CESS seminar : Navigating the concrete structures decarbonization landscape and pathways to achievement


Event details

Date 23.02.2024
Hour 12:1513:15
Speaker Prof. Stephen Foster
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
This presentation looks at decarbonizing concrete infrastructure through innovative design and the adoption of alternative materials that reduce concrete’s substantial carbon footprint. The presentation will concentrate on the pivotal role of design in sustainable building, particularly in reducing the environmental impact of concrete, with a discussion centring on alternative binder concretes as one solution for lowering greenhouse gas emissions from cement production. The role of high-performance materials like high-strength steels and Ultra-High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) that enable lighter, more efficient construction, is also reviewed, further aiding in reducing emissions.

Lastly, the presentation will examine barriers to the widespread adoption of innovative materials and design approaches, as well as pathways to overcoming these barriers. The need for responsive design codes and standards is emphasized, facilitating the integration of sustainable materials and practices into mainstream construction, and providing engineers, builders, and contractors with the tools needed for implementation in mainstream practice, thus reducing the carbon footprint of our concrete structures. The presentation concludes with a call to action, stressing the importance of collaborative efforts among researchers, governments, and industry stakeholders. It emphasizes the need for significant investment in research and development, clear policy direction, and the swift rollout of new codes and standards. This communal approach is vital for achieving the ambitious goal of reducing the construction sector's carbon footprint, thereby paving the way towards carbon neutrality in the building industry.

Short bio
Stephen Foster a Professor of Structural Engineering at The University of New South Wales, Sydney, and the former Dean of Engineering (2020-23). He received his PhD from the University of New South Wales in 1993 and has over 40 years’ experience as a structural engineer in practice and in teaching.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Fellow of Engineers Australia, Fellow of fib, Honorary Member of the Concrete Institute of Australia (CIA), a member Australian Standards Committee BD2, Chairman of sub-committee BD2/1 “Strength and Analysis”BD2/6 “Fibre Reinforced Concrete”, BD2/9 “Geopolymer Concrete”, Member of Australia Standards Committee BD90.5 “Bridge Design – Concrete” and chaired the BD90.5 working group on “Fibre Reinforced Concrete” and he is a Member of Canadian Standards Association Task Force on “Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code Ultra High Performance Concrete”. 

He is the elected President of the International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib) (2023-24) and member of the fib Presidium.
Stephen has over 380 publications in the field of structural concrete and concrete materials, with textbooks on Reinforced Concrete and Prestressed Concrete. His main research interests are in the fields of bringing new materials technologies to the design concrete structures, including fibre and ultra-high-performance concrete, low carbon construction materials such as Geopolymer and alkaline activated concretes and high strength reinforcing steels. He chaired committee that developed the first national Standards Australia Technical Specification “Design of geopolymer and alkali activated binder concrete structures” (SA TS 199.

Sandwiches are offered at the end of the seminar.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free


  • Prof. Olga Fink (IMOS), Prof. Alexandre Alahi (VITA), Prof. Dusan Licina (HOBEL), Prof. Alain Nussbaumer (RESSLab)


  • Prof. David Fernández-Ordóñez