concrete Composites – promoted by Elsevier, a global information analytics business, that helps institutions advance science for the benefit of humanity.
  • Construction & Building Materials - An international journal dedicated to the investigation and innovative use of materials in construction and repair.
  • NBM&CW – India's most respected and leading techno-commercial publication that touches upon a whole gamut of issues related to the infrastructure, construction, building materials, products & technologies, equipment & machinery and so on.

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