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Civil Engineering Materials, Postgraduate Research, Heriot-Watt University

the United Kingdom

Heriot-Watt University

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The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
Postgraduate ResearchFull-time, Part-timefind outSeptemberfind outfind out

About Civil Engineering Materials, Postgraduate Research - at Heriot-Watt University

Research activity within the Civil Engineering Materials field embraces the generic theme of porous construction materials with specific interest in cementitious systems. Within this remit, research includes material response to environmental processes; the interaction between environment, material properties and degradation processes; in-service performance of materials; low-embodied-energy construction materials, and the development of novel micro- and macro- characterisation techniques to study porous building materials such as timber, stone, brick, heritage materials and saturated/unsaturated soils. The research comprises both numerical and experimental studies, the latter including micro-scale examination, full-scale testing and field studies.

Cementitious materials

In the area of cementitious materials, academics are working on a number of ongoing research programmes which includes the development of characterisation techniques (broadband dielectric relaxation spectroscopy) and sensor technology to study material properties and performance.

Current research projects include:

  • hydration processes in cementitious systems
  • chemical and mineral admixtures
  • alkali-activated (OPC-free) binders
  • fly-ash systems
  • backfill grouts
  • carbonation of lime mortars
  • quality control of fresh concrete
  • moisture movement within cover-zone concrete
  • surface treatments for concrete
  • durability of reinforced concrete

Researchers are addressing a number of these areas through monitoring the performance of concrete in its service environments through the development of durability indicators for concrete and instrumentation at full-scale.

The researchers use a marine exposure site on the Dornoch Firth in NE Scotland which was set up under the auspices of Transport Scotland and provides a unique database on the performance of concrete in a marine environment. Field studies are also aimed at developing remote interrogation of embedded sensors utilising mobile technology.

Other areas include the development of cementitious systems with multifunctional capabilities (smart materials) to allow the material to simultaneously provide both structural and non-structural applications and current research focuses on electrically-conductive, fibre reinforced cement composites.

Notes about fees for this course

Fees for this course can be found on the tuition fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate research scholarships.

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates. Please visit our How to apply page.

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