News Releases

Mines hosts 50th annual Concrete Conference
Release Date Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Feb. 11, 2014) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will host its 50th annual Concrete Conference on Friday, March 7, in the Surbeck Center ballroom.

Approximately 125 professionals in all phases of the concrete industry will attend, including contractors, concrete suppliers and representatives from testing firms and government agencies.

Among the top speakers will be Venkataswamy Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., a retired School of Mines professor who is world-renowned for his research discoveries in fiber-composite concrete over 40 years. He has been a consultant to all major fiber producers, both steel and synthetic, in the United States. He has authored or co-authored three books and more than 400 papers, including those with a focus on non-destructive testing techniques. Ramakrishnan retired from the School of Mines in 2002 and was directly involved in many of the innovative concrete material developments at the School of Mines. He founded the American Concrete Institute (ACI), South Dakota Dakota chapter, which has sponsored the concrete conference since 1971. Ramakrishnan will present a historical perspective of technical issues and solutions relating to concrete.

Also, presenting twice at the conference will be David Darwin, Ph.D., past president of the American Concrete Institute. Darwin is the Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Department at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. His research focus is on improving durability of concrete structures by minimizing cracking and improving corrosion resistance of reinforced steel and also on the bond strength of reinforcing steel to concrete. His conference presentation topics include the control of cracking in concrete and corrosion protection for reinforcing steel.

Other speakers include Peter Taylor, Iowa State University, mixture proportioning; Clifford MacDonald, Forta Corp., material behavior of synthetic fibers for crack control; Karen Schaefers and Tony Kulesa, School of Mines, university research and concrete activities in Mongolia; Dan Johnston, retired, state Department of Transportation, historical perspective on technical issues and solutions relating to concrete; Matthew R. Senecal, ACI, benefits, rationale and availability of the reorganized ACI.

Sponsors of this year’s Concrete Conference are: GCC of America, South Dakota Ready Mix Concrete Association, Croell Redi-Mix Inc., Cretex, FORTA, Pete Lien & Sons Inc., Hills Materials Company, Dakota Chapter of the ACI and the School of Mines Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the SDSM&T ASCE student chapter.

 Click for additional conference details.


 About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at