UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Dr Mingzhong Zhang

Dr Mingzhong Zhang

Associate Professor

Dept of Civil, Environ &Geomatic Eng

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st May 2015

Research summary

Dr Mingzhong Zhang specialises in the multiscale and multiphysics modelling and characterisation of advanced civil engineering materials and structures, including sustainable cementitious materials and concrete (e.g. blended cementitious materials, alkali-activated materials, self-healing/self-repairing concrete, 3D printed concrete) and fibre reinforced composites (e.g. fibre reinforced concrete, strain-hardening geopolymer composites, fibre reinforced polymer (FRP)). His research focuses on the development of novel sustainable and resilient materials with desired engineering properties for civil infrastructure using industrial by-products or wastes to provide affordable, sustainable and resilient infrastructures to society that is a major global challenge facing civil engineers and construction industry. He developed an integrated multiscale modelling framework and new experimental techniques to gain insight into the relationship between microstructure and properties (e.g. transport properties, mechanical behaviour and fracture particularly) of cement-based materials, sustainable concrete and fibre reinforced composites as well as the behaviour of structural elements made of these materials, through a routine of materials – microstructure – property – performance. His background puts him in a unique position to oversee such ground-breaking research that engages in fundamental structural analysis in close engagement with materials science and computational mechanics. His research is supported by various funding bodies, including EPSRC, Royal Society and British Council (see below and Research Activities for details).

His current research team at UCL mainly consists of 1 Postdoc (Dr Sadjad Naderi), 6 PhD students (Wendy, Guohao, Giulia, Cheng, Hui, Tulip), 2 visiting scholars (Dr Tao Sun, Dr Le Li) and 3 visiting PhD students (Jiyue, Guosheng, TT). Prospective students who would like to pursue a PhD at UCL with Dr Zhang should get in touch well in advance of funding application deadlines, which tend to be in December/January. If you are interested in joining the team as a visiting academic or PhD student, please directly contact Dr Zhang (mingzhong.zhang@ucl.ac.uk) and include your CV.

Current Funded Projects
  • "Development of a novel self-healing composite for sustainable and resilient concrete infrastructure"; EPSRC (EP/R041504/1); 03/2018 – 12/2020; Sole-PI
  • "Development of cost-effective bio-self-healing concrete for hydro infrastructures"; State Key Laboratory of Water Resources & Hydropower Engineering Science (2019SGG01); 01/2020 – 12/2021; Sole-PI
  • "Leaching behaviour of nickel and lead-zinc mining waste-based alkali-activated binders"; Royal Society (IEC\NSFC\191417); 03/2020 – 03/2022; Sole-PI

Teaching summary

Dr Mingzhong Zhang is the Module Coordinator of CEGE0108 Materials I (UG Year 1; average rating: 4.8/5.0) and CEGE0057 Advanced Civil Engineering Materials (MEng/MSc; average rating: 4.9/5.0) and the Deputy Coordinator of CEGE0012 Scenario Footbridge Design (UG Year 2). In addition, he has been supervising 14 UG third-year projects (~3 groups each year) and 28 MSc individual research projects (~6 each year) to date.

More than 50% of the students under Dr Zhang’s supervision got a first class or distinction level. For instance, Ek Whye Poon and Kenneth Chen were awarded the 2018/19 Third Year Project Best Project Prize and published a research paper in a leading peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Cleaner Production (doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.117950). Tulip (Wenlin) Tu and Yu Zhu were awarded the 2017/18 Third Year Project Best Project Prize and published a research paper in the most prestigious journal in the field of cement and concrete science, Cement and Concrete Research (doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconres.2018.11.018). Moreover, Tulip got a £3,000 UCL BEAMS Undergraduate Research Prize and was awarded a UCL GRS/ORS scholarship for doctoral study starting in 2019/20. Hui Zhong and Wing Kei Ho were ranked 1st and 3rd out of 77 MSc Civil Engineering students and awarded with Distinction and Dean’s List Prizes by UCL in 2016/17, whose work was published in a peer-reviewed journal, Construction and Building Materials (doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2018.04.008). Additionally, Hui secured a UCL-CSC research scholarship through a competitive process and has started his PhD study in September 2018.


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2017
Technische Universiteit Delft
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2013


Dr Mingzhong Zhang is currently an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering Materials in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at University College London (UCL). He received a PhD in Civil Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands in 2013. Following this, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on multiscale modelling and in-situ X-ray computed tomography study of damage evolution in quasi-brittle materials at the University of Manchester for two years. He then joined UCL as a Lecturer in Materials in 2015 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019.

So far, Dr Zhang has published 1 academic book, more than 50 refereed articles (h-index=19) in a wide variety of top-ranked journals in Civil Engineering Materials (e.g. Cement and Concrete Research, Cement and Concrete Composites), Structural Engineering (e.g. Composites Part B, Engineering Structures) and Computational Mechanics (e.g. International Journal of Solids and Structures, Computers & Structures), and over 20 refereed conference papers. He actively engages in academic and professional communities. He is a grant reviewer for EPSRC, Royal Society, British Council, Czech Science Foundation and United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Research Foundation, and a reviewer for 30 leading international journals, such as Cement and Concrete Research, Cement and Concrete Composites, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Composites Part B, Composite Structures, Engineering Structures, Journal of Cleaner Production, etc. He was awarded outstanding reviewer by Elsevier in 2015, 2017 and 2018. He acts as a member of the International Scientific Committee of several international conferences, such as Microdurability2016 Conference and 37th CCS Conference. He is a member of the International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM), Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT) and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).