The India Chapter of ACI (IC-ACI) organised a glittering two days international conference on repairs, retrofitting and forensic engineering of built structures in Mumbai in November 2017. The seminar aspired to introduce the participants to cutting-edge technologies in the field of structural repairs, from the design, execution and material perspective. The aim was to facilitate technology transfer and networking among professionals, academia and other stakeholders in the repair industry. Khaled Walid Awad, the President of American Concrete Institute, visited India to specially attend this conference.
The seminar was successful under the guidance of Principal Convener, SC Dhupelia, Chetan Raikar and Pankaj Shah, ably supported Dhupelia as Co-Convenors. IC-ACI Office Bearers Radhika Markan, President, IC-ACI; Ishita Manjrekar, Vice President, IC-ACI; and Sunny Surlake, Hon Secretary; alongwith IC-ACI’s Board of Direction, provided working inputs to the successful Conference.
Awad, in his address, introduced ACI and its newest activities. He mentioned the importance of increasing student participation as a boost to both the student fraternity and the industry. The theme was “students are the present and future”.
Students participating and winning the month long twin competitions for “Concrete Cube Testing” and “Essay Competition” were awarded their prizes for their performance in the competition. The students represented the nodal centres of Kongu Engineering College, Erode, Tamil Nadu, Sanjay Ghodawat Group of Institutions, Kolhapur, Marwadi Education Foundation Group of Institutions, Rajkot and Shri Bhagubhai Mafatlal Polytechnic College, Mumbai. Proud parents of some of the students also travelled thousands of kilometres to attend their child’s felicitation ceremony in Mumbai. Besides the students, the contribution of their mentors and Head of Departments were also recognised by President Awad.
The inaugural session was followed by the plenary session. Here, stalwarts such as Khaled Awad, SC Dhupelia, renowned conservation architect Vikas Dilawari and Dr SK Manjrekar set the tone for the deliberations to continue during the seminar. Awad introduced ACI and its upcoming ACI repair code, while Dhupelia elaborated on case studies and practicalities of repair and retrofitting projects. Arch Vikas Dilawari talked about conservation of urban streetscape structures, citing examples of restoration projects in completed in Mumbai. Dr Manjrekar discussed the “responsibility concept” and its application to the repair industry in India.
Presentations by industry experts such as Imran Merchant, Chetan Raikar, Rudresh Dixit, Jayant Kadam, Dr Subrato Chowdhury, Sachin Joshi, Dr Vishal Thombare and Dr Vanwari was complemented by expert presentations by Young Turks such as Swanand Raikar, Sourabh Manjrekar, Dr Rampradheep and Sunny Surlaker, each introducing interesting concepts and providing more food for thought during the deliberations.
The interaction was interesting with the professionals and students receiving state-of-the-art information about repair concepts, techniques, design and special materials and the manufacturers and industry partners showcasing their expertise to the professionals, all in one place. The seminar was a success, with over 300 delegates comprising of builders, government engineers, construction chemical manufacturers, construction engineers, researchers, consultants, industry veterans and Students actively participating in the deliberations.
Apart from industry partners, like-minded technical bodies and professional associations such as Practicing Engineers, Architects and Town Planners Association, Mumbai Centre of Indian Institute of Architects, Institute of Engineers, Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), Indian Concrete Institute (ICI), Association of Consulting Civil Engineers, Construction Chemicals Manufacturing Association (CCMA) and Indian Society of Structural Engineers supported the event.
One of IC-ACI’s directors, Vishal Thombare, successfully completed his PhD in ‘Analysis, Evaluation, Design and Construction of Thin White Topping for Rehabilitation of Flexible Pavements’ from IIT, Mumbai. His achievement of earning the title of “Doctor” was celebrated during the conference, with him being felicitated on stage.