2020 Young researchers conference: report
Date published

6 January 2021

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2020 Young researchers conference: report

Date published

6 January 2021

The 22nd Young researchers conference took place virtually on 4 September 2020. This is a unique event that offers young researchers feedback from academics and industry leaders.


This year was the first time the Young researchers conference had been held entirely online. Dr Mike Cook (FREng, MA,PhD,CEng,FIStructE) Buro Happold Project Principle, former Chairman of Buro Happold, and Chair of the Institutions Climate Emergency Task Group was our keynote speaker this year.

Benefits of applying:

Winner of the oral presentations, Michele W.T. Mak, was asked why he chose to take part in the conference and present his research. Michele said:

“The conference has been a great opportunity to disseminate my research findings, receive valuable feedback and learn about developments in other areas of structural engineering. It has been a stimulating and rewarding experience. Moreover, the awards are a great encouragement to continue to develop new ideas and solutions for the built environment.

The main reason why I applied for the conference was the emphasis placed by the Institution on the input from academic and industry leaders. I am committed to bridging between fundamental research and practice; the IStructE YRC was a tremendous opportunity to do so while connecting with other researchers at an early stage of their career.”

Highlight of holding a virtual conference:

Young researchers were provided the ability to present from anywhere in the world. One of our poster presenters was in the middle of the North Sea! It also presented an opportunity for a wider international reach, welcoming attendees from 15 different countries.
Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all who attended and made it such a successful event once again.

Oral Winners:

1st – Michele W.T. Mak of University of Cambridge – Assessment of bond deterioration in reinforced concrete bridges: towards a splitting crack-based approach

Joint 2nd – Ana Pavlovic of Kingston University London – Prestress losses of pretensioned basalt GRP reinforced beams

Joint 2nd – Socrates C. Angelides of University of Cambridge – Blast resilience of glazed façades: towards a new understanding of the post-fracture behaviour of laminated glass

Poster Winners:

1st – Florence Maskell of University of Cambridge – Local Embedded Connection design for UHPFRC Panels

2nd – Connor O’Higgins of Queen’s University Belfast – Direct Monitoring Systems for Bridge Structural Health Monitoring

3rd – Gareth Calvert of University of Nottingham – A Multi Defect Approach to Bridge Asset Management

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