Specification of Structural Concrete





The specification of structural concrete is a vital ingredient in the process of construction to ensure we achieve durable, sustainable, and serviceable infrastructure. However, the Australian heavy construction materials industry is facing a number of technical challenges in maintaining the position of concrete as a material of choice for the construction industry, and this is having an impact at the specification stage.  
With increasing pressure and expectation on suppliers, specifiers, and construction companies to complete projects within difficult time frames and budgets, and without key personnel and resources, it means that specifications are not being developed to allow for continued superior performance of concrete structures. Many specifications are just repeating historic properties and benchmarks with little understanding of their purpose and potential implications. More worryingly, there are often perverse outcomes arising from this confusion.
At the same time, new and innovative materials are being introduced into the concrete supply chain, which must be shown to perform in a manner that equals or betters the existing suite of materials, yet at the same time improve 
the environmental performance of the project in which it is utilised. In many cases, this can only be ascertained from a performance approach to specification, with appropriate tests and performance specified to ensure desired outcomes and durability in the structure.
Our seminar on Specification of Structural Concrete, featuring world renowned concrete technology expert Michelle L. Wilson from the Portland Cement Association, USA, and one of Australia’s most experienced practitioners in this field, Daksh Baweja from BG&E Materials Technology, will look to:
  • Review modern approaches to the specification of concrete and its constituent materials.
  • Outline the vital properties of concrete, how they are applied, and how this information can form a practical specification for the supply of concrete.
  • Compare and critique Australian and USA concrete codes and standards.
  • Provide guidelines on specification detail for the inspection and construction of concrete.
  • Present real-life problems caused by inadequate design, construction, and maintenance practices, and based on various problems, show delegates how to come up with suitable solutions. 
  • Look at how durability specification can be considered in conjunction with this, with particular reference to planning and testing.
The seminar will also look some of the hot topics in concrete specification both locally and overseas, and provide delegates an opportunity to table some of their concerns to the Institute in an open forum


Michelle L. Wilson is Director of Concrete Technology at the Portland Cement Association. With over 20 years of experience relating to concrete materials, specifications, performance, troubleshooting and repair, she is responsible for the development, content, and delivery of PCA’s education and training programs and technical products covering the entire spectrum of concrete technology. Michelle is co-author of PCA’s Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures, has given numerous workshops and presentations around North America including the World of Concrete, and is a member of ASTM Committee C09 Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, and ACI Technical Committees - 201 Durability, 311 Inspection of Concrete, 329 Performance Testing Requirements, E707 Specification Education, and is chair of 301 Specifications for Structural Concrete. She was awarded the ACI Young Member Award for Professional Achievement in 2008, and became a Fellow of the Institute in 2010.

Daksh Baweja is Director of BG&E Materials Technology, a specialist group that provides strategic advice in areas relating to civil engineering materials. With a Master’s degree in civil engineering by research on durability aspects of fly ash and other concrete types, and a PhD in civil engineering on corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete, Daksh has worked has been actively involved in technical development, knowledge management, marketing and commercial R&D for over 30 years and is the author of over 100 research papers into aspects relating to concrete materials, structural design, concrete durability and serviceability in major infrastructure. He received an award for sustained and outstanding contributions to concrete technology from the American Concrete Institute in 2007, is a Life Member of the Concrete Institute of Australia, and became a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute in 2014.


Who Should Attend?

This is a wonderful opportunity to bring contemporary thinking and practices to specifications for concrete and concrete materials in Australia, and is targeted at all civil engineering and materials academics and researchers, commercial design and material consultants, government engineering bodies, and concrete material suppliers.

Delegates Package

The handout material will include a folder containing the presentations and relevant publications/notes for each of the sessions.

8:45 Introduction
9:00 Specification of cement, aggregates, and other constituents (Michelle Wilson)
10:00 Australian Specifications (Daksh Baweja)
10:30 Morning Tea
11:00 Concrete inspection and construction (Michelle Wilson)
11:45 Troubleshooting (Michelle Wilson)
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Durability Specification in practice (Michelle Wilson)
14:15 Durability Specification in Australia (Daksh Baweja)
15:00 Afternoon tea
15:30 Open forum discussion/Q&A
  • Predictive Modeling for Durability of Concrete (ASR Testing) (Michelle Wilson)
  • Thermal Control (DEF) (Michelle Wilson)
  • Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) (Michelle Wilson)
  • Concerns with AS 3600 (Daksh Baweja)
  • Recent Industry Research Update (Daksh Baweja)
  • Alkali-aggregate reaction and shrinkage (Daksh Baweja)
17:30 Close