Elkem announced to sponsor concrete research work

More than 200 engineers, concrete experts and university students including delegates from Norway, U.K, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, India, K.S.A.,and Syria, attended the concrete technology seminar at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai conducted by U.A.E. Society of Engineers, Elkem Materials Middle East and Arabian Trading Est.

Eng Ahmad Ibrahim, General Manager of Elkem Materials Middle East and Africa announced to sponsor any research work carried out in the U.A.E related to durable and high strength concrete.He was replying to the question raised by a student from the American University in Sharjah, who raised the point during an open discussion session.

Erik Brigsme from Norway welcomed the foreign delegates and local guests and briefly explained about Elkem Materials, which is the largest microsilica supplier and leader in the marketing and implementation of microsilica and its application technology worldwide.

Dr. Mufeed A. Samarai, Head of Engineering Section, University of Sharjah inaugurated the seminar. Dr. Mufeed stressed the importance of superior concrete in hot and aggressive weather in the gulf region.

J.J.Hospital flyover in Mumbai was the case study topic of Kshemendra Nath. Managing Director of Elkem India. Kshemendra explained the benefits of high performance concrete over normal conventional concrete. 'Long life concrete structures with durability and minimum maintenance rate are some of the main advantages of high performance concrete,' explained Kshemendra.

Per Fidjestol presented a second paper, he is also an ACI Fellow and works as a Technical Manager with Elkem ASA Materials, Norway. He has mainly been involved with marine concrete structures, silica fume and high performance concrete. He is a former ACI Board member, the current Chair of ACI 234, Silica Fume in Concrete, member of several other ACI committees and also ASTM and European standards committees. Per received ACI's Arthur R. Anderson award in 2002 and is the current President of the Norwegian Concrete Association. The topic of the paper was "Standards and Specifications". Per assured the audience that Elkem would always provide best product in compliance with latest specifications. He asked the engineers to use only latest specifications. Publishing of any new version means automatically superceding the old one. Per is also the member of the latest European standard prEN 13263 "Silicafume in concrete", which will be officially published shortly.

ACTI President, Khalid Awad, presented a paper entitled "Concrete Sustainability". Khalid covered the topic for the entire gulf region and stressed the engineers to follow correct engineering practices during mix design, production and placement of concrete.

Well-known concrete specialist and member of the 1st UAE National forum for concrete durability specifications, Robert Lewis, was also presenting a paper at the seminar. Famous for his technical background and presentations, Robert is presently working, as a Technical Manager of Elkem Materials U.K. "Durability strategy for structural concrete of Shanghai East Sea Bridge", was the topic of his paper. A several km long Shanghai Bridge was technically discussed, including data for durability requirements, parameters and achievements. 'Life span of bridge piers standing in sea' was the interesting topic.

Open discussions was actively participated by all the fields of the construction industry. Representatives from different government departments, leading consultants, architects, renowned contractors, ready mix concrete producers, precast companies and students from American University in Sharjah, American University in Dubai and Sharjah University were present at the seminar, informed Eng Ahmad Aftab, marketing manager of Arabian Trading Est, authorized dealer of Elkem Microsilica. 'Being the authorized dealer we are capable to supply any quantity of microsilica at any given time to meet the local requirements. People are raising questions about the cost increment of microsilica concrete but the fact is that it decreases the total cost of structure by increasing life due to durable and superior concrete, by increasing maintenance duration, by reducing column and beam sizes and so on,' pointed Eng Ahmad Aftab.

Shadi Al Safadi from Society of Engineers informed that, 'S.O.E. is always conducting the technical seminars to highlight the importance of implementing best engineering practices to the engineers.'

Eng Ahmad Ibrahim, General Manager of Elkem Materials Middle East and Africa chaired the seminar.

Dubai Airport Authority provided special permission to the concrete technology seminar delegates to visit the ongoing Dubai airport expansion project.

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