The editors of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION magazine have chosen their own influencers of 2008:
Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang
Jeanne Gang started Studio Gang in Chicago in 1998. Today the group of 35 architects and design staff is building a reputation for designing very creative and unusual building façades at reasonable prices. This isn't easy because curtain walls are usually one of the most expensive elements in a building's construction. Gang's creative ideas are fresh and intriguing, and she is changing the way the rest of us view concrete as a material.
Rick Smith, Structural Services
Rick Smith is vice president of operations and a senior consultant with Structural Services Inc., Richardson, Texas. Smith embarked on a study about how variables in floor construction affected gloss readings. Today, several retailers and speculative developers specify gloss numbers to reduce subjectivity in what constitutes an acceptable finished product. Smith's passion is learning and sharing knowledge. He credits his achievements to his employers who were committed to continuing education, his clients who listen and embrace new ideas, and all of the industry experts who have shared and contributed to his knowledge.
Kevin MacDonald, Cemstone Products
There are few people in the country who know more about designing concrete mixes than Kevin MacDonald, as evidenced by the I-35W Bridge reconstruction in Minneapolis (see page 40.) MacDonald's company, Cemstone Products, Mendota Heights, Minn, received its contract only two weeks before the first ready-mix delivery—little time to develop the several complicated mixes needed. The high-profile project demonstrated that performance mixes can be a part of a fast-tracked effort and provide durability.
David Alexander and Dale Hendrix, McHugh Construction
At a time when most contractors are wondering where they will find work for 2009, McHugh Construction's schedule is full, as long as their projects can secure the funding they need. David Alexander is the senior vice president and Dale Hendrix is the senior vice president of concrete field operations for Chicago-based McHugh. Together, they have helped to make the company the biggest builder of super-tall buildings in the U.S, building five of the top 12 on the list maintained by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
John Gajda, CTLGroup
At CTLGroup, Skokie, Ill., John Gajda works with anything that involves temperature and heat transfer, but his specialty is mass concrete. He designs concretes with low heats of hydration and develops cost-effective placement-specific measures to avoid excessive temperatures and thermal cracking issues. Projects include buildings, bridges, refineries, water treatment plants, and governments projects—anything with large volumes of concrete. He is so well known, it's hard to find a mass concrete project in the U.S. that he hasn't worked on.