College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Iowa State co-hosts Second International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC)

Ames, IA- Iowa State University (ISU) co-hosted the second annual International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) in Albany, New York, from June 2 to June 5.

UHPC is a relatively new class of cementitious, concrete material that is generally designed with steel or PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) fibers. In addition to providing superior engineering properties, including compressive strength as high as 26,000 pounds per square inch (180 MPa), it possesses excellent durability properties compared to normal and high performance concrete, facilitating creative architectural applications and engineering solutions.

Sri Sritharan, ISU College of Engineering Interim Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Wilkinson Chair of Interdisciplinary Engineering, served as a co-chair for the symposium. Sritharan directed proceedings alongside Ben Graybeal of the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Infrastructure Research and Development and Professor Tess Ahlborn of Michigan Technological University.

The symposium highlighted innovation, research and other developments in modern architectural and structural design applications. Additionally, the symposium included several technical sessions, panel discussions, a student competition, innovation awards and UHPC project tours while providing exceptional networking opportunities with more than 300 attendees from across 34 states and 21 countries.

An Iowa State University (ISU) student team was one of the top 10 teams invited to participate in the second phase of the competition. Student teams were tasked to design a structural member made from UHPC that was both efficient and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Phase one of the competition was based upon a written report and a presentation of research findings. Iowa State was selected as one of the top 10 finalists to compete in phase two, which focused on the presentation given and on-site testing at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.