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Dr Enrico Masoero

Dr Enrico Masoero

Senior Lecturer

School of Engineering

Email
masoeroe@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
4.02, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

My research and teaching is in the mechanics and chemistry of infrastructure materials. I mainly use and develop computational methods based on discrete interacting particles, to simulate the formation and degradation of materials. Most of my work is on concrete, which is the most widely used artificial material on Earth and whose improvement is critical to achieveing the current environmental targets in the UK and internationally. Another important thread of my researhc relates to structures, in particular their (topological) optimization to resist accidental damage coming for example from explotions or impacts.

Biography

2010 : PhD in Structural Engineering at Politecnico di Torino (Italy)

2010 - 2013 : Postdoctoral Research Associate at MIT, Concrete Sustainability Hub, Boston (USA)

2013 - 2021 : Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering at Newcastle University (UK)

2021 - now : Senior Lecturer in the Materials for Life group at Cardiff University (UK)

Honours and awards

  • National Award for best PhD Thesis in Computational Mechanics - Italian Group of Computational Mechanics (2010)
  • MITOR Postdoctoral Fellowship, between Politecnico di Torino and MIT (2010)
  • Keynote lecture at the 2nd meeting of the EU COST Action TU1404: Towards the next generation of standards for service life of cement-based materials and structures, Wien, Austria (2015)
  • Keynote Lecture at the Newton Fund workshop "Reusing Mining Waste", University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK (2019).

Professional memberships

  • Chartered Civil Engineer in Italy
  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy

Committees and reviewing

  • Member of the Properties of Materials Committee of the Engineering Mechanics Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineering, USA (EMI-ASCE)
  • Reviewer for various international journals, including Engineering Structures, Computational Materials Science, The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings, Journal of Engineering Mechanics ASCE, The Journal of the American Ceramics Society, Cement and Concrete Research, the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Nature Scientific Reports, Composite Materials, Advances in Applied Ceramics, International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials, Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics ASCE, Cement and Concrete Composites, Journal of Construction and Building Materials
  • Outstanding reviewer for the Cement and Concrete Research journal (2018)

Teaching

I have been teaching course in Civil and Structural Engineering since 2007, at various instiutions. In particular, I have been teaching courses in the areas of Structural Mechanics, Materials Science, and Numerical Methods.

At Cardiff University I am teaching the Structural Analysis part of the Design module and part of the Engineering Analysis module, both in year 2. In addition to that, I am supervising undergaduate and graduate dissertations.

I have been supervising several PhD students in various areas: Structural Engineering, Materials, Biomechanical Engineering, and Mathematics. 

I am a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

The core of my research is on computational methods based on discrete interacting particles, to simulate  the formation and degradation of materials at the nano-to-mico scale, as well the mechanics and collapse of structures.

In the area of mateirals, I have been developing simulations based on interacting nanoparticles, and in particular I have worked on coupling mechanical with chemical processes, in the framework of Kinetic Monte Carlo. This opens up new opportunities to simulate degrdation processes where mechical stresses and chemical reactions play together, such as stress-induced dissolution, stress-corrosion cracking, or dissolution-induced creep.

My simulations are at the nano-to-micro level and I use them to clarify fundamental mechanisms, to provide constitutive inputs for larger-scale models that are typically used in engineering, and to better interpret and guide experimental research.

The main material of interest, for me, is concrete, as it plays a central role in achieving the current environmental targets in the UK and internationally. However, I am increasingly exploring applications f the same method to other materials and systems too: degradation of lithium electrodes in batteries are one such example.

In th area of structural mechanics, my main interest is in avoiding building collapse. I have started resarch in this area during my PhD and recently my interest got revived by the new opportunities offered by digital manufacture, which enables relatively low-cost fabrication of complex structures which would have not been sustainable a few years ago. This, combined with the increasingly stringent requirement of minimizing waste of material, is fuelling my current interest in structural topology optimization, with a particualr and original focus on discrete structural behaviour, e.g. fracture and impacts, which are all parts of typical collapse mechanisms. 

Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Computational materials science 
  • Modelling the formation and degrdation of concrete and other mateiral systems (in particular natural rocks and battery electrodes)
  • Structural topology optimization

Past projects

  • 2nd Supervisor of Dr Jiayi Wang - The influences of microstructural processes on concrete exposed to high temperatures (awarded 2021)
  • 1st Supervisor of Dr Francesca Lolli - Molecular structure and early age behaviour of metakaolin geopolymers: insights from nanoscale modelling (awarded 2019)