Congratulations to alumnus Yen Lei Voo

In 2016 the Pre-stressed-Precast Concrete Institute* presented a prestigious design award to innovative Malaysian company Dura Technology, led by CVEN alumnus Dr Voo Yen Lei, for Best International Transportation Structure.  

Dura had designed and constructed a single-span, 100 metre long, concrete box-girder bridge over the Perak River, giving the city of Gerik road access across the river for the first time ever.

Cities across Malaysia are in need of durable, low maintenance bridge structures to improve the country’s transport infrastructure and link isolated communities to the broader regional network. The Malaysian government was eager to give the citizens of Gerik a safer, more convenient mode of transportation, however the project team faced considerable challenges building a bridge in such a remote area where logistic and access to construction equipment was limited.

The budget on the project was also very tight, says Voo Yen Lei, who is executive director & CEO of Dura Technology. “Using a precast-prestressed-segmental solution certainly helped to overcome the obstacles on this project,” he said.

The use of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) was especially beneficial given the limited access to the site. “Using UHPC technology, we were able to achieve a long, light and shallow-depth box girder,” he explained. “The lightweight durable elements of the UHPC box segments meant the team was able to assemble the structure without the need for major floating structures, such as pontoons or barges. It also didn’t require temporary post-tensioning, and the temporary falsework and supports were much less substantial than on a traditional project, which helped to accelerate the project”.

Going forward, the UHPC design will provide superior durability, which is critical for the longevity of this vital new piece of infrastructure, Lei adds. “It is a better quality bridge, than conventional concrete designs, that requires negligible maintenance, and delivers better functionality and a better look at the lowest cost.”

More information about the project and award is here

Dr Voo completed his PhD at the School in 2004, under the supervision of Professor Stephen Foster. His research into the behaviour of prestressed reactive powder concrete girders has laid the groundwork for his subsequent career. His company Dura remains committed to R & D as a key requirement for continuous sustainable development. Dura are preparing to export their technology and services into Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and possibly China, and have recently announced a significant collaboration in Canada. Three European countries are working towards completion on the UHPC design code with Switzerland and Germany finalizing by end of 2016 and France by 2017.

*Based in the USA, the Pre-stressed-Precast Concrete Institute (PCI) is the technical institute for the precast, prestressed concrete structures industry.  PCI develops, maintains, and disseminates the Body of Knowledge for designing, fabricating, and constructing precast concrete structures and systems.

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