Srubar Research Group
Sustainable Infrastructure Materials Laboratory

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Welcome!
Welcome to the Sustainable Infrastructure Materials Laboratory (SIMLab) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Our experimental and computational materials science research integrates polymer and cement chemistry to create sustainable (low-carbon) and durable material technologies for the built environment. Our investigations are motivated by two main classes of problems, namely water (manipulating and controlling phase changes and transport) and carbon (reducing carbon footprints and enhancing carbon sequestration). Materials of current focus include (1) ice-binding polymers and synthetic biomimetics, (2) alkali-activated cements, (3) superabsorbent biopolymers, (4) cellulose-based composites, and (5) ordinary portland cement concrete. We focus our experimental efforts on elucidating fundamental process-structure-property relationships and our computational efforts on transport phenomena, service-life modeling, and life cycle assessment.

Our group is led by Assistant Professor Wil V. Srubar III, who joined the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering in January 2014. Prof. Srubar received his PhD in structural engineering and materials science from Stanford University in 2013. He received his bachelors degree in civil engineering and architectural history from Texas A&M University in 2006 and his masters degree in civil, architectural, and environmental engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008. To date, Prof. Srubar has received $4.7 Million as Principal Investigator and another $1.2 Million as Co-PI or key personnel to advance the science and engineering of sustainable materials. He is the author of more than 40 technical papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings. His industry experience includes structural engineering design and analysis, facility asset management, retrofit and rehabilitation of materials and structures, and environmental sustainability consulting. He is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Architectural Engineering Institute, and the American Concrete Institute, and he is affiliated with the United States Green Building Council.


Recent News

7/15/2017 Our lab has an immediate opening for a postdoctoral research associate related to the design, synthesis, and characterization of biomimetic antifreeze polymers. Applications are invited from highly motivated and independent researchers with training and expertise the area of organic polymer synthesis, physics, and/or chemistry with knowledge of, or interest in, inorganic cement chemistry. Eligible and interested applicants can read more about the project here and apply for the position here. The application will be open until the position is filled.

7/15/2017 Prof. Srubar was awarded a $391,750 Research Grant from the National Science Foundation’s Structural and Architectural Engineering and Materials program to investigate the "Experimental Study of Biomimetic Antifreeze Polymers for Improved Durability of Cementitious Binders." Read more about the project here.

7/1/2017 Our collaborative paper, "Investigation of Efficient Air pollutant removal using active flow control," was published in Building and Environment. Check out the article here!

5/1/2017 Our paper, "A Mathematical Model for Predicting the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) Concrete," was published in Construction and Building Materials. Check out the article here!

4/4/2017 Elizabeth Delesky was selected to receive a 2017 American Concrete Institute President’s Fellowship! Congratulations, Elizabeth!

3/22/2017 Elizabeth Delesky and Kyle Foster who were awarded 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships! Elizabeth’s research involves the synthesis and characterization of biomimetic antifreeze polymers for improved durability of cement-based materials. Kyle’s research investigates chemical functionalization of cellulose for improved properties of transparent wood composites. Congratulations, Elizabeth and Kyle!

3/16/2017 Prof. Srubar and Co-PIs Prof. Sherri Cook, and Prof. Mija Hubler in Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, and Prof. Ryan Gill in Chemical and Biological Engineering were awarded a $1.9 Million Research Grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program to investigate the "Programmable Resurrection of Materials Engineered to Heal Exponentially Using Switches (PROMETHEUS)". The project seeks to develop hybrid living materials that are endowed with both structural and biological function.

1/27/2017 Prof. Srubar was selected to receive the 2017 ENR Mountain States Top 20 Under 40 Award! Read ENR’s online announcement here.

1/19/2017 Our paper, "Mineralization Dynamics of Metakaolin-based Alkali-Activated Cements," was published in Cement and Concrete Research. Check out the article here!

8/1/2016 Our research project with ReVision Solutions, LLC was featured in the news! Read the original press release here!

8/1/2016 Prof. Srubar and Co-PIs Prof. Joseph Kasprzyk and Prof. Leah Sprain were awarded a $500,000 Research Grant from the National Science Foundation’s Design of Engineering Material Systems program to investigate the "Design Optimization of Sustainable and Resilient Concrete Mixtures." Read more about the project here.

7/1/2016 Prof. Srubar was awarded a $299,838 Research Grant from the National Science Foundation’s Environmental Sustainability program to investigate the "Nanostructural Stability of Alkali-Activated (N,K)-ASH Geopolymer Cements for Sustainable and Resilient Civil Infrastructure." Read more about the project here.

5/6/2016 Prof. Srubar was awarded the 2016 Young Researcher Award and the 2016 Architectural Engineering Faculty Appreciation Award by the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering! Read more about the awards here.

4/15/2016 Our first prestressed natural fiber composites paper, "Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of Prestressed Natural Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid (PLA) Composite Materials," was published in Composites Part B: Engineering. Check out the article here.

4/1/2016 Prof. Srubar was honored to give a keynote lecture entitled, "AEI Learn: Challenges and Opportunities of a Modern-day Architectural Engineering Education," at the 2016 Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) Forum at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

4/1/2016 Prof. Srubar was selected as a national 2016 ASCE ExCEEd Fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers and will attend a teaching workshop at West Point in July. Read more about the ExCEEd program here.

3/11/2016 Our first bioaerogels paper, "Evaporation-based Method for Preparing Gelatin Foams with Aligned Tubular Pore Structures," was published in Materials Science and Engineering. Check out the article here.

3/1/2016 Congratulations to former SIMLab team member, Tyco Evans, who won third place for his poster presentation, "Oligomerization of Glycerol and its Extraction from Crude Glycerol," at the 2016 Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM in Washington, DC!

3/1/2016 Our paper, "Activating Relaxation-Controlled Diffusion Mechanisms for Tailored Moisture Resistance of Gelatin-based Bioadhesives for Engineered Wood Products," was published in Composites Part A. Check out the article here.

2/1/2016 Our paper, "Material Characterization and Hydraulic Conductivity Modeling of Macroporous Recycled-Aggregate Pervious Concrete," was published in Construction and Building Materials. Check out the article here.

1/1/2016 Prof. Srubar (PI) and Prof. Wei Zhang (co-PI) were awarded a Phase I $73,000 Research Grant from Revision Solutions, LLC to investigate the "Characterization and Valorization of Recycled Polycarbonate." Read more about the global industry project here.

10/20/2015 Congratulations to JP for being awarded the 2015 Jean-Claude Roumain Scholarship by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Concrete Institute!

9/1/2015 Prof. Srubar, together with Prof. Corotis, Prof. Bielefeldt, Prof. Liel, Prof. Javernick-Will, Prof. Dashti, Prof. Linden, Prof. Summers, Prof. Porter, and Prof. Kasprzyk, was awarded a $1.2 Million Education Grant for Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) from the Department of Education for projects related to "Engineering Community Resilience." The grant will provide fellowship support (guaranteed for up to five years) for a cohort of new PhD students. Read more about potential projects and our student recruitment efforts here!

9/1/2015 Prof. Srubar was awarded a $274,990 Research Grant from the National Science Foundation’s Mechanics of Materials and Structures program to investigate the "Mechanics-based Service-life Prediction of Natural-Fiber Composites." Read more about the project here.

8/15/2015 Two of our papers on the "Mechanical Characterization of Gelatin-Flax Composites for Construction" and the "Bond Strength of Gelatin-Based Adhesives" were published in the Special Issue on Biobased Construction Materials of the Journal of Renewable Materials. You can read both of the papers here and here!

8/15/2015 Our paper on "Energy Performance Analysis of Variable Thermal Resistance Envelopes in Residential Buildings," was published in Energy and Buildings. Check out the article here.

7/15/2015 Congratulations to JP, who presented a poster on his project, "Characterization and Treatment of Low-Quality Fly Ash for the Synthesis of High-Quality Geopolymer Cements," at the 6th Advances in Cement-based Materials Conference in Manhattan, Kansas!

6/26/2015 Prof. Srubar presented two conference papers on "Facilitating Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving among Pre-Collegiate Engineering Students via Materials Science Principles" at the 2015 American Society of Engineering Education Conference and "Protein-based Biomaterials for Construction" at the 1st International Conference on Biobased Building Materials in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

5/15/2015 Congratulations to Shane, who presented a poster on his project, "Chemical Modification of Protein-based Adhesives for Construction Applications," at PolyChar23 in Lincoln, Nebraska!

4/23/2015 Congratulations to Kristen for presenting her paper, "Biobased FRPs for Retrofit and Rehabilitation of Civil Infrastructure," at the 2015 Structures Congress in Portland, Oregon!

4/7/2015 Congratulations to Torin, who presented a poster on his project, "Processing and Mechanical Characterization of Natural Fiber-Reinforced Poly(glycolic acid) (PGA) Composite Materials for Construction," at the 2015 Discovery Learning Apprenticeship Research Symposium in Boulder, Colorado!

4/7/2015 Prof. Srubar and the SIMLab team were awarded a $50,000 Seed Grant through the University of Colorado Boulder for their project, "Sustainable Synthesis of Gelatin Foams."

3/23/2015 Congratulations to Patrick for presenting his paper, "Improving the Performance of Macroporous Recycled-Aggregate Pervious Concrete," at the 2015 ACI Conference in Kansas City, Missouri!

1/15/2015 Our paper on "Stochastic Service-Life Modeling of Chloride-Induced Corrosion in Recycled-Aggregate Concrete," was published in Cement and Concrete Composites. Check out the article here.

1/3/2015 Our paper, "An Analytical Model for Predicting the Freeze-Thaw Durability of Wood-Fiber Composites," was published in Construction and Building Materials. Check out the article here.


SIMLab Fall 2015 From L to R: Juan Pablo Gevaudan (PhD), Kristen Hess (PhD), Shane Frazier (PhD), Wil Srubar (PI), Jesus Alvarez-Gonzalez (BS), Carson Brown (MS), Matt Rankins (MS), Zoey Craun (BS), Alec Gordon (BS), Adriana Souto (MS/PhD), Jenna Testa (MS). Not pictured: Danielle Dorr (BS), Eliot Kersgaard (BS), Paul Bennett (PhD), Jason Schmidt (BS/MS), Elizabeth Delesky (PhD), Anastasia Aday (MS).


Suni Suni Suni University of Colorado at Boulder / Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
© 2013 W Srubar III