Imperial College London

Professor Nick Buenfeld

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Head of Department, Professor Concrete Structures



+44 (0)20 7594 5955n.buenfeld




Ms Lucy Chivers +44 (0)20 7594 6098




441/442Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





I am currently Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering, a department with around 330 undergraduates, 250 MSc students, 200 researchers, 50 full-time academics, 20 visiting and emeritus professors and 30 support staff.  Together we aim to develop the understanding, tools and people needed to create and maintain sustainable natural and built environments.  Civil engineers are central to addressing most of the major challenges currently facing the World – these include climate change mitigation/adaptation, diminishing natural resources, providing water for all, renewable energy, accommodating growing populations, sustainable urbanization, maintaining biodiversity, resilience of communities to natural and man-made extreme events, low carbon economy and extending the life of infrastructure.

My own research is directed at understanding and improving the long-term performance of the concrete structures that form most of our infrastructure.  Working as a graduate engineer on the design of large structures, I was struck by the mismatch between Society's need for durable infrastructure and the lack of evidence that this could be achieved. I joined Imperial as an MSc student wanting to discover more, stayed for a PhD and have since been a Research Fellow, Lecturer, Reader, Professor (since 2000) and Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2011.  You will find more on my research interests via the RESEARCH tab above and on my research group’s website -

My consultancy work has involved providing guidance to governments and to the designers and constructors of major infrastructure projects including the Great Man-Made River Project in Libya, the New Los Angeles Cathedral, the Beirut Sea Front Project, the Channel Tunnel, the Jubilee Line Extension, the new Tyne Tunnel, Tsing Ma and Tsing Lung Bridges in Hong Kong, Belgium's high level nuclear waste repository and the UK’s new nuclear power programme. 

I have had the pleasure of teaching philosophy of design, design and analysis of concrete structures, concrete technology, materials selection and materials science to undergraduates and MSc students at Imperial and have supervised around 30 PhDs (listed on my research group’s website) and 60 MSc research projects.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

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

Angst UM, Geiker MR, Michel A, et al., 2017, The steel-concrete interface, Materials and Structures, Vol:50, ISSN:1359-5997

Yio MHN, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2016, 3D Monte Carlo simulation of backscattered electron signal variation across pore-solid boundaries in cement-based materials, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:89, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:320-331

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

Yio MHN, Mac MJ, Wong HS, 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:0022-2720, 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

Yio MHN, Phelan JC, Wong HS, 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

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

Wong HS, Pappas AM, Zimmerman RW, et al., 2011, Effect of entrained air voids on the microstructure and mass transport properties of concrete, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol:41, ISSN:0008-8846, Pages:1067-1077

Wong HS, Zhao YX, Karimi AR, et al., 2010, On the penetration of corrosion products from reinforcing steel into concrete due to chloride-induced corrosion, Corrosion Science, Vol:52, ISSN:0010-938X, Pages:2469-2480

More Publications