NIST Professional Research Experience Program 04/2022


NIST Professional Research Experience Program (PREP), Graduate Student (MS or PhD) or Post-
Doc, full or part-time

Timeframe: Start date now to September, 2022; Duration – one year and extendable

Title: Carbon Sequestration in Building Materials

Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is the most mass-produced human-made material on Earth. This construction material component is used as a binding agent in mortar, grout, and concrete mixtures via hydration that chemical incorporates water into the structure.) In 2019, cement production (including carbonate decomposition, fuel combustion, and electricity use), transport, use, and demolition were estimated to account for 9%-to-10% of global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Net-zero or even negative carbon emission is a long-term objective, and carbonated cement is part of that solution. Recently introduced to the marketplace are alternative cements with lower embodied carbon.

As part of more accurate carbon accounting, accurate and repeatable measurements of carbon-uptake must be developed and refined and the material’s performance can not be compromised.

In this opportunity, the student will gain a deeper appreciation of approaches to decrease atmospheric CO2 by carbon-capture storage and utilization. Relevant experience includes inorganic chemistry, chemical titration and compressive and flexural testing. With NIST’s involvement with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the student will have the opportunity to collaborate with other research groups at NIST. This work has the potential to result in a new ASTM standard in a addition to peer-reviewed publications.

If interested, please contact Aron Newman,, Group Leader of the Infrastructure Materials Group in the Materials Structural Systems Engineering Division of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).