Prof. Joe G. Cabrera

Professor Joseph G. Cabrera
1933 - 1999

The Board of ISCOWA has the sad task to inform you, that Professor Joseph Cabrera died peacefully on Friday 20th August 1999 after a long illness. With him we loose a great and stimulating engineer and a friend.

Joseph German Cabrera was born in Bolivia on 2nd November 1933. His professional career began in 1957 when he became a Design Engineer for Thompson Cornwall Inc., based in Bolivia and USA, working on the design of concrete bridges and concrete pavements.

Between 1959 and 1965 Joseph Cabrera progressed from Resident Engineer to Project Engineer and on to become Head of Construction with the Bolivian Development Corporation. During this time he designed the highest and longest runway in the world at La Paz in his native Bolivia, at an altitude of 4,300m, which demanded a length of 6 kilometres.

Joseph Cabrera came to the United Kingdom with his family in 1966. After completing a Diploma of Administration at the University of Leeds, Department of Economics, he commenced lecturing in Highway Materials, Highway Design and Pavement Design in the School of Civil Engineering. He organised courses in Highway Construction, Bridge Performance Evaluation, Advanced Concrete Materials and Materials for Repair and Maintenance.

Joseph Cabrera was appointed Senior Lecturer and then Reader in Civil engineering Materials, and in 1992 he organised and led the Civil Engineering Materials Unit (CEMU), now a recognised international centre due to its contributions to the Advancement of Concrete Science and Technology. During his academic career, Professor Cabrera supervised more than 65 doctoral students, who have gone on to become industrial leaders or successful academics.

He wrote extensively in the area of concrete and bituminous composites and the use of waste materials in Civil Engineering, particularly the use of fly ash. He had published more than 200 papers in journals and proceedings of conferences. He was an excellent teacher.

In 1994 he won the ISCOWA GOLD MEDAL for his contribution to the use of waste materials in Civil Engineering. In 1996 and 1998 he was honoured by ACI/CANMET for his outstanding and original contributions to research in respect of design for concrete durability.

Joseph Cabrera was a keen member of the Concrete Society and also a member of various International Committees, i.e. the American Concrete Institute, RILEM and CEB. He was Visiting Professor to the Universities of Paraiba in Brazil, Cantabria in Spain, Bahrain and USM in Malaysia.