AICrete’s mission is to double profitability of ready-mix and precast concrete producers and reduce their CO2 emissions by up to 35%.
AICRETE was founded by Parham Aghdasi in 2020 and is located in Silicon Valley. The company aims to reduce both the cost and environmental impact of concrete through a unique "recipe-as-a-service" approach that leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and domain knowledge. AICRETE's platform works with concrete producers to optimize local materials to minimize their concrete mixture costs and reduce their CO2 footprint by up to 35%. Our investors include CLEAR Ventures, VoLo Earth Ventures, Cortical Ventures, and CRH Ventures.
Parham Aghdasi bio
Parham was born and raised in Iran. Growing up, he loved learning, but his family did not have many financial resources, nor access to fancy private schools or teachers. After finishing high school, he started studying atomic physics at an Iranian university in 2006 before he was expelled for being a Baháʼí (a religious minority systematically persecuted in Iran). To pursue higher education, his only option was to go to an underground university (the Baháʼí Institute for Higher Education, or BIHE). He obtained his BS in Civil Engineering in 2011 from BIHE and was immediately accepted to the University of Texas at Arlington for his Master's. He left Iran at the age of 23 with only $6,000 in cash—just enough to pay half of his out-of-state tuition for the first semester, let alone living expenses and the rest of his tuition. But, by proving himself to his professors, and winning many different scholarships, fellowships, and research and instructor assistantships, he managed to finish his studies at UT Arlington, pave his way to a full-ride PhD program at UC Berkeley, and get his PhD in structural materials (concrete) without going into debt.
He has spent 10+ years of his life developing concrete composites for various projects from earthquake resistant moment-frame systems, ultra-high performance concrete for the DoD, multi-functional façade systems for energy-efficient buildings in Singapore, to deep ultra-high speed train tunnels in Japan, to mention a few. After his postdoc at Berkeley, he immediately launched AICrete in pursuit of his dream: to hasten the coming of age of predictable, cost-effective, durable, and sustainable concrete. Parham lives in California with his wife Katie and daughter Gloria, where they are involved in community-building activities and empowerment of youth.
Samira Karimi bio
Samira is an expert in statistics, Bayesian modeling, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. She has spent years researching cutting-edge fields and gained experience in academia and the industry due to her deep and comprehensive knowledge of data science and computer science. She is currently the Head of Engineering at AICrete.
She holds a Ph.D. degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas, where she was a research assistant. Samira has also served as the Vice president of INFORMS student chapter at the University of Arkansas. Meanwhile, she published several papers in high-level data analytics and reliability journals. She has won several distinguished awards for her research work, including the Prognostics and System Health Management best paper award (2017), Society of Reliability Engineers best student paper award (2018), and Reliability and Maintainability Symposium second best paper award (2020).
Lirong (Julia) Zhu bio
Having worked mostly in the areas of Human Recourses and Marketing for startups, Julia has extensive experience in recruiting, talent management, content production, event planning and community management. She’s currently working as Chief of Staff at AICrete, serving as the chief spokesperson and building and strengthening relationships between team members to enhance awareness of company initiatives and culture.
Julia earned her Master’s of Industrial and Labor Relations degree from Cornell University with Human Resources Management concentration in 2018. Before joining AICrete, She was the Director of Content Marketing of a research video sharing platform with 200,000 audience. She has interviewed 100+ academic pioneers, startup founders and industry leaders, including but not limited to Turing Award winner, Yoshua Bengio, Stanford AI Lab Director, Chris Manning, Sinovation Founder, Kai-Fu Li, to mention a few. Julia is very passionate about helping startups grow and develop.
Michael Fletcher bio
Michael’s dynamic background in business development, construction, chemicals, and sustainability is coupled with a unique client perspective. Prior to joining AICrete as Vice President of Sales, Michael was the North American Commercial Director at GCP Applied Technologies for their concrete additives and IoT business lines.
He graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Sales Engineering Certificate and has been a LEED® Accredited Professional since 2004. He has held various positions in the construction, chemicals, engineering, and building technologies industries, ranging from estimator and project manager to various sales and management roles in Global 100 and multinational companies.
Michael has served on various industry boards, including the Design Futures Council and the Urban Green Council (USGBC NY), and he has been nationally recognized for his efforts to bridge the chemical and construction industries with sustainable development. A Colorado native and avid skier and outdoorsman, Michael returned there in 2017 with his wife Amy and son Matthew after calling the NY Metro area home since 2003.
Former Executive Board Member, Design Futures Council Former Board Member, Urban Green Council, NYC
Promoter of the Year, Portland Cement Association
Quentin Cheng bio
Quentin graduated with his Master’s degree in Robotic Systems Development in 2021 from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a lead TA in the Intro to Machine Learning course and focused on building robotic systems with deep learning and artificial intelligence. After graduating, he moved to the Bay Area and worked for an agricultural drone startup, where he developed a computer vision solution for precision spraying of palm trees before joining AICrete. He is now a Computer Vision Engineer at AICrete working on applying cutting-edge technologies to the concrete industry.
Prior to his Master’s studies, Quentin worked as an Automation Engineer in the manufacturing industry in both Taiwan and Shanghai, gaining a deep understanding of factory automation and Mechanical Design and Engineering. At AICrete, he is working on combining this background with his expertise in Computer Vision to develop next generation products that are both transformational and practical.
Jack Holley bio
Technical Concrete Consultant, consulted for several companies such as Icrete, WR Grace, Lafarge, CarbonCure, etc. Presently operating under RMX Consultants LLC.
Previously Jack was Vice President Quality Assurance and New Product Development for Lafarge North America’s Concrete business 1998 to 2008. He first joined the company in April of 1984 as Manager of Quality Control. He progressed through a succession of positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President Quality Assurance and Value Added Marketing for Lafarge’s Eastern Canada region, a position he held until his transfer to corporate headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.
Before joining Lafarge, Jack worked for Acres International and held various positions of increasing responsibility, from Laboratory Supervisor to Senior Concrete Advisor on major hydroelectric projects in Canada, Africa and India.
Jack has 45 years of experience in the design and control of concrete. He has been a key contributor to numerous projects including the Confederation Bridge in Prince Edward Island and the launch of Lafarge’s specialty concretes- Agilia ® and ArteviaTM.
Pieter Abbeel is Professor and Director of the Robot Learning Lab at UC Berkeley [2008- ], Co-Director of the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Lab, Co-Founder of http://covariant.ai [2017- ], Co-Founder of Gradescope [2014- ], Advisor to OpenAI, Founding Faculty Partner AI@TheHouse venture fund, Advisor to many AI/Robotics start-ups. He works in machine learning and robotics. In particular his research focuses on making robots learn from people (apprenticeship learning), how to make robots learn through their own trial and error (reinforcement learning), and how to speed up skill acquisition through learning-to-learn (meta-learning). His robots have learned advanced helicopter aerobatics, knot-tying, basic assembly, organizing laundry, locomotion, and vision-based robotic manipulation. He has won numerous awards, including best paper awards at ICML, NIPS and ICRA, early career awards from NSF, Darpa, ONR, AFOSR, Sloan, TR35, IEEE, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Pieter's work is frequently featured in the popular press, including New York Times, BBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes, Tech Review, NPR.
Current main research thrusts: robotics and machine learning with particular focus on deep reinforcement learning, deep imitation learning, deep unsupervised learning, meta-learning, learning-to-learn, and AI safety.
ICRA 2021 Best Field Robotics Paper Finalist ICRA 2021 Best Cognitive Robotics Paper Finalist ICRA 2018 Best Paper Finalist ICLR 2018 Best Paper Award NIPS 2016 Best Paper Award ICRA 2015 Best Robotic Manipulation Paper Award ICRA 2015 Best Medical Robotics Paper Finalist ICRA 2013 Best Vision Paper Award ICRA 2012 Best Vision Paper Finalist ICRA 2010 Best Medical Robotics Paper Award ICML 2008 Best Application Paper Award ACM Prize in Computing (2021) Elected into Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten) (2022) IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award (IEEE Technical Field Award) (2022) Diane McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching 2018 (Computer Science, UC Berkeley) IEEE Fellow (class of 2018) CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Sloan Fellowship National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program Award (NSF-CAREER) Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Award (AFOSR-YIP) Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program Award (ONR-YIP) Darpa Young Faculty Award (Darpa-YFA) Okawa Foundation Award MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators under 35 (TR35) IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award (IEEE-RAS Early Career Award) Dick Volz Best U.S. Ph.D. Thesis in Robotics and Automation Award
Monty Newport bio
Monty retired as an executive leader with over 28 years of experience providing operational and sales management, planning, and consistent revenue growth for Command Alkon, a global software company providing products dedicated to the Construction Materials market segment. He was involved in leading growth organically, as well as through multiple acquisitions. He led corporate growth as Senior Vice President of Sales, Services and implemented a Customer Success program to improve the value proposition of products and services to the existing customer base. Monty was actively involved in the ready-mix concrete industry, including committee and board roles with the National Ready-Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA).
Monty holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Auburn University. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Alabama Chapter of SCORE, a volunteer role helping small and startup businesses through mentoring.
Monty is married to Melissa, with two children: Laurel, teaching at the High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan, NY and Matt, an Instructor for Public Speaking at Auburn University.
Ryan King bio
Ryan is the Lab Operations Manager at AICrete. He has 7 years of experience in the construction materials testing sector. He has worked at concrete plants, asphalt plants, third-party labs, and has experience being an independent contractor. He has a variety of ASTM testing certificates, such as Nicet, ACI, JTCP, NAQTC and Caltrans under his belt and has taken care of lab accreditations, CCRL testing, Caltrans side by side testing and much more. Materials testing is Ryan’s passion and is something he sees himself doing until he retires.
Marvin Stella bio
Marvin is well-rounded in the field of material testing with several years of experience performing ASTM standard testing procedures on soil, aggregates, and concrete. He received his Associate’s Degrees in General Science and Science & Qualitative Reasoning from Solano Community College and holds several material testing certifications.
Jordan Smith bio
Jordan joined AICrete as a Senior Laboratory Technician after relocating from the United Kingdom with an extensive and diverse background in concrete technology and testing. He worked in the UK construction industry for 6 years first in concrete R&D with chemical admixtures before moving into a concrete technologist role. He gained various qualifications through the Camberley Institute Of Concrete Technology (ICT). His specialties include concrete mix design development as well as testing and inspection of concrete.
James Tan bio
James is a software development veteran who comes to AICrete with 15+ years of experience developing entire software platforms and products from the ground up. His products have serviced hundreds of thousands of customers in industries such as medical imaging, information security, publishing, music, chronic care management, and now concrete.
He graduated from the University of California, Davis in Biomedical Engineering in 2011. Prior to AICrete James was the Head of Engineering at Bodyport where, in addition to his development and management duties, was also responsible for SOC2, HIPAA, and GDPR compliance and played a critical role in deploying calibration, research, and manufacturing applications in support of manufacturing and M2M carrier certification.
Rotana Hay bio
From a humble background as a countryside boy in a remote part of Cambodia, Rotana has propelled himself to experience a truly international educational and professional journey. After completing his high school in Cambodia, Rotana secured a full scholarship from the government of Singapore to attend the National University of Singapore where he received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2008. Within one year, he managed to complete a Master of Science program in Concrete Structures and Business Management from the Imperial College of London.
From 2010 to 2012, he worked as a structural engineer for Arup Singapore where he designed notable public housing and commercial projects. In 2011, he was awarded the Fulbright Science & Technology fellowship to pursue his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. With growing interests in concrete, he focused his research on the development, assessment and applications of a new green high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete. He explored the mechanical and durability performance of the composite with regards to its deflection-hardening behavior, corrosion and alkali-silica reaction (ASR) resistance. He also proposed an innovative double-skin façade system produced with the material and performed a life cycle assessment (LCA) to prove its sustainability. After his PhD, he returned to Cambodia and put his knowledge into practice by working as a Technical Manager for a ready-mixed concrete supplier in Cambodia. He was responsible for the quality improvement, mix optimization, capacity development, research and development, and ISO 9001-2015 certification and implementation efforts of the company. Realizing a gap in his expertise, he dedicated the next 5 years working on materials characterization, sustainable cement alternatives and their applications by working as a Research Scientist and Laboratory Manager for Advanced Materials & Building Efficiency Laboratory (AMBER Lab) at NYU Abu Dhabi.
His works on the morphology and mechanical properties of calcium alumino silicate hydrates (C-(A-)S-H), reactive MgO cement (RMC), calcined limestone and limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) have been published in renowned peer-reviewed journals. He is registered as Professional Engineer (PE) with the Board of Engineers of Cambodia (BEC) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), in the UK. He is committed to capitalizing on his holistic fundamental and practical knowledge in concrete materials to seek a balanced intersection between materials science, chemistry, engineering, management and industrial process to improve the sustainability of the construction industry.