Ellis GartnerEllis Gartner, scientific director (chemistry), Lafarge Central Research, France

Biography: Gartner has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Cambridge (1975). After three years as a Higher Scientific Officer at the UK Department of the Environment’s Building Research Establishment, he moved to the Portland Cement Association (Illinois, USA) in 1977, where he later became the head of the Basic Research Section. In 1985 he joined the Central Research Laboratory of W. R. Grace & Co. in Columbia, Maryland, where he headed the Cement and Concrete Additives research group, under the direction of Jan Skalny. In 1996 he joined Lafarge Central Research as Director of the Cement-Admixture Interactions department, and in 2011 was promoted to his current position. He is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society and a former chairman of the Cements Division, as well as a recipient of the Brunauer Award in 1992. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy (UK); a member of the American Chemical Society, of the Materials Research Society, and of RILEM; and an Associate Editor of the Cement and Concrete Research Journal. He has published over 60 scientific articles and over 30 patents. In a 40-year career spent mainly in industrial research and development laboratories, he has worked on many aspects of construction materials, including: life-cycle analysis of construction materials; the energy efficiency of the cement manufacturing process; the manufacture of artificial aggregates for concrete; methods of analysing and controlling toxic gas emissions from cement kilns; methods of analysing and controlling cement raw materials; the development of novel functional and processing additions for cements; the development of novel admixtures for concrete, and, most recently, the development of novel hydraulic binders for concretes with lower carbon footprints.

Title: 40 Years a Cement Scientist – can this be Sustainable?

Abstract: Science is the study of nature, while engineering is one important aspect of the application of scientific theory to addressing the needs of society. The study of cement necessarily spans the two, since cement is a man-made material and we only make it in large volumes because we need it for concrete engineering works. Thus, cement scientists mainly justify their existence on the grounds that they can make a difference to concrete engineering, which is one of the mainstays of modern society. This lecture will cover several aspects of my career in cement-related industrial research, and will give some real examples of how a scientific approach can lead to technical innovations that in turn have the potential to improve the “sustainability” of concrete construction.