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Construction : Web Exclusive | September 2017 | Source : CW-India

RILEM Conference on construction materials for the first time in India

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) hosted a major International Conference on Construction Materials and Systems as part of RILEM Annual Week. This event came to India for the first time in its 71-year history and was held from September 3-8, 2017.

The International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM, from the name in French) was founded in June 1947. Today, the new meaning of the acronym RILEM (Réunion Internationale des Laboratoires et Experts des Matériaux, systèmes de construction et ouvrages) emphasises its dominant focus on worldwide activities, covering 70 countries.

The mission of the association is to advance scientific knowledge related to construction materials, systems and structures and to encourage transfer and application of this knowledge worldwide.

Speaking about the conference, Dr Ravindra Gettu, Associate Dean, Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research, IIT Madras, and a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “That IIT Madras is hosting the Conference when it is coming to India for the first time in its history is a recognition of the efforts of our research groups in areas of construction material and heritage structures.”

The conference is a convergence of key international and national experts in relevant fields and is a major event involving several top researchers in the areas of construction materials and systems. The conference is the flagship event of RILEM Week.

Dr Manu Santhanam, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, and main Conference Organiser, said, “IIT Madras researchers presented their work and recent findings on a new ‘limestone calcined clay cement’ and on extending the durability of reinforced concrete structures, besides on the safety of historic monuments.”

The conference covered several themes related to construction materials and systems, with the objective to provide state-of-the-art coverage on cement and asphalt concrete, heritage materials, and building systems.
The conference had three major goals: To promote sustainable and safe construction, and improved performance and cost benefit for society; to stimulate new directions of research and its applications, promoting excellence in construction, and; to favour and promote cooperation at international scale by general access to advanced knowledge.
The technical sessions and special workshops highlight the recent trends in research and development in the areas of concrete science and technology, and the non-destructive assessment and conservation of heritage structures.

Several participants from the industry, both local and international particpated, who also set up a large exhibition of construction material related products. The interactions and discussions at the conference will significantly contribute to the process of infrastructure development that is currently in full swing in India.

Besides the conference, IIT Madras also hosted the RILEM Week at Chennai, where all the standing committees and some of the active technical committees met.

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