Gaurav Sant

Gaurav Sant

PROFESSOR
CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Pritzker Professor of Sustainability

5731J Boelter Hall

Email: gsant@ucla.edu
Phone: (310) 206-3084
Fax:

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Gaurav Sant is the Pritzker Professor of Sustainability at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering. He holds faculty appointments in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and is a member of the California NanoSystems Institute. Sant is also the director of the Institute for Carbon Management at UCLA.

Since 2018, Sant has led the institute’s cross-disciplinary teams to create sustainable solutions for carbon removal. In April 2021, he led the UCLA CarbonBuilt team, which developed a new technology that turns carbon dioxide into concrete, to win the $7.5 million grand prize in the COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition, making UCLA the first university to win an XPRIZE. The institute’s ongoing projects include SeaChange, an energy-efficient technology that removes carbon dioxide dissolved in seawater; x/44, a method for achieving electrochemical direct air capture; and EPOCH, an electrochemical process for producing portlandite — a limestone and cement replacement — designed to greatly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with cement and concrete production. Technologies developed at the institute are being commercialized by UCLA startup companies including CarbonBuilt, Concrete-AI and SeaChange.

Sant received a Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in civil engineering from Purdue University. He joined the UCLA faculty in 2010 and is the principal investigator in the Laboratory for the Chemistry of Construction Materials. His research interests include cementitious materials and porous media, with a focus on their chemistry-microstructure-engineering properties, reducing the carbon footprint of construction materials and other related topics.

In addition to his groundbreaking research, Sant has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and his work has been supported by federal and state agencies, foundations and Fortune 500 corporations. He has received numerous awards from the National Science Foundation, American Concrete Institute, American Institute for Chemical Engineering, and International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures.
RESEARCH AND INTERESTS
Research Interests Our research efforts are directed towards the development and design of sustainable low-CO­2 foot-print materials for infrastructure construction applications. These efforts are three-fold encompassing:
  1. strategies to utilize natural and waste materials in concrete by inferring optimal chemical combination’s and compatibilities of constituent materials using thermodynamic calculations and experimental evaluations,
  2. the formulation and-or utilization of application specific organic and inorganic chemicals to improve the properties, durability performance and service-life of concrete structures and
  3. developing CO2-insensitive concretes for use in carbon sequestration and fixation applications.
To this end, our research group develops fundamental constituent chemistry-microstructure-engineering performance descriptors of cementitious materials to correlate and unify the fundamental variables that describe the overall response of the material. These efforts are directed towards the addressing the practical needs of the wider construction community and developing “new concretes” for the next generation of infrastructure construction applications. The overall theme of research aims to rationalize the use of natural resources in construction, promote environmental protection and to advance the cause of ecological responsibility in the concrete construction industry. Research Projects
  • Low-Clinker Factor Cements and Concretes
  • Carbon Fixation and Sequestration in Cementitious Materials
  • Organic Polymer Additions for Property Modifications
  • Blast and Fire Resistant Infrastructure Materials
  • Mitigation of Deleterious Phenomena Caused by Salt Crystallization
IN THE NEWS
EDUCATION
  • Ph.D. (2009), Purdue University
  • M.S.C.E. (2007), Purdue University
  • B.S.C.E. (2006), Purdue University
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
  • 2022: Inaugural Pritzker Professor of Sustainability
  • 2021: Outstanding Civil Engineer in Innovation or Research Award, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch
  • 2021: NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE for UCLA CarbonBuilt
  • The Bryant Mather ‘Best Paper Award’ (Concrete Materials Section): The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science and Engineering, (2006, 2008)
  • The Fred Burggraf Award for ‘Best Paper by a Young Researcher’ – The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science and Engineering, (2007)
  • William L. Dolch Graduate Scholarship for Outstanding Research in Materials Science – The School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, (2007)