26 November | 11H00
Smart, Functional and Sustainable – the Future of 3D Concrete Printing

Prof. Sandra Lucas
TU/e Department of the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands

Abstract: The construction industry is entering a new and exciting phase with the development of 3D printing. Concrete materials and structures can now be easily printed into much more complex shapes than before, however, the materials are still quite similar to the conventional concrete that has been used for many decades. Other very important changes that construction materials suffered over the last decade concern their functionality and sustainability. New materials with properties such as self-healing, self-cleaning and heat storage have been developed, and new binders were introduced to reduce the cement content. The next challenge in the construction industry is therefore merging these two worlds, the 3D printing of building and the production of functional and sustainable construction materials. This next step is now a reality at Eindhoven University of Technology, through two major projects supported by NWO (the Dutch research council) – ‘Additive manufacturing of functional construction materials on-demand’ and ‘Additive manufacturing of sustainable concrete for zero-energy buildings’.

Short Bio: Sandra Lucas is an assistant professor in 3D printing of concrete in the research group Concrete Structures at the TU/e department of the Built Environment (unit Structural Design). Sandra’s research goal is to understand how material’s modification can alter its microstructure, how this influences the macromechanical behaviour, creating new properties – self-healing, self-sensing, heat storage or self-cleaning, for example. At TU/e, her research focuses on transferring this knowledge to additive manufacturing, developing fully customisable 3D printed materials and buildings. She is the project leader of two NWO projects to develop smart and sustainable 3D printed concrete. Prior to this position, she was a senior lecturer in construction materials and sustainability at the University of Greenwich. She was the PI for several projects within academia and in collaboration with industry, through the Innovate UK funding agency.
Sandra Lucas obtained a BEng in ceramic and glass engineering, an MSc in environmental management and materials and, in 2011, a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Aveiro (Portugal). She then became a Marie Curie Postdoctoral researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT (Oberhausen, Germany) for the SHeMat project. As part of this project, she was a visiting researcher at EPSI ParisTech (Paris, France) and Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). In 2014, she joined the University of Greenwich (London, UK) as a senior lecturer in construction materials and sustainability. In 2018, Sandra Lucas was appointed as an assistant professor in 3D printing of concrete with the research group Concrete Structures at the Department of the Built Environment of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, the Netherlands).