Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Mineral-based Construction Materials



Find out more about collaborators on the project.

A black and white image of Susan Bernal, an Asian woman with long dark hair
Professor Susan A. Bernal Lopez

Professor of Structural Materials – University of Leeds

Susan is Professor of Structural Materials and holds a prestigious EPSRC Early Career Fellowship in multi-scale engineering of sustainable concretes at the University of Leeds, UK. She was awarded the 2016 RILEM Gustavo Colonnetti Medal and 2020 IOM3 Rosenhain Medal in recognition to her distinguished contributions to cementitious materials science and engineering.

With >15+ years of experience, Susan and her team’s research centres on development of solutions for decarbonise future infrastructure including waste valorisation for developing new low carbon cementitious materials; understanding interaction between concrete materials and the environment; development of infrastructure for wellbeing among others.

She is the Materials and Structures Group lead (>50 members) at the School of Civil Engineering at University of Leeds and Deputy-Director of the UKRI-ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries Network Plus. She also serves as Deputy Chair of the largest international RILEM Technical Committee - RILEM TC 281-CCC on carbonation of concretes with supplementary cementitious materials (>100 members).

A black and white image of Tom Bide, a Caucasian man with a checked shirt
Tom Bide

Mineral Geologist - British Geological Survey

Tom is a mineral geologist at the British Geological Survey (BGS). Tom has worked within the minerals team at BGS for 14 years. He specialises in construction and industrial minerals and how to reduce the impact of extraction and consumption.

His research interests include providing high-quality information and advice on economic minerals, in the UK and internationally.  He has led on projects creating new resources maps for marine minerals in the UK, as well as mineral maps for the Scottish and Welsh Governments, these have been used to shape national policy.

He has more recently led BGS contribution to the European ORAMA project, producing recommendations and a roadmap on improving and standardising raw materials information across Europe.

Michal Drewniok 

Assistant Professor - Leeds University

Michal is an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds. His background is civil engineering and holds PhD in concrete technology. Michal has worked at the University of Cambridge and the University of Bath on projects centred on making better use and reuse of structural materials, the role of material efficiency in building conception and design in construction, ways to achieve carbon reduction targets in UK construction, and circular economy in construction.

In 2022 Michal has joined the University of Leeds as Research Fellow in Transforming Foundation Industries and currently is a co-I of the TransFire HUB and Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Mineral-Based Construction Materials. Michal is involved in work on improving consistency in Whole Life Carbon Assessment and Reporting with WLCN, RIBA, LETI, is a co-author of the Low Carbon Concrete Routemap and is a coordinator of the Resource Efficiency in Construction and the Built Environment (RECBE) Forum.

Professor Sergio Cavalaro
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Professor of Infrastructure Systems - School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University

Sergio Cavalaro is a Professor of Infrastructure Systems at Loughborough University. Previously, he was an Associate Professor (2015-2017) and Lecturer (2010-2015) at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain). His areas of research include building materials, durability, structural analysis, innovative manufacturing and sustainability assessment in construction. He has worked in publicly funded research projects worth £14M (£7M as PI), having formed and led several multidisciplinary research teams from diverse backgrounds.

Sergio also has a long track record of collaboration with stakeholders, equating to a total enterprise income of £4M. He is also an internationally recognised expert, having acted in major infrastructure projects to solve complex technical problems. Building on results from his research, he developed innovative solutions for automated repairs and solutions currently used to increase quality, reliability and safety of construction.

Dr Alvaro Calzadilla

Alvaro Calzadilla
Associate Professor in Macro-economic Modelling for a Green Economy - Institute of Sustainable Resources, UCL

Alvaro Calzadilla is Associate Professor in Macro-economic Modelling for a Green Economy at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources. His primary research interest is in resource economics and economic modelling. He has worked extensively with global Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models applied to the analysis of water resources, agricultural policies, land use and bioenergy policies, renewable energy, climate change, resource efficiency and the circular economy.

Alvaro co-developed internationally recognised global CGE models (ICES, GTAP-W, DART-BIO) at different European Institutes (CMCC, Hamburg University, Kiel Institute for the World Economy). Alvaro leads the Macro-economic modelling area at UCL-ISR and he is the main developer the state-of-the-art UCL – Environmental Global Applied General Equilibrium (ENGAGE) model.

Dr Teresa Domenech 

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Associate Professor in Industrial Ecology and the Circular Economy - Institute of Sustainable Resources, UCL

Teresa Domenech is Associate Professor in Industrial Ecology and the Circular Economy and founder director of the UCL Circular Economy Lab and the UCL Plastic Innovation Hub. She has contributed to leading international research in the areas of sustainable industrial development, decarbonisation pathways and the circular economy. Her expertise covers resource and energy implications of industrial sectors including construction (metals and cement), plastics, textiles and the bio-economy. She has also explored the resource implications (e.g. critical materials reliance) of green mobility (e.g. EV batteries) and renewable technologies. Her work also explores resource flows in cities and sustainable urban transitions.

Her work has been published in leading academic journals, including Nature Sustainability, and she has contributed to influential reports for the European Commission and UN in the area of the Circular Economy. She delivers talks and lectures internationally in the areas of the circular economy and industrial decarbonisation. She regularly engages with the media (BBC, Channel4, TVR, NTVS, Times and Metro).

She currently is part of the ISO Editorial Teams drafting the new family of standards in the Circular Economy. 

Professor Jacqui Glass 
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Professor of Construction Management - Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, UCL

Jacqui is Chair in Construction Management, at The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, in University College London and Vice Dean Research for the Bartlett Faculty. She is Principal Investigator of the Transforming Construction Network Plus, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), an investment supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). 

Jacqui has published over 150 papers, managed c. £10m of funding (from research councils and industry) and supervised more than 20 doctoral students to completion. In so doing she has attended to research spanning strategy, procurement, standards, values, and accounting for sustainability. Her specialism is responsible and ethical sourcing, which relates to material and product supply chains, and in 2018 she was named in the Top 100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers.

Professor Elizabeth Graham 
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Professor of Mesoamerical Archaeology - Institute of Archaeology, UCL

Elizabeth Graham is Professor of Mesoamerican Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. She carries out fieldwork in Belize on Maya archaeology. In recent years, her focus has been the long-term impact of human occupation on soil formation—in particular, the built environment as soil parent material.

Mineral-based materials were the dominant components in Maya construction, and massive architectural efforts comprised the urban core of the Maya built environment. Decay of Maya construction over time has led to increased soil depth and improved soil fertility, which suggests that mineral-based construction materials as waste have an important role to play in returning resources to the earth.

Dr Suzanna Grubnic 
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Reader in Accounting and Director of Programme Quality - School of Business & Economics, Loughborough University

Dr Suzana Grubnic is a Reader in Accounting at Loughborough University, United Kingdom. Her research interests are in the areas of (a) sustainability accounting and accountability in public services; (b) circular economy business models; (c) management control for sustainability strategy; and, (c) partnership working in local government. In general, Suzana’s research seeks to understand the outworking and transformative potential of sustainability accounting and accountability in the public and private sectors. She has conducted research in the National Health Service, local government, large multi-national companies, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Suzana’s research has been funded by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), The British Academy, The British Accounting Association Special Interest Group on Public Services Accounting, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Professor Peter Kawalek 
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Professor of Information Management, Director of the Centre for Information Management - School of Business & Economics, Loughborough University

Peter Kawalek is Director of the Centre for Information Management at the School of Business & Economics in Loughborough University. He has additional visiting positions at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Donegal and Deusto Business School, Bilbao. Previously of Manchester Business School, Instituto de Empresa, Warwick Business School and School of Computer Science at Manchester.

He also has wide experience working with organizations including Siemens AG., SAP, IBM, Office an Taoiseach (Prime Minister) in Dublin, the Department of Communities and Local Government (London), Leeds City Council, Salford City Council, Lancashire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City FC., New York City FC. Peter has held and managed over £2m in research grants from government and research councils.  

Dr Joseph Mankelow
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Team Leader for Mineral Resource Security and Flows - British Geological Survey

Dr Joseph Mankelow is Mineral Resource Security and Flows Science Topic Lead at the British Geological Survey (BGS). With over 20 years’ experience, he is responsible for delivery of high-quality outputs from applied research on issues related primarily to understanding mineral resource potential and using this research to inform associated policy development.

He has contributed to the development of UK datasets delineating the location and extent of mineral resources (both onshore and offshore) and undertaken numerous projects investigating various aspects of UK construction minerals supply. Joseph’s contribution to the Circular Economy Centre, is via projects 1A and 1B investigating mineral based construction flows, stocks and impacts.

Dr Rupert Myers
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Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Materials Engineering - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London

Rupert J. Myers is Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Materials Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. His research combines systems approaches in industrial ecology with experiments and modelling in materials science, focussing on bulk materials like cement and metals, and the services/products that they provide, e.g., buildings, infrastructure, and cities. He is a member of the International Society for Industrial Ecology and Associate Editor of Resources, Conservation and Recycling.

Professor John Provis 
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Professor of Cement Materials Science and Engineering - Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield

John is a Professor of Cement Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield. He is also Deputy Chair of RILEM Technical Committee 283-CAM, an invited TAC Expert of RILEM, a Voting Member of committees of BSI, ASTM and ACI, Editor-in-Chief of the leading journal Materials and Structures, Associate Editor of Cement and Concrete Research, and Speciality Chief Editor for the Structural Materials section of Frontiers in Materials.

John's research centres on the development, characterisation and exploitation of advanced and non-traditional cement and concrete technology. Many projects involve alkali-activated and geopolymer binders, for use in construction, infrastructure and waste immobilisation applications.

Professor John Quinton 
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Professor of Social Science - Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

John is a Professor of Soil Science who works on the importance of soils for their functioning, degradation, their interaction with water quality and their future sustainability. He is interested in how soil functioning  can be protected within the constraints of construction engineering. He is at home in the field and lab, and is also interested in the ways in which we use models to simulate soil processes.

He is one of the founding Executive Editors of the European Geosciences open access journal SOIL that emphases the role soil plays in many disciplines. His track record mixes fundamental and applied science, critical to the impact of his work in both the scientific and policy arenas.

John leads numerous multidisciplinary research projects including projects on soil and water dynamics, soil plastics and soil restoration. John also teaches Soil Science to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Lancaster Environment Centre. Find him on twitter @John_Quinton

Professor Carly Stevens 
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Professor of Plant Ecology and Soil Biogeochemistry - Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

Professor Carly Stevens is Professor of Plant Ecology and Soil Biogeochemistry at Lancaster University. She is interested in urban soils and in particular the chemistry and biology of soils that are found under sealed surfaces. Soil sealing is a considerable and under-recognised threat to soil health and it is a problem that is growing. Carly has over 130 academic papers and secured over £5 million in research funding including from NERC, BBSRC, AHRC and EPSRC.

She is associate editor for the journals Functional Ecology and Oecologia, trustee of the Ecological Continuity Trust and teaches at both an undergraduate and masters level.

Professor Liz Varga
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Professor of Complex Systems - Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, UCL

Prof Liz Varga has a chair in Complex Systems at University College London (UCL), London, UK (2018-). She leads the Infrastructure Systems Institute (UCL) and is section head for Infrastructure and Cities in the Civil, Environmental, and Geomatics Engineering Department (UCL). She is principal investigator for the coordination node of UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities and is involved in several UKRI funded research projects and departmental teaching commitments.

She is publishing actively and has over 60 journal articles on infrastructure systems: energy, transport, telecommunications water and waste.

Dr Costas Velis
Costas Velis

Lecturer - School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds

Costas Velis is a Lecturer in Resource Efficiency Systems at the School of Civil Engineering (SoCE), University of Leeds. As Principal Investigator he leads a team with core research focus on enabling a sustainable circular economy and on preventing plastics pollution.

He set up the Circualr Economy & Resource Recovery network, as part of the Cites University Theme, with a research portfolio that is spread all over the world and covers innovation for closing the materials loop and recovering value for secondary material resources and energy (after-use items, waste). He conducts interdesciplinary research, funded by UK research bodies and international organisations.

His research collaboration outputs are in receipt of prestigious international awards, including those from the CIWM James Jackson Award (2015), the ICE Thomas Telford Award (2014) and twice the ISWA Publication Award (2015 and 2013).

Professor Andrew Vivian
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Professor of Finance - School of Business & Economics, Loughborough University

Andrew Vivian is a Professor of Finance at Loughborough University. Previously he held academic positions at the University of St. Andrews and Durham University. He has a strong international research profile having published widely in leading internationally recognised journals in Finance. He also serves as an Associate Editor at the European Journal of Finance.

His research interests focus on Global Investments and Commodity Markets using Empirical Methods to tackle questions of interest and importance.

As part of the ICEC-MCM he is a member of the team focusing on enabling capital investment into circular economy projects.

Dr Brant Walkley 
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Senior Lecturer - University of Sheffield

Brant was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in Sept 2019, where he lead the Sustainable Materials at Sheffield (SMASH) research team. Prior to this, Brant was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Sheffield (Oct 2016 – Aug 2019), and completed his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne, Australia (awarded Dec 2016). Brant also holds Bachelor degrees from The University of Melbourne in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Honours) and Science (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology). 

Brant's research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Innovate UK, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and both UK and international industry groups.