News and Events

AIM Group Successfully Organised UK-China Researcher Links Workshop

Under the Newton Fund Researcher Links scheme, Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group at UCL and State Key Laboratory of Green Building Materials at China Building Materials Academy (CBMA) jointly organised a UK-China Researcher Links Workshop on Innovation in Low-carbon Cement and Concrete Technology in UCL between 21-24 September 2016. The workshop was successfully coordinated by Dr Yun Bai (Head of AIM Group) and Prof Wensheng Zhang (CBMA) with the financial support of British Council & National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and contributions from other leading researchers. It provided a great platform for Early Career Researchers where they can be mentored by Established Researchers to speed up their career development. It also brought together the communities from cement chemist, concrete technologist, engineers and physicists with both academic and industry background from the UK and China to share their latest research outcomes and innovations in order to promote industrial application of low-carbon cement and concrete in real world.

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AIM Group Present at 36th Annual Cement and Concrete Science Conference

On 5-6th September 2016, Dr Yun Bai, Dr Mingzhong Zhang and Dr Yanfei Yue from Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group orally presented their recent research on low-carbon concrete, multiscale modelling of cementitious materials and nuclear waste immobilisation respectively at the 36th Annual Cement and Concrete Science (CCS) Conference, hosted at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Dr Shouwei Jian and Dr Hongbo Tan, the visiting academics in AIM Group from Wuhan University of Technology, also attended the conference and made oral presentations on immobilisation mechanism of chromium and adsorbing behaviour of polycarboxylate superplasticizer, respectively. Their work has attracted a lot of interest from both academics and industry. Dr Bai was invited to chair a session on 6th September.

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Professor Zhijiang Ji from CBMA Visited AIM Group

Professor Zhijiang Ji, one of academic leaders of China Building Materials Academy (CBMA), visited Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) on 29 July 2016. Professor Ji opens up the research field of ecological environmental building materials in China. His research mainly focuses on controlling and solving the physical, chemical and microbial indoor pollutions. So far, he has published more than 50 academic papers and over 30 national patents of invention have been granted to him. He was awarded a State Technological Invention Award (second-class).

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CAE Academician, Professor Changwen Miao Visited AIM Group

Professor Changwen Miao, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), visited University College London (UCL) and Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group on 15 March 2016. He is a Distinguished Professor from Southeast University, China and has extensive expertise in the field of concrete cracking resistance improvement, service life extension and durability improvement, and multifunctional civil engineering materials. His research outcomes have been widely adopted by industries and civil engineering design guidance documents in China.

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Professor Jiaping Liu from Southeast University Visited AIM Group

On 4 March 2016, the “Cheung Kong Scholar” Chair Professor, Jiaping Liu from Southeast University, China, visited Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group. He is also the Vice President and Chief Scientist of State Key Laboratory of High Performance Civil Engineering Materials, and the Chairman of Jiangsu Sobute New Materials Co., Ltd. His primary research interests lie in the basic theory and key technology research on high performance concrete. He has been PI or Co-I on over 30 research projects, including “973 Program” and Key Projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China. So far, he has published more than 90 academic papers and been granted over 60 national patents of invention. His research made a significant impact on the needs of society and contribute to economic growth. Because of this, he was awarded the Outstanding Young Investigator Award, Second Class of State Technological Invention Award, Second Class of State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (3 times), and China Outstanding Patent Award.

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Professor Luping Tang from Chalmers University of Technology Visited AIM Group

On 2 December 2015, Professor Luping Tang from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, visited AIM Group. Professor Tang leads the research group Building Materials at Chalmers. He has extensive expertise in the fields of chloride transport in concrete, corrosion of steel in concrete and innovative cementitious materials for infrastructures. The Rapid Chloride Migration (RCM) method to determine chloride diffusion coefficient of concrete proposed by him has received worldwide use.

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Professor Yunsheng Zhang from Southeast University Visited AIM Group

Professor Yunsheng Zhang from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southeast University, China has visited University College London (UCL) and Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group in August 2015. Prof. Zhang’s research interests lie in the field of high/ultra-high performance cement based composites as well as durability of concrete. During his visit, he delivered a lecture entitled “Research advances on water/cholride transport and durability of concrete in Southeast University” which was well received and attracted lots of interest.

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AIM Attended 35th Cement and Concrete Science Conference

The 35th Cement and Concrete Science Conference (CCSC) was held in University of Aberdeen from 26-28th August 2015. AIM group has again showed a strong presence at this important event. The group delivered four oral presentations and presented one poster. Dr Bai also chaired one technical session at this conference.

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Invited Lecture by Mr. Martin Clarke OBE

On Thursday, 12th February, 2015, Mr Martin Clarke OBE visited UCL and delivered a lecture for Year 3 undergraduate students in Civil Engineering and the members of Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group. Mr Martin Clarke OBE was the past CEO of British Precast Concrete Federation, and now, is the director of World Concrete Forum Ltd. His lecture was titled as "Assessing and Meeting the Sustainability Challenge to the Global Concrete industry", which described the sustainability of concrete from the industrial perspective. The lecture was well received and offered some interesting questions and challenges for our Engineers of tomorrow to answer.

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Success of AIM Group ‘Research Open Day 2015’

The Advanced and Innovative Materials (AIM) group led by Dr Yun Bai held their 'Research Open Day 2015' on 12th January 2015 in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at UCL, welcoming around 50 delegates from CEGE and industry.

Head of Department Professor Stuart Robson began the event with a short welcoming address, which was followed by the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a CPD training course between The Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT), UCL Consultants Ltd (UCLC) and the China Cement & Concrete Products Association (CCPA).

This training course, to be based in the AIM Research Group, is aimed at providing training and education services in the field of concrete technology to assist Chinese engineers in gaining recognised international qualifications and professional recognitions.

After the signing event, Dr Yun Bai give a presentation entitled 'Introduction to Advanced and Innovative Materials Group' which was then followed by seven presentations by PhD students and PDRA from AIM. During the coffee break and evening reception, 11 posters by AIM researchers were also presented.

The event offered a good opportunity for the industry to understand the current research capacity and ongoing research activities of the AIM Group, which has already attracted interests and discussions on potential further collaboration from BASF Ltd, UK Quality Ash Association, Renishaw, Colas Ltd and Crossrail. The evening reception featured by Western and Chinese food and drink was also very well-received and appreciated by all the participants.

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Dr Yun Bai from AIM Group delivered a keynote speech in India

Recently, Dr Yun Bai was invited by Indian Ceramic Society, Bangalore chapter to deliver a keynote speech at their ‘International Seminar on Frontiers of Ceramic and Material Technologies for Cement Industries’ in November 2014. The event was attended by all the major Cement industries, Refractory Industries and Research/academic institution in India. At the event, Dr Yun Bai delivered a keynote lecture entitled: ‘Low-carbon Cementitious Materials Research at University College London’. Three ongoing research in AIM group were introduced, namely: 1) Superplasticisers for Alkali-activated Slag; 2) Microwave Curing for Manufacturing Alkali-activated Fly Ash; 3) Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement-based Matrices for Immobilising Nuclear Wastes. The research on superplasticisers and microwave have, in particular, attracted lots of interests and potential collaborations.

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Success of the International Conference on Alkali-activated Cement and Concrete Co-organized by AIM Group

Due to a rapid urbanisation and high energy consumption of construction industry, sustainable development of concrete technology has never been so urgent! Alkali-activated cement and concrete have excellent performance and have been regarded as one of the green building materials for the future. However, its industrial application is still limited. Against this background, an International Conference on Alkali-activated Cements and Concretes was held at Chongqing in 2014. The intention of this conference was to identify the solutions for the current problems and to promote the wider industrial applications of this environment-friendly material.

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Shi Shi Awarded the Prize for Best Poster Presentation by The Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT)

The 34th Cement and Concrete Science Conference (CCSC) was held in University of Sheffield from 14th Sep to 16th Sep 2014. There was a strong presence from Dr Yun Bai’s Group (Advanced and Innovative Materials Group - AIM) at this event, including Miss Shi Shi (PhD student), Mr Jun Ren (PhD student), Mr Amir Khoylou (Year 3 UG student) and Mr Sam Ghazizadeh (PhD student – co-supervised by Dr Yun Bai).  With her paper entitled ‘Microwave Curing Techniques for Manufacturing Alkali-activated Fly Ash’, Shi Shi was awarded the prize for Best Poster Presentation by The Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT).

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Jun Ren Received the Sir Joseph Bazalgette Award

Mr Jun Ren, one of the four PhD students recently transferred with Dr Yun Bai from Queen’s University Belfast, has received the Sir Joseph Bazalgette Award for the Best Paper presented at the 2012 SCI Construction Materials Young Researchers' Forum last week. The Forum, jointly organised by the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), Mineralogical Society, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3), the Institute of Asphalt Technology and the Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT), is a prestigious event for early career scientists and engineers working in the field of construction materials. The award, established after Sir Joseph William Bazalgette, who was the chief engineer of London's Metropolitan Board of Works of the 19th century, is aimed at encouraging young people's active participation in quality research. The paper, entitled:

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Success of the Second Young Researchers’ Forum in Construction Materials at CEGE

With 42 papers presented and more than 70 delegates attended from 9 countries, the second Young Researchers’ Forum has been successfully held on 19th February, 2014 in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at University College London. The aim of this forum is to provide an opportunity for the contact and communication between early-career scientists and engineers working in the field of construction materials. The forum, jointly organised by the Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group at UCL, The Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT) and Loughborough University, was supported by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3), The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), The Institute of Asphalt Technology and The Mineralogical Society.

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Yanfei won the Second Prize of the Best Student Paper

Miss Yanfei Yue (PhD student), a member of the Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group led by Dr Yun Bai, has recently made an oral presentation on her novel Raman sensor work at the 33rd Cement and Concrete Science Conference held on 2nd–3rd September at the University of Portsmouth. The conference, organised by the Cementitious Materials Group at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), is one of the most prestigious events in the area of cement and concrete. Her paper, entitled: ‘Preliminary research on monitoring the deterioration mechanisms of concrete with optical fibre Raman spectroscopy’, has won the Second Prize of the Best Student Paper - one of the only two prizes awarded for the best student paper at this event.

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Professor Lin-Hai Han Visited AIM Group

Professor Lin-Hai Han, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Tsinghua University, China, visited the Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group at UCL on Wednesday, 24th July. Tsinghua University is one of the top universities in China with its Civil Engineering enjoying a long-standing reputation. During his visit to the Concrete Laboratory and some other laboratories in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE), Professor Han showed strong interests in further strengthening the exiting research collaborations between AIM and the groups in Tsinghua University and also in extending the current collaboration to other areas between the two departments. After the lab tour, Professor Han gave a seminar entitled “Some recent new developments on steel-concrete composite structures”.

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Professor Anurag Misra Visited AIM Group

Prof. Anurag Misra visited the Advanced & Innovative Materials (AIM) Group on Wednesday, 24th April. Prof. Anurag Misra is Professor in Civil Engineering and Director of Anand International College of Engineering, India and also Former Professor & Head of the Department of Structural Engineering and Coordinator of the Centre for Building Technology and Construction Materials at MNIT, Jaipur. Professor Anurag Misra is a renowned expert in rehabilitation of structures and bridge design. The two groups wish to strengthen the current research collaboration and further promote the exchange of the staff and student in the future.

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