Current Issues, New Tech Focus Of CIGMAT Conference

By Traci Read, Managing Editor | May 2012, Vol. 67 No. 5
Professor Jean L. Briaud, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, with C. Vipulanandan.

At the University of Houston, a leading public research university located in Houston, the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) and the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering held a successful one-day conference and exhibition.

More than 340 gathered at the 17th Annual CIGMAT Conference on March 2 to learn about “Infrastructure, Energy, Geotechnical, Flooding and Sustainable Issues Related to Houston & Other Major Cities.”

“I attend CIGMAT every year because it gives me the opportunity to collaborate with other engineers, academia, contractors and suppliers all in one day,” said Rod McCrary, vice president, AECOM. “In my opinion, the conference gets better every year. The program focuses on current issues, such as drainage and transportation that can be some of our biggest challenges.”

The convention opened with initial remarks by Dr. Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan, P.E., professor and director of CIGMAT and the Texas Hurricane Center for Innovative Technology (THC-IT) who stressed the need for such a conference during these challenging times, particularly in regard to energy and advances in technologies.

CIGMAT graduate students.

Public works, energy panel
The opening session featured Daniel Krueger, director of public works, city of Houston, who discussed the city’s issues as regards public works, highway transportation, energy needs and production for the future. Plans for maintaining and expanding Houston’s water and wastewater facilities in a sustainable manner also were discussed.

The audience heard about several new Houston highway projects for the department of transportation and the challenges of maintaining transportation facilities with reduced funding from Michael Alford, district engineer for Houston, TxDOT.

Rounding out the session was Jed Hamilton, senior research consultant Arctic, ExxonMobile. With the growth of various countries around the world, there has been a sudden increase in the demand for oil. Hamilton discussed the various methods of meeting the demand for oil and gas with ever changing technologies and environmental regulations.

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