Contact angle

Improving construction materials to make infrastructure more sustainable and durable will be the focus of research at a new 5.4 million pound lab

Construction materials underpin our whole society, but we are lagging behind in terms of developing them to meet the complex needs of our modern world. These days materials need to last, be cost effective to make, but also need to be environmentally friendly and enable us to conjure up ever more effective and aesthetically pleasing structures. That is why our new Centre is so important, because it will help to fill the research gap and enable us to develop materials that meet our complex construction needs"

Professor Nick Buenfeld

Project lead and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Bridges, tunnels, and flood defences are some examples of the underpinning infrastructure that keep modern societies functioning. However, one of the major challenges for governments and industry is the drain placed on public and private finances by maintaining such infrastructure over the long-term. Each year, around 50 per cent of the UK’s construction budget is spent solely on upgrading existing infrastructure.

The Advanced Infrastructure Materials Laboratory (AIM) will be the centrepiece of a new Imperial Centre for Infrastructure Materials where researchers will develop a new generation of construction materials that are more durable and robust, able to withstand ever heavier loads, and more cost effective to manufacture and maintain.

The Centre has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The team will also receive a further £3.6 million to create a network of collaborations with academic institutions across the country – taking the funding total to £9 million for Imperial.

As part of the new national centre, the University of Leeds will establish an Infrastructure Materials Exposure Facility, which will be used to analyse how new materials stand-up to long-term weathering conditions associated with ageing infrastructure. The other member of the national centre, the University of Manchester, is establishing a Fire and Impact Laboratory, where new materials will be subjected to extreme conditions to determine their robustness.

Our academic and research staff and students

Materials Academic and Teaching Staff A-Z

PhotoDetails
 Craig Buchanan

Craig Buchanan

Lecturer in Construction, PhD
3D printing, metals, material testing, structural testing, finite element modelling.
 Nick Buenfeld

Nick Buenfeld

Professor of Concrete Structures and Head of Department, PhD, DIC, FICE, FIStructE, FREng
Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Concrete structures; Deterioration mechanisms; Design for durability; Condition assessment and monitoring; Life prediction of new and existing concrete structures. 
 Chris Cheeseman

Chris Cheeseman

Professor of Materials Resources Engineering, PhD, MCIWM
Head of Materials Section
Director of EPSRC CDT Sustainable Civil Engineering
Waste management; Beneficial reuse of wastes; Low -carbon materials; Waste encapsulation technologies.
 Hong Wong

Hong Wong

Reader in Structures and Materials, PhD, DIC
Microstructure characterisation; Concrete petrography; Image analysis; Degradation of concrete structures; Modelling performance from microstructure.
Materials Academics A-Z
Structures Academics A-Z

Materials Research Staff A-Z

PhotoDetails
 Alalea Kia

Alalea Kia

Research Associate, PhD
Permeable concrete; Concrete pavement design; Durability of cement-based materials; Pore structure; Cementitious materials
Email Alalea
 Marcus Yio

Marcus Yio

Research Associate, PhD
Laboratory Manager for the new Centre for Infrastructure Materials (CIM)
Cementitious materials; Concrete durability; Microstructure; Microscopy; Image analysis
Email Marcus
Materials Research Staff A-Z

Materials Research Students A-Z

PhotoDetails
Xi Chen

Xi Chen

Started Oct 2017
Concrete durability
Supervised by: Wong, H.S.; Buenfeld, N.R.
Email Xi
Sam Draper

Sam Draper

Started Oct 2017
Microstructure and durability of concrete prepared using new multi-component cements
Supervised by: Wong, H.S.; Cheeseman, C.R.; Buenfeld, N.R.;
Email Sam
 Alexander Kumi-Larbi

Alexander Kumi-Larbi 

Started July 2018
The use of waste plastic composites as an alternative low-cost construction material
Supervised by: Cheeseman, C.R.; Wilson, D.C. 
Email Alexander
 Jia Xiang Liew

Jia Xiang Liew

Started Oct 2018
Concrete structures with smart reinforcements
Supervised by: Buenfeld, N.R.Wong, H.S.
Email Jia
 Roshni Limbachiya

Roshni Limbachiya

Started Oct 2017
Manufacturing low-C02 glass supplementary for cementitious materials from waste materials 
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Cheeseman, C.R.
Email Roshni
 Barnaby Shanks

Barnaby Shanks

Started Oct 2018
Investigating new low-carbon cements based on MgO/silica components of olivine
Supervised by: Cheeseman, C.R.; Wong, H.S.;
Email Barney
Terry Ugama

Terry Ugama

Started Apr 2019
New low carbon cement for sustainable infrastructure development manufactured from olivine
Supervised by: Wong, H.S.Cheeseman, C.R.
Email Terry
Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson

Started Oct 2018
Reducing the impact of nanoparticle emissions during concrete production and recycling
Supervised by: Stettler, MEJ.Wong, H.S.Fowler, G.D.Cheeseman, C.R.
Email Amy 
Kai Zhang

Kai Zhang

Started Oct 2017
Durability assessment of novel cements and concretes
Supervised by: Wong, H.S.Buenfeld, N.
Email Kai
Shiying Zheng

Shiying Zheng

Started Aug 2018
Hydrophobic concrete
Supervised by: Wong, H.S.Cheeseman, C.R.
Email Shiying
Materials Research Students A-Z
Systems Academics A-Z

Technical and Administrative Staff (A-Z)

PhotoDetails
 Placeholder

Andrew Morris

Laboratory Technician, Structures
Room 236, +44 (0)207 594 5954, Email Andrew
Materials Technical and Administrative Staff
Systems Academics A-Z