News bulletin 16 ->
News bulletin 16 -> 27 Apr 2021

McConnell Dowell Group has appointed a new Executive General Manager Engineering, Technology and Innovation. James Glastonbury has acted as a civil engineering thought leader who has played a pivotal role, the company said.

Institute Bronze Member SMEC Australia has published a case study of its 72-hour delivery of Frenchmans Creek Bridge (pictured) featuring precast concrete including the foundations, substructure and a section of the bridge deck prior to the road closure. It has also published a piece on solving the complexities of Australia’s deepest road tunnel, NorthConnex including its unique use of shotcrete.

Designed in the early 1970s, the brutalist concrete auditorium at the University of New South Wales has been restored and extended, earning an architecture award in the process. Architect Annabel Lahz says, “brutalism wasn’t about decoration. It’s about the form and structure, and, of course, the wonderful use of concrete”.

In-river construction is underway for the Rookwood Weir project on the Fitzroy River, 66 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton. The weir will exceed 16 metres high when complete. Meanwhile, construction has commenced on two towers in Melbourne. The $1.5 billion project includes a 35-storey tower at 555 Collins Street to be built first, followed by an adjacent tower at 55 King Street.

Engineers from the National University of Singapore have repurposed excavated clay waste to produce ultra-high performance concrete. Heated to 700 degrees Celsius, the activated clay enhanced the bonding ability in concrete and replaced up to half the fine sand typically used.

Researchers at MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub are collaborating with the French National Center for Scientific Research in adding highly conductive nanocarbon materials in the cement mix to make concrete more sustainable and allow a range of new applications such as self-heating to energy storage.

Image source: SMEC Australia website.