Vertical Garden with Empty Wall - sustainable concrete Gettty
The aim of this project is to inspire the young researchers of tomorrow to take the lead in the field of sustainable concrete construction. 
Concrete construction has one of the highest environmental impacts both in terms of climate change and resource sustainability. One possible sustainable intervention is through the use of alternative construction materials like recycled aggregates. This intervention becomes challenging because recycled aggregates have different properties that are not well reflected in conventional engineering practices. 
This project will focus on building the research capacities of young researchers so that they can systematically identify the barriers and design sustainable interventions for these problems. Hence, it will help them to take the lead in sustainable concrete construction in the future. 
To achieve the aim, the following objectives are set:
  • improve industry-academia interaction and train researchers in problem identification through industrial visits and stakeholder engagements
  • develop research capabilities in characterisation and testing of both materials and hardened concrete, including long term durability tests
  • enhance an appreciation for waste treatment as a strategy for improving material characteristics and concrete application
  • train the students to equip them with effective communication skills for research such as journal writing and oral presentation.
Dr Boksun Kim is Associate Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Plymouth in the UK. She has 23 years’ research experience in the behaviour of steel and concrete structures. Since 2015, she has obtained over £1 million in research grants from EU Horizon 2020, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) to conduct research on cementitious materials including graphene oxide concrete and recycled aggregate concrete, which have led to over 52 research publications. She has been working on an EU funded project on recycled aggregate concrete: TRAC (€450k, Co-I, 2018-24), followed by an RAEng Frontiers Champion (£13.75k, PI, 2020-22) and AMS GCRF Networking Grant (£25k, PI, 2021-23) projects on recycled aggregate concrete in Southeast Asia. Dr Kim has recently been awarded a project on ‘ Saving sand to save the planet’ (AMS, £25k, 2024-25). Working with Professor Sheila Puffer at Northeastern University, USA, she will host a conference to investigate the global sand crisis.
As a Fellow of both Institutions of Civil and Structural Engineers, a Chartered Structural Engineer, the Past Chair (2018-20) of the Institution of Structural Engineers Devon and Cornwall Regional Group, and a member of the Engineering Professors’ Council, Dr Kim has actively been promoting civil and structural engineering.
Professor Long-yuan Li’s research interests cover the fields of the mechanics of materials, durability, reliability, and the fire safety of reinforced concrete structures. He has published over 200 technical papers in SCI journals with Scopus H-index 44. He is a Fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers. He is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College. Currently, he is the editor of  the journal “Construction and Building Materials”, a member of the editorial boards of “Cement and Concrete Composites”, “Magazine of Concrete Research” and the “Journal of Marine Engineering & Technology”.

Indian PI: Professor Sandeep Chaudhary, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, India 

Professor Sandeep Chaudhary, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, India
Professor Chaudhary is a Professor in Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indore in India. He got his PhD from IIT Delhi and was also a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Kyungpook National University, South Korea. He specialises in the field of sustainable construction practices, waste upcycling, development of novel building products and structural engineering, resulting in over 100 SCI journal publications, 60 conferences, two patents and the first technology transfer of IIT Indore. He has recently developed a thermo-mechanical treatment, which can produce recycled aggregates with properties similar to natural aggregates at a lower cost and carbon footprint. He has received several awards including Eminent Engineer, Excellent Service, Best Technology, Best Research Paper and two Top Cited Article Awards. He has also served on prestigious committees at the National and International Levels and is presently the Secretary of the Technical Committee on "Life Cycle Maintenance of Concrete Infrastructures (TC-LCM)" of the Asian Concrete Federation.

Indian CoI: Professor Rathish Kumar Pancharathi, National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India 

Rathish Kumar Pancharathi
Dr Pancharathi is a Professor and Dean for Planning and Development at National Institute of Technology, Warangal in India. He did two PhDs: one in India and the other in Japan, which is funded by a Japanese Govt. Monbusho scholarship. He is a JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellow. He published 243 Technical articles, 20 book chapters, authored 4 books, 5 patents granted, supervised 11 doctoral students, 69 masters and 38 bachelor students. He is a recipient of Aftab Mufti Medal, Best Engineering Researcher Award, Heritage, Danish and Erasmus Mundus, ASEM-Duo India, AIT Bangkok, Slovakian Government Scholarship, Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fellowship, Earth Leader Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award. He received 3 best paper awards. He represents BIS committees CED-4, Handbook of lime, IS 2542-1978, IS 712:1984 and IRC B8. He moved 9 construction projects in Institute of 350 Crores. He is working on repair of 800-year-old Ramappa temple, that recently got the UNESCO world Heritage recognition.

Get involved

A joint training programme will be planned and executed between the University of Plymouth in the UK and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore in India. The training programme will consist of online seminars, hands on laboratory training sessions, a conference and industrial visits, so that students can build research skills and capacities. 10 Civil Engineering students from each university will be recruited to participate in this programme, which include visit to the partner university this summer. We will be hosting a conference this August at IIT Indore. Details will follow.

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