Research and expertise

I am a civil engineer with more than 10 years of experience in concrete technology and civil infrastructure research. I conduct research in advanced cementitious composites (fibre reinforced concrete, ultra-high performance concrete, sprayed concrete and self-healing concrete), diagnosis and repair of civil infrastructure (concrete dams and tunnels). I have participated in 6 publicly-funded, peer-reviewed research grants worth £0.97 M on topics related to advanced cementitious composites and infrastructure. I have published over 30 refereed publications and supervised PhD dissertations to successful completion and ongoing dissertations. Since 2009 I have participated in or led 20+ enterprise projects worth more than £0.71 M with major stakeholders in the construction sector, addressing issues related with my research field. I am a member of several scientific committees in international organisations about infrastructure and advanced materials. I welcome enquiries from postgraduates who wish to study for a PhD in my research areas.

Current research activity 

Recently completed research projects 

  • MAPMIT (RTC-2015-3185-4): Sprayed multi-functional materials for reinforcement and monitoring of transport infrastructures (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness) https://www.atem.upc.edu/mapmit/
  • CONSFIB (BIA2010-17478): Construction processes with fibre reinforced concrete (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness)

Recent publications

  • Casanovas-Rubio, MM., Pujadas P., Pardo-Bosch, F., Blanco, A. & Aguado, A. (2019). Sustainability assessment of trenches including the new eco-trench: A multi-criteria decision-making tool. J of Clean Prod, 238, 117957.
  • Cavalaro, S., Blanco, A., & Pieralisi, R. (2019). Holistic modelling approach for special concrete: from fresh- to hardened-state. RILEM Technical Letters, 3, 84-90. 
  • Blanco, A., Pardo-Bosch, F., Cavalaro, S. & Aguado, A. (2019). Lessons learned about the diagnosis of pathologies in concrete dams: 30 years of research and practice. Constr Build Mater, 197, 356-68. 
  • Campos, A., López, C., Blanco, A., & Aguado, A. (2018). Effects of an internal sulfate attack and an alkali-aggregate reaction in a concrete dam. Constr Build Mater, 166, 668-83. 
  • Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., Segura, I., Segura-Castillo, L., & Aguado, A. (2018). Expansions with different origins in a concrete dam with bridge over spillway. Constr Build Mater, 163, 861-74. 
  • Rambo, D. A. S., Blanco, A., Figueiredo, A., Santos, E. R. F. D., Toledo, R. D., & Gomes, O. D. F. M. (2018). Study of temperature effect on macro-synthetic fiber reinforced concretes by means of Barcelona tests: An approach focused on tunnels assessment. Constr Build Mater, 158, 443-53. 
  • Galeote, E., Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., & de la Fuente, A. (2017). Correlation between the Barcelona test and the bending test in fibre reinforced concrete. Constr Build Mater, 152, 529-38. 
  • Blanco, A., Pujadas, P., Fernández, C., Cavalaro, S., & Aguado, A. (2017). Eco-trench: A novel trench solution based on reusing excavated material and a finishing layer of expansive concrete. Mater Construcc, 67(328). 
  • Pujadas, P., Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., de la Fuente, A., & Aguado, A. (2017). The need to consider flexural post-cracking creep behavior of macro-synthetic fiber reinforced concrete. Constr Build Mater, 149, 790-800. 
  • Blanco, A., Aire, C., Pujadas, P., & Cavalaro, S. (2017). Luong test for the characterization of the shear post-cracking response of fiber reinforced concrete. Constr Build Mater, 149, 207-17. 
  • Rodríguez, G., Blanco, A., Pujadas, P., & Aguado, A. (2017). Self-Compacting Concrete in the Temple of Sagrada Familia. J Arch Eng, 23(3). 
  • de la Fuente, A., Blanco, A., Armengou, J., & Aguado, A. (2017). Sustainability based-approach to determine the concrete type and reinforcement configuration of TBM tunnels linings. Case study: Extension line to Barcelona Airport T1. Tunn Undergr Sp Tech, 61, 179-88. 
  • Garcia, T., Blanco, A., & Cavalaro, S. (2016). Shear behaviour of sprayed concrete. Constr Build Mater, 124, 722-31. 
  • Campos, A., López, C., Blanco, A., & Aguado, A. (2016). Structural Diagnosis of a Concrete Dam with Cracking and High Nonrecoverable Displacements. J Perform Constr Fac, 30(5). 
  • Blanco, A., Pujadas, P., De La Fuente, A., Cavalaro, S., & Aguado, A. (2016). Influence of the type of fiber on the structural response and design of FRC slabs. J Struct Eng-ASCE, 142(9). 
  • Blanco, A., Segura, I., Cavalaro, S., Chinchón-Payá, S., & Aguado, A. (2016). Sand-Cement Concrete in the Century-Old Camarasa Dam. J Perform Constr Fac, 30(4). 
  • Canadell, S., Blanco, A., & Cavalaro, S. (2016). Comprehensive design method for earthbag and superadobe structures. Materials & Design, 96, 270-82. 
  • Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., de la Fuente, A., Grünewald, S., Blom, C. B. M., & Walraven, J. C. (2015). Application of FRC constitutive models to modelling of slabs. Mater Struct, 48(9), 2943-59. 
  • Pujadas, P., Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., & Aguado, A. (2015). Performance-based procedure for the definition of controlled low-strength mixtures. J Mater Civ Eng, 27(11). 
  • Blanco, A., Pujadas, P., De La Fuente, A., Cavalaro, S., & Aguado, A. (2015). Assessment of the fibre orientation factor in SFRC slabs. Compos Part B-Eng, 68, 343-54. 
  • Blanco, A., Pujadas, P., Cavalaro, S., & Aguado, A. (2014). Methodology for the design of controlled low-strength materials. Application to the backfill of narrow trenches. Constr Build Mater, 72, 23-30. 
  • Pujadas, P., Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., Aguado, A., Grünewald, S., Blom, K., & Walraven, J. C. (2014). Plastic fibres as the only reinforcement for flat suspended slabs: Parametric study and design considerations. Constr Build Mater, 70, 88-96. 
  • Pujadas, P., Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., De La Fuente, A., & Aguado, A. (2014). Fibre distribution in macro-plastic fibre reinforced concrete slab-panels. Constr Build Mater, 64, 496-503. 
  • Pujadas, P., Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., De La Fuente, A., & Aguado, A. (2014). Multidirectional double punch test to assess the post-cracking behaviour and fibre orientation of FRC. Constr Build Mater, 58, 214-24. 
  • Pujadas, P., Blanco, A., Cavalaro, S., & Aguado, A. (2014). Plastic fibres as the only reinforcement for flat suspended slabs: Experimental investigation and numerical simulation. Constr Build Mater, 57, 92-104. 
  • Blanco, A., Pujadas, P., Cavalaro, S., De La Fuente, A., & Aguado, A. (2014). Constitutive model for fibre reinforced concrete based on the Barcelona test. Cement and Concrete Comp, 53, 327-40. 

Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching

I contribute to learning and teaching activities across the Schools programmes including: 

Undergraduate

  • Structural engineering & Engineering materials modules in the civil engineering programmes;
  • Integrated design project; and
  • Supervision of dissertations on topics aligned to my research interests

Postgraduate

  • Supervision of dissertations on topics aligned to my research interests

Current projects 

  • Development of advanced cementitious composites in the UK (Thorp Precast Ltd)
  • Assessment of the durability in tunnel segments – Phases I (Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture)

Recently completed projects

  • Optimised quality control for fibre reinforced concrete (Ghella S.p.A, Norway)
  • Conductive concrete for protection against lightning (Ingesco, Spain)
  • Evaluation of the state of concrete dams of the UPH Ebro-Pirineos, Spain (Endesa-Enel, Spain)
  • Development of high-performance concrete and mortar for Sagrada Familia, Spain (The Foundation of the Temple of Sagrada Familia, Spain)

Background

I received my BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Spain. I then conducted research in concrete technology at UPC and Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), and was awarded a PhD in 2013 for an investigation on the characterisation and modelling of fibre reinforced cementitious composites. This was followed by three years as a postdoctoral researcher at UPC, involving research and enterprise projects in hydraulic infrastructure maintenance and development of high-performance cementitious composites for underground infrastructure. In 2015, I co-founded a spin-out company that develops enhanced cementitious materials and provides advanced design and maintenance solutions for civil and urban infrastructure. I joined the spin-out company as a project leader in 2017 while combining my part-time research at UPC. 

In February 2018 I joined the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering (ABCE) at Loughborough University as a Lecturer in Infrastructure Engineering. I am a member of the Structures and Materials Group, member of the Enterprise Committee and the Library Liasion Officer at ABCE.