The VUB Department of Architectural Engineering has received a double award. At a ceremony hosted by the Federation of General Building Contractors (Faba), Charlotte Cambier received the first Faba-FEGC Frank Goes PhD Thesis Award, and Emmeline Brouwers received the Master Thesis Award.

The awards are given to a doctoral thesis and a masterโ€™s thesis that, according to a jury of experts, demonstrate scientific excellence in the field of architectural and civil engineering. They were established in memory of engineer Frank Goes, who was a director of general contracting and real estate companies and chaired several boards of directors in the construction industry, including Faba.

Shift to circular construction

Charlotte Cambier, a doctoral student at the VUB Architectural Engineering research group from 2016 to 2022, was honoured in the Doctor of Engineering Sciences category. Through participatory research, she defined 26 actions that partners in the design process can take to make the shift to a circular building practice. This is a practice in which buildings have a long lifespan, products are given a second life and materials are recycled without loss of quality. These 26 actions are available on the Circular Actions website. Charlotte was supervised in her research by VUB professors Niels De Temmerman and Waldo Galle, and funded by the Research Foundation โ€“ Flanders .

Sealing concrete cracks with mould

Emmeline Brouwers won the Master Thesis Award in the category Master of Science in Architectural Engineering. She studied the use of fungi to self-heal concrete structures as part of Aurรฉlie Van Wylickโ€™s doctoral research. These fungi could seal cracks in concrete by secreting calcium carbonate.  Emmeline identified the possibilities of protecting fungi by placing them in capsules. Her thesis was carried out under the supervision of Aurรฉlie Van Wylick and Professor Lars De Laet at the VUB Architectural Engineering research group.