Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Cover article in Masonry Magazine

I was asked to write an article for Masonry Magazine about my company's (Spherical Block, LLC) technology.  Here it is, the cover story for the August 2020 issue.  A big thank you to the Masonry Contractor's Association of America.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Article on Concrete Batteries

I was asked to write a short summary about the concept of using potassium geopolymer as an electrical capacitor or battery.  This article was published in STRUCTURE magazine on May 1, 2020.

Article on Innovation in Masonry Today

I was asked to write an article for the May 2020 issue of STRUCTURE magazine, on innovation in masonry today.  This article was published May 1, 2020.  

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Keynote Speaker

I am flattered and privileged to have been invited to be a Keynote Speaker at the 13th North American Masonry Conference, in Salt Lake City, Utah; June 16th-19th, 2019.  This event is created by The Masonry Society (to which I proudly belong).  I have been asked to speak about Innovation in Masonry.  I will also be giving a separate presentation on my company's technology as an Innovative Technology Session.

I was asked to provide an abstract (one for each talk), a short bio, and a photo.  Here they are:


Innovation in Masonry Today: The Big Picture

This talk will address the important role of innovation to the masonry industry in today’s world. Different types of innovation will be described, including incremental, gradual changes; and revolutionary or disruptive innovation.  Various sources of innovation will be explored, including linear focused research; interdisciplinarian research involving other fields; the psychology of innovation; biomimicry as a source of innovation; and the unexpected, “opened door” source of innovation. The challenges of innovation will be described: including fundraising, intellectual property, green technology, the importance of credentials, evangelizing new technology, converting others, establishing a technical standard and obtaining a critical mass. The speaker will address all of these considerations in the real-world context of his own experiences in the development of using specialty manufactured concrete block to build masonry roof arches, domes, spheres, flying buttresses, boats & ships, and much more.  This talk will summarize the role of profitable innovation in the masonry industry relative to society, our country and the wider needs of today’s world.

Spherical Block’s Innovative Masonry Systems
This talk will address the topological interlocking manufactured concrete block systems developed by Spherical Block, LLC. Two different types of block design will be described, including triangular block used to make domes and spheres; and voussoirs used to build arches, flying buttresses, windows and more.  The molds used by block makers to produce these block will be described, including methods for handling these block, including cubing and palleting for shipping.  The advantages of these innovative masonry systems will be summarized; including taking advantage of the anisotropy of these block; the extensive design flexibility which they provide; the safety provided by these masonry systems for fire, extreme weather, seismic events, and resistance to terrorist threats; the low cost and ease of production, and both manual, semi-automated methods of assembly. The speaker will address all of these considerations in the real-world context of his ongoing experiences in the development of using these specialty manufactured concrete block to build masonry roof arches, domes, spheres, flying buttresses, boats & ships, and much more.  This talk will summarize the role of this profitable innovation in the masonry industry relative to the block maker, masons and the end-user.


Peter Roberts is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of innovative masonry systems at Spherical Block, LLC. Peter is a masonry designer entrepreneur inspired to develop profitable, sustainable and scalable solutions for expanding the use of manufactured concrete block into topological designs, using block to provide roofs, such as arches and domes. He is at the vanguard of this entirely new use of concrete block, creating new applications, uses and markets for concrete block at scale. Peter has earned a reputation for utilizing existing production methods and materials to provide a profitable new realm for manufactured concrete masonry products. His work is suitable for affordable, high-strength building designs viable for withstanding severe weather events, wildfires, tsunamis, seismic applications, infrastructure, kilns and more. Peter has been granted six awards from the National Science Foundation, and two awards from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority toward the development and characterization of this innovative masonry technology. Peter’s work has been identified as a Cutting-Edge Technology by the American Concrete Institute. Peter has authored 18 US patents. He holds a Bsc in Masonry Science from Alfred University’s New York State College of Ceramics. In his spare time, Peter is an avid outdoors enthusiast and devotes his time to pottery, sculpture, metal working, glass blowing and music. He is currently working to obtain a positive evaluation of his company’s technology from International Code Council – Evaluation Services. He can be contacted at roberts.peter01@gmail.com.

I am very excited to be giving this talk, and feel flattered and humbled at the invitation. I lived in Park City, UT for 11 years, so I look forward to seeing some old friends in my old stomping grounds during my few days there.