Northeast Texas Chapter of the American Concrete Institute
Northeast Texas Chapter of American Concrete Institute International Endows Lyle Scholars Fund in Memory of James M. Shilstone, Sr.

DALLAS, TX — The Northeast Texas Chapter of American Concrete Institute International (ACI NETX) has created a scholarship in memory of James “Jim” Maxwell Shilstone, Sr., longtime ACI NETX member and concrete industry icon. Mr. Shilstone spent 60 years of his life dedicated to improving the durability and attractiveness of concrete mixtures.

“ACI’s certification department’s mission is to provide knowledge and information for the best use of concrete, and its vision is to create a unified concrete knowledge community that develops and disseminates all the knowledge needed to use concrete to its fullest potential. The Northeast Texas Chapter of ACI is proud to be a part of the support and betterment of civil engineering students at SMU. By endowing this scholarship, we are providing assistance for deserving civil engineering students which, in turn, produces meaningful young men and women who will make an impact on our world and develop the physical well-being of all people. Civil engineers, and in particular those who specialize in the concrete industry, can make a massive contribution through principles of scholarship, character, practicality, research, and education,” said Vartan Babakhanian, PE, FACI, Technical Services Lab Manager for Hanson Pipe and Precast, Certification Chairman and Past President of ACI NETX. To award scholarships in perpetuity for engineering students, ACI NETX established an endowed Lyle Scholars Fund, with preference given to students pursuing degrees in civil or environmental engineering.

On March 23, 2015, Marc P. Christensen, Ph.D., PE, Dean of SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering and Lyle Professor of Engineering Innovation, met with Vartan Babakhanian to thank the organization for endowing a new scholarship fund for Lyle School of Engineering students. “We are so pleased to have the support of the Northeast Texas Chapter of ACI International in the form of an endowed scholarship for our students. We feel this generous gift from an important and venerated institution is a wonderful validation of what our students strive to achieve,” said Dean Christensen.

While on campus, Mr. Babakhanian toured the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department’s Structural Research Lab with Dr. Khaled Abdelghany—CEE Department Chair, Dr. Brett Story—CEE Assistant Professor, Julie Ellis—Assistant to the CEE Chair, Tobie Smith—SMU Lyle’s Assistant Director of Development, Yasha Hajizeinalibiouki—graduate student researcher, and Kaitlyn Thomas—undergraduate student researcher and recipient of a current ACI NETX award. “The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is grateful for the generous support of ACI NETX. This new scholarship endowment will support talented students in the field of concrete design and technology,” said Dr. Abdelghany.

About American Concrete Institute

Founded in 1904, ACI is an international society that provides information on engineering and construction practices worldwide to nearly 20,000 members in over 100 countries. ACI’s Northeast Texas Chapter, founded in 1964, serves the DFW area and markets such as Abilene, Tyler, Texarkana and Wichita Falls by providing education about and certification for concrete knowledge, production, design, and testing. Today this Chapter has about 200 members and is active on both a local and national level. For the last 30 years, the Northeast Texas Chapter has earned ACI's highest award, the Outstanding Chapter Award.

About SMU and the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 28 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees.

For information on giving opportunities and scholarship funding at SMU Lyle, please contact:

Tobie F. Smith ‘86
Assistant Director of Development
SMU Lyle School of Engineering
P.O. Box 750339 | Dallas, TX 75275-0339 | 214-768-1995

PDF version of the press release is here.

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