Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
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Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( October 15, 1998)
CURTIN UNIVERSITY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA HONORS SDSM& T PROFESSOR
Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia, recently named Dr. Venkataswamy Ramakrishnan, SDSM& T Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, as its 1998 C. Y. O’Connor Fellow. Dr. Rama, as his colleagues and students know him, is only the fourth person in the world to be awarded this prestigious fellowship at Curtin University, which has an enrollment of approximately 25,000 students. Previous recipients include individuals from Denmark, Great Britain, and the former American Concrete Institute president.
The fellowship was established in honor of the first Engineer- in- Chief of the Colony of Western Australia and one of the most eminent civil engineers in Australian history. O’Connor not only built the Perth Harbor in the late 19th century, but also constructed the 450- mile Perth to Kalgoorie water pipeline, which was the longest of its kind in the world.
The fellowship, which includes a $ 10,000 award, funds visits to Curtin University by eminent engineers and scientists who can contribute to the development of science and engineering in Western Australia. In conjunction with his fellowship, Dr. Rama organized the “ International Conference on High Performance High Strength Concrete” sponsored by Curtin University’s School of Civil Engineering. This was the first such international forum on concrete ever held at Curtin University. Despite the university’s large enrollment, admission to the institution’s School of Civil Engineering is extremely competitive. Of the approximately 500 applicants each year, only forty students are accepted.
Delivering the keynote address for the forum, Dr. Rama described his research on the performance and strength characteristics of fiber- reinforced, lightweight concrete. In addition, he presented a series of lectures describing his research sponsored by the National Science Foundation that focused on the idea on using bacteria to repair cracks in concrete.
Dr. Rama’s research, teaching and professional experience in the civil engineering profession spans forty years. He is one of the pioneer researchers in the use of concrete fiber composites and has published extensively in the field of concrete technology. In addition to authoring three books and nearly 200 technical papers, he has been a consultant on numerous projects and has conducted research for numerous agencies and major corporations. Dr. Rama’s research has been utilized by industry in many applications, including the constructing of steel fiber reinforced pavements as part of urban highway and bridge deck overlays.
Dr. Rama’s receipt of the C. Y. O’Connor Fellowship may lead to cooperative research projects between SDSM& T and Curtin University. Dr. Rama has already been invited to return next year and present workshops in Melbourne.
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