UHD Concrete Research Project Earns National Award
By Mark Kramer
UHD Associate Professor Dr. Arash Rahmatian has received national recognition for his research efforts in green concrete construction.
Rahmatian’s Bio-friendly Byproduct Slag Cement Benefit to the Drainage Systems project received the Research Award at the Slag Cement Association’s (SCA) Project of the Year Awards.
According to Rahmatian, the subject of application of slag in concrete for sustainability and environmental impact was always a focus, because of the usage of products with less carbon footprint and minimal cost. Rahmatian and his student Juan Valdez collaborated on the project.
“As a result of our research, we were able create a mix design that satified special requirements for the cost and application in drainage systems, which minimize surface friction of the concrete pipes and enhanced discharging speed flow,” Program Coordinator of UHD’s Structural Analysis & Design Engineering Program said.
With an extensive history of flooding, the research of the use of slag concrete is especially relevant to the city of Houston.
“This idea is used specifically for the cities that are highly prone to flooding,” Rahmatian said. “The high density of water accumulated in a short period of time is the concern that we considered in our design.”
In past semesters, Rahmatian's students developed possible solutions using a unique mix of lightweight and high performance concretes (HPC). UHD’s team of students are ranked among the top 10 universities nationally and have earned the “excellent university” award from the American Concrete Institute (ACI) as a result of their performance in national competitions.
“Our concrete lab has been always a hub for students who are interested in research and enhancement of their knowledge,” he said. “I have always been engaged with the concrete industry since I was in grad school and my eagerness for research provided me even more opportunities. I wanted to provide the same for our UHD students.”
To that end, many of Rahmatian’s students serve on ACI local and national committees and also are working toward certifications through some of his courses. The path of Rahmatian’s students earning their certifications was highlighted in Concrete International magazine.
“Concrete is the second most consumed substance in the world after water,” he said. “Our students can get certified and involved with internships and permanent jobs quickly in this rich industry. With the extensive interest in the construction of concrete structures, it makes this high-demand industry strong and resilient in any fluctuating economical market."
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.