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Dr Riccardo Maddalena

Dr Riccardo Maddalena


School of Engineering

+44 (0)29 208 76 150
Room C/4.09, Queen's Buildings - West Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision



Pronouns: He/Him/His

I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Civil Engineering at Cardiff University. I am a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Chartered Scientist (CSci) with a focus on multidisciplinary applied research. I gained experience in automotive industry, civil engineering consultancy and academia. I am currently Co-Investigator and Project Coordinator 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 co-chair the School of Engineering Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) committee. 


My main research activity is associated with the REsilient Structures and COnstruction Materials (RESCOM) Research Group.  

My interests are on characterisation and durability of building materials, cement and concrete science, chemistry and engineering applications. I have experience in bench-scale and pilot scale experiment design. I use analytical techniques for bulk-scale and nano-scale characterisation studies (XRD, SEM, TGA/DSC, Raman and NMR spectroscopy, calorimetry, laser light scattering technique for PSD, MIP). I am also interested in carbon offsets and life cycle assessment (LCA) of innovative infrastructure materials and engineering solutions. 


Past and ongoing research activities and interests:

  • low-carbon cements
  • self-healing and bio-mimetic infrastructure materials
  • recycled and recyclable building materials
  • radionuclide immobilisation into cement minerals
  • life cycle assessment and carbon footprint analysis
  • novel low-carbon (geo)materials
  • in-situ concrete repair solutions
  • in-situ and ex-situ thermal treatments of polluted soils and sediments.

We are currently accepting contributions to a Special Issue on: "Biomimetic Infrastructure Materials: Towards a greener Future". More information on here


Do you want to discuss your ideas with me? Get in touch via email or book directly an online meeting



  • 2018: PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2018: PGCert in Researcher Professional Development, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2013: Laurea Magistrale (MSc equivalent) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Catania, Italy
  • 2011: Laurea in Civil and Environmental Engineering (BEng equivalent), University of Catania, Italy


  • 2019: Chartered Engineer (CEng), UK Engineering Council
  • 2019: Chartered Scientist (CSci), UK Science Council
  • 2019: Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)
  • 2018: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • 2013: Ingegnere Civile ed Ambientale (Chartered Civil Engineer equivalent, Italian Engineering Council)


  • 2020 - present: Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Cardiff University, UK
  • 2019: JSPS Postdoctoral fellow at Tohoku University, Japan
  • 2017 - 2020: Research Associate and RM4L Project Manager, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2017 - 2018: Visiting Researcher, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2017: Research Assistant, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2017: Visiting Researcher, Tsinghua University, PR China
  • 2011-2012: Civil Engineer, Technoside Srl, Italy
  • 2009-2010: Materials Engineer (intern), Akebono Brake Co. Ltd, Japan

Honours and awards

  • 2019: JSPS Fellowship at Tohoku University, Japan
  • 2017: Travel Grant - European Commission via the Marie Curie IRSES project GREAT– (Geotechnical and geological Responses to climate change: Exchanging Approaches and Technologies on a world-wide scale), Beijing, China
  • 2016: Beam time (user) at UK National synchrotron facility DIAMOND Light Source Ltd, Oxfordshire, UK
  • 2014: Remediation Technologies (REMTECH) Best MScThesis Award, Ferrara, Italy
  • 2009: Vulcanus in Japan Internship, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation.

Professional memberships

  • Member (MIMMM) of the Institute of Mineral, Materials and Mining (IOM3) since 2016
  • Member (MIET) of the Intitution of Engineering and Technology (IET) since 2016
  • RILEM Member since 2020.

Academic positions

  • 2020 - now: Lecturer, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2017 - 2020: Research Associate and Project Manager, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2019 - 2019: JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Tohoku University, Japan
  • 2017 - 2017: Research Assistant, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2017 - 2017: Visiting Researcher, Tsinghua University, PR China.

Speaking engagements

  • 2021: RM4L2020 International Conference, Cardiff, UK
  • 2020: 40th Cement and Concrete Science Conference (CCS), Sheffield, UK
  • 2019: Seminar at the JSPS London Office, London, UK
  • 2019: 39th Cement and Concrete Science Conference (CCS), Bath, UK
  • 2019: Special Lecture at Tohoku University, Japan
  • 2019: ICSHM Conference, Yokohama, Japan
  • 2018: RAMS Conference, Cardiff, UK
  • 2018: National Construction EXPO, MIlton Keynes, London, UK
  • 2017: Seminar, School of Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
  • 2017: Seminar, Research Meeting of the Institute of Building Materials, Tsinghua University, Beijing, PR China.
  • 2016: 10th Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions (SAHC) Conference, Leuven, Belgium
  • 2016: 36th Cement and Concrete Science (CCS) Conference, Cardiff, UK
  • 2015: DISTINCTIVE Consortium, Conference, Sheffield, UK
  • 2015: 35th Cement and Concrete Science (CCS) Conference, Aberdeen, UK.

Committees and reviewing

  • Member of Cardiff University Race Equality Supervisory Panel (RESP)
  • Co-Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Committee of School of ENGIN, Cardiff University, UK
  • Guest Editor for MDPI Sustainability and ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering
  • Journal Reviewer for Elsevier, Springer, MDPI, ASCE, ICE.










Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Materials and Construction (Year 1)
  • Professional Studies and Construction
  • 3rd Year project supervision
  • MSc project supervision

Do you need help with some calculations or tutorials? Get in touch via email or book directly an online meeting


Title People Funder Value Duration
Concrete MOT R Maddalena (PI) Cardiff University £7,000 07/2022-06/2023
QUANTUM EFFICIENCY HUB B Hou (PI), R Maddalena (Co-I), D Gardner (Co-I) HEFCW £404,000 06/2022-04/2023
DURALAB R Maddalena (PI), D Gardner, V Novelli (and others) HEFCW £383,000 09/2021- 04/2022
Resilient Materials 4 Life (RM4L) AD Jefferson (PI), DR Gardner, M Harbottle, IC Mihai, RE Davies, A Paul, R Maddalena, B Balzano UKRI-EPSRC £4,837,625 04/2017 - 04/2022
TETCRETE 2.0 R Maddalena (PI), J Sweeney (Co-I) IAA-EPSRC £19,500 06/2021 - 02/2022
CCK (Circular Cement in Kenya) R Maddalena (Supervisor), E Latif (Co-supervisor), Joseph Marangu (Fellow) UKRI - GCRF £6,100 01/2021 - 04/2021
FISH (Fibre-reinforced Self-Healing) Concrete R Maddalena (Fellow), Tomoya Nishiwaki (Supervisor) JSPS £15,000 05/2019 - 08/2019


Title Student Funder Value Duration
Materials for the future: low-carbon cements and LCA Borna Neghabat Shirazi CUROP £2,000 06/2022-09/2022
Built2Future: Sustainable Building Materials to build a better Future Simran Mahal CUROP £1,000 07/2021 - 08/2021
Sustainability of Smart Concrete (SSC) Zhening Huang CUIP £1,000 06/2020 - 08/2020
Hydrophobic coatings of mortar paste Robin Grosse INP-ENSIACET (France) Other 06/2020 - 08/2020
Self-healing of cementitious materials Dan Incorvaja CUROP £1,000 08/2019 - 09/2019
Self-healing knotted Shape Memory Polymer Fibres (k-SMP) in cement Lorenzo Bonanno Cardiff University Other 05/2018 - 08/2018

Do you want to discuss your ideas with me? Get in touch via email or book directly an online meeting


I am available to supervise PhD students, project students (undergraduate and postgraduate), interns and visiting students on the following topics:

  • Self-healing concrete
  • Re-use of waste into concrete and mechanical behaviour
  • Thermal analysis and thermal imaging of cementitious materials
  • Chemistry of cement mortar and concrete
  • Water transport in concrete
  • Green low-carbon concrete
  • Life Cycle Assessment and carbon footprint of infrastructure materials
  • ...I am also open to other topics. 

Note: Prospective research students (PhD, EngD, MPhil, MRes) should investigate potential funding and/or scholarships before getting in touch. Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £26,000 for UK and EU students. Explore also the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) PhD scholarships

Do you want to discuss your ideas with me? Get in touch via email or book directly an online meeting

Past projects