Development of Laboratories


            Being a member of the Laboratory Committee since 1996 till 2003, and a Chairman of this Committee for three consecutive semesters, we have been in charge of processing all the purchase orders, ensuring no deficiency of equipment or spare parts, repairing and maintaining of equipment in all the laboratories in the Department, promoting laboratory manpower utilization and manpower development, and upgrading the laboratory facilities to cope with the current research in the Department.


            As a coordinator of the Concrete Laboratory for several terms, I have to take care of the laboratory needs during my service.  Considering my research activities in concrete durability and characterization and stabilization of indigenous soils, I have been in charge of the following tasks:


            Corrosion Research Laboratory:  Participated in developing the corrosion laboratory to enhance its capability to conduct work on: chemical analysis of cement and concrete, pore solution extraction and analysis, corrosion assessment using the linear polarization resistance method.


            Environmental Chamber:  Established the environmental chamber with facilities to control temperature, humidity and wind velocity.  The chamber has been extensively utilized to evaluate plastic shrinkage of plain and blended cement concretes under different hot weather conditions.


            Geotechnical Laboratory:  Developed the modified oedometer.  This apparatus is capable of assessing the compressibility and collapse potential of sabkha soil.  Also developed facilities to measure the durability of stabilized soils (i.e., sabkhas and marls) using the slake durability test.  Used the simple Clegg impact hammer tester to develop reliable models to evaluate the CBR values.


            Concrete Laboratory:  Developed the Building Research Laboratory whereby very large specimens (more than one meter in length) were exposed to various conditions (hot-cool, acidic, saline, ultraviolet, etc.).


            In addition to the above, I was able to supplement the department laboratories with a large controlled-temperature oven, a data logger, two pick-up vehicles and various types of accessories through my funded projects and/or short courses.  I was the Coordinator and Chairman of an Ad-hoc Committee in charge of cleaning and re-organizing the Building Research Station (previously called the Ferrocement Laboratory), in February 2003.