Producing an ACI committee report can take forever, even when everyone agrees that the report is needed. The ACI 306 report, Cold Weather Concreting, last published in 1988, was in danger of being dropped as an active report and there was a desperate need in the concrete industry for clear guidance on cold weather work. For guiding the new 306 report to completion, Steve Morrical is one of CC’s Most Influential People of 2012.
Committee 306 had been working on the next edition for at least 10 years when Steve Morrical took the reins in 2008. When approached by the previous chair and secretary, Morrical agreed to lead the committee but on his own terms. “The committee had already mucked through a lot of the big things,” he says. “It was a matter of trying to pull in all the loose ends. I told them that my goal was to put it out and not keep dredging things up. It’s just too easy to get sidetracked with new ideas. I decided that if we’ve got things approved once, then we are moving forward. I was bound and determined to get it done and others agreed.”
Morrical is a senior technical services engineer with cement manufacturer Holcim in Boseman, Mont., a job he’s been doing since 1990. “I got a BS in 1984 in construction engineering from Montana State University and then got a job with Ideal Cement. It used to be that this job was keeping the cement company out of hot water but today our customers are more sophisticated. We get lots of questions related to concrete durability. We’re seeing the specs tightening up and since there’s not much residential work—mostly public works and commercial—a lot more work is being tested. The result is that a lot of my job is working with DOTs on cement and concrete specifications—it’s mostly training and education.”
Holcim strongly supports this activity. Morrical serves as chair of the local ACI certification committee and also teaches a required class to construction management students at Montana State based on PCA’s Design & Control of Concrete Mixtures. “My boss said to go ahead. I get to influence 55 young minds and give them an education in concrete. We talk about materials and testing—things they will deal with when they get out of school. They seem to enjoy learning this from a practitioner. I find that very rewarding.”