March 2020, Volume 36, Issue 3 Print

President's Memo

Spring is upon us! After what seemed like a mild-winter for our Chicagoland area, some warmer temps have moved in and I hope they are here to stay – #nomorespringsnow! We have a busy few weeks ahead of us; as I write to you today, we are anxiously awaiting the 2020 Spring ACI Convention here in Chicago, and last-minute preparations are underway. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces and even more new faces at this wonderful event!

In February we welcomed Sean Guzik from CDOT as he gave us an outlook on construction plans for this upcoming season and a list of new exciting projects that will go out for bid this year. He also elaborated on a few new pieces of technology that they are utilizing in their concrete work – some very new and exciting stuff!

Also in February, we held our Annual Local Bowling Ball Competition at our Certification Facility in Elmhurst. Student teams were invited to come out and compete for a cash prize to help them get to the National Competition this Spring. Industry professionals were also invited to join this competition for a chance to claim bragging rights and the traveling concrete trophy. Students from SIU took home the student prize, please join me as we wish them the best of luck in the National event. As for the industry winner - I can now change my title from your current ACI-IL President to, your current ACI-IL President/2020 Bowling Ball WINNER! It was a very fun event and I encourage everyone to come out next year and TRY to knock me out!

As I mentioned above, we are only about two weeks away from the ACI Spring Convention, which takes place at the Hilton Hotel & Convention Center in Rosemont from March 29th thru April 2nd, 2020. We are still looking for volunteers to help during the convention, Scott Kelly is the Volunteer Chairperson – please reach out to Scott to sign up today!

Although the convention is coming to town, we are still holding our monthly dinner meeting this month – Wednesday March 18th at Gibson’s in Oakbrook. We welcome Amir Hajibabaee, PhD from Ozinga’s Research & Development division. Amir will be presenting on the impact of drying concrete shrinkage, including curing conditions and alternative cementitious materials. This is a presentation that we have had a lot of requests for and something we haven’t presented on in a few years. I hope you all will join us and help kick off the un-official start to our Convention Month!

Sincerely yours,

Peter J. Schroeder

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Calendar of Events

Monthly Dinner Meetings
March 18 at Gibsons Oakbrook - Impact of Curing & Alternative Cementitious Materials on Drying Shrinkage
April 7 at UIUC - Student Meeting with Speaker Matt D'Ambrosia, PhD, PE
April 15 at Gibsons Oakbrook - Tollway Update

2020 Spring Convention
March 29 - April 2
Rosemont, IL


Thursday, June 18, 2020 - Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge
Joint with NIRMMA

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March 2020 Dinner Meeting

Topic: Impact of Curing and Alternative Cementitious Materials on Drying Shrinkage

Speaker: Amir Hajibabaee, Ph.D.- Research Engineer, Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc.

Bio: Amir Hajibabaee, Ph.D. is a Research Engineer for Ozinga’s Research & Development Laboratory in Chicago. Amir got his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tehran in Iran. He then traveled to the U.S. where he was able to complete his Masters in Structural Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He also completed his PhD in Structural Engineering under Dr. Tyler Ley at Oklahoma State University. Amir has co-authored numerous papers and articles on a large range of concrete topics including shrinkage, mix proportioning, use of supplementary cementitious materials, curing methods and much much more.

Meal choices will be taken at the table and will include choices for a beef, fish or vegetarian meal.

If you are a Member, remember to login first to receive member pricing. Non-members can checkout as a guest.

Please register by Monday, March 16th.

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ACI 318-19: Changes to the Concrete Design Standard Public Seminar

In this seminar, two industry expert speakers will walk you through the major technical changes in the 2019 edition of ACI 318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-19) and Commentary. This is the first update since the reorganization of the code in the 2014 edition and includes over 100 additional pages of requirements.

This seminar will be held on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago Hotel.

Seminar attendees will receive A FREE copy of ACI 318-19

Price: $695 (non-member) / $595 (ACI member) / $150 student

For more information or to register, click here.

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A Call To Arms!

We need your services!

The ACI-National Convention is coming to Chicago on March 29th through April 2nd, 2020 – and we need your help!! The ACI-IL Board will be looking for volunteers to help in several key areas of the convention, including manning our ACI-IL Chapter booth, helping to get people to the Tuesday night Mixer event (Bub-City Rosemont), helping with other local tours and special events.

We are looking for at least 30 volunteers per day. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Scott Kelly at [email protected]

Thank you for your help!!

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February 2020 Dinner Meeting Recap

Sean Guzik presented on CDOT’s 2020 construction plan and new developments at the February meeting.

CDOT has a variety of proposed projects for 2020 including the pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive at 47th Street, the RPM project in conjunction with the CTA, the new Damen Green Line station, and continued Arterial improvement and maintenance. A fair amount of CDOT projects for 2020 will be streetscape work including a redesign of the Logan Square traffic flow to give better park access to pedestrians. CDOT is currently still evaluating new technologies including E-ticketing, CarbonCure, and Nitrocrete in conjunction with the ISTHA and IDOT. CarbonCure continues to be a major focus of interest to CDOT who has tested standard mixes with reduced cement contents to minimize their carbon impact.

Thanks again to Sean for taking time to present to the group.

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Bowling Ball Competition

ACI Illinois Chapter hosted the Fiber Reinforced Concrete Bowling Ball at their certification training center in Elmhurst, IL on February 8, 2020.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville team during registration.

This competition is held to foment the interaction between the industry and student chapters. It’s a great opportunity for the local teams to understand the benefits of using fibers in concrete. It also serves as a place to ask questions and gain contacts within the local industry. Most of the student teams will be competing in the ACI National convention next month and this activity provided feedback on their work and is meant to give them an opportunity to test out their initial designs while providing opportunity for improvements prior to the National Competition. The competition also aims to financially help student teams competing at the ACI Competition held in Rosemont, IL, USA on March 24, 2019. This year, the returning champion, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, competed under the university team category. Industry participants were represented by Flood Testing Laboratories, Grace Construction Products, Ozinga Chicago Ready-Mixed Concrete, and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE). The teams gathered at the ACI IL training center early on a Saturday morning and competed vigorously until the balls were nothing but cracked heaps of hairy-appearing aggregate. To wind down, the teams shared Jimmy John’s Sandwiches, thanks to the local industry sponsors.

The youngest Industry competitor, 7-year-old Liam Flood, trying to score a strike.

Each team designed and fabricated a fiber-reinforced bowling ball according to a simplified set of rules from the National Competition. The team from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was awarded the first-place cash prize of $750.

This year’s industry winner is Mr. Peter Schroeder! Pete is the current president of ACI IL and Laboratory Director for the research and development of Ozinga Ready Mix, Chicago. The custom-made concrete traveling trophy will remain in their possession until next year’s competition. The trophy was previously held for 2 years (2018 and 2019) by Mr. Mark Korduck, Laboratory Manager for Flood Testing Laboratories, Chicago.

The ACI FRC Bowling Ball Competition will take place March 29, 2020 during The Concrete Convention & Exposition in Chicago/Rosemont, IL, USA.

ACI Illinois Chapter Non-student competition traveling trophy.



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Submit Your Vision of Excellence

ACI-IL is calling for concrete construction projects that exemplify their vision of concrete innovation in the 2020 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards program.

Now more than ever, concrete design and construction projects must integrate creative techniques and technologies to keep up with ever-evolving economic, environmental, and aesthetic demands. The ACI Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards provides a platform to recognize concrete projects at the forefront of innovation and technology, and showcases these projects to inspire excellence in concrete design and construction around the world.

Projects must be within the state of Illinois and can be submitted in six different categories by Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Contact Joni L. Jones at [email protected] for the application and/or any questions.

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Upcoming Certification Sessions

Certification sessions are usually held at the ACI-IL Certification Facility: 650 W. Grand Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126 - Suite 106

ACI-IL Certification programs include the following offerings:
Grade 1 Field Technician
Aggregate Lab Technician 1
Strength Lab Technician 1
Concrete Construction Special Inspector
Adhesive Anchor Installer
Adhesive Anchor Installer Inspector

Check the schedule below for a session or sessions of interest. Review the class listings below and register. Sessions are filling up quickly, so don’t delay!

MARCH 2020
March 24-25, 2020           Grade 1 Field Technician              
Mattoon, IL

APRIL 2020
April 7-8, 2020               Grade 1 Field Technician              
Elmhurst, IL
April 22-23, 2020           Grade 1 Field Technician (Class FULL)

MAY 2020
May 19-20, 2020               Grade 1 Field Technician               Elmhurst, IL

See the ACI-IL website for course descriptions, registration forms and frequently asked questions at

If you need help registering just call (773)775-7558 and leave a message for our registrar Ms. Nicole Galati who will assist you with registration assistance, hotel recommendations and payment methods.

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Certification Sponsors

Thank you to our Certification Sponsors!

Certification GOLD Sponsors:

Certification SILVER Sponsors:

Interested in sponsoring?
Contact Pete Stamatopoulos at 630-804-9577.

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