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Aims and Objectives

CoMSIRU aims to challenge and change the culture and practice of structural engineering with specific reference to improving life cycle design, maintenance and management of concrete structures.

Therefore our main objectives are:

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.

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 considered points of departure from conventional design philosophies:

  • Performance design
  • Life-cycle design
  • Materials and durability-based design

Improve management of infrastructure

  • Create awareness of this topic among students and engineers
  • Develop improved understanding of deterioration mechanisms and maintenance/repair strategies

Embed durability and sustainability in all aspects of concrete structural/civil engineering

  • 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

Promote structural health monitoring as a key tool for structural performance assessment

  • Develop and implement strategies for monitoring and evaluating structural performance based on appropriate sensing and data analysis procedures
  • Develop and implement structural rehabilitation and retrofitting based on as built behaviour of structures
  • Develop strategies for transfer of structural health monitoring technology