USAG HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea — Far East District personnel took advantage of the American Concrete Institute certification offered by trainers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District, Materials Testing Regional Technical Center of Expertise, and the USACE Engineering Research and Development Center, based in Vicksburg, Miss., Sept. 27 – Oct. 8.
About 20 people from FED offices throughout the Korean Peninsula participated in the training. Topics covered various concrete tests through hands-on practice, demonstration, and performance certification testing. The certification lasts five years and best serves those who are required to check or inspect the concrete quality on construction sites.
“This certification is like a Professional Engineer license,” said Chad Gartrell, ACI instructor and director of the Materials Testing Center, Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory at the USACE Engineering Research and Development Center. “It signifies that the holder has completed a comprehensive training and testing regime and has demonstrated an understanding of the topics with an ability to apply those to everyday work and projects immediately.”
Glenn Sacro, an FED quality assurance representative of the Kunsan Resident Office, located at Kunsan Air Base, found the training most beneficial.
“I have taken similar trainings in the past, but nothing like this,” he said. “This is more in-depth. It’s pretty good because it’s hands on. Being able to physically complete the requirements gives us more understanding of what we are doing. It is very helpful and important. You can help your contractor and coworkers with this information, contributing to the success of the whole District.
“I think it would be beneficial to have a refresher training as well. I would love to have it at least every couple of years, just to keep that fresh mindset,” said Sacro.
Some of the ACI workshop blocks of instruction included testing the temperature of fresh concrete, slumping (the measure of concrete consistency and fluidity), measuring air content by the pressure method (applying air pressure to a concrete specimen), and making and curing concrete specimens with the use of Portland Cement Concrete materials.
“It’s important for Construction Division personnel to learn these testing requirements to verify if contractors are performing the work as specified, adding true quality assurance over the work performed on USACE projects,” said Michael P. Wielputz, ACI instructor, civil engineer, and materials regional technical specialist for the USACE Savannah District, Materials Testing Regional Technical Center of Expertise.
“The training and certification educate, both the FED team and those contractors that participated, on the standards and testing required to produce high quality concrete materials and how to provide a durable finished product that will last the life of its design,” said Gartrell.
With ACI certification in hand, FED professionals are equipped with a concrete understanding of how to properly test and evaluate aggregates and soils, further ensuring that the Far East District will continue to produce high quality products throughout the peninsula.