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Higher Education & Research


Higher Education and Research


Partnership between University of Dundee and Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani

Sustainable High

Due to its robustness, global availability, versatility and cost, concrete is immensely important to the provision of infrastructure such as bridges, buildings, roads, airports, water treatment and provision and sanitation. However, this well established approach to use of concrete is now considered increasingly unsustainable. Furthermore, concrete has often been inappropriately specified and made. This results in resource ineffi ciency, durability concerns and expensive repairs. Therefore, methods are required that will mitigate these factors.

"The UKIERI funding has allowed significant changes to take place in the way India and the UK has collaborated in concrete research. The network formed will now be able to take the fi ndings forward and transfer the technology to industry in India and the UK."

Moray Newlands, University of Dundee
This presented an opportunity that led to a unique collaboration between the UK and Indian researchers working in the areas of concrete science, construction and structural engineering to investigate and develop solutions to these challenges of national and international importance.

This collaboration has already developed the use of rice husk as cement replacement and is further using multi-blend cements to provide high-performance concretes. The outcomes of the collaboration also include promoting the use of waste concrete and glass as an aggregate in new concrete structures and setting up of an India-wide exposure programme to assess concrete performance in different climactic conditions. The teams have successfully utilised sensors in concrete structures to monitor performance and maintenance requirements and is using hybrid fi bres to manufacture high-strength high-performance concrete.

All these have significant medium and longer term impacts in terms of minimising environmental impact of the Indian and UK construction industries and have attempted in lowering the carbon footprint of construction at the same time.

The UKIERI funding has allowed movement of staff from all partner institutions in India to visit the UK as well as staff from the UK to visit India on a number of occasions to discuss project progress, meet with the respective members of the construction industry and develop further networks for future research. In addition, the funding has encouraged substantial student exchanges between the two countries.

A number of research papers have already been published through this collaboration and a major three-day conference ‘Concrete for 21st Century Construction’ is being envisaged. In addition, the technologies developed will also be passed through relevant standards committees in the UK and India to enable practical benefits to infrastructure development.

This collaboration has been successful in garnering huge industry support, from both India and the UK. The knowledge of this collaboration will be fed into current and future undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in both the UK and Indian institutions to help develop potential leaders of global construction.