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Materials for Life (M4L)

Developing a new generation of unique, versatile and robust self-healing construction materials.

The aim of this research group is to create a built environment and infrastructure which is a sustainable and resilient system comprising materials and structures that continually monitor, regulate, adapt and repair themselves without the need for external intervention.

In this way, these self-healing materials and intelligent structures will significantly enhance durability and serviceability, improve safety and reduce maintenance costs. The research of the group also covers the numerical modelling of quasi-brittle materials, application of micro-mechanical solutions to the numerical analysis of cementitious materials and coupled thermo-hygro-mechanical solutions for concrete.

Watch our Materials for Life video on YouTube

This project involves the development of a new generation of unique, versatile and robust self-healing construction materials, which are self-healing over multiple spatial and temporal scales.

The project is being conducted by a consortium from the Universities of Cardiff, Bath and Cambridge, three of the top UK academic institutions, which have the required interdisciplinary mix of civil engineering and science skills and expertise, and are uniquely placed to lead this novel and challenging research endeavour both nationally and internationally. The proposal was developed through the EPSRC-funded networks LimesNet and Future Infrastructure Forum.

Conglomerate materials, which comprise the majority of our infrastructure and built environment, form the focus of the Materials for Life (M4L) project. It is also recognised that the fundamental scientific understanding of how materials can be manipulated, by taking advantage of new ground breaking innovations in allied scientific disciplines, will pave the way for the development of a new generation of unique, versatile and robust construction materials systems which would go far beyond any system currently available.

Lead researcher

Tony Jefferson

Tony Jefferson

Professor

Email
jeffersonad@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5697

Academic staff

Robert Davies

Robert Davies

Lecturer - Teaching and Research

Welsh speaking
Email
daviesre11@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0043
Dr Diane Gardner

Dr Diane Gardner

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

Email
gardnerdr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0776
Professor R. (Bob) Lark

Professor R. (Bob) Lark

Emeritus Professor

Email
lark@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6176
Dr Iulia Mihai

Dr Iulia Mihai

Lecturer - Teaching and Research

Email
mihaiic1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0368
Dr Michael Harbottle

Dr Michael Harbottle

Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Email
harbottlem@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5759
Viviana Novelli

Viviana Novelli

Lecturer

Dr Riccardo Maddalena

Dr Riccardo Maddalena

Lecturer

Email
maddalenar@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 208 76 150

Associated staff

Brubeck Freeman

Brubeck Freeman

Research Associate

Email
freemanbl@cardiff.ac.uk
Dr Magdalini Theodoridou

Dr Magdalini Theodoridou

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow

Email
theodoridoum2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6836
Dr Brunella Balzano

Dr Brunella Balzano

Research Associate

Email
balzanob@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4597