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Professor of Engineering Geosciences, Becky Lunn, shares Strathclyde University research on new technologies for use in geological disposal of nuclear wastes, nuclear and borehole decommissioning, and geological carbon storage. With increasing use of underground space and redevelopment of subsurface infrastructure comes the requirement for adequate groundwater control. The penetration of traditional cementitious grouts is limited by their particle size and high viscosity. Although chemical grouts can penetrate finer fractures and have lower viscosities than cement grouts, they are often expensive, exhibit syneresis and may contain toxic components.
This webinar will explore the potential for a new generation of non-toxic, self-healing/low viscosity grouts, for applications in which hydraulic containment is critical. Such applications include geological disposal of nuclear wastes, nuclear decommissioning, borehole decommissioning, and geological carbon storage. Current research at Strathclyde focuses on two technologies; microbially-mediated mineral precipitation and the gelation of silica-sol.
The webinar will present laboratory-to-field scale experiments to-date and discuss industrial-scale applications in which these technologies could provide a significant advantage over current practice.
Becky Lunn is a Professor of Engineering Geosciences. Since 2011 she has been the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Her research focuses on development of new technologies in ground engineering, with a particular focus on engineered barriers for nuclear decommissioning and waste disposal.
In 2011 she became the first woman, and the first engineer, to be awarded the Geological Society's Aberconway Medal for research of particular relevance within industry. In 2014 Prof. Lunn was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Prof. Lunn leads two multi-partner Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council research consortia in nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning: 'Biogeochemical Applications in Nuclear Decommissioning and Disposal' (BANDD) and 'SAFE Barriers'. Her current research interests include: development of new monitoring technologies for nuclear waste disposal and geological carbon storage sites, and design of novel grouts for injection as ground barriers and for sealing fractures in rocks.
She has been a member of several government advisory bodies in energy, and has a keen interest in the public communication of engineering, particularly surrounding controversial topics such as shale-gas extraction and nuclear waste disposal. In 2015 Prof. Lunn was elected an Outstanding Woman of Scotland by the Saltire Society for her contributions to research and for her support of women in engineering.