Professor Sergio Cavalaro


  • Professor of Infrastructure Systems
  • Associate Dean for Research and Innovation

Research and expertise

Deputy Director of Doctoral Programmes

I am a civil engineer passionate about accelerating the cycles of research, innovation, adoption and transformation to produce a step change and address wicked problems affecting the built environment via highly multidisciplinary, collaborative initiatives. I have:

  • pushed frontiers of emerging research areas (automation in construction and repair, circular economy of modern methods of construction, new construction materials, structural design and durability applied to construction and repair; EP/S019618, EP/V011820, EP/X02430X/1, EP/R010161/1 via UKCRIC, EU ICEBERG, RED C-DICE, and others)
  • led rapid progress from basic research to innovation and application in under 3 years: world-first large-scale, fully-automated particle-bed 3D concrete printing system and bridge with Enrico Dini and Acciona; automated patch repairs increasing productivity 10X with Network Rail; more sustainable MMC with advanced manufacturing and materials, promoting UK industrial growth via Specwall; new accelerators for more sustainable and safer underground construction and repair, applied worldwide via IQE; new FRC quality control systems used in critical infrastructure in Europe and Americas; 60% operational emissions and 30% cost savings for the NHS via smart operating rooms with industry in the Academia- Industry Partnership (AIP); kept hospitals open during Covid through RAAC research for the NHS.
  • led networks (Skills Lead, UKCRIC; co-director and -founder, UKCRIC Ltd; head, C-DICE; founder and head, AIP for the NHS)
  • led or co-developed framework agreements that accelerate large multi-institutional research and innovation projects and doctoral partnerships (HS2-UKCRIC for 14 HEIs, Network Rail-UKRRIN for 16 HEIs)
  • driven innovation to commercialisation (co-founder, Spinout “Smart Engineering”).

Current activity

  • 22/19579. Digital modelling for right-first-time milling of 3D printed concrete. EPSRC 2023-2025
  • EP/V011820/1. UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Mineral-Based Construction Materials. UKRI 2021-2025
  • Centre for Postdoctoral Development in Infrastructure, Cities and Energy. RED Fund 2021-2025.
  • 869336— H2020-SC5-2018-2019-2020 / H2020-SC5-2019-2. ICEBERG. Innovative Circular Economy Based Solutions Demonstrating The Efficient Recovery Of Valuable Material Resources From The Generation Of Representative End-Of-Life Building Materials. European Commission 2020-2024.
  • Shift2Rail In2Track3. Alternative Methods For Repair of ring separation in masonry tunnels: Preliminary study. EU funding via Network Rail 2019-2024.

Recently completed projects

  • ENT10181 15 07 21 Cross-Government Programme of the Research into Reinforced Aerated Autoclaved Concrete Plank Performance. NHS 2020-2023.
  • EP/S019618/1:Design-for-manufacture of 3D concrete printed structural composites. EPSRC 2019-2022.
  • Innovate UK105884. Transforming UK construction round 2: MMC, digital and whole-life performance. Innovate UK 2020-2021.
  • KTP 11549. Knowledge transfer partnership between Loughborough University and Smartroof Limited. Russel and Cavalaro. Innovate UK 2019-2021.
  • National Engineered Slope Simulator. Wolfson Foundation. Wolfson Foundation 2021-2023.
  • EP/R010161/1. UKCRIC Capital Funding. EPSRC via Imperial College 2019-2021.
  • BIA2016-78740-R: Sprayed lightweight material for the strengthening and restoration of urban patrimony. 2016-2019. Spain.
  • RTC-2016-5263-5: Optimization of constructive process and structural design of elements reinforced with fibers in substitution to traditional reinforcement. eFIB. 2016-2019. Spain.
  • RTC-2015-3185-4: Sprayed multi-functional materials for reinforcement and monitoring of transport infrastructures. 2015-2018. Partners involved: IQE, COMSA and CSIC. - Spain
  • RTC-2015-3617-4: Development of segmental linings made of non-metallic FRC with high durability and improved sustainability. 2015-2018. Partners involved: DRAGADOS and INDITEC. Spain.

Recent publications

  • Eeman Al-Ameen, Ana Blanco, Sergio Cavalaro. Durability, permeability, and mechanical performance of sprayed UHPC, as an attribute of fibre content and geometric stability. Construction and Building Materials, 2023, 47: 133393.
  • de la Fuente, A. Blanco, E. Galeote, S. Cavalaro. Structural fibre-reinforced cement-based composite designed for particle bed 3D printing systems. Case study Parque de Castilla Footbridge in Madrid. Cement and Concrete Research, 2022, 157:106801.
  • Pieralisi, S.H.P. Cavalaro, A. Aguado. Discrete element modelling of mechanical behaviour of pervious concrete. Cement and Concrete Composites, 2021, 119: 104005.
  • Rutendo Rusike, Michael Sataya, Alastair T. M. Marsh, Sergio Cavalaro, Chris Goodier, Susan A. Bernal & Samuel Adu-Amankwah. Accelerating Early Age Properties of Ultra-Low Clinker Cements for Extrusion-Based 3D Printing. Third RILEM International Conference on Concrete and Digital Fabrication. DC 2022. RILEM Bookseries, vol 37. Springer, Cham.
  • de la Fuente, A., Blanco, A., Galeote, E., Cavalaro, S. (2022) Structural fibre-reinforced cement-based composite designed for particle bed 3D printing systems. Case study Parque de Castilla Footbridge in Madrid. Cement and Concrete Research, 2022, 157, 106801.
  • Dobrzanski, J., Buswell, R., Cavalaro, S., Xu, J., Kolawole, J. (2022) Milling a cement-based 3D printable mortar in its green state using a ball-nosed cutter. Cement and Concrete Composites, 2022, 125, 104266.
  • Vieira, M.M., Cavalaro, S.H.P., Aguado, A., Rambo, D.A.S., Salvador, R.P. (2021) Fibre corrosion in uncracked high-performance fibre reinforced cementitious composites. Construction and Building Materials, 312, art. no. 125440. DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2021.125440.
  • Estrada Cáceres, A.R., Cavalaro, S.H.P., Monte, R., de Figueiredo, A.D. (2021) Alternative small-scale tests to characterize the structural behaviour of steel fibre-reinforced sprayed concrete. Construction and Building Materials, 296, art. no. 123168. DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2021.123168
  • Estrada Cáceres A.R., Cavalaro S.H.P., Domingues De Figueiredo A. (2021) Evaluation of Steel Fiber-Reinforced Sprayed Concrete by Energy Absorption Tests. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 33 (9), art. no. 04021252. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0003865
  • Pellegrino, F., Salvador, R., Aparicio, S., Cavalaro, S.H.P., Segura, I. (2021) Continuous monitoring of early-age properties of sprayed mortars by in situ ultrasound measurements. Construction and Building Materials, 292, 123389.


Programme Director of MSc in Infrastructure Design and Management

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


  • Structural engineering & Engineering materials modules in civil engineering programmes;
  • Tectonics module on Architecture, Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying and Construction Engineering Management; and
  • Supervision of dissertations on topics aligned to my research interests


  • 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 and II(Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture)
  • Optimised quality control for fibre reinforced concrete (Ghella S.p.A)

Recently completed projects

  • Conductive concrete for protection against lightning (Ingesco)
  • Evaluation of the sustainability of sprayed concrete with different accelerator types. (BASF)
  • Development of optimized fibre for FRC – Phases I and II (BASF)
  • Application of high-performance fibre reinforced concrete to 3D printing construction (Acciona)
  • Develop an in-depth study about the set accelerator admixtures for sprayed concrete (IQE)
  • Development of strength analysis techniques for the study of new set-accelerators for concrete (IQE).
  • High performance concrete barrier built in situ with improved safety and sustainability (SERVIÀ CANTÓ)
  • Evaluation of the state of concrete dams of the UPH Ebro-Pirineos, Spain (Endesa-Enel)
  • Development of high-performance concrete and mortar for Sagrada Familia, Spain (The Foundation of the Temple of Sagrada Familia, Spain)
  • Design and rehabilitation of the storm water harvesting and drainage channel Africa(Acciona)
  • HATCONS: Self-compacting concrete for underground construction. (FCC)
  • Rethinking the bilayer concrete pavement technology (Uniland).
  • Study of the problems related to the express manufacturing of concrete (Cementos Portland Valderribas).
  • High performance pervious concrete (BASF, Cementos Portland-Valderribas)
  • High performance concrete barrier built in situ with improved safety and sustainability (SERVIÀ CANTÓ)
  • Concrete with high content of recycled aggregate for structural applications (BASF, FCC, Uniland)
  • Development of a new controlled-low strength material for trench filling (Gas Natural Fenosa)
  • Development of a new solution to reuse trench arisings as filling material in utility trenches (Gas Natural Fenosa)
  • Study about Fibre Reinforced Concrete in the framework of the Folloline Tunnel Project (ACCIONA)
  • Development of program for the optimized design of pavements (IECA)


I received a degree in Civil Engineering in 2006 from the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil. Then I continued my research career in Spain, focusing on concrete technology and underground infrastructure. In 2009 I was awarded a PhD for my research on technological aspects of tunnels built with tunnelling boring machines (TBM) and precast concrete segments from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) with a European mention for the work developed at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. After a year as a research assistant, I became an Assistant Professor (2010-2015) at the School of Environmental and Civil Engineering of UPC. Then, I was promoted to Associate Professor (2015-2017).

Over a period of seven years, research interests were extended from the initial area of advanced special concretes (fibre reinforced concrete, ultra-high performance concrete, sprayed concrete, pervious concrete, conductive concrete, 3D printed concrete) and durability of concrete structure (sulfate attack and reinforced concrete corrosion) to advanced modelling of cementitious materials performance and production processes (FEM, DEM, CFD) and innovative manufacturing. 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.

In November 2017, I joined the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering (ABCE) at Loughborough University as a Reader in Infrastructure Systems and member of the Structures and Materials Group. I am a Deputy Director of Doctoral Programmes at ABCE, Programme Director of the MSc in Infrastructure Design and Management and the Deputy Director of the UKCRIC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure and Cities

Esteem indicators

Professional affiliations

  • Member, RILEM (International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures)


  • Awarded the RILEM Gustavo Colonnetti Medal 2018 for outstanding scientific contribution to the fields of construction materials and structures

External activities

  • Visiting Professor at Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2018-present)
  • Visiting Professor at Universidade Federal do Parana, Brazil (2019-present)
  • Member of the Technical Activities Committee (TAC) of the RILEM (2018-present)
  • Deputy Chair, RILEM CCF Committee about the creep of FRC (2014-present)
  • Member, of FIB Task Group.2.11: Structures made by digital fabrication (2019-present)
  • Deputy Chair of the sprayed materials commission for the Spanish Structural Code (2015-2016)
  • Member, Standardization Committee SC-05 of AEN/CTN 83 – AENOR (Spain) about FRC (2014-present)
  • Member, Standardization Committee SC-06 of AEN/CTN 83 – AENOR (Spain) sprayed materials (2014-present)
  • Expert reviewer of the British Council Newton Fund (2018-present)
  • Expert reviewer of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (2017-present)
  • Expert reviewer of the Norwegian Research Council (2016-present)
  • External examiner, PhD programme of the Polytechnic School at Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2019-present)

Key collaborators

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

  • Universities: Currently collaborate with colleagues in 15 Universities in Europe, the Americas and Asia
  • Technology companies: SIKA, BASF, IQE, Autodesk
  • Consultants: Mott MacDonald, Cundall, Foster and Partners