Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

The Battle of the Burj

James Aldred

James Aldred gives his speech

On March 8th, Warrane held its first Engineering Faculty Dinner of 2011, with special guest Dr James Aldred giving the residents an in depth look at the technical difficulties encountered in building the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Working with GHD Global, Dr Aldred was recently involved in the construction of the skyscraper in downtown Dubai.  The Warrane residents were told about the details of the building’s wind-resistant design, and how the emphasis on this hazard generally averted other natural dangers.  The engineer also drew on his 30 years of experience in the concrete industry to explain the difficulties in pumping concrete to such extreme heights, and how the result became a world record in vertical concrete pumping.

Dr Aldred also spoke of the challenges he has encountered working in the many regions of the world, such as the different work culture and the temperature, although the latter became less of an issue as he worked higher on the building.

In giving the vote of thanks afterwards, a Warrane resident commented on how Dr Aldred’s experienced dwarfed anything that the Warrane’s engineering students had worked on.  However, all appreciated the exciting glimpse into where their careers may take them.

[Warrane College offers more than just accommodation to students at UNSW: Details of other guest speakers are available here]