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Welcome from Our Conference Chair

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Leandro F. M. Sanchez, Ph.D., P.Eng. Professeur agrégé | Associate Professor Génie civil | Civil Engineering

Dear Colleagues,

It is a great pleasure and honor to host the 17th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction (ICAAR) in concrete in Ottawa, Canada. As you know, alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) is one of the most harmful distress mechanisms affecting concrete infrastructure worldwide. AAR is particularly crucial in Canada, where numerous concrete structures (from bridges to dams and buildings) are currently exhibiting important signs of deterioration; surrounded by an extremely harsh environment, Canadian critical infrastructure is often observed to face AAR-induced deterioration coupled with other damage mechanisms, such as freeze–thaw and steel corrosion, which increases our concerns related to their long-term performance even more. Therefore, innovative and advanced techniques to assess current and forecast future conditions along with protocols and strategies for managing and rehabilitating AAR-affected infrastructure are widely required in this country. On the other hand, pressure is mounting in the concrete construction market to decrease the carbon footprint of new infrastructure. Private and public sectors in Canada have already committed to a net zero concrete construction environment by 2050. Knowing that durability is one of the pillars of sustainability, it is critical that new concrete infrastructure be built with novel eco-efficient materials displaying AAR-risk-free characteristics. Therefore, reliable and efficient laboratory test procedures to appraise AAR susceptibility as well as preventive AAR measures to prevent and/or mitigate the issue are essential components to be developed and implemented in practice.

The above scenario has created a very early interest in AAR in the Canadian technical community since its discovery in 1940, and important developments have been made and national and international contributions produced (i.e., national/international standards and guidelines, scientific publications, etc.) by various Canadian engineers and researchers ever since. The ICAAR has been held in Canada two previous times: first in 1986 in Ottawa and second in 2000 in Quebec City. As it has been 24 years since the last conference in this country, we are extremely pleased that Canada will have the privilege of hosting ICAAR again. Our community, composed of professionals and students, experts and non experts on the topic, is eager to better understand the processes behind this deleterious mechanism and find more effective ways for our critical concrete infrastructure to better cope with AAR over their life spans.


I would like to invite you to the 17th ICAAR in Ottawa (2024) and hope it will be a great discussion forum that will enhance and disseminate our current knowledge and bridge gaps between research topics and research and practice as well.

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