Our PhD students

Our PhD students

Hong Huang

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Semantic-enhanced 3D reconstruction of building information models

Abstract: Timely and accurate monitoring of onsite construction operations can bring an immediate awareness on project specific issues. Despite their importance, the current practices are still time-consuming, costly, and prone to errors. To facilitate the process of collecting and analyzing performance data, researchers have focused on methods that can automatically assess ongoing operations. A major line of work has particularly focused on developing computer vision techniques that can leverage still images, time-lapse photos and video streams for documenting the work in progress and re-construct a geometric model of the construction site. However, extra semantic data have to be integrated into building information models (BIM) manually with the traditional approach. This project proposes an innovative method to enable semantic-rich information modelling by using computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies, so as to greatly improve the degree of automation in construction site management.


Cheng Chen

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Road surface defects detection and classification using big data analysis and artificial intelligence

Abstract: The detection of damage in infrastructure automatically is the trend in civil engineering field to prevent the severe collapse of infrastructure. Pavement damage information has to be collected and it can help to do the maintenance of pavement immediately, as pavement damage can often result in driving discomfort and cause traffic accidents and traffic jams. Pavement damage monitoring system is proposed based on the time-frequency analysis and the convolution neural network. Acceleration sensor and mobile phone installed in the acquisition vehicle collect response of vibration between the wheel and the road, including pavement damage, maintenance hole, and normal pavement. Due to the original vibration signal contains the only one-dimensional domain (time-acceleration), using time-frequency analysis including Short-Time Fourier Transform and Wavelet Transform can transfer a one-dimensional vibration signal into two-dimensional time-frequency energy spectrum matrix, further combining with CNN model (STFT – CNN and WT – CNN) can detect pavement damage automatically. The energy spectrum matrix obtained from STFT and WT can effectively obtain different signal characteristics in terms of time and frequency characteristics.


Han Zhang

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Lattice-Boltzmann studies on the effect of the morphological properties of porous media in immiscible displacements

Abstract: The understanding of immiscible two-phase flows in porous media is of critical importance in numerous industrial operations such as, enhanced oil recovery, geologic CO 2 sequestration, groundwater supply and remediation, catalytic processing in fixed bed reactors etc. The physical properties of the displaced immiscible fluid phases, such as density and viscosity ratios, fluid phase wettability, as well as flow conditions, such as driving forces, initial phase saturations etc., are only some of the factors that affect the relative fluid flow within porous media. However, it has been demonstrated that morphologically different porous media will result in different flow patterns during immiscible displacements, such as drainage and imbibition. The proposed study aims to investigate the impact of the morphological properties of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional porous structures, characterized by Minkowski functionals, in immiscible displacements, through the application of a high density ratio multi-relaxation time lattice-Boltzmann model.


Mengzhu Chen

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Flood Frequency Analysis in A Non-Stationary Environment

Abstract: Flood is one of the most common and significant natural disasters in the world. Over recent decades, accelerated population growth and changes in land-use patterns have resulted in increased human vulnerability to floods. Meanwhile, climate change may also increase the frequency and magnitude of flooding. Flood frequency analysis is always a cornerstone for flood risk control, hydraulic structures design and water resources management. However, the conventional flood frequency analysis is based on stationary assumption. Due to climate change and human intervention in river basins, the stationary assumption for flood frequency analysis has faced more and more challenges currently. It may result in underestimation of flood quantiles and increase the risk of failure of engineering structures. Therefore, taking non-stationarity into account may be crucial for human adaptation to the changing environment. This study focuses on nonstationary flood frequency analysis aiming to provide new insight into flood-generating mechanisms for improving the flood estimation under the changing environment.


Minyi Zhu

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: DEM simulations of triaxial behavior of structural concrete

Abstract: The response of concrete at a material level is characterised by a distinctly non-linear stress-strain behavior. Such a characteristic is already evident in the early portion of the stress–strain relations, becoming more pronounced as the ultimate state is approached. Such concrete behavior is an important constituent of the overall input required for the structural analysis of concrete structures. Information on the strength and deformational properties of concrete is usually obtained by testing cylinder or prism specimens under 1-D uniaxial compression, and then an elastic-plastic 3-D model is proposed to match the 1-D case without actually performing triaxial testings under generalized 3-D stress states. Such a practice is not always reliable, since using the artificial constitutive elastic-plastic continuum based 3-D model to represent a discontinuous material like concrete is always questionable. In attempt to reduce laboratory expenses, one would make predictions of a material’s behavior through numerical simulations, with the primary goal being to accelerate a normally trial and error experimental processes. The recent dramatic increase in computational power available for mathematical modelling and simulation raises the possibility that modern numerical methods, such as discrete element method (DEM), can play a significant role in the analysis of granular materials including concrete. The generalized 3-D stress states will be simulated using DEM along different stress paths for a concrete specimen, with a focus on the softening and failure stages due to the presence of flaws and how the bond at the contact affects these.


Naveen Revanna

Nationality: Indian

PhD Project: Experimental and numerical investigation of textile reinforced mortar for strengthening of RC members at elevated temperatures

Abstract: The use of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) has gained a lot of attention in recent years as a strengthening and repair method. The composite is known to be light weight and strong. However, one of the major drawbacks of FRP is its poor performance at elevated temperature. Textile reinforced mortar (TRM), on the other hand, has better fire resistance properties. TRM is also cheaper, using cement instead of a strong epoxy. Studies to understand the behaviour of TRM are rather limited and further investigations are required to understand its mechanism especially at high temperature. This project proposes to study the thermo-mechanical properties of TRM at ambient as well as elevated temperatures. A special focus will be devoted to finding if the fire resistance of the composite can be improved by adding additives to the mortar. In addition, full scale tests of reinforced concrete beams externally reinforced with TRM will be performed to assess its strengthening performance at elevated temperatures. Finite element modelling will be required for validating the experimental findings.


Pengliang Yang

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Experimental and analytical investigation on the behaviour of masonry structure strengthened with Textile Reinforced Mortars (TRMs) subjected to elevated temperatures

Abstract: Masonry structures are resistant to weakening with increasing temperatures. In addition, in the event of fire, they are expected to perform well in their load-bearing capacity and thermal insulation. This research tries to find answers to the following and other associated questions regarding strengthened masonry structures with TRM system. Textile reinforced mortar (TRM) is a composite material comprising fibric textile embedded in cementitious matrix. To achieve this goal, by applying international standards and regulations, several types of strengthened masonry structure needs to be investigated. Additionally, this research would lead new approaches and numerical model of TRMs in strengthening the masonry structures and better understand their reactions against fire. Applying strengthening materials needs be verified to confirm that they do not have destructive impact on the resistance of masonry structure against fire. Plus, by improving resistance of masonry component against fire, less materials and thinner walls and columns would be required and this would save economically in building masonry structures.


Prateek Kumar Singh

Nationality: Indian

PhD Project: Study on the flow structure of asymmetric compound channel

Abstract: Compound channels (i.e. a deep main channel with associated shallow floodplains) play an increasingly important role in flood control project, river ecological restoration, urban river landscape design, and water environmental protection. Compound channel flow is far more complex from simple channel flow. Recent studies show that the momentum exchange has a significant impact on the flow structure of both symmetric compound channels and asymmetric ones with one floodplain, which have different flow structures. Asymmetric compound channel with two floodplains widely exists in natural rivers, but has not been studied ever before. This project aims an in-depth study on the flow structure of such a commonly-existing compound channel. Through the experiment study combined with numerical simulation method, we can obtain a comprehensive understanding of momentum exchange between main channel and floodplain, in order to accurately predict flow velocity, shear stress distribution, and channel capacity. The outcome will provide a scientific basis for river flood regulation, urban river landscape design, flood risk and environmental assessment, and the transport and control of pollutants.
The primary aim of this project is to understand the flow structure of an asymmetric compound channel by:
1) Investigating velocity and turbulence characteristics of asymmetric compound channel flows via experiments (mainly) and CFD modelling
2) Studying the flow resistance and discharge, including the zonal discharge (main channel and floodplain respectively)
3) Develop an approach for predicting flow resistance, velocity distribution and discharge including zonal discharge using the results from Objectives 1 & 2.


Ricardo Chan

Nationality: Brazilian

PhD Project: Potential of Sustainable Functionally Graded Concrete Pavements

Abstract: China has undergone rapid economic development over the past few decades and with it an equally rapid expansion of its road network. This trend is likely to continue and since environmental issues are becoming ever more important, it is essential that sustainable solutions are utilized in infrastructure development. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the use of different economical and environmentally friendly solutions for producing pavements. The functionally graded material concept may be applied to concrete to create more efficient structures, and the combination of this concept using recycled aggregates and fibres as concrete reinforcement would improve the technological and environmental drawbacks of traditional concrete. This proposed project aims to investigate the feasibility of using functionally graded concrete (FGC) fabricated with steel fibres and recycled aggregates to produce pavements. In that sense, different types of FGC mixes will be studied and compared, and optimization methods and control systems will be proposed and a sustainable analysis comparing the different FGC will be performed to determine the feasibility of their use on pavements.


Shiwang Yu

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: A System Dynamic Model for Assessing Environmental Benefits from Recycling Construction Waste during Construction Stage

Abstract: Large scale of urbanization and city renewal has generated too much construction waste, which leads to significant environmental influences. Recycling construction contributes to sustainable development of construction industry and better environmental benefits. This proposed research aims to better understand the environmental benefits of recycling construction waste in construction stage. STELLA software will be adopted to develop system dynamics model to assess the environmental benefits of recycling construction waste. The findings of the proposed research are expected to provide reliable and scientific support on construction waste decrease and recycle.


Silas Oluwadahunsi

Nationality: Nigerian

PhD Project: Cold-formed Steel Joist and High-Strength Concrete Slab Composite System

Abstract: Flooring systems are considered the largest contributor to the dead load of steel buildings, especially high-rise ones. However, the reduction in weight offered by composite floors has made them the preferred floor system in recent decades. The underlining idea of composite construction is to take advantage of both steel and concrete material properties while minimizing the disadvantages inherent in them. The use of cold-formed steel joist as an alternative to hot-rolled steel in composite floor systems has been gaining significant interest lately. This is due to some of its advantages over hot-rolled steel which include environmental-friendly production and higher strength-to-weight ratios. However, cold-formed steel application is often limited by buckling phenomena due to light gauge sections. Besides, the codes of practice do not adequately provide for the design of cold-formed steel composite sections. In light of that, this research aims to develop an efficient composite beam system for short and medium-span applications, and to provide validated analytical and numerical models for the prediction of its structural properties and behaviour.


Temitope Emmanuel Dada

Nationality: Nigerian
PhD Project: Numerical and experimental investigations of compressive behaviour of FRP-confined waste-containing concrete columns.

PhD Project: Numerical and experimental investigations of compressive behaviour of FRP-confined waste-containing concrete columns

Abstract: Prosperous construction industry causes enormous carbon-dioxide emission and demolished building wastes, which have significant negative environmental impacts. The utilisation of recycled wastes in concrete production has been proved to be an effective approach to mitigating these environmental problems. However, extensive studies have shown that using recycled wastes in concrete can lead to a decreased performance of concrete in aspects of workability, strength, stiffness and durability. Although various strengthening techniques were developed, further investigation on the behaviour of strengthened concrete is required, and more experimental data are expected to refine existing constitutive models. In order to improve the mechanical properties of waste-containing concrete and explore its potential in structural applications, this project will focus on the compressive behaviour of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) confined waste-containing concrete.


Wenting Ma

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: A system dynamic model for assessing environmental benefits from recycling construction waste during construction stage

Abstract: The construction waste is a critical issue in China. The recycling construction waste during construction stage is an effective method for mitigating environmental impact of construction waste. However, recycling construction waste in the construction stage in China is still in the early stage in the practice mainly because the recycling construction waste during construction stage is a very complex system including the impact and contributes of stakeholders, designers, contractors and government policies resulting in sophisticated interactions and multiple feedbacks. This research will provide a dynamic approach systematically assessing the environmental benefit of recycling construction waste during construction stage by developing a SD simulation model. It could be anticipated that the research outcomes could provide valuable scientific evidence to stakeholders to better understand the environmental benefit of recycling construction waste during construction stage and make decision based on the result. The methodology of this research could provide a valuable reference for researchers who are willing to conduct similar research using SD model approach.


Xiaohua Lin

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Sustainable Stormwater Management in China: Focus on implementation of LIDs in Sponge City Programme

Abstract: The sustainable stormwater management practices have been developed and successfully implemented in many countries, such as Low Impact Development (LID) in the US, Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) in the UK, Low Impact Urban Design and Development ( LIUDD) in New Zealand and Australia’s Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), etc. China formally announced a policy initiative to build “sponge cities” designed to tackle urban water problems, flooding and stormwater management in 2014, and the design of LID stormwater system is a significant process in the programme. This project will carry out the study on the implementation of LIDs in China’s sponge city programme, focus on: (1) assessing the hydrologic performance of different designs of LID practices in the study catchment, and identifying the optimal design for more effective management of stormwater runoff and mitigation of local scale flooding. (2) examining the effectiveness of the LID design under high precipitation events for further developing a resilient stormwater system to cope with extreme rainfall events. (3) modeling future scenarios to investigate the feasibility of the LID stormwater system and its response to potential future changes.


Yang Zhao

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Displacement monitoring of civil Engineering structures using laser scanner

Abstract: In this research a 3D laser scanner was used to monitor displacement of retaining structures for excavation, including a ring beam and a reinforced soil mixing wall (SMW) at an open excavation site. Eight scans of the retaining structures were taken during and after the excavation. 3D point clouds of the retaining structures produced with these scans were registered and analysed to determine displacements of the retaining structures. Several cloud comparison methods were applied, including PAM, C2C, C2M and M3C2, to identify displacement along the length of ring beam and height of the SMW. The displacement obtained using the cloud comparison methods were validated against displacement measured by inclinometer and total station. Observation of deformation of surface soil layer on SMW falsified displacement estimation. Then, a machine-learning method (CANUPO) was applied to detect and delete positions affected by surface soil collapsing, and the displacement was re-estimated based on the revised point clouds. The revised displacement profile showed better consistency than the initial displacement profile. 3D laser scanning technique can provide structural displacement profile at high resolution in a wide range but its accuracy is marginally lower than the general requirement of structural monitoring. Therefore, it is concluded that laser scanning can act as a supplementary but not a replacement to the traditional structural monitoring techniques. It is suggested further research to be conducted on the development of 3D laser scanner and analysis of 3D point clouds to further realise the application of 3D laser scanning technique in structural monitoring.


Yuanzhi Cai

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Information extraction from large point cloud datasets

Abstract: Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is a sensing technique that has been used widely for mapping the terrain surface for a range of applications. For example, multi-temporal TLS data can be used to measure surface movements caused by landslides. The data acquired consist of a set of topographic data points known as a point cloud. In TLS survey campaigns, it is a common practice to oversample the terrain surface. As a result, the spatial resolution of a TLS point cloud is often very fine, bringing great challenges for data processing especially when such type of data is exported to third-party software for further processing. In such cases, it is often necessary to select a subsample of a lower spatial resolution from the original point cloud (i.e. data sampling) while a user-define accuracy requirement is met. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive study on data sampling of TLS point clouds representing terrain surfaces, which forms the focus of this project.


Yutong Guan

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Effect of Vegetation Patch on Compound Channel Flows

Abstract: A compound vegetated channel commonly exists in natural environment. Over recent decades, many researchers have taken interests in this field. The hydraulic characteristics of flow over vegetated compound channels are complex. Basically, vegetation affects significantly on the flow resistance and turbulence, resulting in affecting sediments, nutrients and contaminants transportation. Thus, understanding of the vegetation impact on flow structures is important for water resources utilization. However, most of the attention on vegetated channel flow is focusing on straight channels or symmetric compound channels, there are rare studies investigating the vegetation impact on asymmetric compound channels. In order to fill this research gap, this study aims at researching the impact of vegetation patches on flow structure (i.e. flow velocity, flow resistance and discharge rate) of compound channels.
The theoretical prediction of this research is based on SKM (Shiono and Knight Method) and the analytical solution is mainly developed from (Stone and Shen, 2002). A series of experiments would be conducted for model analysing. This study will investigate the effect of vegetation density, vegetation arrangement, vegetation height (related to emergent or fully-submerged), geometry characteristics and discharge on the flow structures. Given the simplicity, only rigid vegetation (represented by dowels) is simulated in this research. However, as flexible vegetation is widely observed in natural waterways and the flow characteristics over flexible plants are found to be significantly different from those over rigid plants, future research of flexible vegetation impact on flow structures is recommended.


Liu Zuowei

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Bio-Based Cementitious Composites with Recycled Wastes

Abstract: Replacing aggregate and cement by some recycle wastes, in concrete production, will not only decrease the solid waste pollution, but also eliminate pollution caused by producing new material. Different recycled waste has different influence on prosperity of concrete. At the same time, it has been evidenced that bacteria can heal concrete by producing calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation to fill cracks and holes inside of concrete. Therefore, this project will practice bio-based self-healing technic for modifying concrete with various recycles wastes such as fly ash (FA), waste crumb rubber, waste ceramic and waste glass and obtain the performance of the concrete including mechanics strength, density, porosity, water absorption and durability.


Jie Li

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Characterisation of Sustainable High-Performance Fibre Reinforced Pervious Concrete

Abstract: This project aims to characterise the performance of sustainable high-performance fibre reinforced pervious concrete designed for sustainable development of the sponge city. The appropriate type, shape, and number of fibres, as well as the suitable cementitious matrix, will be identified to achieve an optimal balance between strength and permeability, which ensures its application under light traffic. Extensive literature review, experimental investigation, theoretical analyses, and numerical simulation will be conducted to investigate the short-term and long-term performance of the proposed pervious material. The sustainability of the proposed material will be examined based on the constitution and manufacture process. The implementation of the sustainable fibre reinforced pervious concrete will lead to positive economic and environmental impact through the realisation of low-impact development and utilisation of waste and recycled materials.


Tianzhen Li

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Permeable pavement as a sustainable method for urban flooding and pollution management system in Wujiang, China

Abstract: Rapid urbanization in the last decades and the consequent increase in impervious surfaces have become one of the major contributors to urban flooding, which has negatively altered the urban water cycle. The increased runoff can cause water quality problems since the runoff washes off accumulated pollution deposited on urban surfaces. By letting runoff passing through the pavement, the pavement reduces runoff volume and can improve water quality, which is in line with sustainable urban drainage system targets. In this proposal, different types of pervious pavements will be developed, both experimentally and numerically, in order to provide a solution for reducing urban flooding. The results of the study will be used in the urban planning and management of Wujiang, China.


Tianqi Liu

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Photocatalytic-magnetic g-C3N4 quinary nanocomposite for efficient removal of aqueous organic pollutants

Abstract: In recent years, due to rapid industrialization and increasing human population, aqueous environmental pollution has been getting more serious than ever. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop an environmentally-friendly and efficient technology to address global water pollution. Recently, the work on graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has been gaining unprecedented attention due to its huge potential to harness the renewable solar light for efficient environmental remediation. For the first time, this research will elucidate the synthesis of a sustainable photocatalytic-magnetic quinary nanocomposite, namely magnetite coupled with silver bromide, silver chloride, silver iodide and g-C3N4 (Fe3O4/AgBr/AgCl/AgI/g-C3N4) through novel synthesis protocols. This nanocomposite will be thoroughly characterized using advanced materials characterization, and be employed to efficiently degrade various aqueous recalcitrant and toxic organic contaminants under visible-light irradiation.


Zitong Gao

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Investigation of Reinforcement Corrosion in Concrete by Microwave Non-Destructive Testing

Abstract: A significant number of deteriorated buildings become one of the common problems in the current infrastructures. Among those deteriorations, reinforcement corrosion is one of the substantial and costly issues for concrete structures. The consequences of severe reinforcement corrosion could need large scale repairing to avoid structural damage, including sudden collapse. Widely used existing evaluation techniques are categorised as Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). However, corrosion monitoring still needs minor damage due to connections. Microwave Non-Destructive Testing (MNDT) method to determine reinforcement corrosion demonstrates the advantages over other testing methods as the method is purely non-destructive, rapid measurements, and low energy consumption.


Mengdi Liu

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Re-engineering seawater and desert sand resources towards sustainable concrete

Abstract: There is a significant demand for resource conservation, low energy consumption, increased productivity, and social responsibility with successful infrastructure development in the new era with the increasing demand for sustainability. Concrete is the essential material for infrastructure. Its raw material consumption is significant due to the vast quantity of concrete produced, and it dramatically impacts the environment. Therefore, exploring more alternative materials with new sources, higher resource efficiency, lower energy consumption, and less pollution is necessary. Seawater and desert sand can be new natural resources with relatively abundant reserves on the earth. Through green chemistry design routes, the potentially harmful reactions of seawater in the concrete system may be transformed into beneficial mechanisms, thereby improving material integrity. The desert sand may also be turned into new material inputs for future concrete materials development. From this point of view, the seawater and desert sand used in the concrete system may bring out significant theoretical values and practical significances in the field.


Kaiyang Wang

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: A roadmap for digital transformation in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry

Abstract: Digital transformation (DT) embraces digitalization and smart processes or products integrated with several technological developments to control the entire value chain of workflows. The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry are also captivated with the idea of DT that changes the traditional paper-based system into a digital and cyber-physical system that interacts and connects across the geographical and organizational borders. To help deal with the increasing demand for a roadmap or framework for DT in AEC industry, several studies have investigated the factors and strategies for the transformation process in the past few years. However, most of the studies are in the early stage and have been conducted through literature review and learned the experiences from other sectors. In order to obtain a comprehensive understanding and strategy for successful implementation of this transformation (or revolution) in AEC industry, this projects focus on change management, facility management and sustainable construction towards DT.


Yuan Fang

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: A holistic investigation on indices for local terrain surface roughness derived from point clouds

Abstract: Terrain surface roughness is an important index in terrain analysis for studying various environmental and engineering problems. In recent years, fine-resolution point cloud data have become a form of spatial data for characterizing terrain surfaces, and facilitate the quantification of spatially detailed local terrain roughness. Its quantification methods are typically based on direction measures of spatial variations, inevtably causing uncertainty in the effectiveness of the quantified values to represent the actual local roughness required for terrain analysis. Although in practice this uncertainty is often ignored, limited studies suggested inadequacies of some methods routinely used. These highlight the importance of a better understanding on the uncertainty. Therefore, a holistic investigation is necessary to better understand the inadequacies and to develop improved methods.


Fu Rong

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Integrating BIM, VR/AR and RTLS Technologies to Improve the Effectiveness of Virtual Fire Drills

Abstract: Fire drills help building occupants prepare to respond to fire emergencies. Inappropriate evacuations always cause serious casualties and property losses. Traditional fire drill does not provide realistic experiences to the occupants. In addition, the evacuation route map provided by the building administrator is usually fixed and may not provide a safe evacuation path if a fire blocks the path in reality. Recently, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are therefore developed to provide better understanding and awareness for occupants. However, various technological limitations have not been overcome yet. This research aims to investigate the effectiveness of integrating BIM, VR/AR, and Real-time Location System (RTLS) technologies in virtual fire drill applications.


Ran Zang

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: Micro-structural, thermal and mechanical properties of concrete incorporating recycled tyre rubber materials

Abstract: Recycling of solid wastes, such as tyre rubber, to produce concrete composites with both environmental-friendly and structural performance merits, have attracted research interests in recent years. This project focuses on the study of the comprehensive properties of concrete composites incorporating recycled tyre rubber materials, aiming at providing design guidance for the application of such innovative materials. The influence of rubber on the impact and multi-axial behaviour of rubberised concrete, in conjunction with the confinement effects will be investigated. Meanwhile, the microstructural and thermo-gravimetric analyses will also be performed, providing detailed understanding in the constitutive integrity of rubberised concrete, which has been lacking to date. The experimental results, combined with numerical and analytical analyses, will provide detailed insights in the optimal mix design of rubberised concrete as well as the design guidance for practical applications.


Lang Liu

Nationality: Chinese

PhD Project: On the influences of segregated solute atoms and precipitates to twin boundary movement in magnesium alloys

Abstract: The impeding effects of interfacial precipitates on magnesium twin boundary movement were chosen to be the subject of this study. The process of solute atoms diffusing in the matrix and segregating to the twin boundaries can be complex and responsible to the mechanical performance of Mg alloys, and thus it should be carefully studied prior to the study of its impeding effects. Kinetic Monte Carlo method is to be adopted in simulating solute segregation and precipitate growing with all the needed energy barriers calculated via molecular dynamics or ab-initio calculation. Finally, molecular dynamics simulations are to be adopted in studying the impeding effects of interfacial precipitates on twin boundaries. The conclusions from this study shed light on enhancement of the strength of magnesium alloys.


Dhanushka Kobbekaduwa

Nationality: Sri Lanka

PhD Project: Repair and strengthening of corroded RC columns using organic corrosion inhibitors and Textile Reinforced Mortar (TRM)

Abstract: The need for upgrading Reinforced Concrete (RC) structures, especially for those having high importance to society, has increased significantly due to public safety and maintenance cost issues. The use of Textile Reinforced Mortars (TRM) to retrofit, RC elements have emerged as a promising alternative to the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP), mainly because of TRM’s improved performance at elevated or low temperatures, on wet surfaces, at aggressive environments, but most importantly their sustainability. At the same time, organic corrosion inhibitors such as small-molecule-based alcohol amine series are becoming the focus of attention due to their environmental-friendly behaviour. This study investigates the repairing and/or strengthening of large-scale concrete columns suffering from corrosion problems with the use of different types of corrosion inhibitor incorporated patch repair mortars and TRM.


Anil Ratna Shrestha

Nationality: Napalese

PhD Project: Characterization of Artificial Aggregate from Solid Waste

Abstract: Increasing solid waste from different sources has caused massive environmental and depositary problems and on the other hand the exploitative use of natural resources for the use of aggregates in concrete and other works has caused depletion of the limited resources. This research aims to use the solid waste from different source as a raw material to produce artificial aggregates minimizing the use of natural aggregates and reducing problems that arises from the deposition and environmental problem. The research proposes the use of Nano-particles in the production of the artificial aggregates for enhanced mechanical properties. This research also focuses on the various characterization techniques used for the characterization of the artificial aggregates. The research expect to develop artificial aggregates with nanoparticles that has enhanced properties and can be extensively used as an alternative or to partially replace the use of Natural Aggregate.