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Concrete In Australia : June 2012
2 Concrete in Australia Vol 38 No 2 FROM THE PRESIDENT Improving concrete technology skills and education In recent weeks, two separate events have caused me to ponder the state of concrete technology education in Australia. e first was an unidentified telephone message which I received at the university and was consequently unable to return the call. In summary, the caller was asking me to correct my teaching of concrete technology. ey were aghast that I was teaching undergraduate students that the correct term was "concrete placement". ey strongly argued that, as concrete was clearly a liquid, that the only correct terminology was to "pour" concrete and demanded I correct my teaching. I would argue that whilst use of the phrase "concrete pour" is inappropriately entrenched in the vernacular, concrete is clearly not a liquid. e use of "placement" intrinsically implies the need to place concrete with care, to compact concrete well, and to follow good site practice. Indeed, well respected publications such as the ACI Cement and Concrete Terminology and concrete technology text books such as Neville and Brooks refer to the "placing" of concrete. at a senior practising engineer could so stridently espouse the notion of concrete as a liquid left me wondering about the state of concrete technology skills in the profession. e second event occurred at a recent Concrete Institute of Australia meeting where concerns were raised over the quality of concrete technology education in Australian universities. What followed was a discussion around the many issues and constraints faced by Australian universities with respect to the education of civil engineers. Many in attendance wanted to know what the Concrete Institute of Australia could do to improve the quality of civil engineering graduates. While the discussion initially meandered through lobbying universities and Engineers Australia, the question was posed as to what could be done directly to improve concrete technology skills and education in Australia. A variety of ideas were put forward -- offering to give specialist lectures, developing teaching/lecture packages for the university academics and developing structured CPD programs and practical courses were among some of the suggestions. e Institute s mission is the promotion and development of excellence in concrete technology, application, design and construction throughout Australia. is clearly encompasses the initial and continuing professional development of concrete technology practitioners. In July, the Institute, under the guidance of the Executive, will review its Strategic Plan for 2013-2015. In the lead up to this, we would welcome feedback from the membership on what you believe the Institute should be focussing on. e question I have for you, as a member of the Institute, is: "What do you think the Concrete Institute of Australia should be doing to fulfil our mission statement?" I would encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas via the email address below. We look forward receiving your correspondence. In this issue we introduce a new section on issues surrounding Codes and Standards, aiming to stimulate some debate in the industry and lead to further improvements in the codes. e first issue looks at crack control and presents a progress report from the Durability committee currently working on producing a Recommended Practice Series on Durability. e Standards Australia BD-10 Working Group also provide an update of its work. Technical papers look at a range of topics and include a look into the effect of cold weather when placing pavement, a comparison of durability test methods, an investigation into manufactured sands, and an insight into the use of recycled concrete in pavement construction. Liza O Moore President, Concrete Institute of Australia email@example.com Platinum Members