IAS Distinguished Lecture

Controlling Properties of Concrete through Nanomodification


This presentation will provide an overview of concrete research issues that are currently being addressed. In the last few decades, considerable progress has been made in developing improved materials, including high strength concrete and high performance concrete. The recent work on nanoscale modification of cementitious materials with the use of nanoparticles and nanofibers at the Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials (ACBM), Northwestern University will be highlighted. There are three broad areas where the emphasis on nanotechnology and nanoscience can foster new developments: characterization, new materials and sensors. The presented investigations will focus on the reduction of formwork pressure through the use of nanoclay, the development of an improved slip-form paving concrete and the development of cement-based materials reinforced with carbon nanofibers and nanotubes. Some of these topics share innovative processing techniques to ensure superior concrete that can further the world’s growing need for reliable and sustainable high performance concrete.

About the speaker

Prof. Surendra Shah is a Walter P. Murphy Professor of Civil Engineering at Northwestern University. He is the Director of the pioneering NSF Science and Technology Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials. His current research interests include: fracture, fiber reinforced composites, non-destructive evaluation, transport properties, processing, rheology, nanotechnology, and use of solid waste materials. He has co-authored two books: Fiber-Reinforced Cement-Based Composites and Fracture Mechanics of Concrete. He has published more than 400 journal articles and edited more than twenty books. He has served as editor-in-chief of RILEM's journal Materials and Structures.

Prof. Shah is a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He is also a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as well as of the Indian Academy of Engineering. He is the only civil engineer who is a member of these three academies. He has received many awards including the Swedish Concrete Award, ACI Anderson Award, RILEM Gold Medal, ASTM Thompson Award, ASCE Charles Pankow Award, and Engineering News Record's News Maker Award. He was named one the Most Influential People in the industry by Concrete Construction Magazine. He spent time recently as an Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay under a Fulbright grant. Most recently, he was awarded an honorary membership in American Concrete Institute and RILEM (based in Paris).

Besides teaching at Northwestern, Prof. Shah has taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and served as a visiting professor at MIT, University of Sydney, Denmark Technical University, University of Singapore, Darmstadt Technical University, and LCPC, Paris. He is currently an honorary professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and L'Aquilla University in Italy.


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