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Meet the Committee

Chair's message

SCI's Construction Materials Group was founded in September 1933 as the Road and Building Materials Group, our new name being adopted in the 1980s to reflect more accurately the general scope of the meetings.

Our activities are principally to provide events for our members and  include whole and half-day  meetings, Group visits and interactions with other organisations. Suggestions for topical events are always welcome and members are encouraged to send ideas for meetings to the Group Secretary or Chairman.

Our interests span all aspects of construction materials and practice, but two strong themes have lead to us to establish sub-committees to co-ordinate our events in Asphaltic and Bituminous Materials (the 'Black Top' sub-committee) and in Cement and Concrete (the 'White Top' sub-committee). Each sub-committee comprises experts from industry and academia and is responsible for the organisation of events in their respective subjects. Recent events have included:

  • Recycling and low temperature asphalts
  • Developments in asphalt and plant equipment
  • Low carbon cements
  • Lightweight and recycled aggregates
  • The analysis of concrete

In addition, we try to include events each year which lie outside these subject areas and in conjunction with other SCI Groups. For example:

  • Green building with the Science and Enterprise Group
  • Green roofing with the Horticulture Group

There are other topics which span these material divisions, such as advances in standards and codes of practice.

Many of our events are held in association with other organisations and we particularly acknowledge the contributions by and cordial relations with:

  • The Institute of Asphalt Technology
  • The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
  • The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
  • The Institute of Concrete Technology

Through co-operation with these partners, we collectively ensure that a healthy balance and spread of topics is maintained throughout the year in each subject area.

As with all Groups within SCI, our aim is to provide members with an interesting, timely and industrially relevant range of events over the year. Most of our meetings are topical; addressing areas of current interest or concern, yet we have had a number of very successful events taking a historical perspective on a subject. Our committee meetings are commonly held before or after events at the SCI headquarters in Belgrave Square.

Each summer, we organise a visit to a site of interest, some of which are listed here:

  • Transport Research Laboratory (Wokingham)
  • Ketton Cement Works at Ketton (near Peterborough)
  • Bison Concrete Plant at Iver (Bucks)

At our Christmas meetings, we invite a guest speaker to present their thoughts on a largely non-technical subject of wide appeal. These are open meetings to which members are welcome to invite a guest and at which we enjoy seasonal drinks and mince pies. Topics in recent years have included:

  • Materials for the Royal Navy (in conjunction with SCI's London Group)
  • The Work of Sir Joseph Bazalgette on the Development of the London Sewage System in the 19th century
  • The Development of Belgravia

Our annual general meeting is held in May, at which members and officers of the committee are elected and any major business of the Group is considered. The AGM is open to all members. Formally, election to this committee is for a period of twelve months (although members often serve longer, by re-election) with the Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman serving for two years. It has been our normal practice to elect the Vice Chairman to Serve as Chairman following their term of office.

The Chairman's Annual Report on the activities of the Group for each year together with the annual Hon. Treasurer's Report are presented at the AGM which is normally held on the same day as both an ordinary committee meeting and a Group conference event in order to maximise attendance and interest in the Group's activities.

Education is an important aspect of the philosophy of the Construction Materials Group. We host a Young Researchers Forum periodically.  These are friendly meetings intended to allow postgraduate students and early-career industrial staff to present to an audience of their peers. Enquiries for this event should be sent to the Group Chairman.

In closing, it is important to remind Group members that our activities will best serve their needs if we know what they are! Is there a subject which you feel is important and likely to interest a number of your colleagues? If so, please let us know and on behalf of the Construction Materials Group, we look forward to seeing you at SCI in the coming year.

Construction Materials Group

Committee biographies and photographs

 David Crofts

David Crofts

Vice Chair:
  Dr Michael Gray
 Jai Gupta

Jai Gupta

 Iren Jasko

Iren Jasko

Ordinary Members:

Mr Prof James Burdell

 John Fifield

Mr John Fifield


Mr John Figg

 Mike Gibb

Dr Mike Gibb


Mrs Susan Grayeff


Mr Peter Langdale

 John Richardson

Mr John Richardson


Mrs Nassera Thompson

  Mr Lewis Turnbull

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