The lab of materials and environment (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences) is a world leader in concrete technology. Researchers study the healing, aging and sustainability of construction materials and they are changing the norms in the world of concrete. The lab is known as the microlab because of its focus on the micro-mechanical properties of construction materials. “All the students have very different educational backgrounds. We need diversity because of the array of materials we are working with,” explains American Ph.D. candidate Natalie Carr who is developing carbon dioxide neutral binders to replace traditional cement. In the same lab, Ph.D. candidate Damian Palin of Ireland is developing bacteria based self-healing concrete for application in marine areas. “Nature is able to heal itself and that is our inspiration,” says Palin.