The ubiquitous nature of concrete across the world, the ease and relatively low cost at which concrete can be produced compared to other infrastructure materials, and the extraordinary levels of complexity that spans the various material scales of concrete, spurred Dr. Ferron’s passion and love for the field of concrete materials when she was an undergraduate student studying civil engineering. It was this desire to learn more about the materials science and engineering of concrete materials that drove her to complete a doctorate degree, and it was the excitement and love of discovering ways to advance material behavior and performance to achieve targeted performance objectives that in part led her to pursue a career in academia.
Dr. Raissa Douglas Ferron joined the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) in January 2009. She is an Assistant Professor and her research group focuses on studying on infrastructure materials, primarily dedicated to researches concerning cementitious engineering materials. Dr. Ferron’s research expertise is in the areas of the smart concrete, rheology, processing and fresh state micro/nano-structural characterization of cement-based materials. She has graduated 8 Master students (4 as sole advisor) and 4 PhD students (3 as sole advisor), and she is currently supervising 2 PhD students and 2 MS students.
She has worked on projects that involved investigating the mechanisms controlling the flocculation and flow behavior of cementitious materials during the early stages of hydration, including the effect clays, fly ashes, silica fume, soluble alkali content, aluminates, and sulfate content on the rate of stiffening in highly flowable concrete mixtures. Current projects in Dr. Ferron’s group involves developing, set-on demand/active rheological control concrete materials, characterization of fresh-state hydraulic cements microstructure, developing affordable sustainable housing materials, studying cement-admixture interactions, investigating causes of latent cracking in precast concrete, studying self-healing concrete (e.g., bioconcrete), researching alternative supplementary cementitious materials/recycled materials, and material performance of concrete crash barriers.
Dr. Ferron is the secretary of ACI Committee 552: Cementitious Grouting. She serves as a member of several technical committees including ASTM International Committee C09: Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, Transportation Research Board Committee AFN40: Concrete Materials and Placement Techniques, American Concrete Institute Committee 237: Self-Consolidating Concrete, and American Concrete Institute Committee 238: Workability of Fresh Concrete.
Dr. Ferron is a recipient of the 2010 American Society of Civil Engineers New Faces award, an award which recognizes outstanding young civil engineers. Dr. Ferron is also a recipient of the 2016 Louisiana-Texas Region Top 40 Under 20 Award, an award conferred by the Engineering News-Record that recognizes outstanding professionals under the age of 40 who represent the “Best-of-the-Best” in their construction and design careers.
Dr. Ferron earned her BS from Howard University, and MS and PhD from Northwestern University.