Dr John (Temitope) Kolawole

BSc (First Class Honours) MSc PhD

  • EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow
  • Research Associate in 3D Concrete Printing

Research and expertise

My research themes – low-carbon construction materials, valorising wastes into concrete matrices, self-sensing and self-healing materials, durability and early-age cracking in cement composites, rheology of binder systems, and additive manufacturing with concrete

After completing my BSc, my 12+ years career has been in research, development, and practice, accumulating fellowships and awards worth over £250K. In my current role, I am a materials and rheology specialist undertaking research and teaching, contributing to the world’s pioneering and UK-leading consortium advancing 3D concrete printing (3DCP) technology. However, the impact of my expertise is beyond 3DCP, I am currently active in the above six research themes strategically aligned with Sustainable, Resilient and Smart Infrastructure, with 40+ publications outcomes in top journals, working with international collaborators, developing innovative test methods for concrete applications, and establishing some advanced concrete science. I also consult for companies working with concrete, creating impact in enterprise and knowledge transfer.

I have worked on UK funded multimillion projects with multidisciplinary collaboration, organising across the group; successfully supervised/mentored several research students, supported international visiting researchers and participated in organising international conferences and workshops. I am actively involved in professional bodies, such as RILEM, and their technical committees developing research/industry standards on construction and concrete materials. I completed my TWAS-funded PhD investigating the roles of rheology in the plastic settlement/shrinkage cracking of early-age concrete, advancing the fundamental understanding of concrete behaviour, with four prominent awards, 6 top journal papers, 1 conference paper, and several international presentations.

Current research activity

  • EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship – Healing the anisotropy of 3D printed concrete (as PI)
  • UK EPSRC DfM:3DCP – Design-for-manufacture of 3D concrete printed structural composites, (as PDRA)

Recently completed research projects

  • UK EPSRC 3DCP:HCP – Manufacturing integrated building components using digital hybrid concrete printing technology (as PDRA), 2022
  • Stellenbosch University Consolidoc Fellowship Program, 2020
  • NRF-TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Fellowship SFH160522165795, 2017 – 2019

Recent publications

Journal articles 

  • Fanijo, E.O, Kolawole, J.T., Babafemi, A.J., Liu, J. 2023. A comprehensive review on the use of recycled concrete aggregate for pavement construction: properties, performance and sustainability. Cleaner Materials, 100199
  • Alanazi, N., Kolawole, J.T., Buswell, R., Susmel, L. 2022. The theory of critical distances to assess the effect of cracks/manufacturing defects on the static strength of 3D-printed concrete. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 108563.
  • Roussel, N., Buswell, R., Ducoulombier, N., Ivanova, I., Kolawole, J.T., Lowke, D.., Mechtcherine, V., Mesnil, R., Perrot, A., Pott, U., Reiter, L., Stefan, D., Wangler, T., Wolfs, R., Zuo, W. 2022. Assessing the fresh properties of printable cement-based materials: high potential tests for quality control. Cement and Concrete Research 158 (3).
  • Buswell, R.A, Xu, J., De-Becker, D., Dobrzanski, J., Provis, J., Kolawole, J.T., Kinnell, P. 2022. Geometric quality assurance for 3D concrete printing and hybrid construction manufacturing using a standardised test part for benchmarking capability, Cement and Concrete Research, 156 (106773).
  • Dobrzanski, J., Buswell, R., Cavalaro, S., Kinnell, P., Wang, W., Xu, J., Kolawole, J.T. 2022. Milling a cement-based 3D printable mortar in its green state using a ball-nosed cutter. Cement and Concrete Composites, 104266.
  • Kolawole, J.T., Combrinck, R. & Boshoff, W.P. 2022. Understanding the roles of rheology in the plastic settlement and shrinkage cracking of early age concrete. RILEM Technical Letters,  7, 112-126.
  • Kolawole, J.T., Combrinck, R. & Boshoff, W.P. 2022. Plastic cracking behaviour of concrete and interdependence on rheo-physical properties, Composites B: Engineering, 230 (109527).
  • Babafemi, A.J., Kolawole, J.T., Oyebanjo, M., Ntumba, N., Ekosse, G.E., 2022. Performance of selected South African kaolinitic clays for limestone calcined clay cement. Applied Sciences 12 (21): 10751.
  • Olalusi, O.B., Durgapershad, A., Awoyera, P.O., Kolawole, J.T. 2022. Modelling the edge breakout shear capacity of single anchors in concrete using gene expression programming. Neural Computing and Applications. 

Book chapters

  • Olalusi, O.B., Kolawole, J.T. (2021). Shear strength assessment of reinforced recycled aggregate concrete member. In Structural Integrity of Recycled Aggregate Concrete Produced with Filler and Pozzolans. Elsevier, 323-347

Refereed conference proceedings

  • Kolawole, J.T., De Becker, D., Xu, J., Dobrzanski, J., Cavalaro, S., Austin, S., Roussel, N., Buswell, R. 2022. Selected test methods for assessing fresh and plastic state 3D concrete printing materials. 3rd RILEM International Conference Proceedings on Digital Fabrication with Concrete (DC2022), June, Loughborough, UK.
  • Xu, J., Kolawole, J.T., Provis, J., Dobrzanski, J., Kinnell, P., Cavalaro, S., Wang, W., Buswell, R. 2022. An early trial on milling 3D printed concrete geometries: observations and insights of the process. 3rd RILEM International Conference Proceedings on Digital Fabrication with Concrete (DC2022), June, Loughborough, UK.
  • Kolawole, J.T., Combrinck, R. & Boshoff, W.P. (2020). Role of rheology in the plastic cracking of early-age concrete. Proceedings of 74th RILEM Week & 40th Cement & Concrete Science Conference Proceedings, 2 – 4 September, Sheffield, UK.


I contribute to the School’s teaching and learning activities including:

Undergraduate subjects

  • CVA 106 – Engineering Materials for Construction
  • CVC040 – Innovation and Advanced Construction


  • CVP370 – Low Carbon Materials for Construction


My 12+ years career has mainly been in academia (research, teaching & service): research fellow (3 years), doctoral researcher & teaching assistant (3 years), lecturer (3 years), research masters candidate (2 years); and briefly in the industry as a graduate engineer (2 years).

I graduated with a First Class Honours BSc in Building in 2010 and MSc in Building Structures in 2015 at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria. I completed my PhD in early 2020 and became a Consolidoc Postdoctorate Fellow briefly at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, before joining Loughborough University in July 2020 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Before my PhD, I was a lecturer at OAU, positively impacting the next generation of graduates for academic excellence.

In December 2022, I was awarded the prestigious EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship at Loughborough University for independent research to explore innovative solutions for overcoming the inherent lagging performance of 3D-printed concrete. Shortly afterwards, I became a Fellow of C-DICE, UK’s largest investment in postdoctoral development.

Professional affiliations

  • Member, International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM)
  • Member, Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT)
  • Member, Institute of Materials, Minerals & Minning (IOM3)
  • Member, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB)
  • Registered Builder, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON)


  • School year’s reward for exceptional performance, 2023
  • Fellow, Research England C-DICE, 2023
  • EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship via Loughborough University, 2023
  • Best Poster, Digital Concrete 2022, 3rd RILEM International Conference, 2022
  • C-DICE Energy Storage sandpit training/attendance, 2022
  • HL Reitz Medal & AECOM Prize for best Postgraduate in Civil Engineering,2020
  • RILEM PhD Grant for the 74th RILEM Week and 40th Cement & Concrete Science Conference, 2020
  • Stellenbosch University Consolidoc Fellowship, 2020
  • RILEM Gold Medal and Award for exceptional technical content of PhD Poster, 2019
  • The World Academy of Science (TWAS) and NRF PhD fellowship, 2017
  • Unit for Construction Materials PhD funding, under Pretoria Portland Cement, 2017
  • VolkswagenStiftung Foundation and BAM travel grant for KEYS symposium, 2015
  • NYSC Certificate of National Service, Nigeria, 2012
  • Faculty award of excellence for first class honours graduates, 2012
  • Chief Layi Balogun Prize for best graduating student in BSc Building, 2011
  • Fatai Osikoya Prize for the Best Final Year Building Student in the Faculty, 2011

External activities

  • Peer reviewer, C-DICE Fellowship applications
  • Consultancy on concrete materials, Cloud Cycle Ltd
  • Reviewer for several journals from Elsevier, Springer, ASCE, MDPI etc.
  • External examiner, PhD theses, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Key collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • Universities: Colleagues across several institutions in Europe, America, Asia and Africa
  • Industries: SIKA Ltd, Concrenetics BVBA. Oxford Instruments etc.