Few people would get excited about leading a much-needed overhaul of a 500-page building code, even if it is the global bible of concrete design. But Randall W. Poston did. "I'm very passionate" about the update, says Poston. "Over the years, it had gotten harder and harder to find things in the code."
As the committee chairman for the American Concrete Institute's "ACI 318-14: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete," Poston herded about 200 expert volunteers, who logged in more than 150,000 hours of work over six years. "Thanks to Poston, they did so with grace, professionalism, engineering prowess and a true spirit of teamwork," says Ronald G. Burg, ACI's executive vice president.
"Randy Poston had what seemed to be an insurmountable task of guiding us through the process to develop ... an outstanding reorganized code," says Tom Schaeffer, a principal at Structural Design Group.
Some felt a more designer-friendly code format—based on members, not on concrete behaviors—was unattainable in six years. "Randy was always positive, always able to propose compromises and ultimately prevailed in meeting the deadlines," says John Breen, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at the University of Texas. Addressing code gaps and inconsistencies took much longer than anticipated, adds Sharon L. Wood, dean of the UT school of engineering, but Poston "upheld the consensus process throughout."
Poston is starting a new chapter of his own. This month, he launched Pivot Engineers to focus on investigation and repairs of existing structures.