skip to content

Structures Research Group



My PhD project aims to achieve better use of concrete in structural elements through understanding how mix design and the cement content of concrete directly contribute to concrete properties. In conventional design of concrete structural elements, the same concrete mix is used throughout a given element. This can lead to regions of unutilised material and a conservative coverage of non-controlling material properties. Varying the concrete mix design within an element to achieve spatially variable structural and durability properties allows for performance to be enhanced whilst the total cement content and environmental costs are minimised. This is referred to as concrete tailoring, as the use of concrete is made fit for purpose.

The factors which may affect the compatibility between casting layers of different concrete mixes are being explored experimentally to understand the boundaries within which deterioration mechanisms are not unintentionally proliferated. These tests are carried out in two phases; the first includes a range of standard concrete characterisation tests and the second focusses on slab flexure.

I am in Cohort 3 of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and the Built Environment (

My work is supervised by Prof. Janet M. Lees, and forms part of the Tailored Reinforced Concrete Infrastructure project in the Concrete Infrastructure Research Group (


Key publications: 

Giacomo Torelli, Mar Giménez Fernández, Janet M. Lees. Functionally graded concrete: Design objectives, production techniques and analysis methods for layered and continuously graded elements. Construction and Building Materials. Volume 242. 2020. ISSN 0950-0618.

Supervisor: Professor Janet Lees
 Mar  Giménez Fernández
Not available for consultancy