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13 November 2007

A partnership between Cardiff University and a major UK construction company will conduct further innovative research to improve the sustainability of engineering structures, including the development of high performance concretes.

The partnership between Laing O’Rourke Plc, the UK’s largest privately owned construction company, and Cardiff School of Engineering includes the establishment of a sponsored chair in Hybrid Concrete Innovation for Professor Bhushan Karihaloo.

Professor Karihaloo heads the Research @ School of Engineering " href="">Institute of Theoretical, Applied and Computational Mechanics in the Cardiff School of Engineering. Over the last 30 years he has worked on projects dealing with fracture and damage in building materials, particularly concrete. His research excellence was recognised with the Griffith Medal from the European Structural Integrity Society in 2006 and the award of an Honorary DSc from St Petersburg University, Russia in 2007.

Laing O'Rourke Plc is involved in property development, project management, design, construction and the manufacture of building components. High-profile international construction projects include the Cardiff Bay Redevelopment and Heathrow Terminal 5. The company is currently building what is believed to be the most sophisticated automated precast concrete factory in the UK, placing it at the forefront of bringing innovative developments to the market.

Professor Karihaloo said: "Cardiff School of Engineering is pleased to be working with Laing O'Rourke on the development of high performance concrete products that can compete with more traditional forms of construction"

Dr John Stehle of Laing O'Rourke said: "The use of high performance fibre reinforced concrete, including the patented "CARDIFRC" developed by Professor Karihaloo, in large volume applications, is a very exciting opportunity for Laing O'Rourke. We see the product as being not only cost competitive, but also leading to programme savings and sustainability benefits."