SynerCrete'18 Interdisciplinary Approaches for Cement-based Materials and Structural Concrete: Synergizing Expertise and Bridging Scales of Space and Time SynerCrete'18 – 24, 25, 26 October 2018 - Madeira Island, Funchal, Portugal Interdisciplinary Approaches for Cement-based Materials and Structural Concrete: Synergizing Expertise and Bridging Scales of Space and Time Final Conference of COST Action TU1404 “Towards the next generation of standards for service life of cement-based materials and structures” SynerCrete'18 - The International Federation for Structural Concrete Madeira Island, Funchal, Portugal The island of Madeira is located to the southwest of mainland Portugal, in the Atlantic Ocean. The conference takes place in the island’s capital, Funchal.


Understanding the complex behaviour of cement-based materials (CBM) and structural concrete during their entire lifecycle demands that researchers transcend approaches based on a single discipline. Interdisciplinary work is known, however, to bring important challenges in the view of the need to combine approaches and methods that are very distinct by nature, as well as enabling adequate communication between scientific fields with different (sometimes conflicting) terminologies, different perspectives and different collaboration practices/dynamics.

COST Action TU1404 “Towards the next generation of standards for service life of cement-based materials and structures” has had a strong interdisciplinary focus since its beginning, back in November 2014. This final conference of the Action was precisely focused on interdisciplinary approaches to CBM and structural concrete. Indeed, COST Action TU1404 has brought about significant interdisciplinary collaboration, mostly between material scientists and structural engineers, with involvement of several other disciplines. Bridging between experts in experimental work and experts in numerical simulation has also been a strong focus.

This conference was open to all interested members of the scientific/practising community, regardless of having participated in COST Action TU1404 or not. The focus of the conference was set to communicating, discussing and arousing progresses in research, development and application of CBM and Structural Concrete, which have been attained through combination of expertise from distinct fields of knowledge. Exciting fields of research such as performance-based design, 3D modelling for analysis/design, Building Information Modelling and even robotics (e.g. digital fabrication or robotics design) were included, while keeping focus on multi-scale approaches at time and spatial levels. Specific attention should be also paid to the challenges that are inherent to the combination of different expertises, and the ways through which better management and research collaboration can be achieved in interdisciplinary research projects.

The conference has consisted of lectures by researchers and other professionals from a variety of scientific disciplines in works targeted to CBM and Structural Concrete, as well as a selected panel of invited speakers. The conference was intended for researchers and practitioners at any career level who have interest in deepening knowledge on the targeted subjects.

Miguel Azenha and Dirk Schlicke
Chairs of SynerCrete’18

Farid Benboudjema and Agnieszka Jędrzejewska
Chairs the Scientific Committee of SynerCrete’18

Conference Topics

The conference was established as a final discussion around COST Action TU1404, which is centred in early age behaviour and its interaction with service life of cement-based materials and structures.

A strong focus was given to interdisciplinary approaches and towards new exciting fields of research that inherently require collaborative work among scientific disciplines. Therefore, in view of this global reasoning the following set of sub-topics was envisaged:

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  • Concrete technology and advanced material testing
  • Multi-scale in time and space modelling and experiments
  • Multi-physics simulation and structural design
  • BIM and structural concrete
  • Robotics and cement-based materials
  • Digital fabrication
  • On-site monitoring and structural condition assessment
  • Scientific insights vs. standardization
  • New materials : bio-based, geopolymers and alkali-activated materials
  • Fibre-reinforced concrete and non-metallic reinforcement


The conference was held in the city of Funchal in Madeira (Portugal), at Hotel Pestana Casino Park, which is very convenient and well equipped for conferences in terms of facilities, transportation and proximity to other hotels.

The island of Madeira is located to the southwest of mainland Portugal, in the Atlantic Ocean. The conference takes place in the island’s capital, Funchal. The Municipality of Funchal extends over a large hill, arranged in an amphitheater, from the coast up to Pico do Areeiro, situated at 1818m above sea level. The human occupation of the land over time was conditioned by the steep slopes. According to the 2011 census, the municipality of Funchal has 111 892 inhabitants, spread over 10 parishes.

Funchal is one of the region’s oldest municipalities and it became a city in 1508 by Royal Charter under D. Manuel I, and has always done well due to its strong economic, social and cultural potential. The city of Funchal has many leisure activities on offer, you can visit the magnificent monuments, museums and gardens, shop, explore its pretty Portuguese-style cobbled streets or simply have a pleasant time sitting on a terrace.

SynerCrete'18 - The International Federation for Structural Concrete

Invited Speakers


Ippei Maruyama

Nagoya University

Topic: Advanced experiments and simulation


Nenad Gucunski

Rutgers Universit,

Topic: The RABBIT system for bridge inspection


John Provis

University of Sheffield

Topic: Innovation in research on new binders


Stéphanie Staquet

Université Libre de Bruxelles

Topic: Behaviour of CBM and experimental specification


Gianluca Cusatis

Northwestern University

Topic: Modelling and numerical simulations

Sofiane Amziane

Blaise Pascal University

Topic: Rheological behavior and durability of bio-based materials

Nicolas Roussel

IFSTTAR and ETH Zurich

Topic: Innovative processing technologies including automation in construction

Nele De Belie

Ghent University

Topic: Self-healing in cement-based materials


Miguel Azenha, ISISE, University of Minho, PORTUGAL
Dirk Schlicke, Institute of Structural Concrete, TU Graz, AUSTRIA

COST Organizing Committee
Core Group members of COST Action TU1404

Sonia Esteves, +351 253 510 747,

General information

National Organizing Committee
Paulo Lobo, UMA
José Sena Cruz, UMinho
Eduardo Júlio, IST
Rui Faria, FEUP
Manuel Pipa, LNEC
Romeu Vicente, UAveiro

Scientific Committee
Farid Benboudjema (Chair), ENS Paris-Saclay, FRANCE
Agnieszka Jędrzejewska (Chair), Silesian University of Technology, POLAND

Ouali Amiri, University of Nantes, FRANCE
Sofiane Amziane, University of Clermont Auvergne, FRANCE
Shingo Asamoto, Saitama University, JAPAN
Miguel Azenha, University of Minho, PORTUGAL
Nele de Belie, Ghent University, BELGIUM
Violeta Bokan Bosiljkov, University of Ljubljana, SLOVENIA
Alexandra Bourdot, ENS Paris-Saclay, FRANCE
Matthieu Briffaut, Laboratoire 3SR, FRANCE
Tomo Cerovšek, University of Ljubljana, SLOVENIA
Özlem Cizer, KU Leuven, BELGIUM
Gianluca Cusatis, Northwestern University, USA
Aveline Darquennes, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Rennes, FRANCE
Szymon Dawczyński, Silesian University of Technology, POLAND
Eduardo Fairbairn, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, BRASIL
Rui Faria, University of Porto, PORTUGAL
Ivan Gabrijel, University of Zagreb, CROATIA
Erez Gal, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, ISRAEL
Dariusz Gawin, Lodz University of Technology, POLAND
Ole Jensen, Technical University of Denmark, DENMARK
Joachim Juhart, Graz University of Technology, AUSTRIA
Terje Kanstad, NTNU, NORWAY
Eduardus Koenders, Technische Universität Darmstadt, GERMANY
Barbara Klemczak, Silesian University of Technology, POLAND
Laurie Lacarrière, Université de Toulouse, FRANCE
Paulo B. Lourenço, University of Minho, PORTUGAL
Ippei Maruyama, Nagoya University, JAPAN
Kyuichi Maruyama, Nagaoka University of Technology, JAPAN
Enrico Masoero, Newcastle University, UNITED KINGDOM
Hadi Mazaheripour, University of Minho, PORTUGAL
Sreejith Nanukuttan, Queen’s University Belfast, UNITED KINGDOM
Małgorzata Pająk, Silesian University of Technology, POLAND
Arnaud Perrot, Université de Bretagne Sud, FRANCE
Bernhard Pichler, Vienna University of Technology, AUSTRIA
Manuel Pipa, Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, PORTUGAL
John Provis, University of Sheffield, UNITED KINGDOM
Vlastimir Radonjanin, University of Novi Sad, SERBIA
Marta Roig, Instituto Eduardo Torroja de Ciencias de la Construcción, SPAIN
Emmanuel Rozière, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, FRANCE
Mercedes Sanchez Moreno, University of Cordoba, SPAIN
Ryoichi Sato, Hiroshima University, JAPAN
José Sena-Cruz, University of Minho, PORTUGAL
Dirk Schlicke, Graz University of Technology, AUSTRIA
Geert De Schutter, Ghent University, BELGIUM
Giuseppe Sciume, University of Bordeaux, FRANCE
Marijana Serdar, University of Zagreb, CROATIA
Carlos Serra, National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, PORTUGAL
Ioannis Sfikas, Mott MacDonald Ltd., UK
Paulo Silva Lobo, Universidade da Madeira, PORTUGAL
Mohammed Sonebi, Queen’s University Belfast, UNITED KINGDOM
Carlos Sousa, University of Porto, PORTUGAL
Tayfun Altuğ Söylev, Gebze Technical University, TURKEY
Maria Stefanidou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GREECE
Stéphanie Staquet, Université Libre de Bruxelles, BELGIUM
Aljoša Šajna, Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, SLOVENIA
Vít Šmilauer, Czech Technical University in Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
Luping Tang, Chalmers University of Technology, SWEDEN
Katrin Turner, Graz University of Technology, AUSTRIA
Jean Michel Torrenti, IFSTTAR, FRANCE
François Toutlemonde, Paris-Est University/IFSTTAR, FRANCE
Jörg F. Unger, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, GERMANY
Neven Ukrainczyk, TU Darmstadt, GERMANY
Mateusz Wyrzykowski, Empa, SWITZERLAND
Guang Ye, Delft University of Technology, THE NEDERLANDS
Ismail Yurtdas, University of Reims, FRANCE
Xiangming Zhou, Brunel University London, UNITED KINGDOM
Mariusz Zych, Cracow University of Technology, POLAND


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Program & Sessions

Download Program V23/10/2018


SynerCrete18 is a COST Conference (TU1404), supported by RILEM, FIB, ACI and JCI.


National organizations are also supporting: GPBE, OE
Local support is also provided by: Regional Government of Madeira, University of Madeira and School of Engineering of the University of Minho


Special Issue

The authors of selected papers presented at the SynerCrete’18 conference will be invited to submit original contributions related to their participation in the conference in the special issue of the Journal of Advanced Concrete Technology (published by Japan Concrete Institute, and indexed according to ‘Journal of Citation Reports’) in a special issue regarding SynerCrete’18. ACT Journal publishes original scientific papers or technical reports on innovative or advanced techniques of concrete industry.

Journal of Advanced Concrete Technology - logo


The conference included two award categories: (i) the Best Poster Award (selected by voting among all conference participants); (ii) the Interdisciplinarity Award (selected by the Scientific Committee).

Best Poster Award

The Best Poster Award was attributed to:
“Particle-matrix proportioning of high strength lightweight aggregate concrete” by Elisabeth Leite Skare, Jelena Zivkovic, Stefan Jacobsen, Jan Arve Øverli

The Interdisiplinarity Award was attributed to:
“Research and development of infrastructure diagnostic robot system (ALP) by concrete wall moving mechanism using vacuum suction pad” by Junichiro Nojima, Toshiaki Mizobuchi