Student Chapters

ACI Louisiana is very proud to support the student chapters at both the University of New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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ACI at University of New Orleans

ACI at University of New Orleans

The ACI UNO chapter has been involved in various activities including:

  • NPCA Foundation Scholarship for Concrete Canoe Teams

  • Concrete Canoe Competition


The ACI chapter at UNO is enthusiastic about getting involved and making UNO-ACI a known presence on campus!  The chapter was awarded the ACI Outstanding University Award for 2018. 

To support this chapter, please contact Alex Vu at [email protected]

  ACI at University of Louisiana at Lafayette

ACI at University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 The UL ACI chapter has a steady increase in numbers with members joining competition teams and attending volunteer projects such as:

  • Egg Protection Device competition at ACI National Convention in California

  • Concrete Canoe Competition

  • Clean the Coast at Rockefeller Wildlife Reserve

The ACI chapter at ULL is young but achieved an ACI Excellent University of 2017 & 2018 award and expect to accomplish so much more. Geaux Cajuns!

To support this chapter, please contact Ivy Thibodeaux at [email protected]

ACI ULL Student Chapter @ ACI Concrete Convention Fall 2019 

The ACI Student Chapter at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette had the honor of attending the ACI National Convention in Cincinnati, OH this past October, after receiving an ACI travel stipend. We got to compete in the FRP Composite Beam Student Competition, where we made a beam using non-metal rebar. Our team learned a huge amount about concrete, its properties, and how it acts under certain tensions and compressions. The curriculum at UL Lafayette in the Civil Engineering Department has Reinforced Concrete Designed offered the final semester before graduation, so our team consisted of nine members who had not yet taken a concrete course, as well as two underclassmen, our current concrete canoe captains. The opportunity to go to the convention gave us insights on making our ACI chapter sustainable in growth and development over the next few years, as well as ways to connect with local professionals in Louisiana to aid in sponsorships for any future concrete-based student projects, such as other ACI student competitions or the National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC). 

Some of the events our team attended included the Excellence in Concrete Awards Gala and the Concrete Mixer, the latter of which was held at the historic Union Terminal. Both of these events allowed our team to hear about innovative concrete structures and connect with professionals in ACI.

Our student chapter also connected with schools from around the country in order to grow in both fellowship and knowledge, an opportunity we were delighted to partake in. We even got to go to a Cincinnati Bengals game after our competition, even though we are all New Orleans Saints fans at heart. Receiving the travel stipend from ACI Foundation was a huge boost to getting us to the competition, as it aided in paying for our travel and room and board fees, and we would like to thank the ACI Foundation for choosing UL Lafayette as one of the recipient schools. GEAUX CAJUNS!

ACI ULL Students at ACI Fall Convention 2019

The UL Lafayette ACI Nationals Team (pictured from left to right, top to bottom): Peyton Bailey, Joshua Hoffpauir, Troy Breaux, Nicholas Scalfano, Blade Leger, Ivy Thibodeaux (ACI Fellowship Recipient), Laura Manuel, Alexandra Weeks, and Annie Gutierrez.

ACI UNO chapter @ 2019 Concrete Canoe competition    

ACI-UNO had the pleasure of competing in the Concrete Canoe Competition for the 2019 Deep South Regional Conference this past March with our canoe, The Sauce Boss, a crawfish boil theme.  Although we came up short, it was a successful year for UNO, and a fun experience for all the students that attended.  The design phase which began last summer included different mix designs, testing of different mix concrete cylinders, discussing different mold ideas and methods, and designing the overall shape of the canoe. The construction of both the canoe mold and the box for transportation began in the Fall semester.  The male mold was formed from both wooden and foam cross-sections.  A local company cut the wooden cross-sections with a CNC machine and donated them to the University. Our team used a hotwire system to cut the foam sections that were placed between the 1-foot spaced wooden sections. The mold was then mudded and sanded for a smooth finish. Once the mold was complete and our mix finalized, we held pour day on Sunday, February 10th.  All hands were on deck for pour day and it was a successful and enjoyable day for everyone.  The curing process took place over the following weeks. Our canoe was watered three times a day and covered with soaked burlap sacks then sealed with a tarp to trap in moisture. After a few weeks, the mold was removed and select students began sanding both the inside and outside of the canoe. The box for transport was completed and painted by a local artist. Once the final touches were complete, we were ready for competition. The Sauce Boss was placed in the box on a bed of pine needles. Our canoe made it all the way to Ruston, LA without a scratch. On the day of competition, our display, team, and canoe looked great, and fit our theme perfectly. The Sauce Boss never took on any water throughout the five races.  All in all, we improved tremendously this year and learned a great deal about teamwork, concrete design, and canoes.  It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

The Darrell F. Elliot Fellowship

ACI Louisiana is very proud to support the student chapters at both the University of New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

A new fellowship was created with the aim of improving the chapter and increasing the number of student chapters in Louisiana. Honoring Darrell F. Elliot, the chapter named the fellowship for the tremendous dedication that Darrell had for the concrete community and the Louisiana Chapter of ACI.

This $7,000 fellowship will be awarded to students who are either Undergraduate, Masters, or PhD students in construction, design, education, or materials programs during the year of the award. The student should be an active member of an ACI Student Chapter affiliated with the Louisiana Chapter; a student in good standing with a University in Louisiana; or an active member of an ACI Student Chapter in the United States. 

The ACI LA Chapter would like to encourage our Louisiana students to apply for the fellowship provided by our local chapter.  Applications for the 2021-2022 season are closed. The 2022-2023 application cycle will open July 1, 2021.  Contact Rebecca Chopin, [email protected], with questions. 

Fellowship Recipient Benefits are as follows:

  • $7,000 educational stipend sent directly to the student.
  • Airfare, hotel, and registration for three ACI conventions: the convention where they interview, and the two conventions that occur during their award year. 
  • A $250 stipend for each convention to be used for travel expenses.
  • Convention guides for the convention when they interview.
  • An industry mentor.
  • Recognition during the Opening Session at the Fall Convention.
  • Recognition in Concrete International magazine.
  • Recognition on the ACI Foundation website

Apply Today:

Please note that one online application can open students up to multiple awards.  They are not limited only to the Darrell Elliot Louisiana Fellowship.


2018 / 2019 Darrell Elliot Fellowship Awarded to Louisiana Student

ACI Louisiana is beyond excited to announce our first Louisiana Student recipient of the Darrell Elliot Fellowship, Tyler Young. Tyler is a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette working towards his degree in Civil Engineering. He is an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Jovan Tatar and is heavily involved in the ACI student chapter at ULL. He has participated and lead groups for the ACI Egg Protection Device competition, the Concrete Canoe competition, and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana project. The Louisiana Chapter is thrilled to have this young man represent the chapter and contribute to his education.

2017 / 2018 Darrell Elliot Fellowship Awarded

ACI could not be more thrilled for the 2017/2018 Darrell Elliot Fellowship recipient, Ryan Whelchel. Mr. Whelchel is working towards his Masters in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering at Purdue University. His motivation to produce economical, sustainable designs that provide protection from weather phenomena comes from his upbringing on a Kansas farm and seeing natural disasters firsthand. Ryan is a driven individual with hands on experience, who comes highly recommended. The Louisiana Chapter is excited to see the impact this young man will have on the concrete industry and proud to contribute to the early part of his career.

First Darrell Elliot Fellowship Awarded

ACI is proud to announce that the first recipient of the Darrell F. Elliot Louisiana Fellowship is Rebecca Nylen. Ms. Nylen just graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in May 2016. Her first exposure to concrete was when she joined her university’s concrete canoe team and helped with the mix design, formwork and pouring of concrete. Her work in numerous lab settings, honor societies, and even on the track and field team at Auburn is extremely impressive. But she did not stop there; Rebecca became a founding member of Auburn’s ACI Student Chapter, and started Auburn’s first ACI student competition team that participated in the FRP composites competition at the spring 2015 ACI Convention in Kansas City. She has been accepted to the Georgia Tech Ph.D. program where she intends on advancing concrete research. Not only does Rebecca exemplify all of the qualities that the Louisiana Chapter finds commendable, but her fascination of the materials side of concrete represents Darrell Elliot’s appreciation of concrete. She also shares his desire for seeking and sharing knowledge with others. ACI Louisiana is excited for Rebecca’s future in the concrete industry and wishes her the best with her studies and research.