Students place third at national ACI Convention competition
4/17/2023 11:13:26 AM
Members of the American Concrete Institute’s (ACI) student chapter in CEE at Illinois returned from ACI’s spring national convention with a third-place overall win in the student competition. The ACI holds two national conventions a year which draw top universities and companies from around the world.
A highlight was the student research presentation competition, where CEE at Illinois students won first and third prizes. First prize winner was Sangmin Lee, with the presentation “Concrete Characterization Using Ultrasound and Physics-Informed Neural Networks,” co-authored by professor John Popovics. Third place winner was Kirshna Polavaram, with the presentation “Understanding Radiation Damage in Concrete via Multi-Modal Characterization,” co-authored by assistant professor Nishant Garg. The selection of the winners was based on reviews of both their oral presentation and an abstract submitted prior to the conference.
A particularly interesting competition for undergraduates requires students to construct a bowling ball using lightweight, fiber-reinforced concrete. The University of Illinois team composed of Nidheesh Venmani (freshman) and Noah Burfield (junior) placed third in the Analysis Test Category. The construction quality is assessed through bowling the ball to knock down pins. The concrete mix design must meet weight limitations, and students must predict the strength performance.