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Brunella Balzano

Dr Brunella Balzano


Senior Lecturer in Structural Design

Welsh School of Architecture

+44 29208 76327
Bute Building, Room 3.10, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Queen's Buildings - Central Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


About me 

I am a Senior Lecturer in Building and Structures Design at the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA). I was previously Lecturer in Smart Civil Engineering  at Cardiff University since July 2020. I was Co-Investigator of the UKRI-EPSRC Resilient Materials 4 Life (RM4L - Programme Grant: an exciting and challenging opportunity to study and develop high-specs self-healing materials in construction industry. I am a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineering (CEng MICE) .

My main research activity is associated with the REsilient Structures and COnstruction Materials (RESCOM) Research Group.  My research also involves the development of smart technologies and automated system for the self-repairing of concrete instrastructures. The main vision of the research is the design of smart structural elements able to detect, recognize and heal a crack damage. The aim is to reduce emissions associated with the construction industry and build sustainable buildings. I am also interested in the development of digital tools for the knowledge-based design of intelligent structures. I have experience in structural analysis of reinforced concrete and steel structures.











Adrannau llyfrau




Research interests:


  • Structural Design 
  • Smart Crack closure technologies
  • Concrete 3D printing
  • Structural Shape optimization
  • Self-Healing Concrete
  • Shape memory polymers
  • Non invasive testing for structural elements
  • Structural monitoring


Current Projects

Title People Funder Value Duration
Resilient Materials 4 Life (RM4L) AD Jefferson, DR Gardner, M Harbottle, IC Mihai, RE Davies, A Paul, R Maddalena, B Balzano UKRI-EPSRC £4,837,625 04/2017 - 04/2022
Towards next generation infrastructures: Smart Hybrid Tendons for Concrete Self-healing B Balzano, J Sweeney IAA-EPSRC £19,925 06/2021 - 05/2022



Title Student Funder Value Duration
Smart Concrete Structures Yuk Lam Jasper Chiu On-Campus Internship (Futures) £1,000 06/2021 - 08/2021


Structures - Dynamics (Year 1)

FE Applications (Year 3)

Design Fesasibility (Year 4)



  • 2013-2018: PhD Strudent, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
  • 2010- 2013: MEng, Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, University of Federico II, Naples
    Grade: 110/110 cum Laude equiv. First Class Honors
  • 2007-2010: BEng, Enviromental Engineering, University of Federico II, Naples
    Grade: 110/110 cum Laude equiv. FirstClass Honors

Work Experience:

  • 2023 - Present: Senior Lecturer in Structural Design at Welsh School of Architecture.
  • 2020 - 2023: Lecturer in Smart Civil Engineering at Cardiff University
  • 2018 - 2020: Research Associate , School of Engineering,  Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  • 2017 - 2018: Design Engineer, Spencer Group, UK
  • 2016: Visiting Researcher, University of Brazilia, Brazil
  • 2015: Visiting Researcher, Pessl Instruments, Austria

Honours and awards

2019, Marie Curie Alumni Association. Micro Travel Grant to participate as invited speaker at the “Failed and Bored” Conference, Austria.

2019, Institution of Civil Engineers. Emerging Engineer Award, Wales.

2019, Athena Swan. Travel Grant for the Gender Equality Workshop in Newcastle.

2018, CA 15202 SARCOS COST Action. Travel grant to attend the 2nd SARCOS Training School in FRY Macedonia.

2016, GREAT (Geotechnical and geological Responses to climate change: Exchanging Approaches and Technologies on a world-wide scale). Travel Grant for Secondment to University of Brasilia.

2015, Marie Curie Industry-Academia Pathways. Travel grant for Secondment to Pessl Instruments, Austria.

Professional memberships

  • 2023: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • 2020: Chartered Member (CEng MICE) of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) .
  • 2013: Ingegnere Civile ed Ambientale (Chartered Civil Engineer equivalent, Italian Engineering Council)

Academic positions

2020- Present: Lecturer in Smart Civil Engineering, Cardiff University

2018-2020: Postdoctoral Research Associate for the RM4L Project, School Of Engineering, Cardiff

2016-2016: Visiting researcher, University of Brasilia

2015-2015: Visiting Researcher, Pessl Instruments, Weiz, Austria

2015-2015: Environmental Agency, Beverley, Visiting Researcher


Areas of Interest

I am available to supervise PhD, MPhil students, project students (undergraduate and postgraduate), interns and visiting students on the following topics:

  • Retrofitting of existing strucutures (concrete or masorny)
  • Parametric Structural Design 
  • Self-healing concrete
  • Water transport in porous media
  • Structural damage and assessment
  • ...I am also open to other topics. 

Note: Prospective research students (PhD, EngD, MPhil, MRes) should investigate potential funding and/or scholarships before getting in touch. The UK Government has made available the Doctoral Student Loans (up to £26,000 for UK and EU students). 

Current PhD Students

Title Student Degree
Smart Tendons for self-crack-closure in building materials Shahram Sharifi PhD