Growing numbers of underground innovations claim to hold the key to unlock the door to a ‘smarter urban connectivity’. More often than not, these innovations are being embedded into highly complex underground projects that aim to minimise environmental hazards, to save energy, to increase the functional diversity of the urban structure, to reduce the need of local transportation, to make services more easily accessible to residents, and to protect the urban landscape and culture for sustainable urban development. Malaysia’s advantage in gaining a significant share of this engineering feat lies in its existing strengths in underground infrastructure, innovative environment and strong history and political will to tackle sustainability challenges. The innovative and unique SMART tunnel, the first of its kind dual-purpose tunnel in the world is the best example of Malaysian own development. This example became known worldwide as an effective solution to optimise expenditures to solve multiple problems. The tunnel is expected to prevent billions of dollars of possible flood damage and costs from traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. It is listed as one of the top 10 world’s greatest tunnels by CNN. SMART project won the Bristish Construction Industry International Award in 2008 and received the UN Habitat Scroll of Honour Award in 2011 for its innovative and unique management of storm water and peak hour traffic.
The purpose of this international conference is to present the latest available scientific and technical information in the field of supplementary cementitious materials and novel binders for use in concrete. The new aspect of this edition is to highlight advances in the field of alternative and sustainable binders and supplementary cementitious materials, for which the research is growing in importance. Original papers on all aspects of pozzolans, mineral admixtures, standard and alternative supplementary cementitious materials are invited to be presented at the conference and be published in the proceedings.
The future mobility scenarios being developed now will clearly have impacts on our road infrastructure in the future. The traditional ways of travel will change and the use of automated and guided vehicles will have a greater effect on road requirements. The current recognised industrial change 4.0 – or often referred to as `smart’ industry – we are already seeing and experiencing will continue further spread across a much wider scope of impact and influence.
With more than 90% of the existing European road infrastructure being represented by asphalt materials, this means that as an industry we will also need to accommodate to the future mobility solutions either for maintenance or construction. The continued integration of digitalisation into industry practices, the needs to create better connectivity and data exchange platforms, and the general ambition overall to offer sustainable solutions will all play key roles!
Asphalt, bitumen and other related industries need to be ready for these future requirements – undoubtedly asphalt roads and the services they provide will remain of high importance in the future for all types of end users from cyclists, motorcycles, cars, buses and heavy goods vehicles regardless of the way they move forward. The focus however, will be to create smart roads and therefore smart asphalt.
New technologies do not only influence the future, they also have and will have a clear impact on the way we produce materials, pave and compact asphalt in the future.
The seventh conference of European Road Profile Users’ Group (ERPUG) will take place at Grand Hotel Kempinski, Vilnius, Lithuania, October 16-18, 2019.