Sustainable Materials and Structures

Our vision

  • Building new knowledge on high performance materials and structures for sustainable, safer and more cost-effective infrastructure.
  • Training a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early stage researchers to face current and future challenges in built environment.

Our aim

SMS Group has both complementary expertise and synergetic skills. The research profile is interdisciplinary and is based on cross School collaboration. Our specific aims are to:

Materials section:

● develop innovative building materials and technologies for sustainable construction

  • high-performance cementitious materials with reduced carbon footprint (Geopolymers & Eco-cements)
  • low-cost, high-performance translucent insulation materials for daylighting and thermal performance

● reduce environmental impact of materials by application of re-used and waste materials
● improve building performance and predict its degradation during service life (frost resistance, chemical attacks)
● evaluate impact on hygro-thermal performance

Structures section:

● design and analyse tall concrete and timber buildings under extreme loading and environmental conditions
● analyse dynamic performance of structural components and entire structures
● apply fracture mechanics for failure analysis of reinforced concrete structures
● implement adaptive design of the UK dwellings to reduce summertime overheating
● monitor existing structures (historic and sensitive buildings) to evaluate in-situ performance and identify future performance risks

Dissemination and Outreach Activities:

Disseminate research outputs via various channels: high-impact journals, conferences, seminars/workshops, website.
Targeted top journals in the relevant fields:

  • Cement and Concrete Composite
  • Journal of Materials and Structures
  • ACI Materials Journal
  • ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering
  • ASCE Structural Engineering
  • ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics
  • Journal of Building Engineering
  • Energy Policy
  • Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
  • Solar Energy
  • Indoor and Built Environment
  • Building Services Engineering Research & Technology
  • Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

● Create research impact through active participations in both national (B/525/5) and international networks and committees (RILEM, CEN, COST Actions, TC124 for EN 408 and 16929)


● Organise seminars &workshops with invited speakers from academia and industry and foster close collaborations

● Develop new strategic partnerships with industry to foster multisectoral Knowledge Transfer

● Host Young Researchers Forums and national/international conferences

Strategic collaborations & partnerships at national/international level include:

● Universities - Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain
● Governmental bodies - UK, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, Spain
● Industry - BASF, Caixa Economic Federal, Cemex, Hanson, MiTek Holdings, Sika

Key Projects

“Recommendations for using SAP for improving freeze-thaw resistance” RILEM TC260-RSC 
“P3087 – Cast in-situ concrete – Collaborative working for zero defects – good practice guidance for procurement, design and construction” 
“B/525/5 Structural use of timber – Development of the UK
National Annexes to EN 1995 and the NCCIs to the UK NAs”
“CEN/TC 124/WG 1 Test methods – Establishment of standards regarding test methods in respect to structural timber”
Energy efficient rating system and benchmarking for bank building stock in Curitiba, Brazil (2016-2018), Newton Fund

Group Members & Research Students

Prof Agnieszka Klemm 
Prof Binsheng (Ben) Zhang
Dr Paul Baker
Dr Mark Phillipson
Dr Duncan McCormick
Dr Ing Liang Wong

PhD Researchers:

Mr Tony Allen (PT)
Mr. Athanasios Antyras (PT)
Mr. Alan Cullen (PT)
Mr. Stewart MacLennan (PT)
Mr. Kevin McKeown (PT)
Mr. Olumuyiwa Olajuwon (FT)
Mr. Rohollah Rostami (FT)
Mr. Xuan Zhao (FT)


Sustainable Development Goals