General Session and Luncheon Presentations

Luis Ferreira

The Panama Canal Expansion Project: A New Construction Marvel in Concrete

Communications Specialist Officer, Engineer Operations Coordinator, Panama Canal Authority

Luis Ferreira has over 36 years of experience working for the Panama Canal. He joined the Panama Canal as an engineer in the maintenance of structures division.

In the role of Project Engineer for the locks, Luis focused on structure repairs, dock repairs, dock fenders and small port structure repairs in the Panama Canal area. He has also performed maintenance repairs to the operational equipment of the waterway. Luis was promoted as the Civil Engineer communication specialist in 2007 for the Panama Canal Expansion Program. With his great experience in concrete in the existing Panama Canal, he has contributed to the Project Administration process and also is participating in the construction of the new expanded canal. Luis has written several articles on the Panama Canal Expansion Program for different magazine publications, and has spoken in many conferences, seminars, universities, private sessions and expositions.


The Panama Canal was one of the first large scale uses of concrete in the world when its construction began in the early 20th century. Due to the strategic location of the Isthmus of Panama and the short distance separating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, from the early 19th century there were attempts to plan a route that linked these two bodies of water. The canal was completed and inaugurated in 1914. Over 100 years later, Panama decided to expand its operation with a second set of locks to adapt it to modern maritime traffic, allowing the canal to accept bigger ships and lowering the crossing times for all traffic.

In this presentation, the Mr Ferreira will review some general aspects of the expansion project, to be completed in 2016. The total requirement for concrete in the project should be close to 4,6 million cubic meters with special provisions in logistics and specifications to guarantee its durability for another 100 years. This US $5.25 billion project is also having an impact on the regional ports system of all the Americas, helping to facilitate world commerce and the integration of our cultures, thanks to concrete. 


Arthur C. Nelson

Get Over the Baby Boom Already: Why America's Future Development Will Not be Like the Past

Dr. Arthur C. Nelson is a Presidential Professor at the University of Utah where he is director of metropolitan research. Dr. Nelson is the author of more than 20 books (many translated into foreign languages) and more than 200 other publications worldwide. His research has shaped public development policy and private real estate investment strategies. Dr. Nelson’s insights have appeared on the front page of USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, and have been featured in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Atlantic Monthly. He has earned major teaching and research awards at every institution he has served, including Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Dr. Nelson’s students have won numerous prestigious national awards.


Nadira Hira

Writer, Fortune Magazine

Nadira Angelina Hira is a writer at heart. But in true restless Millennial style, she does it her way -- as an award-winning journalist, editor, speaker, television personality, all-round raconteur and curator of great conversations. A 2015 Fahrenheit Fellow and member of Cosmopolitan magazine’s Millennial Advisory Board, Nadira is the author of the forthcoming Misled: How a Generation of Leaders Lost the Faith (And Just What You’ll Need to Get It Back).

Nadira has become a leading voice on Millennials over the last decade, elucidating her generation’s unique mindset and enterprising worldview from the halls of Google and Walt Disney Imagineering to the airwaves of CNN, NPR, and HBO. Through her penetrating insight as a prototypical Millennial herself and her deep study of all things Millennial as a writer and editor at Fortune magazine -- where she began analyzing her cohort with the 2007 cover story “You Raised Them, Now Manage Them” -- Nadira’s made her mark enlightening hapless execs, put-upon parents and everyone in between on the secret work/lives of Millennials just like her.

A would-be poet, sometime bartender, professional sports fan, and New Yorker for life, Nadira is a graduate of Stanford University, where she edited the inimitable Stanford Daily.



Luncheon Presentations...


Jeremy Gregory

Executive Director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub at MIT

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub: transforming innovation into implementation
The CSHub at MIT is conducting research on quantitative engineering sustainability for buildings and pavements. This includes analyses of performance, economics, and environmental impacts. The intent is to conduct innovative research that supports engineering design for sustainability decisions, and then transfer that knowledge to decision-makers using an implementation process. This talk will provide an overview of the CSHub’s innovation and implementation activities for building and pavements, including opportunities for industry partners to become involved in implementation efforts.


Steve Coppinger

VP, Engineering Services, CalPortland Company

A discussion of the advantages of developing an energy management program based on the ENERGY STAR guidelines. Includes highlights of some of the tools that ENERGY STAR offers and provides some examples of practical energy savings at ready mix plants. It also highlights the ENERGY STAR Challenge which is a voluntary program for plants to improve energy efficiency by 10% over a five year period. Including mentioning a few companies in the industry that have taken the challenge and succeeded.