Industry Day Speaker – Professor Phil Banfill

Professor Phil Banfill, Professor of Construction Materials at the School of the Built Environment at Heriot Watt University, will discuss ‘Homes fit for Zero: Dwellings in a zero carbon climate change future’ at Industry Day 2013. 

Prof. Phil Banfill


Phil Banfill is a materials scientist, with over 30 years experience of research and education in a university environment. He was appointed Professor of Construction Materials at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, in 1995 and has published two books and over 160 papers. Most of his research is concerned with materials and energy utilisation in buildings. He currently leads the Urban Energy Research Group which has interests in:-

  • Climate change, sustainability, CO2 reduction, life cycle assessment
  • Existing building stock – refurbishment, modelling, assessment
  • Historic, traditionally constructed, and “hard to treat” buildings
  • Low and zero carbon technologies, and system integration
  • Energy consumption and performance monitoring
  • Human factors – users, policymakers, investors, fuel poverty.

Prof. Banfill will speak during Parallel Session 3: ‘Energy Consumption & Usage in Homes of the Future’. 

Industry Day Speaker – Professor John McCarter

Professor John McCarter, School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University, will speak on ‘A performance based strategy for ensuring sustainable concrete infrastructure’ at Industry Day 2013.

Prof. John McCarter

Prof. John McCarter

Professor McCarter’s research has focused  in the main, on cementitious materials, particularly in the development of monitoring and characterisation techniques of this group of materials at both the micro- and macro- scale. His research activity also embraces the study of low-energy and low-carbon cementitious systems such as alkali-activated materials and geopolymers. Multi-functional and nano-engineered cementitious composites also represent a new direction in his research. He is a member of the international RILEM Technical Committee: Performance-based Specifications and Control of Concrete Durability. 

Professor McCarter will be speaking during Parallel Session 2 – ‘Materials & Design Technology’.


Arguing in the car – Let’s put an end to this now.

Recent research from Heriot-Watt’s Dr Terry Lansdown of  the School of Life Sciences, has shown that if you are going to argue in the car whilst driving, you are safer doing it over the phone, rather than face to face.

Terry Lansdown

The tests were carried out in Edinburgh, with subjects observed in a simulator either with their partner sat next to them, or on the phone. New research concluded that any contentious conversation when driving was very likely to result in increased speed and lessened driving ability. One reason drivers performed better when on the phone was that they could ignore their partners more easily.

The paper is in the Accident Analysis and Prevention, and you can read more about it in today’s Scotsman article on the report.

Update: further report published in the Scotsman in November 2012.

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