Geotechnics and Innovative Construction Materials

Faculty members

  • Prof Gabriela Medero
  • Dr Benny Suryanto
  • Dr Melis Sutman
  • Prof John McCarter (Emeritus)
  • Dr Demetrios Cotsovos
  • Dr George Vasdradelis
  • Prof Malcolm Chrisp


  • Prof Fernando Marinho, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Prof Humberto Caballero, National University of Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
  • Prof Lyesse Laloui, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Prof Alessio Ferrari, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  • Prof Jin Ooi, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • Dr Nobuhiro Chijiwa, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
  • Dr Chikako Fujiyama, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan
  • Prof Priyo Suprobo, Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology, Surabaya, Indonesia

Core interests

  • Closed-loop circular economy development of sustainable innovative building materials
  • Re-using recycled industrial waste (e.g. construction and demolition waste) into new construction materials
  • Utilisation of industry by-products into new building materials
  • Durability and performance analysis of innovative sustainable building materials and geomaterials
  • Characterisation, assessment and optimisation of recycling processes for added value utilisation of recycled material
  • Durability performance of reinforced concrete
  • Low-embodied-energy construction materials
  • Hydration processes in cementitious systems
  • Moisture movement within cover-zone concrete
  • Multifunctional (smart) cement composite
  • Alkali-activated (OPC-free) binder system
  • Quality control of fresh concrete
  • Remote monitoring of concrete structures
  • Resilience to future climatic challenges
  • Energy geotechnology and sustainability
  • Landslide monitoring and behaviour characterisation in areas of high risk of landslides (e.g. Colombia, Brazil).
  • Unsaturated soils behaviour and microstructure characterisation

Research Staff

  • Dr Gerard Starrs (Honorary)
  • Dr Samuel Chapman
  • Dr Jaehwan Kim
  • Dr Asdam Tambusay

PhD students

  • Elias Sofikitis
  • Romwald Lihakanga
  • Omar Al-Emami
  • Emery Mpano
  • Danah Saraireh
  • Gasim Alaswad
  • Seyedamirhossein Hashemi


  • Advanced environmental and performance durability testing of materials;
  • Micro- and macro- scale thermo-hydro-mechanical geotechnical testing;
  • Advanced performance and durability testing of concrete: electrical impedance analyser, broadband dielectric relaxation analyser, portable and bench-top impedance meters, electrochemical corrosion tests, chloride testing and profiling;
  • Hydration and early age properties of cementitious materials: isothermal calorimeter, rheometer;
  • Remote interrogation system for structural health monitoring;
  • Mastersizer particle size analyser;
  • Full scale marine exposure test site on the Dornoch Firth in North-East Scotland (since 1991);
  • Environmental climatic chambers;
  • Freezing/thawing climatic suite for pore characterisation and durability testing;
  • Instron 4206 and Avery-Denison testing suites;
  • Imaging testing: ESEM, X-ray tomography, electrical resistance tomography, digital image mapping and imaging.

Recent Achievements


  • Futurebuild’s Big Innovation, Resourceful Materials category


  • Scottish Resource Innovation Award
  • Keynote speaker at CSN2019 International Conference, Kanazawa, Japan


  • Converge Challenge Design & Creativity Award
  • 2nd Best Paper Prize – ICDCS2018. University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Recognition for exceptional services by the Deanship of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at EPFL, Switzerland


  • Climate Launchpad Switzerland, First Prize Winner
  • Climate Launchpad Grand Final, Second Prize Winner



  • Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Partnership, Novel developments to re-use recycled construction and demolition waste.


  • British Council and the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of Republic of Indonesia (Ristekdikti), UPP-SUD: Unlocking the potential of precast in sustainable urban development.
  • GCRF GCRF Impact Acceleration, Are ‘smart city’ approaches appropriate to the challenges of urban resilience and liveability? Lessons from pilot experiences in Medellin, Colombia.


  • Scottish Enterprise, High Growth Spin Out Programme PHASE 2: BRICKS, PI
  • Scottish Funding Council, PROMOTE: Promoting the utilisation of low-carbon concrete through performance testing.
  • Research Council of Norway, RePlugReady. Funded by RestoneAS.
  • IStructE and Concrete Society, BOND.


  • Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Development of pilot facility plant, demonstration structure and monitoring platform.
  • Scottish Enterprise, High Growth Spin Out Programme, PHASE 1: Innovative building material.
  • British Academy,GCRF, Co-production of landslide risk management strategies through development of community-based infrastructure in Latin American cities.
  • Royal Academy of Engineering, Blavatnik Award.


  • NERC, GCRF, Resilience or resistance? Negotiated mitigation of landslide risks in informal settlements in Medellin.
  • Innovate UK, Use of pigment Eco-brick.
  • Royal Academy of Engineering, Novel building material
  • SENSOR-INFRA: Smart Engineered Cementitious Composites for Intelligent Infrastructure. Funded by the EPSRC (First Grant scheme).


  • Zero Waste Scotland – The Recycling Innovation Fund, Recycled gypsum in construction material.

Knowledge Transfer (Spin Out)

Media coverage

Outreach activities

Women’s Engineering Society

  • Primary School events taking engineering to kids


True Trixial Apparatus
True Trixial Apparatus
Solartron 1260 impedance analyser
Solartron 1260 impedance analyser
Environmental chamber, auto-ranging data logging and multiplexing unit, and frequency response analyser
Environmental chamber, auto-ranging data logging and multiplexing unit, and frequency response analyser
Broadband dielectric relaxation spectrometer
Broadband dielectric relaxation spectrometer
Bench-top LCR meter and performance testing
Bench-top LCR meter and performance testing
Virtual instrument machine for frequency sweep measurements
Virtual instrument machine for frequency sweep measurements
A desk with a computer keyboard
Electrical resistance tomography
Electrical resistance tomography
Remote interrogation system
Remote interrogation system
Isothermal calorimeter
Isothermal calorimeter
Full-scale test exposure site
Full-scale test exposure site
Rheometer for cement paste and mortar
Rheometer for cement paste and mortar
Electrochemical corrosion and half-cell potential meter
Electrochemical corrosion and half-cell potential meter

Key information

Prof Gabriela Medero