Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering


Contact details

Room: 6 East 4.15
Tel: +44 (0)1225 385943

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PhD supervision

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • chemical and physical characteristics of lime-based materials
  • carbonation reaction in lime-based materials
  • hydraulic reactions in lime-based materials
  • radiocarbon dating of lime mortars and plasters
  • archaeometric analysis of old mortars and plasters.

Giovanni Luca Pesce

MArch PhD (Mat Eng)


Giovanni L Pesce (known as Gianluca) is a Research Associate in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. His research interests focus on the development of low-carbon inorganic binders for the construction industry, and the conservation of built heritage.

Gianluca undertook a master’s degree in Architecture in 1999 with the top marks in the Faculty of Architecture at University of Genoa (Italy). In 2006 he obtained a PhD in Material Engineering for the Science of Building at the same University, presenting a thesis on the use of metakaolin as a hydraulic additive in new lime-based materials. Starting from 2010, he studied the carbonation reaction in new lime-based materials as part of a PhD in Civil Engineering.

Since his graduation in 1999, Gianluca has worked as a consultant specialist for a number of Italian research groups in both private and public institutions, as well as for a number of private companies working in the field of built heritage. From 2000, he has been collaborating with Ipsilon s.c.r.l., a well-established company where, in 2007,  he took on the role of Vice President.  He has also collaborated with the Department of Science for Architecture at the University of Genoa since 2006.

Gianluca's first paper was published in 1999; since then he has published on a range of topics in popular and scientific journals as well as regularly presenting his research at international conferences. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Editorial Board of: Open Archaeometry Journal (Page Press Editor) as section editor and specialist for material sciences and architecture.

In addition, he acts as a reviewer for several other journals such as Radiocarbon. He is member of The Building Limes Forum and the Institute for the History of Material Culture of Genoa (Italy).


Gianluca’s research interests concentrate on low-carbon inorganic binders for the construction industry and, in particular, on lime (both air and hydraulic lime, natural and artificial). Lime binders, in fact, have a low-carbon footprint compared to other products such as cement and are important materials for the restoration of historic buildings.

Previous research he conducted over the last five years, in conjunction with different specialists, allowed him to also deal with the radiocarbon dating of mortars and plasters.

Gianluca is currently working as a postdoctoral research associate on an EPSRC-funded project ‘Experimentally verified atomistic modelling of lime in construction materials’. Joint with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, he is using his expertise to study chemical and mechanical processes on the surface of individual and polycrystalline group II hydroxide crystals.

Gianluca has experience in the application of numerous materials characterisation techniques, including SEM/EDX, TEM, AFM, XRD, TGA/DSC, MIP, FTIR, EIS, NMR, Raman spectroscopy and mechanical testing.


Read publications by Giovanni Pesce