The SOCRATES Pathway towards Sustainability

As a prelude to the series of the World Sustainable Built Environment conferences, a gathering of international doctoral students was organized under the Forum of Young Researchers in Sustainable Building (YRSB19) in Prague last July 1, 2019. I submitted an article discussing the use of industrial by-products, having sources comparable to those of the SOCRATES residues, as non-conventional supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) or simply additives to cement.

ESR 11, Jennifer Astoveza, presenting at the YRSB19 conference in Prague last July 1, 2019

In this contribution, a review on the recent advances on the valorisation of novel industrial by-products (non-ferrous slag, municipal solid waste incinerator bottom ash, and jarosite residue) was presented to provide a solution on reducing the volume of industrial landfills while creating greener materials for building applications. The second part of the paper was made in collaboration with Alejandro Abadias (ESR 12) and Markus Reuter (director) of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg. Joinly, we showcased a study where exergy and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) are used to evaluate the thermoeconomic and environmental advantages of SCM addition in cement production.

I was fortunate to be selected for an oral presentation during the conference. This opportunity then paved the way for me to be awarded 2nd prize for the best paper and presentation! Truly rewarding as this is my first oral presentation experience for a conference as a PhD student. I presented for the session on “Innovative materials, products and systems for energy efficient and energy positive buildings”. The conference offered other sessions including:

  • Buildings and climate change
  • Sustainable retrofitting of existing buildings
  • Decision-support tools and assessment methods for sustainable built environment
  • Sustainable urban development

ESR 11, Jennifer Astoveza, won a prize for best paper at the YRSB19 conference

What I like the most about attending conferences is the opportunity to meet experts from different fields and to explore topics even beyond the dimension of my research scope. For instance, I had insightful discussions with architects and urban planners during the conference. I realized how the differences in conditions (i.e. policies and regulations, climate, culture) from country to country can have such a huge impact on building designs and occupational patterns. These discussions have likewise heightened my appreciation for the contribution of my research to sustainability, realizing the vital role of every contributor from building construction to utilization. The synergy among experts in different fields is indeed a key factor in achieving our global environmental goals. Project dissemination through participation in public events and releasing publications is a good response towards this synergetic action. In the last 6 months, I have also participated in these two other conferences with poster presentations:

  • 6th International Slag Valorisation Symposium SVS 2019 (April 1-5, 2019; Leuven, Belgium)
  • Séminaire de l’école Doctorale C2MP 2019 (June 6, 2019; Metz, France)

A full version of my YRSB19 conference paper can be accessed through the following link:


About the Author

ESR 11, Jennifer Astoveza, is a licensed metallurgical engineer from the Philippines. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in 2012 from the University of the Philippines – Diliman. She worked as a process engineer in the precious metals plant of the PASAR Corporation, a copper smelter and refinery managed by Glencore-Xstrata. In 2017, she graduated with distinction as an Erasmus+ scholar of the EMerald Programme, an EIT-labelled degree with a specialization in geometallurgy.

She started her co-joint PhD study between KU Leuven and Université de Lorraine in September 2017, and is directly working at the Imerys Technology Center – Lyon (formerly Kerneos Research and Technology Center) in Vaulx-Milieu, France. She is tasked to explore the viability of using industrial residues as supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) in calcium aluminate blended cements (CAC).

If you are interested in her research and wish to learn more about it, you can reach her through


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