Arab construction technology expert elected President of the American Concrete Institute
The Middle East construction industry records another historic first as Engr. Khaled Awad, Chairman and Founder for Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS), has been elected President of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the world authority and resource on concrete technology.
Awad, who will serve a one-year term, is the first ACI member from the Middle East to assume the prime post. Prior to his election to presidency, Awad sat as ACI Vice President for two years, likewise a milestone achievement for the Lebanon-based ACTS founder.
The announcement was made during the ACI Spring Convention in Detroit, Michigan. Along with Awad, Randall W. Poston, Senior Principal for the Texas-based Pivot Engineers, was proclaimed as new Vice President who will serve a two-year term. Additionally, four members have been elected to serve on the Board of Direction, each for three-year terms: H.R. Trey Hamilton, Joe Hug, William M. Klorman, and Tracy D. Marcotte.
“It is an honour to follow in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors. I am humbled to be allowed by my peers the opportunity to serve a globally-renowned organization that is ACI, and to lead a truly international community of dedicated engineering scholars and construction professionals. As ACI President, and working alongside the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of ACI, I will seek to highlight the role and importance of what the American Concrete Institute can and should play internationally. It is not bold to say that the GCC region leads the world in specifying and enforcing high quality standards in construction, particularly when it comes to concrete. The fact that three of the tallest buildings in the world (Makkah Clock Tower, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah), with at least two more to come in the next three years, are all in the GCC is a clear testimony of the advancement this region has seen. If the construction industry were not implementing the most stringent standards in quality, such buildings as well as the other massive infrastructure projects would not be able to be executed. ACI should be able to capture the knowledge generated from the large ‘breakthrough’ construction projects in our region, Asia and other areas in the world and disseminate it globally,” Awad said.
Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, ACI is a member-based technical organisation with almost 20,000 members spanning over 120 countries worldwide. ACI produces the main building codes that are universally-adopted in engineering design and concrete construction. ACI has more than 200 technical committees producing specifications, guidelines and technical reports on various construction topics, and the Institute also runs certification programs for concrete professionals in the US and worldwide.
ACTS, a leading consulting organisation in the field of construction materials and geotechnical engineering, is the local sponsoring group of ACI for its certification programs in the Middle East. ACTS has been offering these courses since 1996, and has trained more than 5,000 personnel all over the MENA region and certified more than 2,000 in the various ACI certification programs.
An active member of ACI, Awad serves on Certification Programs Committee, International Advisory Committee, ACI Board Committee Chairs, and the International Certification Subcommittee, of which he is a past Chair. Awad is a Trustee of the ACI Foundation and a member of various ACI Committees. He is the past Chair of the Financial Advisory Committee and previously served as a member of the ACI Board of Direction. Awad received the ACI Henry L. Kennedy Award and the ACI Chapter Activities Award in 2007, and the ACI Certification Award in 2011.
A world-renowned expert in concrete technology and sustainable construction, Awad worked in the real estate and construction industry in the Arabian Gulf for more than 30 years. He was the Founder and CEO of various construction and real estate companies, dealing with the supply chain and information technology side of the industry, as well as the development of large-scale projects. At another highlight of his career, Awad was the founding Director of Property Development at Masdar where he oversaw the birth and development of Masdar City, the first city to address sustainability at the roots of urban development, from master-planning and infrastructure all the way to the building and operation levels.
He received his BE in civil engineering from the American University, Beirut, Lebanon, and his MA in business administration from the Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon.
Awad is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and ASTM International, and a Fellow of the UK Institute of Concrete Technology. Spearheading ACTS, Awad has made the company the preferred choice in the Middle East for inspection, testing and geo-engineering works in critical and large-scale projects, including the Qatar World Cup Stadiums, Doha Metro, King Abdulaziz International Airport, the Riyadh metro project and the Kingdom Tower, the world’s first kilometre-high skyscraper currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.