International Summit on

Cement Hydration Kinetics and Modeling 

Date: July 27, 28 and 29, 2009


The National Science Foundation (NSF, Grant Award Nos. OISE-0757284, and CMS-0510854)

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

W. R. Grace



Canadian Research Center on Concrete Infrastructure (CRIB)

Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERCC)


Joseph J. Biernacki (Tennessee Technological University (TTU), TTU Center for Manufacturing Research)

Will Hansen (University of Michigan)

Jeffery Bullard (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Jacques Marchand (Laval University, Canada)

Location: Laval University, Quebec, Canada

About the Workshop

Joseph Biernacki (Tennessee Technological University) and Will Hansen (University of Michigan) have recently received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant No. OISE-0757284) in support of an international summit on cement hydration kinetics and modeling. The summit will be hosted by Canadian partner Dr. Jacques Marchand (Laval University). The cements research community, both academic and industrial, agrees that unlocking the key to early age hydration processes will open the door to engineering next generation cement systems that provide improved properties leading to sustainable infrastructure materials with reduced impact on the environment. The Summit will bring together the world’s leading experts on cement hydration along with a select cross-section of scientist, particularly from the geochemistry community, to develop a research outline that maps the state-of-knowledge onto a plan to develop the experimental datasets needed to reveal the basic mechanisms controlling cement hydration kinetics. The organizers realize that, although North America possesses some of the world’s leading researchers in the field with access to a fine array of instruments, they cannot work in isolation. Thus, the Summit is open to European and other international participants, making the activity a truly international event. Furthermore, the Summit will be a working meeting (not a glorified conference) focused around six topical thrusts: (1) Early Age Hydration Phenomena (Stage I, II, and III); (2) Post Peak Hydration (Stage IV); (3) Effect of Supplemental Cementitious Material; (4) Thermochemistry and Geochemical View of Cement Hydration; (5) Admixture Interactions; (6) Alternative Cement Systems. This website will become a long-term repository for published information and outcomes of the Summit as well as a site for ongoing communication between Summit participants and other interested parties.

Broader Impacts: This workshop will literally bring together the world’s top 20 researchers in the field and offer the unique opportunity for a group of equally as many young investigators and students to participate. Identifying and cultivating the interest of our Nation’s best and brightest young minds to engage in a career in infrastructure materials will have broad reaching impacts for a sustainable future. As such, this workshop will endeavor to provide a rich, rewarding and effective experience for the young investigators and students involved by incorporating various student lead activities.

Intellectual Merit Statement: Portland cement concrete continues to be the world’s most pervasive construction material; yet, a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental processes governing hydration remains elusive. It is unlikely that small eclectic teams lead by an individual or pair of investigators will develop a comprehensive hydration theory within the next decade. Likewise, a systematic methodology for developing next generation cementitious systems awaits the discovery of a consistent and universally accepted theory of how portland cement is transformed from its anhydrous constituents to the hydrate that forms the strength-bearing matrix of the most commonly used material on Earth. The discovery of this mechanism may ultimately lead to new super concretes exhibiting life-cycle performance with less environmental impact and broad accessibility to the world’s growing population.


The organizers would like to acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Grant Award Nos. OISE-0757284, and CMS-0510854, W. R. Grace, BASF, Mapei and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)  for their contributions. In kind support from the Tennessee Technological University (TTU) Center for Manufacturing Research is also greatly appreciated.

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Comments are closed.