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Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting Held Last Week; NRMCA Files Updates 

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The 99th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) was held last week in Washington, DC, with more than 13,400 professionals, academics and industry officials in attendance. There were more than 6,000 presentations and some 800 sessions and workshops.NRMCA Engineering Staff reported on the following:

There was a workshop on self consolidating concrete. Several NCHRP projects in concrete materials are in progress and are expected to be completed by 2022. These are “Revision of AASHTO M 295 Standard Specification to Include Marginal and Unconventional Source Coal Fly Ashes,” “Improving Guidance of AASHTO R 80/ASTM C 1778 for Alkali-Silica Reactivity (ASR) Potential and Mitigation” and “Rating Concrete Water Permeability Based on Resistivity Measurements.” NRMCA engineer Karthik Obla is a panelist for the first two NCHRP projects.

There were several interesting papers on internal curing, microbial induced corrosion, ASR, resistivity and use of nanotechnology to tailor concrete using materials such as CSH seeding, strontium nitrate (improve wear resistance) and graphene oxide.

TRB is reorganizing the committees partly due to reduced funding and to improve interaction among committees. Accordingly, the number of concrete materials committees will decrease from 4 to 3. Concrete, asphalt and aggregate committees will come under the Highway Infrastructure Group. Coordination councils will be formed among design, materials and preservation to promote interaction. TRB committees organize technical sessions and workshops at the annual meeting, develop research needs statements and research synthesis topics. These are listed on the committee website; from time to time some projects are funded by NCHRP and other agencies.

The theme of the 2021 TRB meeting to be held in late January is “Launching a New Century of Mobility and Quality of Life.” The 2nd International Conference on Nanotechnology of Cement and Concrete will be held May 23-25, 2020, in Irvine, CA.

For more information, contact Karthik Obla at


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