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Riccardo Maddalena  BEng, MSc, PhD, FHEA, CAPM, CEng, CEnv, CSci, MIMMM

Dr Riccardo Maddalena


BEng, MSc, PhD, FHEA, CAPM, CEng, CEnv, CSci, MIMMM

Lecturer in Civil Engineering

School of Engineering

+44 29208 76150
Queen's Buildings - Central Building, Room Room C/4.09, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision



Pronouns: He/Him/His; Hear my name

I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Civil Engineering at Cardiff University and Fellow of the Higher Education (FHEA). I am a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), with a focus on multidisciplinary applied research. I gained experience in the automotive industry, civil engineering consultancy and academia. Since I joined Cardiff University, I have been working on the development of self-healing and biomimetic infrastructure materials, and low-carbon concrete. 

I am passionate about #equality and #diversity, especially in STEMM. I am the Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the School of Engineering, Cardiff University.  


My main research activity is associated with the REsilient Structures and COnstruction Materials (RESCOM) Research Group. My interests are on characterisation and durability of building materials, cement and concrete science, chemistry and engineering applications. I have experience in bench-scale and pilot-scale experiment design. I use analytical techniques for bulk-scale and nano-scale characterisation studies (XRD, SEM, TGA/DSC, Raman and NMR spectroscopy, calorimetry, laser light scattering technique for PSD, MIP). I am also interested in carbon offsets and life cycle assessment (LCA) of innovative infrastructure materials and engineering solutions.

I am the Director of the DURALAB, the first interdisciplinary durability testing facility in Wales, a “time-capsule”, capable of simulating hundreds of years of ageing and deterioration of materials in a matter of weeks. 

I am member of the Cardiff Materials Research Network, an interdisciplinary team of academics across different Schools with a focus on materials' structure and properties. 


Past and ongoing research activities and interests:

  • low-carbon cements
  • self-healing and bio-mimetic infrastructure materials
  • recycled and recyclable building materials
  • radionuclide immobilisation into cement minerals
  • life cycle assessment (LCA) and carbon footprint analysis
  • novel low-carbon (geo)materials
  • in-situ concrete repair solutions
  • in-situ and ex-situ thermal treatments of polluted soils and sediments.


  • Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (School of Engineering)
  • Director of DURALAB testing facility 
  • Member of the University Race Equality Supervisory Panel 
  • Member of the Cardiff Materials Research Netowrk Steering Committee


Do you want to discuss your ideas with me? Get in touch via email or book directly a meeting (online or in person)
















Title People Funder Value Duration
FUSCO - Functionalised natural fibres for sustainable Concrete Maddalena R. (Cardiff PI), Gauss C. (Waikato PI) Cardiff Univertsity - Waikato University (NZ) £10,000 05/2023-01/2024
MEECE - Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence Ahmadian R. (PI), R Maddalena (Co-), and others WEFO £1,150,000 10/2021-05/2023
Decarbonising the concrete industry (PhD Scholarship) Maddalena R. (PI), Gardner D. (Co-I) Knights Brown, Weir GroupCarbon Upcycling  £84,000 04/2023-09/2026
WASC - Welsh Fly Ash for Sustainable Concrete Maddalena R. CU (ENGIN) & Celtic Minerals £7,000 03/2023-07/2023
WasteReBuilt - Waste foundry Sand in Concrete Maddalena R. (PI), Fei J. (Co-I) IAA-EPSRC £45,000 03/2023-02/2024
Hygrothermal Monitoring of Timber-Frame Replacement Infill Panels Whitman C. (PI), Maddalena R. (Co-I) Historic England £50,000 01/2023-12/2024
Concrete MOT - Durability of concrete by means of electrical resistivity Maddalena R. (PI) CU (ENGIN) £7,000 07/2022-06/2023
QUANTUM EFFICIENCY HUB Hou B. (PI), Maddalena  R.(Co-I), and others


£404,000 06/2022-04/2023
Self-healing concrete structures in the context of enhancing the delivery of a major highway project Gardner D. (PI), Maddalena  R.(Co-I)

National Highways

£30,000 10/2021 - 10/2024
Waste Valorisation in Concrete Production via CO2 Sequestration (value S$279,955) Mingshan Z.(PI), Fei J. (Co-I) Maddalena R.(Co-I), and others

Building and Construction Authority (Singapore)

£166,500 09/2022-03/2025
DURALAB (Durability and Characterisation Lab) Maddalena R. (PI), (and others)


£383,000 09/2021- 04/2022
Resilient Materials 4 Life (RM4L) Jefferson T. (PI), Maddalena R. (Co-I) (and others) UKRI-EPSRC £4,837,625 04/2017 - 04/2022
TETCRETE 2.0 Maddalena R. (PI), Sweeney J. (Co-I) IAA-EPSRC £19,500 06/2021 - 02/2022
Themo-crete: thermal conductivity of building materials Maddalena R. (PI) CU (ENGIN) £6,500 03/2021 - 07/2021
CCK (Circular Cement in Kenya) Maddalena R. (PI), Latif E. (Co-I), Marangu J. (Fellow) UKRI - GCRF £6,100 01/2021 - 04/2021
FISH (Fibre-reinforced Self-Healing) Concrete (value ¥2,700,000) Maddalena R. (Fellow), Nishiwaki T. (Supervisor) JSPS £15,000 05/2019 - 08/2019




Title Student Degree
Tetcrete for crack control and self-healing (with National Highways and Costain) Thomas Moore MPhil
Durability of self-compacting concrete Ibrahim Degani PhD
Sustainable self-compacting concrete and numerical modelling Ayman Almutlaqah PhD
Design and durability of low-carbon sustainable concrete  Ahmad Alhamdan  PhD
Decarbonising the concrete industry through waste valorisation Joseph Pugh PhD
Durability of CFRP concrete under wet/dry cycles Nirthiha Fernando MPhil
Mechanical properties and degradation evolution behaviours of composites reinforced by plant fibres Xinru Liang PhD
Tetcrete as a novel plastic reinforcement for concrete Chihiro Kobayashi Visiting


Do you want to discuss your ideas with me? Get in touch via email or book directly an online meeting



  • Fundamentals of Civil Engineering (Year 1)
  • 3rd Year project supervision
  • MSc project supervision

Do you need help with calculations or tutorials? Get in touch via email or book directly a meeting (online or in person)


My Studies

  • 2018: PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2018: PGCert in Researcher Professional Development, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2013: Laurea Magistrale (MSc equivalent) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Catania, Italy
  • 2011: Laurea in Civil and Environmental Engineering (BEng equivalent), University of Catania, Italy

Honours and awards

  • 2022: Outstanding Contribution Award (OCA), Cardiff University, UK
  • 2019: JSPS Fellowship at Tohoku University, Japan
  • 2017: Marie Curie Research Visit (GREAT Project), Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 2014: Remediation Technologies (REMTECH) Best MScThesis Award, Ferrara, Italy
  • 2009: Vulcanus in Japan, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation.

Professional memberships

  • Chartered Engineer (CEng), UK Engineering Council
  • Chartered Scientist (CSci), UK Science Council
  • Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), UK Society for the Environment
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Member (MIMMM) of the Institute of Mineral, Materials and Mining (IOM3) since 2016
  • Member (MIET) of the Intitution of Engineering and Technology (IET) 2016 - 2023
  • RILEM Member since 2020
  • Ingegnere Civile ed Ambientale (Chartered Civil Engineer equivalent, Italian Engineering Council).

Academic positions

  • 2020 - present: Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Cardiff University, UK
  • 2019: JSPS Postdoctoral fellow at Tohoku University, Japan
  • 2017 - 2020: Research Associate and RM4L Project Manager, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2017 - 2018: Visiting Researcher, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2017: Research Assistant, University of Strathclyde, UK
  • 2017: Visiting Researcher, Tsinghua University, PR China
  • 2011-2012: Civil Engineer, Technoside Srl, Italy
  • 2009-2010: Materials Engineer, Akebono Brake Co. Ltd, Japan

Committees and reviewing

  • Member of Cardiff University Race Equality Supervisory Panel (RESP)
  • Co-Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Committee of School of Engineering, Cardiff University, UK
  • Member of the EPSRC Reviewers College, JSPS London and Horizon EU
  • Guest Editor and Journal Reviewer for Elsevier, Springer, MDPI, ASCE, ICE journals.



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

  • Self-healing concrete
  • Re-use of waste into concrete and mechanical behaviour
  • Thermal analysis and thermal imaging of cement and concrete
  • Chemistry of cement mortar and concrete
  • Water transport in concrete
  • Green low-carbon concrete
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and carbon footprint of infrastructure materials
  • ...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). Explore also the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) PhD scholarships

Do you want to discuss your ideas with me? Get in touch via email or book directly a meeting (online or in person)

Current supervision

Ahmad Alhamdan

Ahmad Alhamdan

Senior Technician

Joseph Pugh

Joseph Pugh

Graduate Demonstrator

Ayman Almutlaqah

Ayman Almutlaqah

Graduate Demonstrator

Ibrahim Degani

Ibrahim Degani

Research student

Nirthiha Fernando

Nirthiha Fernando

Graduate Demonstrator


  • Civil engineering
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Construction materials
  • Cement and Concrete Science
  • circular economy