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University partnership strengthens innovation

12 November 2007

A partnership between Cardiff University and a major UK construction company will conduct further innovative research to improve the durability and 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 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."

ENGIN6 Laing O’Rourke

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Notes to Editors:

1.Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

2.Cardiff School of Engineering

Engineering has been taught at Cardiff since 1893. Today, the School of Engineering is regarded as one of the top centres for engineering with teaching and research facilities ranked amongst the best in the British university system following a £35million refurbishment in recent years.

Staff members are active in most fields of engineering research. These are split into three main groups: civil engineering; electrical, electronic and systems engineering; and mechanical engineering. Its research has earned the highest ratings in government assessments.

Research expertise within mechanical engineering includes: control and dynamics; emissions, effluents and processes; energy; renewable energy; fluid power; materials; thermal fluids; and tribology.

In addition, the School hosts a number of officially designated specialist research centres.

Further Information:

For more information, please contact:

Emma Darling
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University,
029 2087 4499

Professor Bhushan Karihaloo
School of Engineering,
Cardiff University
Tel: (0)29 2087 4934