Final Conference

About the conference

After consultation with the steering boards of ERICA and CASH II, it was decided to organize the ERICA and CASH II Final Conference in an “hybrid” format. Prospective participants can either attend the meeting personally in Heidelberg or register for the online streaming

Inorganic hydrates such as calcium-silicate-hydrate, abbreviated C-S-H, are “wonder” materials exceedingly rich in terms of potential applications that can be produced in almost any shape or form, cheaply and in large quantities right across the world from local and sustainable resources. C-S-H is the “glue” of cement, itself the glue of concrete, material with enormous economic impact. But C-S-H and other hydrates are also used as a filler in paper and in polymer composites, as dental filling materials, for waste water treatment in fertilizers and as insulation and encasement materials including for nuclear waste.
C-S-H is the main phase controlling the performance of cement-based materials. These materials are so widely used that their production is the leading industrial source of greenhouse gases, contributing about 8% of global CO2 emissions despite very low emissions per kg. Engineering C-S-H growth for faster strength development and for improved performance, such as water transport that affects C-S-H durability, is key to further lowering the CO2 impact of construction.

The conference is co-sponsored by 

The ERICA -CASH II final conference will be held from January 24 to January 27, 2021, in Heidelberg (Print Media Academy), Germany.  At this event, the ERICA and CASH II projects will be presented along with invited and contributed talks.

ERICA, a project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 – Marie Skłodowska-Curie – Innovative Training Network programme, is an innovative, five-nation project straddling materials science and engineering, physics and chemistry in diverse areas of experimentation and computational modelling.
The overarching aim of the ERICA project is to understand how to engineer hydrates at the nanoscale and to enable improved engineering applications. Read more…


Another way to reduce CO2 emissions is to partially replace Portland cement by Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCMs) such as blast furnace slag, fly ash, silica fume or calcined clays. However, these SCMs cause changes in C-S-H composition.
CASH II is a Swiss-Danish research project investigating the effect of aluminum, potassium and sodium on the structure and solubility of C-S-H, using innovative experimental methods and computational modelling. Read more…

Scientific Committee

Mohsen Ben Haha, HTC, Germany
Villiam Bortolotti, UNIBO, Italy
Paul Bowen, EPFL, Switzerland
Paola Fantazzini, UNIBO, Italy
David Faux, USurrey, UK
Christian Hellmich, TU Wien, Austria
Barbara Lothenbach, EMPA, Switzerland
Peter McDonald, USurrey, UK
Bernhard Pichler, TU Wien, Austria
Karen Scrivener, EPFL, Switzerland

Preliminary programme

Sunday, January 24, 2021

18:00-19:30 Registration at NH Hotel
19:30 Dinner at NH Hotel

Monday, January 25, 2021

08:00-18:00 Conference at PMA
18:30 Dinner at Level12 (PMA)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

08:00-17:00 Conference at PMA

19:00 Visit and Dinner at Heidelberg Old University

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

08:00-12:00 Conference at PMA
12:00 Lunch
14:00 Visit of old town of Heidelberg & University


Invited Speakers

Jürgen ADOLPHS (Microtrac Retsch GmbH, Germany): Water vapor sorption and in situ determination of swelling and shrinkage of hardened cement paste

Natalia ALDERETE (Ghent University, Belgium): Importance of deformations for explaining anomalous capillary imbibition in cementitious materials

Jean François BARTHÉLÉMY (CEREMA, France): A numerical tool for an easy implementation of homogenization schemes: development and applications

Jean Francois DUFRECHE (Université de Montpellier, France): Multi-scale modelling of charged porous oxides

Christopher HALL (University of Edinburgh, UK): Contact time: capillary transport with material alteration

Ippei MARUYAMA (Nagoya University, Japan): Shrinkage of alite paste associated with a dynamic microstructure change under the first drying

Aslam KUNHI MOHAMED (ETH Zurich, Switzerland): Atomic-level structural features of C-(A)-S-H

Leo PEL (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands): NaCl ion transport and interaction in cementitious materials as observed by NMR

Matthieu VANDAMME (École des Ponts ParisTech, France): Modeling how fluids deform porous materials: application to drying shrinkage

Colin WALKER (Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Japan): C(-A)-S-H gel solubility model development and its application to high content fly ash silica fume cement (HFSC)

Mateusz WYRZYKOWSKI (Empa, Switzerland): Redistribution of water in hardened cement paste under thermal and mechanical loading

Accepted Contributions

Nanoscale phenomena during the first and subsequent sorption cycles

  1. M. Rastogi* (HTC, Germany), A. Müller, M. Ben Haha, K. Scrivener: Insights on moisture sorption cycles of calcium-silicate-hydrates
  2. A. Nagmutdinova* (Univ. Bologna, Italy), V. Bortolotti, L. Brizi, P. Fantazzini: Characterization of first sorption cycle by 1h NMR: quantitative analysis of nano-porous structure and solids in cement materials
  3. T. Honorio* (ENS Paris-Saclay, France): Sorption and specific ion effects in crystalline ASR products studied using molecular simulations
  4. N. Krattiger* (Univ. Bern, Switzerland), S. V. Churakov, B. Lothenbach: Sorption and electrochemical properties of ASR products and CSH: a comparative modelling study


Nucleation and growth of C-S-H: Nanoengineering of cementitious materials

  1. M. Valavi* (EPFL, Switzerland), S. Galamrini, A. kunhi Mohamed, P. Bowen: Development and application of new force field suite for atomistic simulations of cementitious materials
  2. J. Li* (Univ. California Berkeley, USA), K. Xu, P. Monteiro: Fibrillar C-S-H seed from hydrated C3S accelerates cement hydration
  3. F. Kleiner* (Univ. Weimar, Germany), C. Rößler: Utilizing modern FIB/SEM technology and EDX for three-dimensional imaging of hydrated alite and its pore space
  4. M. N. Harris* (EPFL, Switzerland), K. L. Scrivener, P. Bowen: A Grandmothers’ recipe for the reliable and reproducible precipitation of phase pure high Ca/Si ratio (>1.5) synthetic calcium silicate hydrates (C-S-H)
  5. L. Nguyen-Tuan* (Univ. Weimar, Germany), M. Etzold, C. Roessler, H.-M. Ludwig: Simulation of the C-S-H nucleation and growth using fiber elements
  6. A. Teixeira* (EPFL, Switzerland), K. Scrivener: Effect of ZnO doping on alite and cement hydration
  7. F. Zunino* (EPFL, Switzerland), K. Scrivener: The influence of gypsum addition on the early age hydration of C3S and C3S/C3A systems
  8. J. Plank* (TU Munich, Germany), M. Theobald, V. Kanchanason: Insights into the very early nucleation and growth of C-S-H in the presence and absence of superplasticizers
  9. X. Mendez Aretxabaleta, J. López-Zorrilla, I. Etxeberria, H. Manzano* (Univ. Basque Country, Spain): The formation of C-S-H from portlandite nanoclusters
  10. Z. Casar* (EPFL, Switzerland), A. K. Mohamed, P. Bowen, K. Scrivener: Atomistic modeling of calcium silicate hydrate
  11. A. Morales Melgares* (EPFL, Switzerland): Zn incorporation in synthetic C-S-H and its effect on cement hydration through DNP enhanced solid state NMR


Thermodynamics of Calcium-Aluminate-Silicate-Hydrates

  1. D. Miron* (PSI, Switzerland), D. A. Kulik, B. Lothenbach: Incremental parameterisation of CNKASH+ sublattice solid solution model against recent data for Na, K, and Al uptake in C-S-H
  2. Y. Yan* (Empa/EPFL, Switzerland), B. Lothenbach, K. Scrivener: Effect of alkali hydroxide on calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H)
  3. S.-Y. Yang* (Aarhus Univ., Denmark), Y. Yan, B. Lothenbach, J. Skibsted: Structural characterization of synthesized calcium alumina silicate hydrate (C-A-S-H) phases by the solid-state NMR
  4. N. Chitvoranund* (EPFL, Switzerland), B. Lothenbach, K. Scrivener: C-(A)-S-H formation of high Al systems in real microstructure
  5. S. Barzgar* (EMPA/EPFL/PSI, Switzerland), B. Lothenbach, M. Tarik, C. Ludwig: The effect of pH, Ca/Si ratio and equilibration time on Al uptake in calcium silicate hydrates (C-S-H)
  6. P. Blanc* (BRGM, France), A. Lach, A. Lassin, S. Guignot: Modeling hydration of mine tailings: production of hydraulic binders from alkali-activated materials


Transport of water and small ion through agglomerates of hydrates

  1. A. Machner* (NTNU, Norway), K. De Weerdt: Changes in the C-S-H composition during chloride exposure
  2. M. N. Borg* (Univ. Surrey, UK), D. Faux, P. McDonald: Lattice Boltzmann modelling of water transport in hydrates agglomorates
  3. K. Ferjaoui* (EPL, Switzerland), F. Georget, K. Scrivener: Nanoscale modelling of ionic transport in the porous C-S-H network
  4. M. Janota* (Univ. Surrey, UK), P. J. McDonald, D. A. Faux, Ö. Istok, A. M. Gajewicz-Jaromin: Upscaling towards applications – water transport in C-S-H agglomerates studied by MRI measurements
  5. F. Georget* (EFPL, Switzerland), W. Wilson, K. Scrivener: Direct observation of chloride sorption on C-S-H
  6. A. Pirvan* (HTC, Germany), M. Ben Haha, K. Scrivener: Transport of chloride in C-S-H microstructure with controlled Ca/Si ratio
  7. A. Abdu Rahaman* (Univ. Surrey, UK), D. Faux, P. McDonald, O. Istok, D. Brougham, E. McKiernan: Nuclear spin relaxation in aqueous paramagnetic ion solutions
  8. Z. O. Zhakiyeva* (Uni. Grenoble Alpes, France), A. Fernandez-Martinez, A. Van Driessche, G. Cuello, F. Claret, I. Bourg: The structure of water in calcium-silicate-hydrates studied by neutron diffraction with isotopic substitution.
  9. Istok* (Univ. Surrey, UK), P. J. McDonald, D. Faux, M. Janota, A. Gajewicz-Jaromin: Localised NMR measurements of sorption to separate spatio-temporal effects
  10. R. Kogon* (Univ. Bologna, Italy), P. Fantazzini, L. Brizi, V. Bortolotti, D. Faux, P. McDonald: 3 Tau Model: Implementation of new features to the 3TM script and examples of application to cement paste dispersion profiles
  11. S. Bahafid* (NTNU, Norway), M. Geiker: Corrosion of carbon steel in the chloride containing calcium silicate hydrate suspensions


Upscaling for applications: multiscale modeling and lab-to-market transition

  1. P. Dohnalik* (TU Wien, Austria), O. Lahayne, L. Zelaya-Lainez, B. Pichler, C. Hellmich: Grid nanoindentation of mature dental cement paste
  2. N. Jiménez Segura* (TU Wien, Austria), H. Wang, C. Hellmich, B. L. A. Pichler: Expansion of cement paste during isothermal adsorption: a multiscale poromechanical model
  3. M. Königsberger* (Univ. libre Bruxelles, Belgium / TU Wien, Austria), L. Göbel, L. Zelaya-Lainez, O. Lahayne, B. Pichler, C. Hellmich: Nanoindentation-based multiscale micromechanics model for alkali-activated slag-fly ash mixes
  4. E. Binder* (LNU, Sweden / TU Wien, Austria), M. Königsberger, C. Hellmich, B. Pichler: Temperature-dependent creep of mature cement paste
  5. J. Rodriguez-Sanchez* (Univ. Sheffield, UK), M. Fedorciuc-Onisa, H. Kinoshita, J. L. Provis, S. MacLachlan: Development and characterization of lightweight geopolymers for construction applications


Call for Abstracts

The online submission for short abstracts (150 words) is already closed. If you are still interested in submitting a short abstract please contact  Martina Pöll.
Deadline to submit your two-page abstract: October 31, 2020
Template for two-page abstract: template (word file)
For submitting the two-page abstract, please login at the abstract submission system —>>>  HERE <<<— , go to „Your Submissions“ and follow the „Final Upload“ link. Please note that you will only be able to upload a two-page pdf-file.

Registration and registration fees

Interested participants are requested to register online:


Registration fees for onsite attendance at meeting

Up to September 15, 2020
Early bird registration fee      590 €

After September 15, 2020
Regular registration fee         650 €

Registration fees for virtual attendance of the meeting

Registration fee                      150 €

Deadline to register: October 31, 2020

Registration fee includes

  • Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Dinner
  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday coffee breaks, lunch and Conference room rental
  • Sightseeing tour of Heidelberg Wednesday.

Cancellation policy

Cancellations must be submitted in writing

Up to October 31, 2020         full refund
Up to December 18, 2020     50% of fee
After December 18, 2020      no refund possible


The organizers have made pre-reservations at the following hotels for the period January 24-27, 2021. Participants are kindly requested to make their hotel reservations directly with the hotel.

Holiday Inn Express (

Address: Kurfuerstenanlage 23, 69115 Heidelberg

Please return filled-in reservation Form to

Single room incl. breakfast:

  • Night Jan 24: 94 €
  • Night Jan 25: 114 €
  • Night Jan 26: 124 €

Deadline for reservation: Dec 12, 2020

NH Hotel Heidelberg (

Address: Bergheimer Str. 91, 69115 Heidelberg

Please use the following link: or send an email to (reference 58321434)

  • Single room incl. breakfast: 134 €
  • Double room incl. breakfast: 150 €

Deadline for reservation: Nov 28, 2020

Qube Hotel Heidelberg (

Address: Bergheimer Str. 74, 69115 Heidelberg

Please send an email to (code: Final ERICA conference)

  • Single room incl. breakfast: 140 €
  • Double room incl. breakfast: 170 €

Deadline for reservation: Dec 23, 2020

Important dates


  • Submission of 150 words abstracts     August 31, 2020
  • Notification of acceptance                     September 10, 2020
  • Submission of two-page abstract         October 31, 2020



  • Early registration deadline                    September 15, 2020
  • Registration deadline presenters         October 31, 2020
  • Conference dates                                    January 24-27, 2021

Conference Management

  • Martina Pöll (TU Wien, Austria)
  • Ute Klötzer (HTC, Germany)
  • Marie-Alix Dalang-Secretan (EPFL, Switzerland)

Further Information and contact

For further information on


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