PhD student Teymouri awarded $35,000 fellowship to research decarbonization in cement industry

PhD student Mohammad Teymouri has received a $35,000 fellowship from the Portland Cement Association. Each year, the association grants two U.S. graduate students a fellowship to research topics related to the decarbonization of the cement industry.

Teymouri is in his third year of the PhD program in Civil Engineering and Construction Management. The program is housed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and is a collaboration with the Department of Construction Management (CM). Teymouri’s PhD research focuses on the long-term performance of concrete and pavement exposed to de-icers, a common occurrence in Colorado. For his PhD thesis, Teymouri is advised by CEE Professors Becki Atadero and Gaofeng Jia, Bio Professor Travis Bailey, and CM Professor Mahmoud Shakouri.

While attending the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. earlier this year, Teymouri became aware of a growing concern among contractors with a new type of cement being used in the U.S.. The new cement, Type 1L, blends up to 15% limestone, reducing carbon production. The concern is with the limited information on the properties and behavior of concrete containing the new cement, along with the interaction of admixtures – one of the main concrete ingredients in both fresh and hardened states, and what impact that could have on major construction projects both in the immediate, short term, and long-term. For this fellowship, Teymouri’s mentors are Nicole Dufalla from the University of Virginia and Mahmoud Shakouri of CSU.

For his fellowship, Teymouri will examine how varying admixtures impact the properties and behavior of concrete containing Type 1L cement in comparison to traditional cement. “The foundation is most interested in the practicality of our results and how it can be applied in the field. They are not seeking theories, but something actionable to help contractors while reducing carbon,” said Teymouri.

We congratulate Mohammad on this significant award!