About CMRG and CDC

Director's Message

Thank you for your interest in the Construction Materials Research Group and Concrete Durability Center. We are a university research laboratory dedicated to the investigation of concrete and other materials used in civil engineering applications.

As a university laboratory, one of our primary goals is the training of students in experimental research, including planning and executing experiments, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and implementing results. In the process, students develop strong critical thinking and communication skills. Students learn these skills by working on a variety of research problems, mentored by faculty and supported by staff and a community of their peers. Please visit the website of the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering to learn more about our graduate programs in Civil Engineering - Materials and the associated programs in the Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials (SEMM) area in Structural Engineering and Mechanics, Uncertainty, and Simulation in Engineering.

Research at the CMRG-CDC is focused on the understanding and development of concrete materials. Our work is not limited to portland cement concrete, but includes the development and implementation of other binders including polymer concrete, which is particularly useful in repair applications, and for which Prof. David Fowler has an international reputation. We are also a focal point of research in the U.S. on calcium aluminate cements, which offer advantages of high early strength and durability, thanks to the efforts of Prof. Kevin Folliard. Prof. Juenger works extensively on calcium sulfoaluminate belite cements and geopolymers, both of which offer CO2 and energy savings compared to portland cement. Prof. Raissa Ferron is developing novel binders based on the metabolic activity of bacteria.

We examine concrete on multiples scales, ranging from microstructural examinations and cement chemistry to full-scale field testing. We are a hub of concrete durability research, with extensive on-site outdoor concrete exposure testing of materials against which we benchmark accelerated laboratory tests. I invite you to explore our website to learn more about our current research projects and facilities.

Faculty Researchers

  • Director Maria Juenger's research primarily examines chemical and microstructural issues in cement-based materials. These include the hydration chemistry of portland cement and its constituent phases, the development of microstructure in portland cement, and chemical deterioration processes in concrete. Her specialty research areas also include cement chemistry, and micro-examination of the cement hydration process.

  • Dr. David Fowler has worked extensively with repair materials, repair of concrete pavements and bridge decks, bonded concrete overlays, and aggregates in concrete. He has served as Director of the International Center for Aggregates Research. He has extensive experience with research on use of aggregates in concrete including aggregate tests. His research specialties include work on polymer-concrete materials and concrete aggregates.

  • Dr. Kevin Folliard's research interests include the durability of concrete exposed to aggressive environments and the use of innovative materials in high-performance concrete. His research includes portland cement concrete; concrete durability; high-performance concrete; and controlled low-strength materials.

  • Dr. Raissa Douglas Ferron's research primarily focuses on the areas of the rheology, processing and fresh state micro/nano-structural characterization of cement-based materials. She has worked on projects that involved investigating the mechanisms controlling the flocculation and flow behavior of cementitious materials during the early stages of hydration, including the effect clays, fly ashes, silica fume, soluble alkali content, aluminates, and sulfate content on the rate of stiffening in highly flowable concrete mixtures. Her specialty research areas also include rheology, cement chemistry and aggregation mechanisms, and self-consolidating concrete.

Full-Time Professional Researchers

  • Dave Whitney has been involved in materials research at UT for more than thirty years. As a CTR researcher, Mr. Whitney has participated in many research projects evaluating materials and methods for pavement repair. He has also participated in most of the International Center for Aggregates Research (ICAR) -sponsored research on aggregates for concrete.

  • Dr. Thanos Drimalas has been actively involved in concrete durability research. His research interests include external sulfate attack, delayed ettringite formation, alkali silica reaction, and fly ash characterization, fly ash use in concrete. His studies on durability include use of Class C fly ash in sulfate environments, the use of supplementary cementing materials to mitigate delayed ettringite formation, and alkali silica reaction test methods at determining alkali thresholds for reactive aggregates.