SILVER SPRING, MD.—Students from the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)—a business intensive program that awards students with a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Concrete Industry Management—announced five research projects that are designed to benefit the industry, as well as provide valuable experience for the students.

The following projects are currently underway at MTSU:

  • A collaborative project with five other labs across the United States to determine the best way to consolidate and cast cylindrical specimens for pervious cement.
  • Comparison of new fiber with existing market fibers to determine viability of the fiber to prevent plastic shrinkage cracking.
  • Investigation of a new liquid admixture that could be used to enhance workability, set time, and cement replacement for pervious concrete mixes.
  • Review of the pull-out strength of rebar in high-strength, lightweight concrete with local precast plants and Stalite, Inc.
  • Two industry literature searches: 1) compilation of all pervious concrete research that has been done to date, and 2) compilation of all papers that reference the comparison of fiber-reinforced concrete versus welded wire fabric and how well it performs.

According to Heather J. Brown, director and associate professor of the CIM Program at MTSU, nearly every project they undertake has an industry contact and purpose. "We choose to do projects that are needed by the industry in the short term because we can get fast turn-around and utilize undergraduates that we only have for four to six months at a time," said Brown.