Dr. Srubar's research integrates biology with polymer and cement chemistry to create responsive, biomimetic, and/or living materials for the built environment. Our investigations are motivated by two main classes of problems, namely water (manipulating and controlling phase changes and transport) and carbon (reducing carbon footprints and enhancing carbon sequestration). Materials of current focus include (1) ice-binding proteins and synthetic biomimetics, (2) pH- and chloride-responsive alkali-activated cements, (3) multifunctional superabsorbent biopolymers, (4) cellulose-based composites, (5) ordinary portland cement concrete, and (5) engineered living building materials from lichen and cyanobacteria. We focus our experimental efforts on elucidating fundamental process-structure-property relationships and our computational efforts on transport phenomena, service-life modeling, and life cycle assessment.
materials science, structural engineering, biomimicry, synthetic biology, sustainability, mechanics, sustainable materials, durability, cement chemistry, infrastructure materials, polymer chemistry, life cycle assessment, LCA, environmental impact assessment, deterioration, acid resistance, freeze-thaw durability, service-life modeling, history of building technology