2021 ICRI Carolinas Chapter Student Scholarship Contest – $2000 paid to the school of our winner

Currently accepting applications.

As a result of the excellent support of our corporate sponsors, employers of our board of directors, conference speakers, and membership, the Carolinas Chapter of ICRI is offering  single $2000 scholarship award for 2021.

Students enrolled in a North or South Carolina, four-year undergraduate or graduate level engineering or construction program, with coursework in concrete are eligible.  Your school achievements, work experience, background and essay response will all be considered during judging.

Application form will be filled out electronically, on the website. The scholarship will be selected by the Scholarship Judging Committee.

Prepare for the application (2021 Essay Topic):

Concrete has been a used as a building material for centuries.  Advancements in technology in today’s world are happening at an increasingly rapid pace.  What current or future technology advancement could lead to improvements in concrete repair industry?

Scholarship Program Rules

A $2,000 scholarship will be awarded this year for students involved in engineering or construction curriculum. The Board of Directors will judge and award the scholarship based on the information provided by the applicant in the online form, available at www.ICRICarolinas.org. In all instances, the Board of Directors will have the final authority in the awarding of scholarship money.
The following rules apply:
1) The applicant must be a full-time student of a four-year college located in North Carolina or South Carolina.

2) Scholarship money, if awarded, will be sent directly to the school.

3) The Executive Director will forward all essays in a blind format to the Scholarship Committee.

4) The student’s enrollment will be verified with the college’s admissions office prior to sending a check to the school’s Financial Aid Office.

5) Past scholarship recipients may reapply for the scholarship the following year. Essay themes will vary and will require new essay each year of re-application.

6) The ICRI Board of Directors will be the final authority in the distribution of any and all funds.


Allison Summers
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
B.S. Construction Management & Engineering Technology
M.S. Construction & Facilities Management

Cracking in concrete occurs from many different variables that can occur because of poor construction, using unfit materials, or environmental aspects. An example of environmental area that can pose negative effects on reinforced concrete structures are coastal areas, especially those in the Carolinas. In these areas the structures are subjected to increased levels of sulfates from either being emerged in salt water, increased amounts of moisture and salt in the air, or both. These factors can cause degradation and possible failure of the structure if the proper types of cement and aggregates are not used that have a high resistance to sulfates. However, even if the necessary materials are used, the structure can still be subject to failing due to poor construction techniques that can lead to cracking.

Cracking can occur for a variety of reasons during the placement and curing of a concrete structure, but the most common is due to shrinkage when the concrete goes through the curing process. Ways to ensure that shrinkage does not happen is through using the proper amount of water to limit evaporation and using proper curing techniques depending on the environmental conditions such as wind or heat. When the concrete cracks it exposes the interior of the structure and any reinforcing steel to the elements, which in the case of a coastal structure would be salt and fresh water, and salt from the moisture in the air. Over time this can corrode the interior steel or cause sulfate attack on the aggregates, overall resulting in the failure of the structure. Which, in the case of a balcony, the results of a failure could be detrimental. Another long term effect can be the crack increasing in size and depth due to freeze thaw cycles. The coastal Carolinas experience a wide range of temperatures that can vary from relatively warm temperatures to freezing temperatures sometimes within the same week during the winter months.

When dealing with cracking on a balcony it is best to obtain a core sample of the structure so that the depth of the cracking and the severity of the internal damage can be examined prior to recommending a repair technique. The simplest answer to repair the structure would be to patch the cracks, but this should only be done if the crack has not been exposed to the elements for a extended amount of time. Simply patching the crack if it has been exposed to sulfates or freeze-thaw does not solve the interior issues that can occur such as sulfate attack on the aggregates and steel or more internal cracks forming. This is why it is important to have good practice when placing the structure in the first place and also important to inspect the structure periodically during its lifespan. A variety of sealants are available to repair cracks in concrete that range in material type. For repairs in this area it is important to ensure that the material selected will not react with the elements from the surrounding environment such as sulfates, can withstand freeze-thaw cycles, and is compatible with the mix design that was used during construction. It is also important to make sure that they crack is clean and dry before repairing so that it is less likely that interior cracking or corrosion does not continue.