Lab Live: Concrete – Applied Science in Action to Identify Field Performance Issues

Lab Live: Concrete – Applied Science in Action to Identify Field Performance Issues


To understand material performance in the field or determine the causes of underlying building conditions, engineers and material scientists often look to applied science and research methods to improve design and construction processes and probe known issues or problems. By combining technical knowledge with expertise in testing and materials science, these teams can help solve their clients’ most challenging problems by understanding why they occurred in the first place. In Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s (SGH) virtual “Lab Live” series, we will demonstrate these testing and discovery methods in real time in our Applied Science & Research Center to focus on common and challenging material problems. In these dynamic sessions, we hope to spark discussions that lead to creative ideas and improved collaboration.


In the next session of this series, our technical experts and laboratory specialists will focus on concrete as a building material and discuss how SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center uses destructive and non-destructive testing approaches to evaluate concrete-related questions for design and investigation. Through a series of discussions, we will explore concrete’s varied applications in the construction industry and demonstrate several evaluation techniques, from non-invasive ground-penetrating radar (GPR) methods to more invasive techniques like pull-out and CAPO testing.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss how concrete is used as a building material in current and historic applications.
  • Review common problems and conditions that lead to concrete failure.
  • Understand various destructive and non-destructive testing methods for identifying underlying concrete characteristics in the field.
  • Recognize case study examples of how concrete can be evaluated in practice.

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register. 

About the Speaker

R. Brett Holland
R. Brett Holland | Senior Project Manager

Brett Holland is a structural engineer with extensive research and industry experience. He specializes in developing and implementing concrete for high-performance applications, specialized durability requirements, and investigating and repairing structures. He has investigated, designed, and rehabilitated a variety of structures, including historic stadiums, mechanically stabilized earth walls, precast concrete, concrete overlays, and port structures.

Norman Perkins
Norman Perkins | Director of Applied Science & Research

Norman Perkins provides strategic leadership and oversight for SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center and its physical testing, materials science, and research programs. Throughout his career, he has practiced engineering and conducted research on a wide variety of civil, mechanical, environmental, structural, and fire protection engineering efforts.

Linda Seymour
Linda Seymour | Project Consultant

Linda Seymour has research and industry experience performing materials and structural investigations, managing construction and maintenance of facilities in the public and private sectors, and assessing preservation strategies for various materials. She is an active member of the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute, where she co-organizes the symposium “Analysis of Heritage Structures: Tools and Methods for Assessing Unknowns in Historic Monuments and Structures.”

Zachary Svec
Zachary Svec | Laboratory Technician II

Zachary Svec helps to oversee and execute physical testing and analysis on materials, both in the field and in SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center. He manages inventory and maintains a range of equipment, including spray racks, data loggers, floor probes, pull testers, pressure gauges, and fall protection gear. Zachary also performs repairs on-site, including copper soldering and electrical wiring. He consults with SGH professionals and clients to determine proper testing procedures and ensure safety and quality.

Kenneth Sweezey
Kenneth Sweezey | Laboratory Technician

Ken Sweezey has spent his time at SGH performing many building investigations and performance tests. He has used the equipment and procedures mentioned in this presentation amongst many others to support engineers in the field in the pursuit of answers to many of our clients most difficult questions. When not in the field, he is testing building materials in the Applied Science & Research Center Laboratory, including concrete, masonry, slate, insulation, and various other materials. Ken is also a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI).