Over 100 experts in concrete and cement are set to meet at the University of Bath next week to explore the future of the world’s most widely-used building material and how to reduce its environmental impact.

The 39th Cement and Concrete Science Conference will be hosted by the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM) from Monday 9 to Tuesday 10 September.

Organised in partnership with the Cementitious Materials Group of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the conference will host keynote speakers from Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Historic England.

Professor Karen Scrivener, of the EPFL’s Laboratory of Building Materials, will open the conference with a talk focused on how academics can set a research agenda aimed at lowering CO₂ emissions associated with concrete. Prof Scrivener established the academic-industrial research consortium Nanocem in 2004 and now serves as its principal coordinator. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014.

The second keynote, taking place on Tuesday 10 September, will see Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Surveyor Nicola Lauder explore the historical use of concrete and how it can best be conserved for future generations.

Other sessions during the conference will explore and discuss themes including new and developing cements, methods of reducing corrosion of reinforced concretes, and how additives and materials can make cements and concretes more sustainable.

As well as bringing together academic and industrial partners, the event will provide research groups, including student researchers, an important opportunity to share their findings, form partnerships and identify future research directions.

Conference co-organiser Dr Richard Ball, Reader in the Department for Architecture & Civil Engineering, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the 39th CCSC in Bath this year.

"During the conference we will explore a range of important topics including the fundamental reactions that allow cement and concrete to acquire their strength, as well as how concrete deteriorates and is being engineered to become self-healing and more sustainable. We’ll also discuss environmental processes such as carbonation and technologies including geopolymers.”

The 39th Cement and Concrete Science Conference will run from Monday 9 to Tuesday 10 September at the University of Bath Chancellors’ Building. It is sponsored by Netzsch, Zeiss, Sika Building Trust, Carbolite Gero, Retsch, Malvern Panalytical, Hiden Isochema, Zwick/Roell and Surface Measurement Systems who will be showcasing their products.