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Concrete In Australia : September 2011
8 Concrete in Australia Vol 37 No 3 NEWS Unsung hero of applied concrete research wins medal by John Woodside Dr Samia Guirguis from the CCAA has recently been awarded the 2011 John Connell medal for structural engineering. is award is for an eminent structural engineer in Australia. It is named after John Connell, principal and founder of John Connell and Associates. Connell is considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the practice of structural engineering in Australia and to exporting Australian engineering skills to Asia in the 1970s and 1980s. He has continued to be involved with Aurecon since his retirement. ere have been a number of winners who have been involved in concrete who have won this award, including Prof Bob Warner who was the first recipient, Dick Kell who was the second recipient, Prof Len Stevens, Prof Paul Grundy and myself. e winner receives a gold medal bearing the insignia of Engineers Australia and likeness of John Connell. e medal is mounted and framed with the recipient s citation. Guirguis is one of the unsung heroes of applied concrete research and the dissemination of technical information on concrete to the structural engineering profession in Australia for over 30 years. Even now, she is heavily involved in areas such as fire engineering and sustainable concrete design along with her general duties. She has helped develop and maintain the CCAA technical publications to service a wide range of target audience including engineers, builders, contractors and developers/asset owners. Over 140 up to date technical publications are available on CCAA website covering topics ranging from material properties and testing to construction, design and specification. She has led and coordinated activities to encourage the adoption of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as the principal measure of environmental impact. is involved developing awareness of LCA principles, investigating and selecting the LCA model, developing case studies using the selected model. Case studies of residential and commercial buildings were completed and published on the CCAA website. She developed and published climate responsive house design with concrete, which draws on the outcome of the LCA case studies of houses in the various climate zones of Australia. e publication won the Sustainability Medal in the 2009 CIA Awards for Excellence in Concrete. She has worked with and coordinated members activities in developing a comprehensive life cycle inventory (LCI) for construction materials for use in life cycle assessment modelling. She has providing technical support to industry representatives on the Concrete Expert Panel formed by the Green Building Council of Australia to review the concrete credit in Green Star. She developed recommendations on specifying minimum cover to reinforcement to ensure the durability of concrete, based on research conducted by CCAA and others. e recommendations were submitted to Standards Australia and were first adopted in AS 3600 (1994) and continue to be adopted until now. Also in July, the Lewis Kent Award was awarded to me by the Institution of Structural Engineers in the UK. e award was for outstanding contribution to structural engineering in Australia. e Institution of Structural Engineers was originally founded in 1908 as e Concrete Institute. e first meeting took place in the Smoking Room at the Ritz Hotel on 21 July. Ironically, the recently completed Ritz was one of the first steel frame buildings in London. e driving force behind the creation of the Concrete Institute was the architect Edwin Sachs (1870-1919), who in 1897 had established the British Fire Prevention Committee. Sachs, an architect with a particular interest in theatre design and fireproof construction, was also the founder of the influential and respected journal Concrete and Constructional Engineering (1906-1966). At the time the Hennebique and Coignet systems were coming into widespread use in the UK and were leading to a plethora of new proprietary systems and patentees. Owners of these specialist systems, notably Francois Hennebique and his agent in the UK, Louis Gustave Mouchel, were extremely guarded and protective towards the use of their products and contractors were only able to build to these systems under restrictive and secretive licensing arrangements. Bubbles for Perth residential tower Construction has commenced on the redevelopment of the former site of Perth s ABC studios by Finbar Group with the Stage 1 building to be known as Adagio. Contracted building company Hanssen has chosen the BubbleDeck concrete slab system to build the 23-storey tower which will contain 117 residential apartments. BubbleDeck will also be used throughout the building, including the basement car park. e system uses plastic balls between reinforcement, "eliminating concrete that has no carrying effect ... it removes the non working dead load while maintaining biaxial strength". It saves up to 35% of concrete, and reduces construction time by up to 30%. A BubbleDeck spokesperson said typical spans through the project are 8.5m in two directions. Approximately 31,000m2 of BubbleDeck precast panels will be used, predominantly using BD280 (with a finished depth of 280mm) to achieve the large span slab required. Adagio is the first of four stages of the Symphony City development and completion is expected in 2013.