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RE3: re-thinking, re-designing and re-cycling our built environment

Cardiff School of Engineering

Dr Riccardo Maddalena , Thursday, September 30, 2021 Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Portland cement is the most used construction material, yet responsible for approx. 10% of global CO2 emissions. This project aims at re-designing building materials to improve their carbon footprint as well as enhance their durability. The successful student(s) will develop and compare different cementitious designs, by including waste and by-products (recycled plastics, electronic components, ashes, etc…) to reduce the overall carbon emissions of concrete whilst minimising the usage of natural resources. The student(s) will be based at the School of Engineering of Cardiff University, with access to advanced structural and characterisation laboratories for small- and large-scale experiments, and a wide range of expertise, from materials science to numerical modelling and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The successful candidate will be part of the Materials 4 Life (M4L) team, a vibrant research group with national and international links. This PhD research offers an exciting opportunity to not only develop laboratory and critical thinking skills, but also to make a real-world impact, contributing to the United Nations 13 Sustainable Development Goals and the UK Net Zero target.  

Candidates should hold a good undergraduate degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or an MSc degree in an area of Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science, or other relevant area. Knowledge of cement and concrete science is desirable. Previous laboratory or field experience would be advantageous. To maintain academic quality standards in the M4L team, candidates will be asked to complete a rigorous assessment, involving a test and interview, prior to acceptance.

 Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

For further information contact Dr Riccardo Maddalena, and webpage


Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( including;

·        an upload of your CV

·        a personal statement/covering letter

·        two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)

·        Current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of October 2021 and quote reference RM RE3 2021

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Funding Notes

Self funded project open to students worldwide

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