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UHPC Workshop Hosted by SMARTUP UHPC and
University of Alabama

Smart-Up UHPC and the University of Alabama recently hosted a dynamic full-day UHPC Workshop, attracting over 60 industry professionals from Alabama DOT, Mississippi DOT, Georgia DOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and more. This event featured engaging presentations, interactive Q&A sessions, and hands-on demonstrations, showcasing the versatility and benefits of ultra-high performance concrete.
In late February 2024, Smart-Up UHPC collaborated with the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Alabama to host a comprehensive UHPC Workshop on the Tuscaloosa campus. This full-day training session aimed to familiarize various stakeholders with ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC).

This full-day training session aimed to familiarize various stakeholders with ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC). Inspired by a similar Florida Department of Transportation training session in 2023, Smart-Up aimed to ignite interest and build confidence in designing with UHPC among engineers at the Alabama DOT.

As the planning progressed, interest from local industry professionals grew, leading to over 60 attendees, including representatives from Alabama DOT, Mississippi DOT, Georgia DOT, the Federal Highway Administration, material testing labs, local contractors, regional precasters, and material suppliers. The diverse attendance highlighted the broad interest in UHPC from design to supply to implementation and quality control.

Solution

The workshop was structured into two main sessions:

  • Morning Session: Lecture-Style Presentations
    • UHPC Material Basics: An overview of UHPC properties.
    • Design and Durability Considerations: Key factors for effective use of UHPC.
    • Current Applications: Examples in bridge engineering and architecture.
    • FHWA/AASHTO Guide: Insights from the new structural design guide for UHPC.
    • Case Studies: Discussions on the Delaware Memorial Bridge overlay project and local implementations of joint fill bridges to showcase the scope and capabilities of UHPC.
  • Afternoon Session: Physical Demonstrations
    • Mockup Joint Fill, Girder End Repair, and Overlay: Showcasing common UHPC applications.
    • Mix Textures: Demonstrations of self-consolidating mix for joint fill and girder end repair, and thixotropic mix for overlay.
    • Research Displays: Structural UHPC pieces from previous university research were exhibited to spark conversation and ideas.

Execution

The Smart-Up team, along with University of Alabama staff and industry experts, coordinated the event smoothly. Dr. Sri Aaleti and his students from UA handled logistics, including parking, room reservations, mockup construction, and research presentations. John McFadden and his team at UHPC Solutions discussed the Delaware Memorial Bridge overlay project, while Dexter Whaley shared Georgia DOT’s experience with UHPC. Shawn Oliver at Tokusen donated fibers for the demonstrations and co-sponsored lunch. Smart-Up provided the UHPC materials and lunch for all attendees.

Conclusion

The UHPC Workshop successfully generated interest and engagement among southeast engineering and contracting professionals. Attendees actively participated, posed insightful questions, and interacted with speakers and peers. This event demonstrated the potential of UHPC in various applications and reassured first-time designers of its accessibility and benefits. Smart-Up is grateful for the collaboration with the University of Alabama and the contributions of all involved, reinforcing the importance of community and knowledge sharing in advancing construction technology.

Acknowledgments

Smart-Up UHPC extends special thanks to:

  • Dr. Sri Aaleti and his students at the University of Alabama for logistical support and research presentations.
  • John McFadden and his team at UHPC Solutions for discussing the Delaware Memorial Bridge overlay project.
  • Dexter Whaley for sharing GDOT’s UHPC experience.
  • Shawn Oliver at Tokusen for donating fibers for demonstrations and co-sponsored lunch.

Thank you to all attendees for their enthusiasm, participation, and engagement, making this workshop a success.