The concrete industry wouldn't be what it is today without a few forward-thinking and brave leaders. Impress your colleagues with your knowledge of these influential individuals.

1. Joseph Aspdin (1778-1855) is the inventor of modern Portland Cement. His original patent, granted on Oct. 21, 1824, in England, reads in part:

My method of making a cement or artificial stone for stuccoing buildings, waterworks, cisterns, or any other purpose to which it may be applicable (and which I call Portland cement) is as follows:- I take a specific quantity of limestone, such as that generally used for making or repairing roads, and I take it from the roads after it is reduced to a puddle or powder; but if I cannot procure a sufficient quantity of the above from the roads, I obtain the limestone itself, and I cause the puddle or powder, or the limestone, as the case may be, to be calcined. I then take a specific quantity of argillaceous earth or clay, and mix them with water to a state approaching impalpability, either by manual labour or machinery. After this proceeding I put the above mixture into a slip pan for evaporation, either by heat of the sun or by submitting it to the action of fire or steam conveyed in flues or pipe under or near the pan till the water is entirely evaporated. Then I brake the said mixture into suitable lumps and calcine them in a furnace similar to a lime kiln till the carbonic acid is entirely expelled. The mixture so calcined is to be ground, beat, or rolled to a fine powder, and is then in a fit state for making cement or artificial stone. This powder is to be mixed with a sufficient quantity of water to bring it into the consistency of mortar, and thus applied to the purposes wanted.

2. Ernest Leslie Ransome (1852–1917) was a pioneer in reinforced concrete building. Born in England, his works, which helped to validate the soundness of reinforced concrete over other building techniques, include Pacific Coast Borax Factory in Bayonne, N.J.; Arctic Oil Works, San Francisco; The Leland Stanford Junior Museum of Art (now the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts), at Stanford University; and United Shoe factory buildings, Beverly, Mass.

3. Stephen Stepanian (1882–1964) could be called the father of concrete mixer. According to the Center for Armenian Remembrance:

Stephen Stepanian was an Armenian American inventor and owner of numerous patents including the Elevator and Conveyor, Compound Tool, and the Wrench. He is also accredited as the inventor of a self-discharging motorized transit mixer that was the predecessor of the concrete mixer truck

4. Le Corbusier (1887-1965) is known as the founder of modernist, specifically Brutalist architecture. Born  Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, the Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban-planner and writer left a legacy of buildings throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Brutalist The term is derived from the French béton brut, or "raw concrete."

5. I. K. Brunel (1806-1859)  is credited with the first substantial use of portland cement.The British engineer built bridges, tunnels, ships, and England's Great Western Railroad and many of his designs are still in use.

6. Thomas Edison (1847-1931) ... ok so you might know Mr. Edison from that whole light bulb thing, but did you know that he was also the first to build houses out of concrete? Edison had founded the Edison Portland Cement Company in 1899 and according to

Edison's plan was to pour the concrete into large, wooden molds the size and shape of a house, let it cure, remove the framework and -- voila! A concrete house, with decorative molding, plumbing pipes, even a bathtub, molded right in. Edison said these dwellings would sell for around $1,200, about one-third the price of a regularly constructed house at the time.