Prof Billy Boshoff from the Unit of Construction Materials (UCM) visited the University of Bologna for a week during May 2017 as part of his sabbatical. This exchange was an Erasmus+ staff mobility. The purpose of the Erasmus+ programme is to facilitate the mobility of both staff and students of the two institutions.
During this time Prof Boshoff gave lectures on the cracking of concrete and the creep of fibre reinforced concrete to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Cracking in concrete is very common and the challenge is to limit the cracks so they do not have a detrimental effect on the structural integrity over the structure's life time. Using steel or synthetic fibres in concrete can mitigate the cracking, but there are again other associated problems, such as the increased creep.
The University of Bologna is the oldest university in the world and Prof Boshoff also visited the older parts of the university. The oldest still standing building is the Archiginnasio of Bologna which hosts an anatomy theatre which was used to teach medicine students from the 15th century up to the 19th century.