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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment

Ioanna with fellow winners.jpg

Ioanna Papanikolaou won 2 international awards at the 12th FIB International PhD-Symposium in Civil Engineering in Prague. The FIB is the International Federation for Structural Concrete and the bi-annual PhD symposium sees over 150 paper submissions. Ioanna presented her 1st year PhD work on graphene-reinforced cement composites for self-sensing infrastructure. The novelty of the research and Ioanna’s presentation impressed the judges and won her the two awards. One of the awards was from the chemicals company BASF, for her materials research and the other was from the conference organisers for the Best Paper Award out of at least 150 paper submissions.

I began my research after questioning how, despite advances in concrete research, little has changed over the last years around the way we design and build our infrastructure. Developments in nanomaterials and nanotechnology create many opportunities for developing truly biomimetic infrastructure with self-diagnosing and healing capabilities.”
                                                                - Ioanna Papanikolaou

Ioanna is currently in her second year PHD and continues with her experimental work on developing this innovative material. Ioanna’s research is jointly funded by EPSRC and Costain.  She has now been working for 5 years at Costain’s London Power Tunnels and Thames Tideway Tunnel projects. Costain, the Smart Engineering Solutions provider, is supportive of Ioanna’s research and is looking to make use of her PhD research and undertake a full scale trial of this new material.