Frontiers in Engineering Science: Dr Ed Garboczi

Frontiers in Engineering Science is the flagship monthly seminar program hosted by the School of Chemical and Process Engineering.

The latest research to influence the evolution of Chemical and Process Engineering is explored by eminent academics and industrialists invited from the global research community.  


3-D particle shape characterization – driven by the needs of cement/concrete material modeling


Dr Ed Garboczi (NIST Fellow) - National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Boulder, Colorado, USA


Any attempt to model the microstructure and properties of concrete must take into account the random (shape and size) particulate nature of much of the component materials. A brief overview will be given of the cement/concrete modeling that has been ongoing, in various forms, at NIST since the mid-1980s. This modeling program has led to the need to measure and model random particle shape at different length scales. The measurement method of choice has been X-ray computed microtomography, followed by the use of spherical harmonic series to enable quantitative mathematical modeling of 3D particle shape. This 3D particle shape characterization has gone beyond concrete components to many other kinds of particles and applications. Other particles include shredded car tires, metal powders for additive manufacturing, and simulated and real lunar soil; other applications include the effect of particle size on particle shape, the effect of particle shape on particle size, and the structure of particulate composites.

Biography: Dr. Garboczi received his Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from Michigan State University in 1985. His main research at NIST (Gaithersburg, Maryland) starting in 1988 was on the computational materials science of random composite materials such as concrete and other materials, which later included carbon nanotube and graphene composites. This involves exploring relationships between microstructure and properties using realistic computer-based microstructural models, exact property calculation algorithms, and percolation and composite theory. Since 2000, he has also used a novel combination of X-ray computed tomography and spherical harmonic analysis to build quantitative mathematical models of random-shaped particles of cement, sand, gravel, fly ash, industrial mineral powders, and blast furnace slag, with other applications including simulated and real lunar soil, chemical explosives, and tumors. He has recently become interested in applying similar methods to additive manufacturing problems. In 2014, he transferred to the Boulder, Colorado NIST campus, working on the same kind of problems but for a wider range of materials. Dr. Garboczi is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and the American Concrete Institute. He received the Robert L' Hermite Medal from RILEM in 1992, a Silver Medal from the Department of Commerce in 2009, the 2009 Edward C. Henry award from the American Ceramic Society’s Electronics Division, the 2012 Della Roy Lecture award from the American Ceramic Society’s Cements Division, and the 2014 Robert E. Philleo award from the American Concrete Institute.