OWICs09 Dedicate to
The Man OWICS honour in 2009BSc., Manchester University, UK 1952
Member, Inst Civil Engineers, UK 1956
Fellow, Inst Engineers (Australia) 1978 (Member 1956).
Fellow, Inst Concrete Technologists, UK, 1990
Fellow, American Concrete Institute 1990
Founding Committee Member, Concrete Inst of Australia 1970
Founding Member, Singapore Concrete Institute 1980
Honorary Member, Concrete Institute of Australia 2003
Ken Day graduated from Manchester University in 1952 and worked as research assistant
to the Technical Director of Unit Construction Ltd, principally developing an advanced
statistical QC system (with multivariable Shewhart control graphing) and a specific surface
mix design system for precast prestressed concrete developing 9,800 psi (67MPa) at
In 1954 he emigrated to Australia and was in charge of Humes Ltd. Melbourne research and
development laboratory (and mix design and QC on precast prestressed concrete projects in
several other States of Australia).
In 1957 he became R&D engineer and deputy technical manager of the semi-government
Concrete House Project, producing 5 fully precast houses and flats per day in a factory that
it was his main task to highly mechanise. He also introduced a large, innovative prestressing
bed to precast bridge units for other government departments at a cost far below the current
In 1960 and 61 he was a lecturer in concrete technology at the University of NSW in Sydney,
Australia. The undergraduate course in this subject was 96 hours.
After a short period in 1961/62 as technical manager of Marley Reliance in Sydney he
returned to the UK. Marley had two readymix plants and several factories producing precast
concrete, spun pipes, masonry blocks and roofing tiles. The firm had a poor quality
reputation and Day left as a result of being unable to obtain sufficient management support to correct this.
In the UK he spent 5years as a structural consulting engineer, rising to Associate Partner of
Harris and Sutherland. As a structural designer he was involved in on-site battery precast,
and insitu no-fines industrialised concrete housing but his largest single project was a major
steelworks completed in record time.
He returned to Australia in late 1967 as general manager of the Melbourne precasting
company High Strength Concrete Pty Ltd. However the company was already irretrievably
insolvent on his arrival and he formed a new company, Applied Research and Development
Pty Ltd of which he was part owner, to undertake commercial testing of concrete and R&D
concrete projects, using the premises vacated by the insolvent company.
In 1973 he started his present company, Concrete Advice Pty Ltd. Initially it was a quite
general consultancy in any aspect of concrete technology but soon came to specialise in QC
on major city buildings including Collins Place, World Trade Centre, Arts Centre, Concert
Hall, Rialto and many others.
In the early 1980s Day started a major subsidiary in Singapore, which was later bought out
by CEBTP, a major French laboratory organisation when he was unable to give sufficient
attention to both companies. The company owned and operated control laboratories on
several major projects in Singapore and Malaysia, including the 300,000cu m Marina Square
project and several major precast housing plants, and introduced a standard of control and
testing new to the area. Services were also provided in Hong Kong, Indonesia and the
In 1985-86 the company was left inactive while Day spent two years working with the
Australian Govt. Airfield Construction Branch. It was mainly during this period that the Conad
system was first computerised as a Lotus spreadsheet. Although this was done by K. Day
alone, and contained many of the features of the current system, he has no expertise in
compiled programming of computers. Subsequent versions were written firstly by his son
Peter and later by employing several programmers.
A first draft of his book "Concrete Mix Design, Quality Control and Specification" was also
written in this period but no Australian publisher was interested.
In 1987 Day returned to Melbourne and used his new computerised control system on
several major buildings on behalf of consulting engineers. The system performed so
impressively on one project (Southgate) being supplied by CSR Readymix that this company
purchased a licence to use the system for its own control. From this point on the system was
entirely marketed to the readymix industry, achieving major sales in Singapore, Malaysia,
South Africa, New Zealand and China.
During this period Day was especially active in submitting papers at conferences and for
publication and was asked by the editor at Spon in the UK whether he had ever considered
writing a book. Of course the 1986 draft was produced and surprisingly was considered a
suitable starting point and still "somewhat ahead of its time"! The first edition was eventually
published in 1995 and a second edition followed in 1999 to accommodate the change to the
Windows computer operating system.
Only one sale of the system was achieved in USA in this period. This was to Maricopa
Readymix of Phoenix, Arizona in 1999. When Day hinted that he might consider retiring in
2000, this company made an offer to purchase Concrete Advice Pty Ltd and it was sold in
early 2001. The company was then on-sold to Command Alkon Inc. in December 2002. In
both cases Day was required to be a part-time consultant to the owner under the terms of
sale. This arrangement terminates in Dec 2004.
Although CAl is a major international company, and has indicated its eventual intention to
spread the ConAd system worldwide, its initial concentration (apart from servicing existing
clients in several countries) has been on USA and on major clients. Day wishes to see his
concepts spread as widely as possible and sees them as being valuable to any size of
concrete producer anywhere in the world. Hence the opportunity is provided, through this
website, to make free use of the basic concepts with the support of Day if required. The full
ConAd program is of course vastly more comprehensive than just the basic concepts and it
is anticipated that any producer with a substantial turnover will wish to progress to it after
experiencing the power of the basic concepts.
In 2006 he was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his developments in concrete QC
by CanmetlACI. While in Canada he joined with former competitors Shilstone and Contek in
an attempt to develop an even more advanced program for mix design and QC but this did
not work out.
He is also taking a keen interest in geopolymer concrete (concrete containing no Portland
Cement) in conjunction with Zeobond at Melbourne University. This material could become
very important in the future, as anticipated in the 3rd edition of his textbook (see elsewhere
on this site).
Another interest is in the promotion of flyash usage in India and other parts of S.E. Asia, in
conjunction with Hazelberg Asia.
In 2008 he gave three papers at the FIB Symposium in Amsterdam, one of them on P2P in
substitution for an NRMCA delegate when they could not attend. The other two papers were
a presentation of his "Just-in-Time" mix design system and a last dig at the European control
system EN206 which he considers distinctly outdated.
Acting as a reviewer for ACI, he advised against acceptance of a new version of ACI214
(evaluation of test data) and it is being re-written.
This year, 2009, apart from intensive worldwide correspondence and intensive study in
preparation for OWICS 2009 (which may be his last public presentation) he has worked on
mix design and QC for permeable concrete blocks and on specifications for durable
Ken Day's contribution in previous OWICS Conferences:
"FUTURECRETE - The Future of Concrete in a Greener World"
2007-Keynote Paper: "Multigrade, multivariable, cusum quality control" ... proc page 029
2004-Keynote Paper: "Regulating concrete quality" ... proc page 039
2000- "Controlling ready-mixed concrete production: the state of the art" ... -proc page 045
1997-"Technical Development in Ready-ixed Concrete Production" ... proc page 003
1983-"Concrete Quality Control in Singapore" ... proc page 201
1982-"Expanding the Limits" ... proc page 496
1981-"Concrete in Singapore - The Current Problems" .. proc page- 232.