Professor Mohamed Saafi


Research Overview

Mohamed Saafi is a Professor and Chair at Lancaster University. Prof. Saafi's research group works in cutting-edge and multidisciplinary areas of materials science, computing, energy harvesting and storage, artificial intelligence (AI) and structural health monitoring in the context of sustainable, resilient and smart Built Environment.

Prof Saafi's research areas in materials science include the design of novel low-carbon cementitious and polymer composite materials using nanomaterials, design of carbon-negative infrastructure materials using CO2 and waste, upcycling of plastic waste towards the design of structural materials, and multifunctional sea-water, sea-sand and sea-aggregate concrete materials. Prof Saafi's research group uses analytical tools such as SEM, TEM, EDX, FTIR, XRD and XPS for experimental validation.

In the research area of computing, Prof. Saafi's research group is developing high-performance computing tools based on Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Density Function Theory (DFT) for bottom-up design, topology optimization and characterization of resilient infrastructure materials such as cementitious and polymer-based composites. The group is also working on the Internet of Materials (IoM) where structural materials are being designed and 3D printed with inherent capabilities such as cloud communication and data transfer, local data storage, self-powering and local big data computing for structural health monitoring purposes, and structure-human interaction. AI-guided discovery of new infrastructure materials with self-sensing and self-healing properties is currently being explored by Prof. Saafi's research group.

Energy harvesting and storage areas of research include turning the Built Environment such as road networks, buildings and bridges into green energetic crops, batteries and power transfer lines, and designing infrastructure materials that inherently interact with the surrounding environment to produce and locally store electricity.

To enhance the sustainability, resilience and performance of the Built Environment under the current and future climate change stressor, Prof. Saafi's research group is developing low-cost sensing technologies for real-time monitoring of infrastructure deterioration and stability of critical structures subjected to severe flooding events.

Prof. Saafi's research group has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal and proceedings papers. Prof. Saafi's research breakthroughs have been futured in national and international news outlets such as BBC News Business, BCC one, The New York Times, The Economist, The Daily Mail and Reuters to name a few. Prof. Saafi has been featured among World's top 2% scientists list recently created by Stanford University, USA (