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Young researchers to vie for cement and concrete industry award at national event

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CEMENT & Concrete SA (CCSA) invites the cement and concrete industry to YCRETS 2023, CCSA’s second Young Concrete Researchers, Engineers and Technologists (YCRETS) symposium, to be hosted by Stellenbosch University from July 12 to 14 this year.

The YCRETS forum and awards were established by CCSA in 2021 for young individuals involved in the research, design, and application of concrete and cementitious-based materials. The peer-reviewed event – to be presented by CCSA every two years – gives individuals, who will be 35 years or younger this year, a career-boosting platform to present their research on concrete and cementitious-based materials.

Business development manager of CCSA, Hanlie Turner, says after the very successful YCRETS 2021, which had produced extended exposure for all the participants, CCSA is now inviting the greater industry to join South Africa’s young researchers, engineers and technologists for an insightful and informative symposium on the overarching theme of “Circularity”.

“The importance of a circular economy in construction, and particularly in cement and concrete, cannot be over-emphasised to ensure that concrete retains its position as the world’s most widely used construction material. The papers that will be presented will highlight how innovation, materials, design, analysis, and durability contribute and augment cement and concrete’s important role in the circular economy. These five subjects form the sub-themes of YCRETS 2023,” Turner explained.

She said YCRETS 2021, which was a virtual event during the Covid lockdowns, had won widespread praise and featured papers covering diverse areas of research by young people from countries such as South Africa, Germany, India, Nigeria, Namibia, Finland and Sudan. As this year’s symposium will be presented as a physical event, the papers are more South African-based, but several papers will present collaborative research between local and international academic institutions.

“CCSA would like to see industry members, irrespective of their age, attend and support YCRETS 2023. The symposium this year will feature updated research important for the entire South African cement and concrete industry and meeting the participating researchers will provide industry members with an early opportunity to engage with the future leaders of our sector,” she added.

At the conference, the prestigious CCSA 2023 Young Concrete Researcher Award will also be presented to one deserving researcher. The judges for this award will be Bryan Perrie, CEO of CCSA; Emeritus Professor Mark Alexander, who is a CCSA Board member; and Hanlie Turner. Nominations are now invited for this award.

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