My research lies in the area of microstructure, mass transport and durability of cementitious materials. The aim is to develop more durable and sustainable concrete structures through fundamental understanding of how microstructure influences macroscopic properties. Key questions that drive my work are: a) How to quantify microstructure that is inherently complex, multiscale and multiphase? b) How do pores, cracks, interfaces and phase assemblage influence mass transport and deterioration processes? c) How to assess current performance and predict long-term behaviour from microstructural data? d) How to re-engineer the microstructure to design novel materials with improved performance, sustainability and durability?
Examples of research include developing three-dimensional imaging and quantitative analysis of microstructure, understanding the effects of pores, microcracks and interfaces, modelling transport from microstructure and petrographic assessment of concrete composition and water/cement ratio. More recently, I have worked on developing reinforcement spacers for durable structures, supplementary cementitious materials from excavated waste clay, self-healing concrete and clogging-resistant permeable concrete.
I serve on the Editorial Board of Cement and Concrete Research and was Guest Editor for the journal Materials on its special issue: Image Analysis and Processing for Cement-based Materials. I am the Chair of Scientific Committee and Steering Committee member of Nanocem, an international consortium of 23 academic and 10 industrial partners that supports fundamental research on nano/micro-scale phenomena governing cement and concrete performance. I also serve as Executive Committee member of the Applied Petrography Group, an industry-led group that promotes the use of petrographic methods for construction materials. I am a full member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, ESF College of Expert Reviewers, invited reviewer for FWO, NWO, RGC, JSPS and over 35 periodicals.
I enjoy teaching and contribute to delivering MEng and MSc modules on Concrete Materials, Reinforced Concrete Design, Structural Mechanics and Sustainable Development. Within the Department, I am the Undergraduate Year 2 Coordinator and Postdocs & Fellows Champion. I was recipient of the 2017 CivSoc Student Choice Award for Best Lecturer.
Currently, I am Steering Committee member of the APG inter-laboratory trial on methods for determining water/cement ratio of hardened concrete, and member of RILEM TC 262-SCI on understanding steel-concrete interface and chloride-induced corrosion initiation. I also work as consultant on a range of industry projects linked to my research thru Imperial Consultants (ICON).
I grew up in Kuala Lumpur and trained as a civil engineer at the University of Malaya, gaining a first-class honours degree followed by a research MSc on calcined clay for high-performance concrete. I then joined Imperial College London to pursue a PhD on developing quantitative backscattered electron microscopy for characterising concrete microstructure. My thesis was awarded the 2006 W.C. Unwin prize. Following that, I was a Research Associate on modelling mass transport processes using the techniques developed during my doctoral studies. I was appointed to academic staff member in 2010. When not working, I am busy raising two hyperactive kids. As an amateur blues-rock guitarist, I am always keen to link with other like-minded musicians.
Microstructure characterisation, concrete petrography, image analysis, durability of concrete structures, mass transport properties, modelling properties from microstructure.
Wu Z, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2017, Transport properties of concrete after drying-wetting regimes to elucidate the effects of moisture content, hysteresis and microcracking, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:98, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:136-154
Alzyoud S, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2016, Influence of reinforcement spacers on mass transport properties and durability of concrete structures, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:87, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:31-44
Abyaneh SD, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2016, Simulating the effect of microcracks on the diffusivity and permeability of concrete using a three-dimensional model, Computational Materials Science, Vol:119, ISSN:0927-0256, Pages:130-143
Lee HXD, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2016, Self-sealing of cracks in concrete using superabsorbent polymers, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:79, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:194-208
et al., 2015, Hydrophobic concrete using waste paper sludge ash, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:70, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:9-20
et al., 2015, 3D imaging of cement-based materials at submicron resolution by combining laser scanning confocal microscopy with serial sectioning, Journal of Microscopy, Vol:258, ISSN:1365-2818, Pages:151-169
Wu Z, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2015, Influence of drying-induced microcracking and related size effects on mass transport properties of concrete, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:68, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:35-48
Abyaneh SD, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2014, Computational investigation of capillary absorption in concrete using a three-dimensional mesoscale approach, Computational Materials Science, Vol:87, ISSN:0927-0256, Pages:54-64
et al., 2014, Determining the slag fraction, water/binder ratio and degree of hydration in hardened cement pastes, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:56, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:171-181
Abyaneh SD, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2013, Modelling the diffusivity of mortar and concrete using a three-dimensional mesostructure with several aggregate shapes, Computational Materials Science, Vol:78, ISSN:0927-0256, Pages:63-73
Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, Matter K, 2013, Estimating the original cement content and water-cement ratio of Portland cement concrete and mortar using backscattered electron microscopy, Magazine of Concrete Research, Vol:65, ISSN:0024-9831, Pages:693-706
Wong HS, Zimmerman RW, Buenfeld NR, 2012, Estimating the permeability of cement pastes and mortars using image analysis and effective medium theory, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:42, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:476-483