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Wai Yuk Lau

Wai Yuk Lau

PhD Research Student

Department of Engineering
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1PZ

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 766683


Yuk graduated from University of Sheffield and obtained a BEng in Civil Engineering in 2004. Upon graduation, he worked as a graduate engineer at Jacobs involved in structural assessment of historical station roof for Network Rail. In 2006 he worked with Ove Arup & Partners as a structural engineer and was responsible for building design and construction aspects on number of projects including University of York Heslington East campus development. Prior jointing the Geotechnical and Environmental Research Group at the University of Cambridge in 2012, Yuk was a research associate of Knowledge Transfer Partnership at University of Southampton for 2 years working on a composite slab industrial research project consisting experimental and numerical works. Yuk is affiliated to St Edmund’s College.

Research Interests

Yuk has a strong interest in mechanics of materials and his research is in collaboration with Laing O'Rourke on shrinkage reduction of MgO concrete under supervision of Dr Abir Al-Tabbaa. Shrinkage is one of the most detrimental properties of concrete which affects its long term strength and durability. Hard burned magnesia has been used successfully over decades in large dam construction as an expansive additive to compensate for shrinkage effects. The degree of expansion has been found to be dependent on the MgO used. Shrinkage compensating cements are not used in the UK for building or civil engineering and their use would be outside the UK Standards, specifications or codes. Benefits of such cements or additives include significantly reducing the amount of traditional steel bar reinforcement that is normally required for crack control. The project will investigate the applicability of a number of different source MgOs and different mix compositions of MgO concretes in terms of their potential to eliminate shrinkage effects.