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UTA researcher elected to Academy of Athens for work with sustainable concrete

Friday, July 5, 2019 • Media Contact: UT Arlington Media Relations

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Producing a ton of concrete creates about a ton of carbon dioxide, contributing to about 7% of greenhouse gas introduced into the atmosphere each year.

Surendra Shah, a world-renowned researcher in cement-based materials and Presidential Distinguished University Professor at The University of Texas at Arlington, is working to make concrete production more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable.

Surendra Shah

Surendra Shah, a world-renowned researcher in cement-based materials and UTA Presidential Distinguished University Professor, was recently inducted to the Academy of Athens in Greece.

“With the current movement toward worldwide modernization of infrastructure, we will need more and more materials for infrastructure construction,” Shah said. “However, we must take an innovative, scientific approach that leads to a greater understanding of cement-based materials to be as energy-efficient as possible, while reducing our carbon footprint.”

Shah, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, was recently inducted to the Academy of Athens in Greece, which works to cultivate and advance the sciences, humanities and fine arts and whose members conduct scientific research projects and studies in the areas of agriculture, industry, shipping and national economy. He also is a member of the Indian Academy of Engineering and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Shah has dual faculty appointments in UTA’s Civil Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering departments. He arrived at UTA earlier this year, establishing the Center for Advanced Construction Materials to continue his research on fiber-reinforced composites, nondestructive evaluation, transport properties, processing, rheology, nanotechnology and the use of solid waste materials.

He is currently leading a revolution in nanomaterial applications to concrete, which will build upon UTA’s prominent research programs in civil engineering infrastructure and advanced materials. Maria Konsta-Gdoutos is associate director of the center.

“Our research is very interdisciplinary, with influences in civil engineering, materials science and chemistry,” Shah said. “We hope to make a substantial contribution to knowledge in the use of composite materials and nanotechnology that will prioritize efficient, sustainable production of concrete materials.”

Shah’s research is an example of UTA’s impact on sustainable urban communities and the global environmental impact, two themes of the University’s Strategic Plan 2020.

“Dr. Shah’s decades of experience and knowledge of construction materials have greatly enhanced our strengths in this area,” said Ali Abolmaali, chair of the Civil Engineering Department. “The center’s focus on nano-engineered smart cementitious composites will lead to a revolutionary future for civil infrastructure that will directly address the challenges facing sustainable infrastructure at both the state and federal levels through innovative and novel materials.”

Shah has published more than 400 journal articles, co-authored two books and edited more than twenty, and served as editor-in-chief of the journal Materials and Structures. He is the winner of the Swedish Concrete Award, ACI Anderson Award, ASTM Thompson Award, ASCE Charles Pankow Award, Engineering News Record’s News Maker Award and others.

-- written by Jeremy Agor