Radiation Damage

Long term exposure to nuclear radiation can deteriorate structural concrete in a nuclear power plant. Our goal is to characterize (and eventually predict) this radiation damage at multiple-scales, ensuring long term operation of the US nuclear fleet.

Incineration Ashes

The residual ash generated post municipal waste incineration is often destined to the landfill. Our goal is to understand the fundamental chemistry of these complex residues and open up pathways for beneficial re-use.

Sustainable Cements

The ordinary Portland cement has a high carbon footprint and is becoming a significant contributor to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Our goal is to identify alternative and sustainable cements, and elucidate their structure at the atomic scale.

Durable Concrete

Reinforced concrete used in the transportation infrastructure is subject to cracking over time. Our goal is to study its cracks and pores at the micro-scale to develop next-generation, durable, and resilient concrete systems.

Calcined Clays

Due to an ongoing shortage of typical supplementary cementitious mater- ials (SCMs) such as coal fly ash, there is a strong need to identify other pozzolans. Our goal is to explore calcined clays and their pozzolanic reactivity.

Lightweight Construction

Interest in deploying light-weight construction materials has been gaining momentum, with a focus on new materials. Our goal is to explore novel aluminum alloys and establish structure-function relationships in this context.

We gratefully acknowledge support from the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for funding some of these ongoing projects.