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ISU Civil Engineering Faculty Among Finalists for the CAES Annual Pitch Event 2021: Pathways to INL Net Zero

September 20, 2021

Associate Professor Mustafa Mashal from Idaho State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of the seven finalists for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) annual pitch event 2021, CAES Shark Tank. This year’s event was designed to accomplish two objectives: help the CAES research community develop and hone the skills needed to effectively pitch technical ideas or solutions, and help Idaho National Laboratory (INL) accelerate its goal of becoming carbon neutral within 10 years.

Everyone in the CAES community was eligible – students, faculty and staff at Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho, and researchers at INL. The field was narrowed throughout the summer to a semifinal round and, ultimately, a final, live competition in which each contestant will have 5-6 minutes to present their idea to a panel of judges.

One contestant from each track will emerge with up to $20,000 in funding to help them further develop their proposals, either for implementation at INL or to assist in the pursuit of follow-on federal funding. Other prizes are in the works. 

Mashal’s pitch is titled "Sustainable and Green Concrete Mixes for INL’s Infrastructure”. His idea is focused on reducing concrete emissions at INL by utilizing 1) recycled cementitious materials to replace a portion of cement in concrete mix, 2) recycled concrete aggregate from demolished concrete projects, and 3) scrap tire rubber chips as coarse aggregate in concrete. 

The finalists of the CAES Annual Pitch Event 2021: Pathways to INL Net Zero will pitch their ideas on Sept. 23 starting at 10 a.m. on GoToWebinar. Go here to register. The main competition will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:45, followed by a presentation on Idaho National Laboratory’s Net Zero efforts at 11:45 a.m. and the announcement of the winners at 12:30 p.m. 


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