In the field of Civil Engineering, one of the most omnipresent materials you will find is concrete. It serves as the basic building block for so many of the structures in our everyday world. As a result, it is very fitting that it serves as one of the main recurring topics in the Civil Engineering Materials (CCE3101C) class, taught by Dr. Claude Villiers, Ph.D. This course, as the name implies, is focused on designing, as well as, conducting in-depth scientific testing and analysis of some of the commonly used materials in the field of Civil Engineering.
Students were given the task of conducting research, making, testing and analyzing concrete as a class activity. Owing to how ubiquitous concrete is, many persons may dismiss its production as being very trivial, but it is interesting to see how intricate of a process it actually is. First, students had to do a bit of background research, to decipher what are the various types of concrete, how they differ and what are the elements needed to make each kind. Additionally, they had to do calculations, to determine the formula necessary to achieve the desired quality and consistency. Other much-needed information, which the students were expected to figure out include, the properties of these various concretes and how they factor into deciding which one is most appropriate for use. They should then be able to explain the effect of proper/improper handling on the material and methods of quality control. Concrete has come a far way from its basic use, when invented by the Romans. However, it has a far way to go. With various forms of innovation taking fruition as the years go by, as the engineers of tomorrow, these students are equipping themselves with the knowledge, skills and tools, to possibly be pioneers in their field.
Story by: Aaron Abboud/Nevon Moore
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