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Dr Brunella Balzano

Dr Brunella Balzano

Lecturer in Smart Civil Engineering

+44 (0)29 2087 4597
Room W 2.34, Queen's Buildings - East Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA


About me 

I am a Lecturer in Smart Civil Engineering  at Cardiff University since July 2020. II am currently Co-Investigator of the UKRI-EPSRC Resilient Materials 4 Life (RM4L - Programme Grant: an exciting and challenging opportunity to study and develop high-specs self-healing materials in construction industry. I am a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineering (CEng MICE) .

My main research activity is associated with the REsilient Structures and COnstruction Materials (RESCOM) Research Group. My research activities focus on the reuse of structural elements from End of Life Buildings as solution to reduce material waste.  My research also involves the development of smart technologies and automated system for the self-repairing of concrete instrastructures. The main vision of the research is the design of smart structural elements able to detect, recognize and heal a crack damage. The aim is to reduce emissions associated with the construction industry and build sustainable buildings. I am also interested in the development of digital tools for the knowledge-based design of intelligent structures. I have experience in structural analysis of reinforced concrete and steel structures.



  • 2013-2018: PhD Strudent, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
  • 2010- 2013: MEng, Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, University of Federico II, Naples
    Grade: 110/110 cum Laude equiv. First Class Honors
  • 2007-2010: BEng, Enviromental Engineering, University of Federico II, Naples
    Grade: 110/110 cum Laude equiv. FirstClass Honors

Work Experience:

  • 2020 - present: Lecturer in Smart Civil Engineering at Cardiff University
  • 2018 - 2020: Research Associate , School of Engineering,  Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  • 2017 - 2018: Design Engineer, Spencer Group, UK
  • 2016: Visiting Researcher, University of Brazilia, Brazil
  • 2015: Visiting Researcher, Pessl Instruments, Austria

Honours and awards

2019, Marie Curie Alumni Association. Micro Travel Grant to participate as invited speaker at the “Failed and Bored” Conference, Austria.

2019, Institution of Civil Engineers. Emerging Engineer Award, Wales.

2019, Athena Swan. Travel Grant for the Gender Equality Workshop in Newcastle.

2018, CA 15202 SARCOS COST Action. Travel grant to attend the 2nd SARCOS Training School in FRY Macedonia.

2016, GREAT (Geotechnical and geological Responses to climate change: Exchanging Approaches and Technologies on a world-wide scale). Travel Grant for Secondment to University of Brasilia.

2015, Marie Curie Industry-Academia Pathways. Travel grant for Secondment to Pessl Instruments, Austria.

Professional memberships

  • 2020: Chartered Member (CEng MICE) of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) .
  • 2013: Ingegnere Civile ed Ambientale (Chartered Civil Engineer equivalent, Italian Engineering Council)

Academic positions

2020- Present: Lecturer in Smart Civil Engineering, Cardiff University

2018-2020: Postdoctoral Research Associate for the RM4L Project, School Of Engineering, Cardiff

2016-2016: Visiting researcher, University of Brasilia

2015-2015: Visiting Researcher, Pessl Instruments, Weiz, Austria

2015-2015: Environmental Agency, Beverley, Visiting Researcher

Speaking engagements

2019. Failed and Bored Conference (Organized by Marie Curie Alumni Association), Innsbruck. “Hunting the error”,
Invited speaker
2019. International Conference on Self-Healing Materials, Japan. “Enhanced Concrete crack closure with hybrid shape
memory polymer tendons”.
2019. Conference on the Fracture Mechanics of Concrete Structures (FRAMCOS), France. “Enhanced Concrete crack
closure with hybrid shape memory polymer tendons”.
2016. European Conference on Unsaturated soils, France. “Analysis of a rainfall-triggered landslide at rest and be thankful
in Scotland”.
2015. Environmental Agency, Beverley, UK. “Flood vulnerability of transportation infrastructure in floodplains”.









Structures - Dynamics (Year 1)

FE Applications (Year 3)

Design Fesasibility (Year 4)

Research interests:

  • Reuse of RC structural elements from End of Life buildings
  • Structural Design 
  • Smart Crack closure technologies
  • Concrete 3D printing
  • Structural Shape optimization
  • Self-Healing Concrete
  • Shape memory polymers
  • Non invasive testing for structural elements
  • Structural monitoring

Current Projects

Title People Funder Value Duration
Resilient Materials 4 Life (RM4L) AD Jefferson, DR Gardner, M Harbottle, IC Mihai, RE Davies, A Paul, R Maddalena, B Balzano UKRI-EPSRC £4,837,625 04/2017 - 04/2022
Towards next generation infrastructures: Smart Hybrid Tendons for Concrete Self-healing B Balzano, J Sweeney IAA-EPSRC £19,925 06/2021 - 05/2022


Title Student Funder Value Duration
Smart Concrete Structures Yuk Lam Jasper Chiu On-Campus Internship (Futures) £1,000 06/2021 - 08/2021


Past projects