PCA Education Foundation

PCA Education Foundation Awards Fellowship to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

UWMil_Fellowship_2015_FramedThe Portland Cement Association Education Foundation (PCAEF) awarded a $35,000 research grant to Dr. Konstantin Sobolev of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee last week.

Dr. Sobolev’s graduate student research on Engineering of Nano C-S-H Seed to Enhance Structure and Performance of Cementitious Materials, was one of three 2015 John P. Gleason Jr. Education Foundation Fellowships awarded by the foundation.

Brett Peters, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UW-M, thanked PCAEF for recognizing the academic efforts of their faculty and students. “This reaffirms what we are all about, and will go far in showing our commitment to our students." 

“Concrete is imagination,” said Raymond McVeigh, executive director of PCA Great Lakes Region. “We see that imagination and passion in Dr. Sobolev, and look forward to the advancements that this grant will allow them to make.”

The PCA Education Foundation Research Fellowship identifies and rewards outstanding masters and doctoral students in the fields of engineering and physical sciences who are studying areas that advance the science and technology of cement and concrete.

Read more at PCA website.

Contact Steve Kosmatka


ACG Materials is New Associate Member

ACG Materials, previously doing business as Harrison Gypsum LLC, joins PCA's Manufacturing Technical Committee (MTC) effective September 1, 2015, as an Associate Member. ACG is a privately held national provider of rock and minerals including gypsum, gravel, anyhydrite, and the products created with them.

Founded in 1955, ACG has mines and manufacturing facilities spread across Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Washington, and British Columbia. Cement, flooring, agriculture, food, and pharmaceuticals are among industries it supplies. It works with companies ranging in size from family farms to Fortune 500 companies.

The MTC now has 20 Associate Members. The Committee represents the technical interests of portland cement producers in the United States and has a special Associate Member category for manufacturers of cement process equipment, material suppliers, and cement industry consultants.

Contact Rick Bohan

Market Intelligence

Asphalt Supply Dynamics Appear to be Insulating Asphalt PPI from Oil Price Declines

Asphalt_Market_Balance_FramedUnlike falling oil prices, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for asphalt has remained relatively stable for the past year.

Oil prices fell from more than $105 per barrel in June 2014 to under $60 per barrel by the end of the year. Based solely on the historical oil-to-asphalt relationship, PCA expected that asphalt prices would experience a similar decline – to the tune of nearly 30 percent. However, the asphalt PPI through July 2015 is down only four percent from the end of 2014. PCA estimates the asphalt supply dynamics are insulating the asphalt PPI from oil price declines.  

Asphalt supply issues have arisen in recent years due to a number of factors, particularly the use of cokers at refineries. Cokers are capital intensive equipment that can further refine the heavy residual material left over from traditional oil refining thus leaving decreased feedstock for roofing tar, road oil, and asphalt. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Product Supplied of Asphalt & Road Oil has decreased more than 37 percent on an annual average basis since 2006. If current trends among oil prices and asphalt supply hold, PCA estimates asphalt’s PPI decline will be much more muted than that of oil – to the benefit of concrete’s relative competitiveness. 

Contact Andrew Moss

Regional News

Life-Cycle Comparison Wins Nebraska County Project

NE_Darr_Rd_FramedA life-cycle cost comparison between asphalt and concrete convinced Dawson County, Nebraska, to select concrete paving for a 9-mile road and bridge project which is nearing completion.

In March, engineering consultant Miller & Associates, Kearney, Nebraska, presented the county board with a comparison of a 30-year, 6-inch undoweled concrete overlay design versus a 4-inch asphalt resurfacing design which included a 2-inch mill-and-fill at year 15. The Initial cost estimate was $2.3 million for asphalt and $3.1 million for concrete. PCA partner Bill Cook, Nebraska Concrete Paving Association executive director, assisted by providing Miller & Associates with concrete overlay design and construction information, including costs from other Nebraska county overlay projects.

Life-cycle cost drove the county’s decision, which considered both annualized construction and expected increased maintenance cost of asphalt.

Paulsen, Inc., Lexington, Nebraska, constructed the concrete roadway using a stringless paver. 

Contact Doug Burns


CTLGroup Submission Named a Finalist in NASA Contest

CTLGroup: Team Mars is one of 30 registrants selected to compete in NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, a contest to promote the development of additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for the Earth and beyond.

Sponsored by America Makes, an effort of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing & Machining (NCDMM)/National Additive Manufacturing Institute and NASA, the challenge will award $2.25 million in prizes.

CTLGroup: Team Mars now competes in the design phase of the competition as it develops state-of-the-art architectural concepts to take advantage of the unique capabilities 3D printing offers. A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team(s) announced at the 2015 World Maker Faire, September 26-27 in New York.

The final phase of the contest opens for registration on September 26 and is broken into two phases, the Structural Member Competition and the On-Site Habitat Competition. The first focuses on the fabrication techniques needed to manufacture structural components from a combination of indigenous materials and recyclables, or indigenous materials alone. The second challenges competitors to fabricate full-scale habitats using indigenous material or indigenous materials combined with recyclables. Each carries a $1.1 million prize.

Learn more about the contest.


Call for Entries: Wisconsin Ready Mixed Awards

The Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association (WRMCA) seeks entries for the 34th Annual Concrete Design Awards.

The awards showcase best uses of ready-mixed concrete in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Categories include: Agricultural, Commercial, Decorative Commercial, Decorative Residential, Education, Healthcare and Public, Environmental Management, ICF, Industrial, Municipal Facilities, Municipal Infrastructure, Overlays, Parking Lot, Pervious, Residential, and Site Cast Tilt-Up.

Projects completed in 2014 or 2015 are eligible to enter. Engineers, architects, contractors, project owners, developers, and producers are encouraged to apply. The ready mixed concrete producer must be a member of the Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

The deadline to enter is December 4, 2015. Applications are available at the WRMCA website.

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