Lab Live: Concrete – Applied Science in Action to Determine Material Strength

Lab Live: Concrete – Applied Science in Action to Determine Material Strength


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 advanced laboratory testing approaches to evaluate concrete strength and understand performance issues so they can be addressed. Through a series of discussions, we will explore the most common concrete tests—compressive strength and elastic modulus—explaining how they are done and how improper testing can adversely affect the results. We will then show how to further investigate low reported values using point-count testing and petrography.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role of compressive strength and elastic modulus testing in the quality control of concrete.
  • Review common problems and conditions that lead to poor test performance.
  • Understand how to further evaluate and understand unexpected results.
  • 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

Kevin Conroy
Kevin Conroy | Associate Principal

Kevin Conroy specializes in investigating, evaluating, developing, and implementing repair designs for deteriorated structures. His investigations have involved visual surveys, material sampling, nondestructive testing, and full-scale in situ load testing. These projects include a range of material types, including cast-in-place, precast, and post-tensioned concrete. With his expertise in repair design, Kevin has led major projects involving structural rehabilitations, strengthening of existing systems, and repairs to existing building enclosures.

Patrick Kelley
Patrick Kelley | Applied Science & Research Technician III

Patrick Kelley conducts field observations, laboratory analyses, and testing methods in SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center. He specializes in physical testing for concrete and concrete aggregates in support of concrete investigations to assess performance and long-term durability. He is a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and a certified Concrete Laboratory Testing Technician, Concrete Field Testing Technician, and Aggregate Testing Technician.

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.

Kyle Schusler
Kyle Schusler | Project Consultant

Kyle Schusler uses his background in geology to petrographically analyze various construction materials, including concrete. He provides petrographic experience to determine the composition of construction materials and interpret their potential cause for distress. He has worked on a variety of concrete analysis projects involving alkali-aggregate reactions, sulfate attack, surface scaling, fire distress, low-strength investigations, spalling, freeze-thaw distress, and historic condition assessment. He is an NRMCA-certified Concrete Technologist (Grade 2 and 3).

Matthew Sherman
Matthew Sherman | Senior Principal

Matthew Sherman is experienced in the construction and engineering field, performing evaluations of existing structures, assessing and evaluating concrete materials, and preparing and presenting reports on materials. He specializes in field investigations, repair design, preparation of specifications, recommending materials, and establishing techniques for the repair of concrete structures. He has written and lectured frequently on concrete assessment, repair, and durability. He is an NRMCA-certified concrete technologist (Grade 2, 3, and 4) and an ACI-certified Concrete Field Testing Technician (Grade 1) and a Nondestructive Testing Specialist (Concrete Strength).