Development of New Material Techniques with the Guidance of Physics in Civil Engineering

photo of a construction site

Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering

Location: Babbio 204 (w/ virtual option)

Speaker: Zongjin Li, Macau University of Science and Technology


Physics is a kind of natural science. It is the study of matter and its motion through space and time. The theoretical breakthroughs of physics provide solid ground to advance new materials techniques. In this talk, the recent development of new material technologies under the guidance of physics in civil engineering will be introduced. The talk will cover the application of quantum mechanics and molecular dynamics in understanding the hydration process of cement compounds such as tricalcium silicate; the development of advanced cement-based materials under the guidance of nano-technology (includes high modulus concrete and high flexural resistance concrete); the application of wave refraction theory in developing reflective inorganic heat insulation coating materials, application of the mass law in developing sound shielding composites; the application of electromagnetic theory in developing non-contact resistivity (impedance) measurement methods; as well as the application of buoyancy in developing innovative liquid-carrying wind power generating system.


Portrait of Zongjin Li, smiling

Dr. Zongjin Li is Chair professor at Macau University of Science and Technology. He received his B.E. from Zhejiang University in 1982 and obtained both his M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Chicago, in 1990 and 1993, respectively. He is an honorary member and fellow of the American Concrete Institute, Chair of the RILEM China National Group and Founding President of ACI China Chapter. As the chief scientist, he has led a China Key National Basic Research Project (973) that promoted the concrete research in China to a world-class level. He also founded the Gordon Research Conference, ‘Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure Development’ in 2014. He is a pioneer in non-contact resistivity/impedance measurement for cement-based materials. He also developed cement-based piezoelectric and opened a new direction for civil engineering. The methodology he developed to utilizing the in-situ polymerization of monomer during cement hydration process has shown a strong effect in enhancing flexural strength of cement-based composite. He has published 5 technical books, in which ‘Advanced Concrete Technology’ has been collected by many national and major university libraries. He has published more than 400 technical papers with a Google Scholar citation of 28738 and H-index of 91. He has also been awarded eight US and twenty Chinese patents. He received the Arthur R. Anderson Medal from the American Concrete Institute in 2017 and Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Award from the British Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014.

To view the full list of seminar speakers for the Fall 2023 semester, visit the CEOE Seminars page.