Once every three years the LaFargeHolcim Foundation holds a forum on topics related to sustainable construction. The 6th Forum was hosted by the American University of Cairo in Egypt.

I had the pleasure of attending this forum on behalf of my employer at the time, Ozinga. As a materials researcher, I was focused on keeping up with innovations in concrete design and production. I received suggestions to use machine learning to optimize mix designs, and met internationally acclaimed researchers and architects.

The provided booklet 22 Propositions was a guide I found myself often referencing once I returned to Chicago. 

One of the goals within Ozinga’s R&D laboratory is to reduce the environmental impact of concrete. Within my role, I had been eager to implement a creative way of doing so. Therefore I was delighted when architectural firm Future Firm provided the following challenge. In partnership with a summer initiative by Nike, they sought to integrate ground-up pieces of excess shoe material into concrete.


I was able to produce a colorful result after some experimentation with my coworkers. As an aggregate replacement, this became a viable mix for further studies in lightweight applications.

Materials Research

June - July 2019

w/ Ozinga, Future Firm, NikeLab

Chicago, IL

Photo by Cultivate Brands

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