The University of the West of Scotland

    Dr. John Hughes
    Research Lecturer
    School of Engineering
    University of the West of Scotland
    Paisley Campus
    PA1 2BE, Scotland
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    T: +44 (0)141 848 3268
    M: +44 (0)7791 232 812

  • The University of the West of Scotland, supports almost 20,000 students through the work of 1,600 staff. It has a unique geographical coverage across the West of Scotland, over four campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley.  Eight Schools offer courses in business, computing, engineering and science, media, language and music, health, nursing and midwifery, social sciences and education, from undergraduate to doctoral level. UWS maintains a strong tradition of partnership and knowledge transfer in the delivery of services to industry, the public sector and in regeneration and economic development.
    The Faculty of Science & Technology integrates research strengths in civil engineering, construction materials, heritage science, climate change modelling, GIS, hydrology, nuclear structure, sensors and thin films. Academic staff in civil engineering specialise in historic building materials (mortar and stone), concrete, the utilisation of wastes and recycled materials and the microstructural and micromechanical characterisation of cementitious composites.
    The group’s recent industrially and public-sector driven research has involved the characterisation of historic mortars and the durability of stone in architecture (Historic Scotland/BGS); provenance recognition in mortars (Carnegie Trust); specifications for mortars for use with granite (KTTBE); the production of lime-binders using small scale kilns and the properties of masonry made from these (UK-DTI) and climate change impacts on cultural heritage (AHRC); application of nanoindentation techniques to cement-based materials linked to computational modelling of microstructures (EU CODICE); the properties of self compacting, fibre reinforced and other high performance concrete (EU Testing-SCC). Elsewhere, industry focussed research has pursued aspects of environmental geochemistry and health including that related to waste, pollution and urban soils (EU LONGMET, EU soil strategy working groups, EU URBSOIL).
    Staff are active internationally as members of RILEM TCs: TCs-RHM and SGM (Repair Mortars for Historic Masonry, Non Structural grouting of Historic Masonry), TC-NCM (Nanotechnology in Construction Materials), TC-MSC (Mechanical properties of self-compacting concrete). Also within the School of Engineering there is the world-leading Thin Film Centre, with expertise stretching 20 years in coatings and surface characterisation. The well-equipped laboratories allow mechanical testing from full scale elements to individual phases at the nm scale by nanoindentation, petrographic sample preparation, optical and high resolution FESEM with EDS, XRPD, development of experimental set-up/sample testing, testing of material application, chemical analysis of organic materials (AAS, ICP) as well as synthesis and handling in pilot and laboratory experimental cells. In Thin-Films facilities exist for the deposition of, and the examination of photocatalytic and other properties of coatings.
    Staff at the UWS will be primarily involved in the characterisation of historic materials as information for the development of testing methods of the newly developed coatings and consolidants. This will involve mechanical, physical and compositional investigations; including the use of nanoindentation, vapour permeability, surface tension, mineralogical and textural changes as consequences of the use of the new functional materials.

  • Dr. John Hughes, Research Lecturer in the School of Engineering; Expertise in the properties of mortars in historic buildings, the development and specification of repair mortars and the decay of stone including the effects of cleaning; Expert in petrographical, mineralogical and SEM-based characterisation of building materials.
    Dr Wenzhong Zhu, Lecturer and Manager of the Scottish Centre of Nanotechnology in Construction Materials, in School of Engineering; Expertise in the technology and properties of cement based materials and self-compacting concrete, nanotechnology in construction and micromechanical characterisation of materials. Application of nanoindentation technique to cement-based materials was pioneered by Dr Zhu over 15 years ago.  He has participated in four European projects as investigator, core member or work package leader since 1998.
    Prof Andrew Hursthouse, Prof. of Environmental Geochemistry & Chair, Physical Sciences Subject Development Group; >70 peer reviewed publications in environmental geochemistry and health, interests in pollutant transport and impact on risk assessment; remediation technology and life cycle. Work with National Governments on environmental regulation.