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June 20 , 2017

DDC’s Hamilton Grange Middle School Young EngineersVisit CUNY Grove School of Engineering-Cement Workshop

Following the success of their Young Engineer’s Showcase on June 6th, students from the Hamilton Grange Middle School in upper Manhattan were invited to visit the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York (CCNY).  Partnering with the New York City Department of Design and Construction, the NYC Department of Education and the After-School All- Stars Program, our Young Engineers were able to get hands-on, in depth exposure to the many qualities of concrete and learn about why it is among the world’s leading choice material for building construction.

The workshop was led by Dr. Ardavan Yazdanbakhsh, an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York (CCNY).  Dr. Yazdanbakhsh's primary research is in the areas of cement-based materials and the mechanical performance of reinforced concrete, with an emphasis on the development of sustainable concrete, nano-modification of cementitious materials, durability of concrete, and experimental mechanics. Dr. Yazdanbakhsh has written extensively on these topics and he is the principal investigator for a project titled "Utilization of recycled concrete in new building construction," awarded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2013.

Dr. Yazdanbakhsh’s presentation gave our students an understanding of how we utilize concrete in modern day construction. “Part of concrete’s attractiveness is the availability of the raw materials and the low-cost of manufacturing “said Dr. Yazdanbakhsh adding “environmental considerations must be taken into account when using concrete as it is one of the largest emitter of CO2 gasses during manufacturing process.” Considering new and green alternatives to produce and utilize concrete leave room for students to explore. 

After the presentation students went to the Cement Laboratory to create concrete of their own using water, cement, and various aggregates. Students were able to design cement samples and watch the curing process which normally takes about 28 days. “This was a cool experience.  I am curious how my concrete is going to cure and what it will look like in the end.” said Young Engineer Gabriella Sanchez.

Students watch as Dr.Yazdanbakhsh demonstrates how to create their own concrete samples
Dr. Ardavan Yazdanbakhsh (Center back), Young Engineers and Hamilton Grange staff