Imperial College London

Dr Alalea Kia

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advanced Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 Website




309ASkempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





I am a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and a Royal Academy of Engineering Associate Research Fellow in the UKCRIC Centre for Infrastructure Materials of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

My research involves the development of a high-strength clogging resistant permeable pavement (also known as Kiacrete) capable of retaining sufficient porosity and permeability for stormwater infiltration without requiring frequent maintenance. This innovative system (international patent PCT/GB2019/053217), that is not only resistant to clogging but also has high permeability, compressive strength and durability, will help alleviate the impact of climate change, including urban flooding, stormwater runoff and future extreme weather events. I have deployed my innovation at a large-scale at Imperial College's White City Campus in August 2020, with long-term drainage and durability monitoring showing excellent performance

My research has been recognised through several fellowships and awards including being chosen as one of the 2022 ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering’ by the Women’s Engineering Society, receiving the ‘Hawley Award for Engineering Innovation’ by the Worshipful Company of Engineers and Engineering Council as well as being awarded the Imperial College London President’s Medal for Excellence in Research in 2023. I have also received numerous invitations to write about the novelty and benefits of my technology in the Concrete Society’s ‘Concrete Magazine’ and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining’s ‘Clay Technology’ magazine, and have been featured in the Concrete Centre’s ‘Concrete Quarterly’ publication,  CIHT's Transport Professional newsletter and Issue 52 of the ‘Imperial Magazine’.

My research interests include urban flood mitigation and adaptation, sustainable drainage systems, permeable concrete pavements and their application in extreme weather and loading scenarios, multi-scale experimental and numerical modelling methods and durability of cement-based materials. 

Outstanding students and researchers are always welcome to reach out about potential PhD, postdoc, visiting researcher, MEng and MSc research project opportunities in my group, the Resilient Sustainable Infrastructure Group. We continuously recruit candidates for our fully funded positions.

I completed my Masters of Engineering (MEng) degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University College London in 2014 with First Class Honours. I joined the Structures section to undertake a PhD in 'the control of clogging in permeable concrete pavements', which I completed in 2019. In the subsequent two years, I was a Research Associate in the Materials section developing a prototype delivery system for my novel laboratory concept to be delivered at a commercial scale.

I am also the Founder of Permia, a spin-out company with the aim of maximising the impact of my research. My featured Institution of Civil Engineers' (ICE) profile can be viewed here.

View my Britpave 2022 conference on constructing the 100 year concrete road talk here, Transition to Zero Pollution talk here, sustainable water management podcast here, my Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation COP26 showcase event on net-zero infrastructure here and my talk on EUPAVE's best practices in concrete paving here

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Kia A, 2023, Freeze-thaw durability of air-entrained high-strength clogging resistant permeable pavements, Construction and Building Materials, Vol:400, ISSN:0950-0618, Pages:1-10

Ghalandari T, Kia A, Taborda DMG, et al., 2023, Thermal performance optimisation of Pavement Solar Collectors using response surface methodology, Renewable Energy, Vol:210, ISSN:0960-1481, Pages:656-670

Kia A, Wong HS, Cheeseman CR, 2022, Freeze–thaw durability of conventional and novel permeable pavement replacement, Journal of Transportation Engineering Part B-pavements, Vol:148, ISSN:2573-5438

Kia A, Delens J, Wong H, et al., 2021, Structural and hydrological design of permeable concrete pavements, Case Studies in Construction Materials, Vol:15, ISSN:2214-5095

Kia A, Wong H, Cheeseman C, 2019, High-strength clogging resistant permeable pavement, International Journal of Pavement Engineering, Vol:22, ISSN:1029-8436, Pages:271-282

Kia A, Wong HS, Cheeseman C, 2018, Defining clogging potential for permeable concrete, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol:220, ISSN:0301-4797, Pages:44-53

Kia A, Wong HS, Cheeseman CR, 2017, Clogging in permeable concrete: a review, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol:193, ISSN:0301-4797, Pages:221-233


Kia A, 2023, Permeable concrete pavements for a climate change resilient built environment, Adapting the Built Environment for Climate Change, Editor(s): Pacheco-Torgal, Granqvist


Kia A, Cheeseman CR, Wong H, Control of clogging in conventional permeable concrete and development of a new high strength clogging resistant permeable concrete pavement, 38th Cement and Concrete Science Conference

Kia A, Wong HS, Cheeseman CR, Development of clogging resistant permeable concrete, 13th International Symposium on Concrete Roads

Kia A, Wong HS, Cheeseman CR, Development of clogging resistant permeable concrete, Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Research and Innovations for Design of Sustainable and Durable Concrete Pavements

Kia A, Wong HS, Cheeseman CR, Examining the clogging potential of permeable concrete and development of a high strength clogging resistant system, 4th Young Researcher’s Forum

Kia A, Wong H, Cheeseman CR, CLOGGING POTENTIAL OF PERMEABLE CONCRETE, 37th Cement and Concrete Science Conference


Kia A, Cheeseman C, Wong H, 2022, High Strength Porous Cement-Based Materials, US20220010500A1

Kia A, Wong H, Cheeseman C, 2018, High strength porous cement-based materials, P120039GB

More Publications