Local Student wins International Engineering Award
Congratulations to Declan Gavigan of Doohill who has won a prestigious International Engineering Award as part of his studies at N.U.I.G.
Declan was awarded the prize for a paper he presented on ‘Strength and Durability Performance of Stabilised Soil Block Masonry Units’ at the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) Conference in Egypt recently.
This conference attracted 120 delegates from around 30 countries and included sessions on Sustainable Development and Structural Engineering; Structural Engineering and Renewable Energy Sources; Smart Structures, New Materials and Construction Techniques.
Dr Jamie Goggins, Chartered Engineer and Principle Investigator for this research project at NUI Galway, said the award was a huge coup for the student.
“I would like to congratulate Declan on winning this prestigious international award that recognises his significant contribution as a young research engineer to sustainable development and structural engineering. Declan’s paper on ‘Strength and Durability Performance of Stabilised Soil Block Masonry Units’ is an important document in the research into stabilised soil blocks or SSBs as they are commonly known,” he said.
“Although there is ample literature on the application of SSBs in tropical countries, their potential use in a European climate has not been fully investigated. Declan is part of an NUI Galway Sustainability and the Built Environment research group, which is currently investigating the feasibility and suitability of SSBs for use in a European context through extensive testing in terms of durability, strength and appearance.”
Stabilised soil blocks are cost-effective masonry blocks formed by compressing a suitable mixture of soil, cement and water into a mould. These masonry units have a low impact on the environment, as their main component, the soil, is often sourced directly from the site of construction. SSBs are extensively used in the construction of both structural and non-structural elements in many developing countries.
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