Rupert's research expertise spans industrial ecology through to chemistry of mineral systems (e.g., concrete).
His research approach integrates deep technical analysis (experimental [laboratory, synchrotron] and modelling) of specific materials into industrial ecology models of the physical economy (potentially globally and across all industrial processes and materials). This approach is needed to appropriately understand the environmental burdens of material technologies (status quo and novel) and their substitutions at the whole system level. Significantly, it addresses the key gap between:
• Traditional materials research, which usually focusses on improving performance of individual technologies at relatively high technical detail; and
• Common sustainable engineering methods such as material flow analysis (MFA), which are often used to study technologies at relatively low technical detail.
Specifically, Rupert's research expertise includes criticality, MFA, life cycle assessment (LCA), material classification & policy, waste/by-product valorisation and circular economy, aquatic chemistry, solid/liquid equilibrium, and cement science (various experimental [laboratory & synchrotron] and modelling techniques).
Questions and themes that Rupert and his group are interested in include: how can we efficiently use available resources while also reducing life cycle environmental impacts, valorise more wastes/by-products more effectively, and achieve sustainable development within the paradigm of critical materials and energy resources?
Research Student Supervision
Gao,M, (PhD student) Durability impact assessment of concrete structures
Georgiades,M, (PhD student) Prospective life cycle assessment of cementitious materials
Mason,A, (PhD student) Resource-service requirements for biodiverse ecosystems
Ross,EA, (PhD student) Long-term performance of PO4-based backfill cements in repository environments for depleted natural and low enriched uranium disposal
Yayla,A, (PhD student) Supply and demand of biomass-based construction materials
Zhang,M, (PhD student) Thermodynamics of Na-Fe-Si hydrate gel
Zhuge,Y, (PhD student) Functionally graded carbonated reinforced concrete