Our research

Materials Engineering Research

The Department of Construction and Property Management has a remit to focus on civil engineering materials and the construction engineering process. This includes primarily three main areas:

  1. materials science and engineering
  2. construction processes for buildings and civil engineering works, life cycle engineering and service life design, sustainable construction and resource efficiency
  3. quality management and product certification.

Materials Engineering refers to the properties of a wide range of materials and products and their applications in construction, their manufacturing process and performance characteristics and the mechanical and durability performance in use in construction and civil engineering. Construction materials and their use in construction systems is addressed through a Life Cycle Engineering approach, taking into account the different stages of the product and the building’s life cycle. In this way our Department addresses the resource efficient use of materials and buildings, recycling and reuse of materials and deconstruction.

New construction and renovations of existing buildings are addressed through the Service life design of structures taking into consideration life cycle environmental impacts and life cycle costs. This is further supported through sustainable construction assessment and rating tools. The life-cycle performance as a main activity in the Department, is also considered through the durability of materials, diagnosis and monitoring, and degradation and repair of structures. The activities of the Department refer also to quality management systems and product certification, the quality assessment and appraisal, Sustainability and Resilience in Civil Engineering and vulnerability assessment.

Our research focuses on materials in civil engineering including: 

  • material characterisation
  • mechanical properties of materials
  • durability assessment and degradation of construction materials
  • the appraisal and assessment of structural elements including reinforced concrete structures
  • the diagnosis, monitoring, and repair of structures.
Research addresses in particular concrete and composite materials; waste materials and industrial by-products in concrete including limestone waste and cement replacement materials in cement bound materials, fibre reinforced composites, self compacting concrete and high performance concrete. 

We also engaged in research on:

  • sustainability assessment and rating tools
  • life cycle assessment
  • green building products
  • innovative and smart materials and systems in civil engineering
  • innovative technologies in civil engineering.

Our Department supports the Faculty for the Built Environment by providing the capacity for disciplines through courses and research in Materials Engineering, Sustainable and Resource Efficient Construction, Life Cycle Engineering and related fields. 

Our academic staff participated in research projects through funded programmes, in the fields of Cement Bound Materials and Concrete Engineering, Service life design of structures, sustainable construction and building vulnerability. (European Union Lifelong Learning Programme LLP ANDROID; Italia-Malta Operation Programme SIMIT on Earthquake Vulnerability; Cooperation in Science and Technology COST Foundation: COST Projects TU1404, TU1406, TU1304, TU0701, C25, C26). 

In addition our Department has set up Research Collaboration Agreements in the field of Materials Engineering with industrial partners focusing on concrete and waste recycling, innovative products in construction and Life cycle engineering. These collaborative frameworks support teaching and research activities, whilst strengthening the Department's role in supporting industrial partners in the development of innovative high performance construction materials and systems.