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Posted 31 August 2017
Carlos E. Ospina, vice president, head of the International Ports and Terminal Department and Houston branch office manager, was recently appointed full voting member of the main American Concrete Institute (ACI) 318 Committee. The ACI 318 Committee develops and maintains the “ACI 318 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,” which provides minimum requirements necessary to provide public health and safety for the design and construction of structural concrete buildings in the United States. The ACI 318 Code influences structural concrete building design codes worldwide.
With this appointment, Carlos follows the footsteps of BergerABAM founders Art Anderson, Hal Birkeland, and Bob Mast, all of whom served in the main ACI 318 committee (Bob is still active as consulting member). Carlos is the second Colombian (after Luis E. Garcia, past president of ACI) and one of a handful of Canadian citizens to reach this position. Carlos’s appointment occurs three years after being appointed member of ACI Subcommittee 318F (Foundations) and more than a decade after becoming member of ACI 318S (Spanish Translations). Under the latter, Carlos has participated in the translation into Spanish of key ACI codes and guidelines, including ACI 318, ACI 301, ACI 314, and many others.
Carlos joined ACI in 1994 when he was a graduate student in structural engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada, and has been involved in ACI technical committees since 1996. Carlos was named ACI fellow in 2011. He currently chairs ACI Subcommittee 445C, Punching Shear, and acts as a liaison with the committee’s European counterpart, fib WP 2.2.3 (Shear and Punching in Slabs).
Carlos’s advice to young engineers is to “volunteer, volunteer, and volunteer” and get involved in technical committee activities early in their careers, whether in ACI or other organizations. Interaction with other designers, professors, researchers, and industry people brings priceless opportunities to keep up with codes and design guidelines development and provides the perfect environment to develop communication skills and build relationships. “Whether you are a building, bridge, or waterfront structure designer, the fundamentals of structural concrete design are essentially the same. Intimate involvement with technical challenges and their resolution is what makes the interaction with other ACI people a key element in one’s professional life. Attending conventions is fine, but attending while actively participating in technical committees or presenting papers is far more rewarding,” says Carlos.