Desmond Vlietstra, Advanced Concrete Technology MSc

Desmond Vlietstra

With a Background in Mining, Rock Mechanics and Sprayed Concrete, I am involved in the Sales of Macro Synthetic Fibre and Silica Fume and offer technical support in all aspects of Sprayed Concrete and Concrete Technology.

I have Presented Training in Concrete Technology and Shotcrete, delivering course material for the Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Australian Shotcrete Society, Cement, Concrete Aggregates Australia and numerous mining companies as well as mining and tunnelling contractors nationally and internationally. I am also a Certified EFNARC Nozzleman examiner for robotically applied shotcrete.

Why did you chose to study the Advanced Concrete Technology MSc?

I am fascinated by concrete and the more books I read about it the more I realised how little I knew about it. So I decided it was time to ‘master’ it.

What has been the best aspect of studying this course and why?

I found the knowledge I have gained so far has been extremely relevant and useable in my job. Who would have thought that something that seems so grey, boring and cold to the touch could be so interesting and exciting?

What projects are involved in outside of the course?

I am very involved in the field of sprayed concrete and often give talks and training sessions on the subject, as well as being a certified EFNARC* nozzleman examiner.

* European Federation of National Associations Representing for Concrete

Tell us about your ideas for your research project.

I am interested in looking into the question of  “The Size Factor” which is currently used in the Rilem formulae for the sigma-epsilon design method for steel fibre reinforced concrete and if it should be the same for Macro synthetic fibre. (To find out more see: Rilem TC 162-TDF “Test and design methods for steel fibre reinforced concrete”)

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

You have made a very wise decision to choose this course. Don’t worry if at times you feel overwhelmed because every expert was once a beginner and only you can stand in your way of achieving great things. Hang in there and find the good and don’t hold back.

“Your dreams are like the cement. If you water it with actions, it becomes a hard concrete mass. But if you leave it exposed and unwatered, the air will easily blow it away!
– Israelmore Ayivor