Imperial College London

Professor Nick Buenfeld

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor of Concrete Structures



n.buenfeld Website




228BSkempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus




Research themes/projects

Most of the world's infrastructure is built from concrete. The premature deterioration of concrete structures is a major global problem with estimated repair costs in the order of billions in the UK alone. There are at least 10 different ageing processes that may negatively affect a concrete structure.  I seek to observe, measure, understand and model these so that we can predict long-term behaviour, look after our existing infrastructure more effectively and design new structures to be more sustainable.

My more fundamental research has been funded by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) - 24 grants/projects listed here amounting to around £16m - and by the European Commission.

I am a founding member of UKCRIC, a multi-university initiative aiming to transform the UK's research on civil infrastructure supported by a capital grant of £138m from BEIS and creating the Advanced Infrastructure Materials Lab at Imperial.

My more applied research has been funded by, amongst others, the UK Department of Trade and Industry, the National Physical Laboratory, CIRIA, Highways England, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, NIREX, London Underground Ltd, Fosroc International and Lafarge.  

I have authored/co-authored around 240 publications, the majority in peer-reviewed international journals - these can be viewed via the PUBLICATIONS tab above.

Research group members

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Prof Hong Wong, an internationally leading expert in the microstructural characterisation of cement-based materials, is my most significant collaborator.  I am also indebted to other past and present members of my Concrete Durability Group. 

  • Dr Emeka Agbasi
  • Dr Yousef Ahmed
  • Dr James Aldred
  • Dr Muthena Alisa
  • Dr Sukina Alzyoud
  • Prof Ki Yong Ann
  • Dr Chanakya Arya
  • Mr Roy Baxter
  • Dr Said El Belbol
  • Dr Xi Chen
  • Dr Ron Davies
  • Dr Saeed Dehghanpoor
  • Dr Mohammad Denno
  • Dr Nadir Hassanein
  • Dr Alaa Hassanein
  • Dr Waleed Khushefati
  • Dr Dennis Lee
  • Dr Jia Xiang Liew
  • Dr Iain McLoughlin
  • Mr Andrew Morris
  • Dr Bharti Reddy
  • Mr. Young Han Shin
  • Dr Tarek Shurafa-Daoudi
  • Prof Julia Stegemann
  • Dr John Stewart
  • Dr Rob Sweeney
  • Dr Stella Syropoulou
  • Ms Eleanor Tipping
  • Dr Fatmawati Wahid
  • Dr Zhigen Wu
  • Dr Marcus Yio
  • Dr J-Z Zhang 
  • Dr Kai Zhang


show research

My research group has labs for preparing specimens, simulating/accelerating natural exposure and monitoring deterioration. We have a dedicated microscopy suite for observing the microstructural effects of ageing with state-of-the-art field emission scanning electron, confocal and optical microscopes. These are complimented by EDX and microXRF instruments for mapping chemical composition.  Ageing is almost always controlled by transport phenomena and we have developed a unique range of laboratory tests for measuring all of the ionic and molecular transport processes involved.  We also have extensive facilities for surface, pore structure and chemical characterization, vibrational spectroscopy and corrosion monitoring, in addition to more conventional concrete technology and structural testing labs.  Our lab-based research is complemented by a range of computer-based models, especially for use in service life prediction.