Therefore our main objectives are:
1. Expand and improve the pool of high-level skills in concrete materials and structural engineering, in South Africa.
Our first responsibility is to educate and train students in the knowledge and application of concrete and concrete structures. This is done mainly via the pool of high-level research students (Masters and Doctoral) in our teaching and research programmes. We aim to expand and improve intellectual capacity for the concrete industry.
2. Influence the culture and practice of engineering design of concrete structures.
This needs to be done by creating a fundamental understanding in students and practitioners of the critical importance of materials in structural/civil design of infrastructure. To do this we will undertake research aimed at the following aspects:
- Performance design.
- Life-cycle design.
- Materials and durability-based design.
These are considered points of departure from conventional design philosophies.
3. Improve management of the infrastructure.
This involves creating awareness of this topic among students and engineers, as well as developing improved understanding of deterioration mechanisms and maintenance/repair strategies.
4. Embed durability and sustainability in all aspects of concrete structural/civil engineering.
This will require us to:
- Develop a more inclusive and integrated approach to design and management of infrastructure, in which a long-term, life-cycle approach is promoted.
- Consider resource efficiency for civil infrastructure in terms of design and construction practice.
- Consider ways of practical implementation of sustainability in structural/civil design, through re-thinking the design process.
5. Promote structural health monitoring as a key tool for structural performance assessment.
This will include:
- Developing and implementing strategies for monitoring and evaluating structural performance based on appropriate sensing and data analysis procedures.
- Developing and implementing structural rehabilitation and retrofitting based on as built behaviour of structures.
- Developing strategies for transfer of structural health monitoring technology.