Smart & Sustainable Construction Materials (S2CM)
The mission of our team is to contribute to a sustainable built environment through the development of innovative and functional construction products with high performance and durability.
Our research involves the use of various experimental and analytical techniques for the advancement of scientific knowledge and applications related to innovations in sustainable concrete materials. In our work, we focus on the use of waste materials, carbon sequestration, recycling, self-healing and 3D printing processes. Within these topics, we are interested in studying the relationship between reaction mechanisms, mechanical performance and microstructural development, as well as the environmental impacts of various binder systems and materials.
With its overall goal of enhancing sustainability and minimizing the environmental impacts of concrete materials, our research explores new materials and structural solutions that optimize the use of concrete structures for a large range of civil engineering applications. Currently produced at a rate of >4 billion tonnes/year, Portland cement (PC) is the most widely used construction material in the world. This production rate is expected to double by the middle of the century. Production of PC is responsible for 5-7% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions due to the decomposition of limestone and the high calcination temperature used during this process. Major global pressures on the cement industry to reduce its emissions are being addressed by the partial replacement of PC with industrial by-products and wastes; improvement of overall energy efficiency with the use of alternative raw materials, renewable energy and low-energy production; and development of new cement formulations with lower energy consumption and carbon footprints.
In line with the rising need for environmentally friendly construction products, our research revolves around the development of novel cement formulations and sustainable concrete products incorporating waste by-products and fully recycled components. Some of the main properties that are being investigated include the production (i.e. alternative routes and life cycle analysis), performance (i.e. reaction mechanisms, strength and microstructural development) and recycling of various binder systems. The main outcome of our research is sustainable formulations involving novel binders, waste materials and industrial by-products. These products are designed for their capability to absorb CO2 while gaining strength, self-healing properties under various conditions, potential to be used in 3D printing for the production of environmentally friendly construction components, and recyclability at the end of use.
Please see the details of the 5 main research areas we are currently working on below.
Large scale demonstration of our work: Sustainable pavement at BCA Zero Energy Building
3D printing of sustainable building panels
Dr Cise Unluer
Dr Dung Nguyen Tien
Postdoctoral studies (July 2015–present) on the hydration and carbonation mechanisms of alternative binders.
PhD (2014) on the engineering properties and microstructural examination of cementitious materials with SCA eco-binder, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), Taiwan
MSc in Civil Engineering, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT), Thammasat University, Thailand
BEng in Civil Engineering, Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, Vietnam
Dr Lei Gu
Postdoctoral studies (May 2019–present) on the self-healing mechanisms of alternative binders.
PhD (2018) on the degradation phenomenon of cementitious materials under sulphuric acid attack, University of Adelaide, Australia
MEng in Civil & Structural Engineering, University of Adelaide, Australia
BEng in Civil & Structural Engineering, Southeast University, China
Dr Murugan Muthu
Postdoctoral studies (December 2018–present) on the performance of sustainable binders in different conditions.
PhD (2017) in Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India
MEng in Civil Engineering, Anna University, India
BEng in Civil Engineering, Anna University, India
Dr Sanjeev Kumar
Postdoctoral studies (March 2018–present) on the durability of alternative binders involving the use of waste materials.
PhD (2018) in Civil Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, India
MEng in Structural Engineering, Anna University, India
BEng in Civil Engineering, Anna University, India
Dr G.V.P. Bhagath Singh
Postdoctoral studies (March–August 2018) on the use of nucleation seeding to enhance the performance of novel mixes.
PhD (2017) in Structural Engineering/ Cementitious Materials, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad, India
MTech in Structural Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad, India
BTech in Civil Engineering, Sri Venkateswara University (SVU) College of Engineering, India
Development of reactive magnesia cement-based formulations with improved performance and sustainability
Current post: Research Fellow at Brunel University London
Production, characterization and performance of magnesia cements
Synthesis of reactive magnesia from reject brine
3D printing of high-volume fly ash mixtures for digital concrete construction
Self-healing of sustainable binder systems
Low-CO2 geopolymer cements
Final Year Undergraduate Students
2015-2016: Mr Lim Chin Haow (received the Guocoland Green Technology Book Prize due to his highest marks in his Final Year Project based on green technology and sustainable engineering), Mr Pham Viet Hoang, Mr Sean Teo Zhe Wei, Ms Aswini Raveendran, Ms Zhan Wang Yi Ru, Mr Ong Jacon, Ms Ong Shi Qi Nicole, Ms Shermeen Fones Si Ying
2016-2017: Mr Sai Kaung Thura, Ms Ong Xi Chun, Mr Lee Kong Jian, Mr Lim Eng Hui, Ms Lim Suet Min Sophia, Mr Lin Shiyi, Ms Teo Wen Wei
2017-2018: Mr Lim Chong Han, Ms Sumirati Bte Misti, Mr Tan Herh Kai, Mr Tye Wenkai, Mr Yong Kim Wui
2018-2019: Mr Shi Feng, Mr Douglas Kieo Yong Qiang
2019-2020: Mr Liu Luyao, Ms Lim Bee Ting, Mr Johnathon Chng Wenjun, Mr Yong Shun Kai
We are always interested in hearing from colleagues interested in establishing academic or industrial collaborations. Please feel free to get in touch via any of the following routes:
- Email: ucise at ntu.edu.sg
- Address: School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Block N1, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798