Ali Rafeet



School of Planning Architecture and Civil Engineering
David Keir Building, Stranmillis Rd., BT9 5AG
Room 0G 312B  
Tel 02890975606


MSc Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK (2007)

BSc Civil Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman (2005)

PhD Title

The Development of Eco-friendly and Cost-effective Geopolymer Concrete

PhD project Description

The global use of concrete is on the rise and it is second only to water. Portland cement is the main binder currently used in conventional concrete. Today, the annual global cement production is around 4 billion tonnes, but its demand is projected to triple in 2050 compared to 2005 levels. Manufacturing of Portland cement is an energy intensive process and massive amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) are released to the atmosphere from the calcination process of limestone and from combustion of fuels in the kiln: the cement production industry is estimated to contribute around 5-8% of the global CO2 emissions, with obvious consequences on the environment.

Geopolymer “cementless” concrete also referred to as “alkali activated concrete” has recently emerged as a novel eco-friendly construction material with a promising potential to replace ordinary Portland cement concrete in several applications. This can reduce CO2 emissions caused by cement industry by more than 80%. Despite attracting a great deal of attention and research over the past two decades, the geopolymer technology is still in its infancy and a number of developments are still required to make it more competitive and attractive to the construction industry stakeholders.

This research aims to develop a cost-effective cementless green concrete that uses waste stream aluminosilicate materials such as Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) and Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS) to achieve engineering properties similar to or better than Portland cement concrete. Alkali activated binder formulations have been investigated for obtaining optimised mixes for concrete production. Mechanical features and technological requirements (setting time, workability) have been analysed for a wide range of potential applications.


Prof. Marios Soutsos and Prof. Wei Sha


Slag valorisation in construction materials: mechanical properties and rheology of alkali activated concrete containing GGBSVinai, R., Rafeet, A., Soutsos, M. & Sha, W. 17 Apr 2015 p. 221-225

Alkali Activated Fuel Ash and Slag Mixes: Optimization Study from Mortars to Concrete Building Blocks; Rafeet, A., Vinai, R.Sha, W. & Soutsos, M. 14 Sep 2014 p. 349-353

Poster(s)/ Presentation(s)


Research Interests

Concrete technology, low CO2 cements and sustainability of the construction industry.

Professional Networks