Department of Engineering / Profiles / Prof. Abir Al-Tabbaa

Department of Engineering

Prof. Abir Al-Tabbaa CEng FICE


Abir Al-Tabbaa

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Academic Division: Civil Engineering

Research group: Geotechnical and Environmental

Telephone: +44 1223 3 32715


Personal website

Research interests

Professor Al-Tabbaa’s research revolves around the development, testing and application of technologies and materials in civil engineering for intelligent, sustainable and low carbon future infrastructure and built environment.  This includes ground improvement, land remediation, low carbon cementitious materials and intelligent biomimetic infrastructure systems.

The £1.24M TSB SMiRT project (Soil Mix Remediation Technology) has been a focal point for the research activities in land remediation and ground improvement and established the largest UK research-based full-scale field trials of a contaminated site in the UK using soil mix technology. The on-going work involves validation of field application to increase uptake of the technology and provide stakeholder confidence.

A key element of the construction materials area was the £1.67M EPSRC funded Materials for Life (M4L) project in collaboration with Cardiff (Lead) and Bath University as well as 11 international centres of excellence and 22 industrial partners. This initiative established the first UK Centre of Excellent on Intelligent Construction Materials to develop self-healing cement-based materials for geotechnical and structural applications. The goal is to significantly reduce the costs of future maintenance and enhance the sustainability and safety of future construction. This has recently been followed by the new funding of a £4.9M EPSRC Programme Grant: Resilient Materials for Life (RM4L) to expand the research and applications remit and move towards the development of truly biomimetic infrastructure Materials that are self-sensing, self-diagnosing, self-immunising, self-reporting, self-repairing low carbon and low waste.

Another major initiative is the £5M EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment, for which Professor Al-Tabbaa leads as Head and Director. The centre has funding for 50 PhD students over an eight year period (2014-2022). It train students from relevant background on research methods in the challenging technical research questions facing the future of civil engineering and the wider interlinked research areas. This has recently been followed by a new £6.7M Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment: Resilience in a Changing World, for which Professor Al-Tabbaa also leads as Head and Director. 

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Development of smart low carbon materials for future infrastructure and built environment.


Development of biomimetic infrastructure materials.

Complex, resilient and intelligent systems

Development of resilient and intelligent infrastructure materials and systems

Research projects


Other positions

  • Chartered Engineer (CEng)
  • Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE)
  • Head & Director, EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment
  • Director, Resilient Materials for Life (RM4L) Programme Grant