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Geotechnical and Environmental Research Group


Cat has a technical background in engineering structures and materials, and is developing research interests in technology transfer. Her materials work has focused on supplementary cementitious systems and utilising construction and industrial wastes to this end.

Her undergraduate thesis was titled, ‘A Preliminary Study into the Effect of Biomass Ash Inclusion as Partial Replacement for OPC on Cement Mortar Strength Development’ and was supervised by Professor John McCarter at Heriot-Watt University.

Her master’s thesis was titled, ‘Are WE Nearly There Yet?’ and was supervised by Dr Shima Barakat and Professor Abir Al-Tabbaa. This work examined the barriers to academic entrepreneurship facing women at the University of Cambridge.

Cat is currently supervised by Professor Abir Al-Tabbaa for her PhD research focussing on developing novel cementitious materials and pathways for transfer them to industry. She also works with Dr Shima Barakat developing and delivering an academic entrepreneurship training program for women faculty across the collegiate university. Her PhD is funded by the EPSRC, and the training program by an innovation grant from Research England.

In her spare time, Cat enjoys theatre and is currently the Designers’ Representative on the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatics Club committee.


Degrees and Awards: 

2021 - MRes Future Infrastructure and the Built Environment, University of Cambridge – Distinction

2019 - MEng Structural Engineering, Heriot-Watt University – First Class Honours
(Institution of Civil Engineers QUEST Scholar with Morgan Sindall 2014-17)

  • 2019 – Watt Club Medal (Civil/Structural Engineering) for best academic performance
  • 2019 – Institution of Civil Engineers Award for outstanding undergraduate performance
  • 2018 – Scottish Builders’ Federation Student Research Grant
  • 2018 – Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
  • 2018 – Institution of Civil Engineers President’s Medal
  • 2018 – Winner of Scottish Regional Final and Third in International Final, Institution of Civil Engineers’ Pitch 200 Competition (watch it here!)
  • 2018 – Winner of Scottish Regional Final and International Finalist, Institution of Civil Engineers’ Emerging Engineers Competition
  • 2018 – Runner-up in Institution of Structural Engineers student model making competition
  • 2018 – Multidisciplinary collaborative project week “Best Design Solution”
  • 2018 – Shortlisted for Target Jobs Construction Undergraduate of the Year
  • 2015, 2018 – University Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement


Industry Experience:

  • 2017 – Undergraduate Engineer (Tendering)
  • 2016 – Constructionarium as Project Planner and Site Engineer
  • 2016 – Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme as Undergraduate Engineer (Temporary Works)
  • 2015 – A1L2B Project as Undergraduate Engineer with experience in the site laboratory, as a site engineer, and as assistant to the clerk of works (archaeology)


You can find Cat on LinkedIn here.


Key publications: 

Salvini, C; Barakat, S; Al-Tabbaa, A; 2021; ‘Entrepreneurship Barriers to Academic Women at the University of Cambridge’; Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business XXXV; Inclusive Entrepreneurship; Turku, Finland; 18-19 November 2021

PhD Research Student
Photo of Cat Salvini. She is a white woman with brown/reddish shoulder length curly hair. She wears glasses, a black and white striped tshirt and blue dungarees.

Contact Details

3rd Floor, James Dyson Building
Not available for consultancy


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