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Professor Mark Alexander

BSc (Eng), MSc (Eng), PhD (Witwatersrand), Pr Eng, FSAICE, FSAAE, MICT, MASSAf, Fellow UCT

Mark Alexander is Professor of Civil Engineering in the University of Cape Town. He teaches and researches in cement and concrete materials engineering, with experience in fundamental and applied research relating to design and construction. He is part of the leadership of CoMSIRU at UCT, where work is being done on problems of marine concrete durability, amongst others.

Professor Alexander has published extensively both in South Africa and abroad. He is President of RILEM, an international organisation concerned with research in materials and structures. He is also Chairman of the Cement and Concrete Institute of South Africa. In addition, he acts as a specialist consultant on concrete materials and related problems. Furthermore, he is a Fellow of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering, the South African Academy of Engineering, the University of Cape Town, and RILEM.

Research Interests

  • Durability of concrete construction
  • Prediction of reinforced concrete durability in the marine environment
  • Tests for resistance to chloride of marine concretes
  • Applicability of the durability index approach to site construction
  • The economics of designing for concrete durability
  • Acid resistance of concrete sewer pipes
  • Corrosion rates of reinforced concrete elements and structures
  • Rehabilitation and repair materials and strategies.
  • Deterioration, hydration, and curing studies
  • Strength and stiffness mechanisms in concrete
  • Characterisation of indigenous concrete materials
  • Aggregates & Cements
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Deformations and Deflections in Concrete Structures


  • Corporate member, South African Institution of Civil Engineering, 1979.
  • Fellow, South African Institution of Civil Engineering, 2002.
  • Member, Concrete Society of Southern Africa, 1980.
  • Honorary Member of the Concrete Society of Southern Africa “In recognition of outstanding commitment and dedication to the Society and its objectives over many years with the Western Cape Branch. Also in appreciation of your academic career and your contribution in guiding engineers as well as the construction industry”, 2007.
  • Member, American Concrete Institute, 1988.
  • Member, RILEM (Int. Union of Testing Labs in Materials and Structures), 1992
  • Corporate Member, Institute of Concrete Technology, 1994.
  • Fellow, University of Cape Town, 2005
  • Member, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2006.
  • Fellow, South African Academy of Engineers (SAAE), 2006.

Courses Taught


  • CIV1004W: Introduction to Engineering
  • CIV3035S; CIV4031F: Materials Modules in Structural Engineering Courses at Third and Fourth Year Level.
  • CIV2011F: Continuum Mechanics
  • CIV4036D: BSc Final Year Thesis Supervision
  • CIV4035C: Final Year Design Project


  • CIV5002Z: Structural Concrete Properties and Practice
  • CIV5106Z: Topics in Advanced Concrete Materials
  • CIV5103Z: Rehabilitation and Repair of Concrete Structures

Postgraduate student supervision

Current postgraduate projects (* = Co-Superv.):

  • Fourie, C* - "Acid resistance of concrete sewer pipes", MSc(Eng)
  • Mnthambala, D* - “Performance of repair systems in the post-repair period”, MSc(Eng).
  • Heiyantuduwa, R. - “Improvement of chloride prediction model based on SA durability indexes”, PhD
  • Mukwena, T.* - “Reinforcement corrosion damage detection using a coupled modal parameter and time domain method”, MSc(Eng)
  • Dzvukamanja, S.* - “Uncertainty quantification in damage detection techniques”, MSc(Eng)
  • Malumbela, G.* - “Effects of deterioration, repair and rehabilitation on structural behaviour and performance, including characterisation and monitoring”, PhD
  • M Mmusi* - “Carbonation prediction models for SA”, MSc(Eng)
  • R Muigai* - Probabilistic approaches to durability design
  • M Otieno* - Corrosion rates in cracked R.C. beams with cement extenders

MSc/PhD Students graduated in last four years (* = Co-Superv.):

  • Kutegeza, B “Performance of concrete made with commercially produced recycled coarse and fine aggregates in the  Cape Peninsula”. MSc (Eng), 2005.
  • Beushausen, H-D “Long-term performance of bonded concrete overlays subjected to differential shrinkage”. PhD, 2005.
  • Gardner, T.* “Chloride transport through concrete and implications for rapid chloride testing”. MSc (Eng), 2006. (Co-Supervisor Dr K Stanish)
  • Westeren, M.* “In-situ moisture state of concrete structures in Western Cape, South Africa” MSc, 2006. (Co-Supervisor Prof E Sellevold, NTNU, Trondheim)
  • Rowan, A. “Repair and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete harbour structures”. MSc (Eng), 2007.
  • Mumenya, S.* “Evaluation of mechanical properties of textile concrete subjected to different environmental exposures”. PhD, 2007. (Chief supervisor: Prof R Tait)

BSc thesis projects completed in 2007

  • Carbonation of corex slag concretes
  • Alternative sources of concrete fine aggregates in the Western Cape
  • Assessment of a virgin conductivity test concrete


Reviewer For Scientific/Engineering Journals


  • Journal of SAICE.
  • Concrete Beton (Journal of Concrete Society of SA).
  • Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology (Peninsula Technikon).


  • Cement and Concrete Research.
  • Editorial Board, Cement and Concrete Composites.
  • Editorial Board, Materials and Structures (Journal of RILEM).

Occasional reviewer for:

  • The Journal of ASTM International
  • Water SA Journal
  • Engineering Structures Journal
  • Building and Environment
  • Indian Concrete Journal
  • American Concrete Institute Materials Journal
  • Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering.

Membership of International Scientific and Technical Committees

  • RILEM (Int. Union of Testing Labs in Materials and Structures)
  • TC-NEC: Non-destructive evaluation of covercrete (Member)
  • TC-PAE: Performance of concrete in aggressive aqueous environments (Chair)
  • TC- PSD: Performance-based Specification and Control of Durability (Member)