Final Conference

About the conference

The ERICA and CASH II Final Conference was held in an online format from January 25 to 27, 2021. At this event, the ERICA and CASH II projects were be presented along with invited and contributed talks.

The organizers were very pleased to welcome 127 registered participants from 21 different countries.

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 

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

Final programme

The final program is available here for your reference. The scientific program consisted of 11 invited and 36 contributed talks.

The virtual conference was be held in Zoom and Gather.Town. Presentations as well as short Q&A sessions following the presentations were be handled in Zoom. Participants were kindly invited to also join interactive discussion sessions in a “Town Hall” meeting in Gather.Town at the end of each contributed session.




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

Best young researcher presentation

The organizers cordially congratulate Nicolas Krattiger (University of Bern, Switzerland) and Zhanar Zhakiyeva (Institut Laue-Langevin, France) for having won the award for the best young researcher presentation. 

Conference Management

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

Further Information and contact

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