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Burdekin takes a message on materials

DEVELOPMENTS IN new materials and methods of construction will be highlighted at this year's Brunel International Lecture which will be presented in a number of venues around the world.

The lecture will be delivered by professor of civil and structural engineering at the UK's University of Science and Technology in Manchester, Professor Michael Burdekin. Burdekin joined UMIST in 1977 after seven years in research at the Welding Institute and nine years with London practice Sandberg Consulting Engineers, responsible for their Inspection and materials testing activities in the area of metal structures.

Burdekin is currently director of research for his department and director of the Structural Assessment Group. He has written more than 140 papers on aspects of avoidance of failure in structures and other subject areas related to materials behaviour. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1987 and to the Royal Society in 1993.

The lecture will start its tour in London on 4 July and will also be given in Shanghai on 4 October, Hong Kong on 5 October, Bangkok on 9 October, Kuala Lumpur on 10 October, Sydney on 16 October and Brisbane on 12 October.

There are also plans to hold the lecture in Washington in 2001.

Professor Burdekin said: 'For many years the traditional materials of the construction industry have been steel, concrete, masonry and timber.

Improvements in the quality and properties of these materials take place on a more or less continuous but incremental basis. The improved properties often bring with them new problems in manufacture and construction with which the conventional construction industry may not be familiar.'

The lecture will explore the need of the construction industry for new materials and methods of construction in the new millennium and review the extent to which the existing candidate materials and methods are likely to meet these needs.

The importance of including an understanding of materials' behaviour in degree courses will be stressed. The attitude of each country visited to the use of new materials and methods of construction will be discussed and comparisons drawn on opportunities for future development.

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