Alumni profile - Voo Yen Lei
Be Hons 1 '01, PhD '04
CEO and Executive Director, DURA Technology
Dr Voo Yen Lei has been setting world records in bridge-building. In 2011, the company that he founded and of which he is CEO and Executive Director, DURA Technology, built the world’s longest trafficable bridge using ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC): the Kampung Linsum Bridge in Malaysia. Voo designed, manufactured and built the cutting-edge bridge, which won the Husband Prize from the Institution of Structural Engineers. His company is currently building a 100m single-span bridge using the same technology. He says the breakthrough “followed many years of research and development and close collaboration and fruitful scientific discussion with Professor Stephen Foster (Head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering)”.
Voo says that as well as the long spans making the bridge quick to construct, UHPC has environmental benefits. “As a rule of thumb, a UHPC bridge is generally able to give immediate inventory savings of 20–25% in terms of carbon footprint or global warming potential when compared to current design.”
Voo left Sydney in 2003 and spent four years developing the technology, marketing, and dealing with regulators and industry bodies. The company has completed 14 bridges for the Malaysian government, 12 more are under construction and 10 others are under tender. “Almost all our clients have no knowledge about UHPC technology,” he says. “One of the reasons I am still active and teaching lectures at university level [he is adjunct professor for University Putra Malaysia] is because it is the most suitable way to teach UHPC technology.”