A university with a progressive vision, indeed, we are talking about TU Delft. Let their enriching vision be exactly what we need at URBCON. Together with the university's students, we provide the much-needed impact because TU Delft provides the leaders of tomorrow. Together, we strive for fewer emissions and a better society. We asked Dr. Guang Ye, professor at TU Delft, their role in the URBCON project.
Guang: "I am a senior lecturer at the Department of Materials and Environment of TU Delft. I also lead a research group on Concrete Modelling and Materials Behavior. The main research interest in my research group is trying to find an alternative for concrete mix design. So that it reduces CO2 emissions, which is better for the environment. That is the main research topic I am working on at the moment within the URBCON projects."
"In the URBCON project, we have different work packages, so the research is done at different scales. TU Delft participates in the work package on the mix design of URBCON concrete. The microstructure, properties, and long-term performance of the URBCON concrete in relation to a robust mix design is what we investigate."
"We have people who work exclusively on the cement paste, and then we also have people who work on the congruence of the concrete level. The University of Sheffield works on the cement, while at TU Delft, we work on the most congruent mixes. We are trying to make a concrete mix design that meets the different requirements of the pilot projects, such as the pedestrian bridge in Rotterdam. The basis of this pilot is to use materials as smartly as possible and then reduce CO2 emissions."
"At TU Delft, we are mainly responsible for the concrete mix design for the pilot project of the municipality of Rotterdam. We have 13 parameters that the concrete mix must meet, such as strength, elasticity, tension... All 13 experimental techniques and methodologies were adapted, starting from the 'normal' or traditional concrete. After all, innovation requires testing, testing, and even more testing.
The future is concrete
Guang: "To make a statement about the future, you actually have to be working on it now. Impact for a better society is the motto for the TU Delft for the coming years. Our students play an essential role in this, as educating the next generations of responsible top engineers is TU Delft's biggest impact on society. In addition, our partnership in the URBCON project is a perfect way to put our students' abilities in the spotlight."
"We teach the students to work out assignments based on a performance principle. This means that whatever the customer wants, we always try to realize it. Take the pilot project in Rotterdam, for example. The municipality asks us to design a pedestrian bridge, so we do the research to determine which mix is ideal and how long the bridge can hold up with that particular composition. Our research depends entirely on the customer's request. That's what makes it so interesting for us."
"We are working to solve global challenges by training new generations of socially responsible engineers and pushing the boundaries of engineering sciences. We want to motivate the next generation to think in a solution-oriented way, and with the achievements within the URBCON projects, we ensure this."
Guang: "To put it in the words of TU Delft's vision, we are working together on the pressing solutions for our society. I am thrilled that the moment is coming when the various projects will come to life, and be made tangible. The alliance between universities, cities, and various other companies ensures that the concrete story takes shape. All these people are putting their heads together to realize the various pilot projects."
"This kind of collaboration can take new innovative materials out of the laboratory and transfer them into engineering practice. As a researcher, this is the best thing that can come out of your research. In short, the students and I myself are thoroughly enjoying this. Step by step, we see our research come to life."