1. Home
  2. /
  3. News
  4. /
  5. AUS researcher focuses on advancing 3D concrete printing thr...

AUS researcher focuses on advancing 3D concrete printing through industry collaborations

Written by:
American University of Sharjah (AUS)
Dr. Adil Al-Tamimi

American University of Sharjah (AUS) researcher and Professor in Civil Engineering Dr. Adil Al-Tamimi has been researching the use of robotics in 3D printing of concrete in construction. 

“Since the construction industry plays a major role in the economic growth of the UAE, we are researching 3D concrete printing as one of the means to achieve automation in the construction industry, which enhances productivity, safety, sustainability, speed, customizability and cost-effectiveness,” said Dr. Al-Tamimi.

With the UAE aiming to become a global hub for 3D printing, Dr. Al-Tamimi developed a Semi-Automation System in the AUS civil engineering lab to conduct research experiments and produce samples of constructed concrete. This system is used to evaluate the quality of the different experimental mixes in both fresh and hardened states. Currently, there are 10 graduate students involved in the research of 3D concrete printing, with several articles published on Dr. Al-Tamimi’s research. 

One of the outcomes of his research was the building of a 3D-printed concrete villa in Sharjah. This project was conducted in collaboration with Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) and AUS civil engineering graduate alumnus Haidar Al Haidary, who was appointed by MEET Construction, in collaboration with Cybe Construction, to supervise the construction of the villa. A number of AUS engineering students were also involved in the process, offering them hands-on training opportunities.

Several research projects were also conducted under the umbrella of Dr. Al-Tamimi’s work and were overseen by him, leading to other industry collaborations. This included two senior design projects in 2020 on the mobility of robotic arms used in coating concrete with a self-cleaning layer, which allows concrete to retain its light color longer as well as removes airborne toxins; and two graduate theses in 2020 and 2021 on 3D concrete printing of structural multilayers beams. The majority of the research on 3D printing of concrete included the use of manual extrusion, which is a process of shaping different materials by forcing them through shaped designs at high pressures. However, Dr. Al-Tamimi’s work is moving away from manual extrusion by using the AUS Semi-Automation System.

To advance the research further, Dr. Al-Tamimi has sought collaborations with local industries to use robotic arms in extruding concrete, redesigning the print heads/nozzles, integrating printing mechanisms into existing equipment on construction sites and using fibers to enhance the strength of the extrusion. 

“We continuously welcome new collaborations with governmental departments and the private sector to work on guidelines for structural integrity, safety and long term performance of 3D-printed concrete to facilitate the wide use of this automated industry,” said Dr. Al-Tamimi.

The Department of Civil Engineering is recognized throughout the region for the exceptional education it offers through undergraduate and graduate programs. AUS is ranked number one in the UAE and among the top 150 universities globally for civil and structural engineering according to QS World University Subject Rankings (2023). 

For more information about the Department of Civil Engineering and what it has to offer, visit w.aus.edu/cen/bsce.

About AUS 

American University of Sharjah (AUS) was founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah. Sheikh Sultan articulated his vision of a distinctive institution against the backdrop of Islamic history and in the context of the aspirations and needs of contemporary society in the UAE and the Gulf region.

Firmly grounded in principles of meritocracy and with a strong reputation for academic excellence, AUS has come to represent the very best in teaching and research, accredited internationally and recognized by employers the world over for creating graduates equipped with the knowledge, skills and drive to lead in the 21st century.

AUS values learners not driven only by academic success, but by those that embrace our dynamic campus life and embody our ideals of openness, tolerance and respect. This combination of academic excellence and community spirit ensures AUS is filled with world-class faculty and students, poised to become the innovators, thinkers, contributors and leaders of tomorrow.

About AUS’ Silver Jubilee

Celebrating 25 years of excellence, AUS is ranked among the top 10 universities in the Arab world, acclaimed for its academic excellence, multicultural environment and outstanding facilities.

Since 1997, AUS has been nurturing and equipping students to become award-winning architects, designers, scientists, journalists, engineers, innovators, researchers, successful entrepreneurs–and even leaders of the UAE’s space program.

AUS offers 28 undergraduate majors and 45 minors, 15 master’s degrees and four PhD programs in the areas of architecture, design, humanities, science, engineering and business. Formed on the American liberal arts model, all classes are conducted in English.

Students apply their learning through internships, research, conferences, competitions and professional collaborations. AUS graduates consistently secure roles with leading regional and international employers, and many pursue graduate studies at the world’s top institutions.

By Liliana Alvarez

Share on: