Neville Centre of Excellence in Cement and Concrete Engineering

The Annual PhD Competition and Neville Centre Symposium

The Neville Centre was created with the support of the Neville family, which wanted to support the next generation of experts – and as such, it proposed the creation of an annual award to recognise the best UK-based PhD students working in cement and concrete. 

As a result, the Centre operates the annual Adam Neville Best UK Based PhD in Cement and Concrete Engineering Competition, operated in collaboration with the Concrete Society, in which the winning entrant receives a cash prize of £2,000 donated by the Neville family. 

Since 2018, the PhD competition has been run jointly with the Neville Centre Symposium. This yearly gathering gives academics and industrial partners the chance to promote innovations in cement and concrete design engineering. Recent Symposium themes include “Transformative materials” and “Designing for a low-carbon infrastructure”. 

The Centre also continues to offer the opportunity to an international audience to observe leading research and technical developments from both academia and industry through its Autumn and Spring seminar series and its newly developed biannual CPD course, “Multi-scale cracking of concrete materials”, which it introduced in 2021 in collaboration with RILEM. 

The 2023 PhD competition winner 

Zengliang Yue holding his 2023 Adam Neville Prize

Zengliang Yue accepting his 2023 Adam Neville Prize from Professor John Forth.

2023 – Zengliang Yue, University of Leeds: “A novel multi-physics modelling framework to reduce the uncertainty of the carbonation resistance and carbon capture potential of concrete materials.” 

Previous prize winners 

  • 2022 – Tamara Chidiac, University of Sheffield: “Durability & Service Life Modelling of Alkali-activated concrete.”  

  • 2021 – Deema Abu-Salma, Imperial College London: “Efficient strategy for modelling and assessing punching shear failure at edge and corner flat slab-column connections.” 

  • 2020 – Antonia Yorkshire, University of Sheffield: “Uranium, plutonium and technetium interaction with cement materials for radioactive waste management.” 

  • 2019 – Andri Setiawan, Imperial College London: “Efficient Strategy for Modelling Punching Failure of Flat Slabs.” 

  • 2018 – Giacomo Torelli, University of Manchester: “A confinement and moisture dependent constitutive model for concrete subjected to transient high temperatures.” 

Contact us

If you want to learn more about the PhD competition, or would like to attend the National Symposium, please contact the centre at