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gFT member Hanxiao Cui successfully defends his PhD Thesis

last modified May 15, 2021 08:42 PM

Hanxiao successfully defended his PhD thesis (minor correction) with two examiners, Prof Allan McRobie (University of Cambridge) and Prof Valentina Serra (Politecnico di Torino). Hanxiao's work primarily focuses on the theoretical investigation of a novel switchable insulation technology, an opaque insulation system capable of reversibly alternating between a thermally conductive and insulated state. Hanxiao now worked as a postdoc at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) to further develop this technology.

gFT member invited to Facade tectonics podcast

last modified Aug 09, 2020 09:43 PM

Rebecca Hartwell (PhD Candidate) was recently invited to take part in a podcast with Mic Patterson at the Façade Tectonics Institute to discuss the environmental branch of her PhD research that seeks to address the end-of-life challenges in façade design. Rebecca and Mauro’s paper “A disassembly framework for assessing the environmental reclamation potential of façade systems” was selected by the Façade Tectonics peer review committee as one of the 4 top papers out of 118 received for the upcoming Façade Tectonics 2020 World Congress. (Rebecca’s PhD is funded by the EPSRC as part of the Future Infrastructure and Built Environment CDT.)

Here to listen to the podcast 

Link to the paper here

gFT member Jacopo Montali successfully defends his PhD thesis

last modified May 30, 2019 10:41 AM

On 30th 2019 January gFT member Jacopo Montali successfully defended his PhD thesis in front of Dr Tariq Masood (University of Cambridge) and Prof Tillmann Klein (Delft University). The research work received positive comments and no revision was requested by the two opponents. Jacopo's work focussed on creating digital tools to automatically support knowledge-intense and repetitive tasks in facade design. The research program was funded by EPSRC and Laing O'Rourke. Jacopo has now founded a startup (Algorixon) which builds upon his PhD work that both aims at increasing productivity in the construction sector and reducing the impact of the sector on the environment.


gFT group publishes novel research on the flexural response of large-scale composite glazing panels

last modified Apr 04, 2019 12:33 PM

C. Pascual, S. Nhamoinesu and M. Overend have published research performed at the gFT group (Cambridge) on the flexural response of large scale steel-framed composite glazing panels. The experimental results show that shear-lag effects can be significant in large scale panels and can reduce their effective width by about 40%. The model of Pascual et al. (2017) provides a good fit of experimental deflections and stresses (for effective widths estimated experimentally). Further research is required on the prediction of effective widths and on their variation along the panels. 

To see the read-only version of the paper go here 

news for website steel glass2

news for website steel glass1

University of Cambridge joins Glass Futures Initiative

last modified Jan 16, 2019 10:58 AM

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Cambridge University, led by Dr Mauro Overend, has joined the Glass Futures Initiative. Glass Futures is a not for profit company which brings together industry and academia, with the aims of increasing productivity and sustainability in glass manufacturing, and dramatically reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide emissions.


Novel research on GFRP - Glass Facade presented at Glasstec 2018

last modified Dec 18, 2018 10:38 PM

Carlos Pascual and Mauro Overend from the gFT research group in collaboration with AGC Interpane, Arup, Kommerling, Fiberline composites and Dow presented novel research on GFRP-Glass facade at the Glasstec 2018. A full scale composite unit was showcased at the event. Glasstec is one of the leading trade fair in Glass technology and a premiere platform for the international glass sector.glasstech

MATELAB: A new experimental facility to capture occupant response to smart facades

last modified Oct 08, 2018 10:19 AM

The Glass & Facade Technology research group has inaugurated a novel test facility called MATELab (Mobile Adaptive Technologies Experimental Lab), developed by PhD student Luna-Navarro and Dr. Mauro Overend in collaboration with Permasteelisa, Arup and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB).  MATELab is essentially a  free-standing  single-storey open plan office with a floor areas of 35 sq. m, replaceable facade elements and a significant amount of state-of the-art instrumentation for capturing external and internal environmental conditions, energy demand and occupant response. It represents an intermediate step between traditional lab tests that are precise, but provide unrealistic conditions and the measurements in real-world office that are realistic, but difficult to control. MATELab is designed to capture occupant response in a controlled, yet realistic environment, by reducing the bias of highly controlled laboratory chambers whilst allowing accurate monitoring of the environmental and contextual variables affecting occupant response. MATELab also offers a unique test bed for interfaces and methods that include occupants into the control loop of dynamic building components that improve individual occupant comfort and wellbeing.

 Matwlab 3

Matelab 1

2018 Engineered Skins symposium presented new research on resource-efficient and human-centred façades

last modified Sep 12, 2018 03:45 PM

The latest research on façade technology was presented by the gFT researchers at the Engineered Skins Annual Symposium, held  last week at Christ College in Cambridge. 90 delegates from Industry  attended the multidisciplinary presentations on wide range of topics, from structural design to regenerative approaches to façade end-of-life. The symposium included two though-provoking keynote speeches by Prof. McRobie (CUED) and Kiru Balson (BRE) and was concluded by a dinner at Christ's College  All presentations are accessible at this Link.

Engineered Skins 2018 PPT

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Successful completion of Knowledge Transfer Partnership

last modified Jul 29, 2018 03:46 PM

The 3 year knowledge transfer partnership on Connections for fibre-reinforced façades has come to a successful conclusion. The project was a partnership between gFT and Newtecnic,   funded by Innovate UK. It involved knowledge sharing, research & development tasks and real-world implementation of novel connections for fibre-reinforced facades. The project led by Dr Marco Dona, overseen by Dr Mauro Overend. The various outputs from this project are available on a dedicated website:




Latest research on glass presented at the CG6 International Conference

last modified Jul 02, 2018 10:04 AM

The most recent findings form gFT research on repair of architectural glass and FRP-Glass composite structures  where presented at the 6th International Conference on the Architectural and Structural Application of Glass (aka challenging Glass 6).



gFT group secures funding for further development on Composite Glass Units

last modified Jul 29, 2018 03:52 PM

Dr Mauro Overend and Dr Carlos Pascual have secured 1-year research funding from EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account Follow-on Fund to perform research on the up-scaling of Composite Glass Units (CGUs) for cladding of real-world buildings. In this project gFT researchers will work in close collaboration with major industrial partners (Interpane, ARUP, Fiberline and Koemmerling) to develop new production and design methods for CGUs as well as to demonstrate the performance and durability of this new component. Prototype panels will be produced, exhibited and installed on the façade of the façade test facility at Cambridge. This funding follows the previous 2-year EPSRC funded research (Bright Ideas Awards) during which gFT researchers demonstrated the basic feasibility of designing lightweight, robust and form-adaptable FRP-glass Composite Structures for load-bearing and energy efficient building envelopes.

General view

CDBB Mini-project fundings for £ 25.000 secured by a research team lead by Dr. Overend

last modified Dec 21, 2018 05:26 PM

gFT members Dr. Mauro Overend,  Alessandra Luna-Navarro and Mark Allen, in collaboration wiith Prof. Tim Ibell, Dr. John Orr, Mr. Paul Fidler and Dr. James Talbot had secured fundings for £25 k from the Center for Digital Built Britain (CDBB). The research fundings were won for the development of "Building Impulse Tookit - BIT", a Mini-Project which looks at how digital technologies impact the built environment, and how society might be affected by the changes which may follow from the employment of these technologies.

The principal novel aspect of this research project is the creation of a ‘toolkit’ of digital sensors and other methods for capturing overall occupant response in terms of comfort, satisfaction, productivity and well‐being. The toolkit consists of a range of existing sensors and additional devices that together capture the wide effects of novel resource‐efficient technologies, such as the user responses to automatic façade systems and the effects of material‐efficient structures on occupant productivity and well‐ being.


gFT member secures £5000 research funding from Trimble

last modified Mar 12, 2018 01:27 PM

gFT member Mark Allen has secured £5000 research funding from Trimble for his project that aims to capture the well-being of building occupants using webcams. The Trimble Fund is a ten year, £500k fund which runs annually . The funding  will enable Mark to purchase equipment and cover travel costs, thereby allowing him to gather a much larger set of data than was previously possible. Trimble will be updated periodically on the progress of the project. Mark’s PhD is funded by EPSRC as part of the Future Infrastructure and Built Environment CDT .



Visiting PhD researcher on Adaptive Facades at gFT group

last modified Jan 08, 2018 04:34 PM

Luigi Giovannini (Ph.D. student in building physics , TEBE Research Group, Politecnico di Torino) joined the Glass and Façade Technology Research Group for two months. The topic of his visit was the development of an advanced integrated simulation procedure to evaluate the overall performance and control strategy of an active adaptive transparent façade component. His stay at gFT was funded by the European Research Network on Adaptive Facades and  involved close collaboration with Eckersley O’Callaghan. His fields of expertise include lighting and daylight design, visual comfort, annual numerical simulation for visual comfort and energy demand assessment in buildings, experimental characterisation of transparent adaptive façade components and integrated numerical evaluation of their performance in terms of visual comfort provided to the occupant and energy consumption.

Image result for adaptive façade cost action

gFT member recieves "Best Performance Award” at the University of Tokyo

last modified Nov 27, 2017 08:31 AM

gFT member Hanxiao Cui, has won the Best Performance Award (2nd Prize, out of 62 participants) for a modelling competition in Yokohama, Japan. The main objective of this competition is to simulate and analyse the dynamic response of a bridge in Yokohama city under different operating conditions. This modelling competition is part of Asian-Pacific-European-Summer-School on Smart Structure Technology (APESS'17). The APESS'17 programme included an intensive three week lectures given by world©\leading experts on smart structure technologies and thInternational Workshop on Advanced Smart Materials and Smart Structures Technology (ANCRiSST2017)  at the University of Tokyo.

Best Performance Award   APESS17


Latest façade research presented at gFT symposium 2017

last modified Sep 28, 2017 07:39 PM

The 8th Engineered Skins symposium was successfully organised by gFT on the 7th of September 2017 in Cambridge. gFT researchers presented the latest findings from their research projects to an audience of 70 guests composed of industry experts and leading academics from the UK, other European countries and beyond. The event also featured two outstanding keynote presentations by Dr Shrikant Sharma from Buro Happold and Dr Jonathan Cullen from the University of Cambridge that provided an insight on novel tools for data driven and people centred building designs and thought-provoking ideas on resource efficiency in the construction and build environment. The event closed with dinner at Christ's College that provided an excellent opportunity to continue the lively discussions.

The proceedings of the symposium are available here.

Eng Symposium 2017

Cullen speaking at symposium 2017

gFT member presents at the ICED conference in Vancouver

last modified Aug 29, 2017 11:38 AM

gFT memeber Jacopo Montali has recently presented his latest research at the International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED17) in Vancouver, Canada. The conference, which attracted experts from various sectors, was an excellent opportunity to disseminate the group's research to a broader audience and to gain useful insights on the shared challenges across different industries. Jacopo presented his work on digitised knowledge for design of precast concrete facades in a session focussed on applications of Information and Knowledge Management techniques. Jacopo's research is sponsored by EPSRC and Laing O'Rourke.

Glass Journal Indexed

last modified Aug 16, 2017 06:58 PM
The journal Glass Structures & Engineering is now indexed Emerging Sources Citation Index. This is a further important endorsement of this relatively new journal. The journal will shortly be submitted for indexing on Scopus. 
All papers in the journal may be accessed freely here.

PhD Studentship in novel connections for glass structures. Apply by 31st July 2017.

last modified Jul 07, 2017 11:24 AM

New PhD opportunity available with the gFT research group.

A 3-year PHD studentship is available from October 2017 or January 2018 to investigate a new generation of novel and efficient connections for glass structures. Further details here

Our Spring-Summer 2017 newsletter is online!

last modified Jun 26, 2017 12:11 PM

The latest edition of our bi-annual newsletter is online! The current Spring-Summer 2017 Newsletter as well as previous editions can be downloaded here.

gFT member secures £24k funding

last modified Jun 26, 2017 11:39 AM
gFT member Mark Allen has won £24,000 as part of a team proposal in the Cambridge Carbon Challenge. The proposal (with teammates Mel Jans Singh and Andre Neto-Bradley) is to install hydroponic plants in the James Dyson Building to see what effect they have on both the buildings energy use and its occupants. 
The funding will go towards over 50 hydroponics units and the various sensors required to measure their effect on CO2 levels, energy use, VOC’s and occupant wellbeing which is the basis of Mark’s research. Mark’s PhD research is funded by EPSRC through their Future Infrastructure and Built Environment Centre for Doctoral Training.

Jacopo Montali speaks at the ICBEST Conference in Istanbul

last modified Jul 25, 2017 10:36 AM
GFT member Jacopo Montali presented his latest research at the ICBEST Conference in Istanbul this May. The three-day conference brought together facade experts to discuss the most recent and future developments in the façades sector. In his presentation, Jacopo showed the latest development of a Rhinoceros- and Grasshopper-based digital tool to automatically assist the design of precast concrete panels. His presentation may be viewed here. Jacopo's PhD research is funded by Laing O'Rourke and EPSRC.



gFT research exhibited at Ecobuild 2017

last modified Apr 21, 2017 01:46 PM
Carousel ecobuild
Some of the latest gFT research, funded by EPSRC and gFT industrial partners, was presented at Ecobuild 2017. An interactive prop showing the cold bent glass research by Kyriaki Corinna Datsiou
was showcasted together with samples of the FRP facade panels under investigation by Isabelle Paparo and the GRC connections by Marco Donà.
Furthermore, Dr. Overend gave a presentation on the 8th of March explaining the group research at Ecobuild 2017. 
Ecobuild attendees showed significant interest in the samples and members of the gFT research group had the opportunity to explain the research to a broad range of people.

 People at Ecobuild


People at Ecobuild

gFT member receives Future Cities Prize Fellowship

last modified Nov 27, 2017 08:35 AM

Alessandra Luna Navarro is one of eight PhD students across the whole University of Cambridge who has received the Future Cities Prize Fellowship from the Cambridge Real Estate Research Centre at the University of Cambridge and Capital and Counties Properties Plc. The prize includes funding and support for PhD students to develop ideas on how future cities may be designed, operated and lived within to meet social, economic and environmental aims. This aligns very closely with Alessandra's on-going PhD on facade-occupant interaction. She and other recipients will have the opportunity to present their research at the second Future Cities Conference in Cambridge in July 2017. 

PHD Students 2017


Work on Glass Eurocode continues in earnest

last modified Nov 27, 2017 08:36 AM

The drafting of the Glass Eurocode continues at a steady pace with a meeting of a project team (pictured) that was tasked by the European commission to develop the text. The project team, of which of Mauro Overend is a member, met at the magnificent Gustinian-Lolin Palazzo on the Grand Cabal in Venice.  The gFT group will be hosting the next project team meeting in June 2017 in Cambridge.




gFT on Twitter

last modified Feb 06, 2017 09:04 PM

The gFT research group is now officially on TwitterWe have always been very keen to engage with our industrial and academic partners and this will be a further means of communication / information for those who are interested in our research activities

gFT meets FRG - 17/18 November

last modified Jan 09, 2017 03:48 PM

The gFT research group recently hosted a two day workshop exploring common research interests with the Facade Research Group "FRG" of TU Delft. The workshop consisted of research presentations from several members of the two groups and rounds of group discussions, These helped to identify several topics where members from both teams could collaborate. A special thanks to Prof Ulrich Knaack,  Dr Tillmann Klein and Lisa Rammig for from FRG, and Dr Mauro and Isabelle Paparo from gFT, for coordinating the event.



"Façade impulse” PhD project presented at Arup

last modified Dec 16, 2016 02:40 PM
Alessandra Luna Navarro was invited to launch her PhD topic at Arup office in London  on the 2nd of November 2016. The presentation consisted of an introduction to the planned research on facade-occupant interaction. The presentation was very well attended by members of a wide range of specialist teams within Arup ranging from building design, to facades and building services to materials. The PhD project is funded by Arup, Permasteelisa and EPSRC


Two new PhD students join gFT

last modified Nov 30, 2016 12:07 PM
Mark Allen and Alessandra Luna Navarro have joined the gFT research group in Autumn 2016. Mark joins after completing an MRes in the CDT “Future and Infrastructure and Built environment” programme and Alessandra joins after completing an MPhil in Energy Technologies, both at the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge.
Mark’s PhD project is on bioinspired facade technologies for sustainability and is funded by EPSRC, while Alessandra has started a PhD in adaptive façades and human comfort, funded by Arup, Permasteelisa and EPSRC. 

Dr Mauro Overend elected to the FTI College of Fellows

last modified Nov 24, 2016 10:01 AM

Dr Mauro Overend was elected to the College of Fellows of the US-based Facade Tectonics Institute. His election was officially announced at the FTI World Congress in Los Angeles held on the 10-11th October.  The fellowship the highest award bestowed by the Institute and is a lifetime honour. As a result Dr Overend will serve as a permanent member of the Institute.