Improving Concrete Quality

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 | Charlotte, NC | SOLD OUT

This course is SOLD OUT. To be added to the waitlist and/or to receive information on the next course offering once it becomes available, please send your request to meetings dept.


Price: $350

CRMCA logo
Course Location: Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association (CRMCA), 1805 J.N. Pease Place, Charlotte, NC 28262

Parking: There is complimentary parking available on-site.

Hotel Information: NRMCA has NOT contracted a block of rooms for this event but suggests the following nearby hotels:

  • Springhill Suites by Marriott
    8700 Research Dr
    Charlotte, NC 28262 | 704-503-4800
    4 minute drive/1.5 miles from course location
  • Home2Suites by Hilton
    625 McCullough Dr
    Charlotte, NC 28262 | 704-659-5100
    6 minute drive/2 miles from course location

Airport: The closest airport is the Charlotte-Douglass Airport (CLT) located approximately 16 miles/20 min from the course location.

Transportation: Please check with your hotel of choice to see if shuttle service is available. Transportation to/from the course location will NOT be provided by NRMCA and is the responsibility of the registrant.

Cancellation Policy: Full cancellation refunds, less a $125 administration fee, will be extended until Monday, November 20, 2023.All cancellations after Monday, November 20, will not be refunded. Fee cancellations cannot be transferred to a future class. Substitutions can be made at any time with no penalty. Registration cancellations must be made in writing to: [email protected].

Confirmation of Event: A class confirmation, confirming the course will run as scheduled, will be sent via email no later than COB, Monday, November 20, 2023. It is advisable not to make travel arrangements until you receive the class confirmation.

Important/Class Confirmation: NRMCA reserves the right to cancel this event. Class confirmations will be sent to registrants via email no later than COB, Monday, November 20, 2023. In the unlikely event the class is cancelled, NRMCA will refund the entire registration fee, but is not responsible for airline and hotel reservation fees. You are responsible for making and paying for your own hotel and travel arrangements.

Registration cancellations must be made in writing here.



7:30 am:              Registration

8:00 am:              Overview of Quality Organization, Obla

8:45 am:              Quantifying Impact of Quality Systems, Obla

9:30 am:              Statistical Concepts for Monitoring Quality, MacDonald

10:00 am:            Break

10:15 am:            Monitoring and Controlling Water Content in Mixtures, MacDonald

11:00 am:            Quantifying Variability of Ingredient Materials, Obla

11:45 am:            Quantifying Variability Associated with Manufacturing, MacDonald

12:30 pm:            Lunch

1:15 pm:              Quantifying Variability Associated with Testing – Monitoring Test Data, MacDonald

2:00 pm:              Producer Product Testing to Minimize Variability, MacDonald

2:30 pm:              What to do with acceptance test data – Case study of 3 projects, Obla

3:00 pm:              Break

3:15 pm:              Impact of Specifications on Quality, MacDonald

3:45 pm:              The Quality-Sustainability link, MacDonald

4:00 pm:              Group Discussion and Q&A


Purpose and Background

Improved concrete quality has far reaching benefits—in improved performance, reduced time and costs, a lower environmental footprint of concrete and an overall improvement in the quality of concrete construction. However it is hard to find a course focused on the subject of improving concrete quality. Based on quality surveys and award submissions, it has been observed that the industry does not commonly track quantifiable quality indicators and, as a result, the return on quality investments is not well understood. Improving Concrete Quality, a book authored by one of the instructors addresses these issues. That book, as well as other NRMCA resources provide the basic content for the course.

This course will delve into quantifying tangible and intangible benefits due to improved quality. It will discuss variability associated with concrete ingredient materials, manufacturing and testing—means to measure and thereby improve concrete quality. Basic statistical concepts will be presented to measure and monitor quality and to recognize when action is needed. Other key topics include recognizing abnormal material variation, tracking and improving batching accuracy including mixing water, internal testing, identifying non standard testing and initial curing, essential elements of a quality management system, internal audits, and tests a concrete producer should do.

What will you learn?

  • How do you know if you have good quality?
  • What should be your quality metric?
  • How to become more profitable through better quality?
  • What are all the key statistical calculations you need to know in concrete?
  • How to control the mixing water content in concrete?
  • How to deal with temperature and delivery time variations?
  • What is the most effective way to ensure that your material ingredients are of good quality?
  • How to improve batching accuracy, mixing uniformity?
  • How to identify non standard testing and curing?
  • How to improve testing quality?
  • Tests a producer should do, internal audits and many more…

Who Should Attend?

This course will be of significant value to concrete producers who will come away with readily implementable steps to manage variability and attain a more consistent product thereby seeing performance benefits and cost savings. Concrete ingredient material suppliers will benefit by understanding the needs of their customers and to develop information on variability that can help their quality systems.
The course will help testing labs measure and improve testing quality.
Design professionals can benefit from this course by recognizing the opportunity for improved quality in concrete construction and the evolution to performance based specifications.

Text/handouts – Publications worth $500+

  • Improving Concrete Quality book
  • Print out of the presentations
  • NRMCA QC Manual Section 1 – Ready Mixed Concrete Quality Control Guide
  • Quality Management System for Ready Mixed Concrete Companies (on CD)
  • NRMCA Quality Award, Survey and Certification Information
  • Variables that Influence Concrete Compressive Strength
  • Code and Standards Requirements for Acceptance Testing – Presentation with notes and checklist
  • NRMCA/ASCC Pre-Construction Checklist
  • Related Technology in Practice topics
  • Related Specification in Practice topics and P2P Presentation


Kevin A. MacDonald, FACI, is president and principal, Beton Consulting Engineers LLC, Mendota Heights, MN, with specific expertise in the production and performance of concrete. He is a licensed professional engineer in Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, and is a fellow of ACI. MacDonald co-chairs ACI subcommittee 130-B, Production/Transport/Construction; ACI committee 306, Cold Weather Concreting; chairs the NACE task group; and the TAC awards task group and is an active member of several ACI committees. He is the current president of the ACI Minnesota chapter and serves on the Steering Committee of the Aggregate & Ready Mix Association of Minnesota.

Karthik Obla, Ph.D., P.E., FACI, is Vice President, Technical Services at NRMCA. With over 30 years of experience in concrete technology, he is responsible for NRMCA’s concrete producer quality initiatives, and research investigations at the laboratory and oversees various educational programs and technical publications at NRMCA. He jointly manages the activities of the NRMCA Research, Engineering, and Standards Committee, which oversees the performance-based specifications initiative. A fellow of ACI and a winner of ACI’s Young Professional Achievement Award and ASTM Katharine and Bryant Mather Member Contribution Award, ASTM Award of Appreciation from the Sustainability E60 and Concrete C09 Committees, Dr. Obla is an active member of various ACI, ASTM, and TRB technical committees. He is the recipient of the Richard D. Gaynor award from NRMCA, and along with his co-authors won the Best Paper award from ASTM for a paper published in the Advanced Civil Engineering Materials journal. He has served as chair for ASTM 09.49—Pervious Concrete, and ACI 232—Fly Ash and Natural Pozzolans. He has published a book on concrete quality and a chapter in a book on concrete sustainability and has over 100 technical papers and reports. He holds a B.Tech in civil engineering from IIT (BHU) Varanasi, India, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


A certificate of completion stating 8 Professional Development Hours will be provided to all attendees. This course is part of NRMCA’s Seminars, Training and Education Programs (STEPS™) and it provides 8 credits toward earning one’s CCPf designation in the Concrete Technology career track. CCPf, standing for Certified Concrete Professional, is the highest professional designation in the industry.

NRMCA Annual Convention 2024

March 18 – 21, 2024 | Tampa, FL

register here!