INSEE Cement in partnership with the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) announced the winners of the INSEE-IESL Concrete Challenge 2018 at the Galle Face Hotel during the Techno 2018 Engineering and Technology Exhibition Awards Ceremony. The annual competition that has advanced in both innovation and technicality saw the largest participation of universities to date, with Team ‘Dark Horse’ from the University of Jaffna walking away with the winner’s trophy.
The top three teams were adjudged winners based on strict judging criteria for ‘Self Compacting Concrete for Sustainable Construction’ with INSEE EXTRA. The winning team comprised Mr. Manivathanan Marimuththu, Ms. Kasthuri Selvarajasarma, Mr. Santha Suntharalingam Robiananth, Mr. Rajathurai Rajkumar and Mr. Raveendren Nishanthan, and was awarded the grand prize of a guided educational tour to Vietnam with scheduled visits to INSEE Cement and RMX Concrete manufacturing facilities. Team Kilometer from the Open University of Sri Lanka was placed second, with the third place being awarded to Team J of the University of Jaffna.
“With this, the 5th edition of the INSEE-IESL Concrete Challenge, we continue to champion INSEE Cement’s vision of building brighter futures by investing in the dissemination of knowledge and innovation-based learning,” stated Jan Kunigk, Commercial Director/ Executive Vice President at INSEE Cement Sri Lanka. “These future engineers are an important stakeholder group in Sri Lanka’s construction industry, and it is our responsibility as the foremost cement manufacturer of the country to create opportunities, reward and recognize high-potential talent to establish and nurture an innovation culture in Sri Lanka. We are excited to continue our long-standing partnership with the IESL and are thrilled with this year’s promising results.”
The challenge that kicked off in June 2018 saw over 100 five-member teams (500+ participants) of final year Civil Engineering students of the state engineering universities of Moratuwa, Peradeniya, Ruhuna, Jaffna, South Eastern and the Open University of Sri Lanka who vied for top honors by producing an innovative winning concrete mix design for sustainable construction with INSEE EXTRA Cement. (INSEE EXTRA is the country’s first fly ash blended cement, first Sulphate resistant cement certified by SLSI and the first Sulphate resistant low heat cement certified by British Standards).
IESL, the apex body for professional engineers in Sri Lanka, selected 3 five-member teams from each university for the final challenge by conducting internal competitions through the relevant IESL Student Chapters. “We congratulate the winning team on their exceptional performance, and are thrilled with the level of invention and new thinking displayed by the teams during the INSEE-IESL Concrete Challenge 2018,” stated Prof. Niranjanie Ratnayake - President of the IESL. Prof. Anura Nanayakkara who headed the judging panel for the INSEE-IESL Concrete Challenge said “We partner with INSEE Cement to facilitate this competition each year encouraged by the company’s unrelenting efforts to elevate the benchmark of Sri Lanka’s construction industry. We look forward to continuing this partnership to inculcate innovative mindsets amongst the next generation of engineers in Sri Lanka.”
Over the past few years, INSEE Cement has taken highly transformational measures to address looming challenges faced by the construction industry such as the rapid depletion and rising cost of raw material, lag in technology adoption and equally importantly – the shortage of skilled labour. Through strategic, long-term investments in knowledge sharing and milestone public-private partnerships to up-skill critical stakeholder groups including Technical Officers and Masons over the past few years, INSEE Cement is contributing towards elevating local construction standards. Furthermore, through the encouragement and recognition of young engineers and innovators supported by competitions such as the INSEE-IESL Concrete Challenge, INSEE Cement is contributing towards nurturing a promising and stable future for the local construction industry. The competition will continue next year with heavy focus on green / sustainable concrete, yet another timely subject of focus for INSEE Cement.
Focused research initiatives explored at the dedicated INSEE Innovation and Application Centre have resulted in a few industry firsts; the introduction of Sri Lanka’s first and only Portland Limestone Blended Cement – INSEE SANSTHA, and the first slag-based blended cement variants introduced to the Sri Lankan market – INSEE EXTRA, INSEE EXTRA PLUS and INSEE MAHAWELI MARINE PLUS.