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Café Scientifique

Join us for an evening discussion event at the museum and online. Everyone’s welcome to help us explore the latest ideas in science and technology.

Next event

The next event will take place on Thursday 28 October 2021 from 18.30. This will be a ‘hybrid’ event, taking place both at the museum and online—the talk will be given live in the Café and will also be broadcast on Zoom. When you book free tickets, you will be able to choose which version of the event you would like to attend.

Green Concrete: Building a More Sustainable Future

Professor Ashraf Ashour

Portland cement-based traditional concrete is the second most-used material globally, following water. However, the cement industry alone is responsible for ~8% of total human-driven CO₂ emissions, causing a serious environmental concern. Furthermore, current construction practice of materials’ overproduction, insufficient longevity of concrete structures and accumulation of construction and demolition waste (CDW) are wasteful of energy, creating serious environmental pollution and at high cost. The CDW industry is one of the largest global solid waste producers, accounting for 30–40% of total urban waste. In 2014, DEFRA reported that the UK generated 202.8m tons of waste, 59% of which came from CDW. 

In this talk, Ashraf Ashour will present the UK-Turkey research project which won the 2020 Newton Prize to tackle the drawbacks of concrete production and CDW. He will be looking at the production of 100% CDW-based cement-free ‘green’ concretes (CDW-based geopolymer binders and recycled aggregates) to be incorporated in the development of LEGO-like/demountable structural elements, facilitating the future reuse of structural elements at the end of their life, potentially achieving more than 50% reduction in the embodied energy of structures as well as giving clients the benefit of retaining the value of their assets.

Ashraf Ashour is a Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Bradford, received his PhD from Cambridge University, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers (FIStructE). In 2020, he was ranked among the top 2% scientists in civil engineering.

What you need to know

  • This event is free, but booking is required
  • Donations are welcome! You can donate online 
  • Café Scientifique is suitable for all ages and abilities, but some events may have adult themes or content

Information for online attendees

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Future events

What is Café Scientifique?

Café Scientifique is a friendly and collaborative exploration of the latest breakthroughs in science. You’ll hear about, discuss and debate some of the most recent advances and discoveries in science and healthcare, and their importance to society.

Each event has a theme—they’ve included everything from the latest in physics to the science of music, from nanotechnology to biology.

Café Scientifique is a great way to meet new people and exercise your mind. Discuss the discoveries you’ve seen in the headlines, or learn something completely new.

Keep up to date—follow Café Scientifique on Facebook and Twitter.

Part of the Science Museum Group