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NC State ACI chapter competes in Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites Competition in Boston

Members of the NC State chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) traveled to Boston in October to participate in the student Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites Competition at the Fall ACI Conference. Teams were challenged to design, construct and test a concrete beam reinforced with FRP. The NC State team placed ninth out of 28 teams. Teams were scored based on the best cost-to-load ratio, as well as the best performance prediction.

The NC State team included CCEE students Eleni Nakos, Andres Aguilar-Alvarez, Cole Flowers, Sam Valmassoi, Paul Acuna, Dawson Payne, Walter Johnson, Gabby Boley, Gabriela Gomez, David Joynes, Jesenia Montes-Aviles, Cameron Stevenson, Taylor Brodbeck and David Childress. They first began developing concrete mix designs in the summer of 2023 and tested multiple test batches. After the final mix design was selected, multiple beam design options were analyzed and prototypes were cast and tested. The team worked hard to gather materials and cast the trial mixes and beams. The team used a combination of equations from ACI 440.11-22 as well as finite element modeling to predict the beam’s performance.

The ACI Conference also provided an opportunity for students to network and attend seminars and committee meetings. Brodbeck gave a research presentation on FRP reinforcement in concrete beams.

“The conference provided a chance to network with other universities and meet local, national and international concrete companies,” said Cole Flowers, a construction engineering student. “Interacting with other students allowed our team to discuss career paths, make lasting friendships and learn a few helpful tricks for future competitions.”

”Attending the conference was a valuable experience for me because I was able to learn about new and promising developments in the world of concrete, network with various other university teams and representatives, and experience a beautiful host city,” said Walter Johnson, a construction engineering student. “My most valuable experience was attending the presentations. I loved learning about the various new uses of Ultra High Performance Concrete within the construction industry — this directly applies to the work I am involved in.”