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PhD Student Callum White published in leading journal for concrete research

8 November 2023 Students

Huge congratulations to Clare Hall PhD Student Callum White, whose work was recently accepted in ‘Cement and Concrete Research’, the most prestigious journal in the field of concrete research. Furthermore, the approach his team developed has been highlighted in this month’s ‘Concrete’ magazine, a highly regarded outlet for their industry, with a feature on the front page.

Callum is pursuing his PhD at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment (FIBE2 CDT). EPSRC and Costain Plc support his research. Callum is a member of the Concrete Infrastructure Research Group, headed by Professor Janet Lees, which aims to enhance understanding of existing infrastructure assets and explore new materials alongside innovative structural solutions. Callum’s primary research interests lie in developing and applying digital interventions within the concrete sector. He is involved in various levels ranging from supply chain interfaces to fundamental non-Newtonian behavioural understanding unlocked through rheological parameters. Callum is deeply committed to bringing sustainable changes in practice by bridging the gap between academia and industry. He aims to ensure that the proposed innovations have the most significant impact on sustainable outcomes. Callum has previously worked as a consultant structural engineer, which has given him insights into how his research could be successfully implemented in practice.

In his article, Callum explores methods for addressing how concrete use significantly contributes to climate change, air pollution and biodiversity loss. To approach these issues collectively, the concrete sector must prioritise waste reduction and focus on increasing material efficiency. This can be accomplished by improving the understanding of concrete behaviour in practice. Concrete yield stress is one such performance measure that can improve understanding but has previously been difficult or expensive to capture. Relating the empirical slump test to yield stress facilitates the capture of fresh-state performance in fundamental quantitative terms, whilst avoiding the requirement for expensive equipment. This work proposes a novel method to predict yield stress from slump profiles by directly measuring the height of the unyielded region via a 3D reconstruction approach. Using a 3D scanner, a highly accurate point cloud reconstruction of the slumped profile is built from which reliable measurements can be taken, which has not previously been possible. The proposed 3D reconstruction methodology predicts yield stress with significantly increased accuracy, indicated by a mean prediction error an order of magnitude lower than the average performance of existing models. The full article can be found here.

I am delighted to share my work on yield stress prediction from the concrete slump test through a publication in the Cement and Concrete Research Journal and an article in a flagship magazine for the Concrete industry. The slump test was conceived around 100 years ago and is used daily on construction sites. While limited performance insights are being drawn from the slump test, the complete picture of concrete behaviour is not well understood. The widespread adoption of the slump test makes it ripe for extracting additional valuable performance information. While various researchers have attempted to develop relationships between the slump test and more fundamental measures through rheology, prediction errors and/or high complexity have led to poor uptake of these approaches in practice. The published work overcomes these barriers for the first time, representing a significant step forward in performance understanding, with limited intervention in current processes.

-Callum White

The feature of Callum’s article in ‘Concrete’ magazine can also be found below.