Group Overview

With the world facing a climate crisis due to the effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and associated global warming, key scientific research is required to aid reducing the impact society has on the environment.

The Sustainable Cements Group (SCG) at Princeton University is a multi-disciplined research group addressing the sustainability challenge facing cementitious materials. The main focus of the group centers on alkali-activated materials, a class of low CO2 concrete with the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions associated with the cement industry. Other areas of research interest in the group include amorphous carbonates, layered materials and the development of modeling tools.

Assistant Professor Claire White leads the Sustainable Cements Group (SCG) at Princeton University. The group is situated in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.


September 2017 – Welcome Karina Alventosa! Karina is a CEE graduate student in the group and joins us from industry.

A belated goodbye to Arne Peys (visiting PhD student). Arne visited SCG for 6 months working on the atomic structure of non-ferrous slags and alkali-activated materials synthesized using these slags.

Dr. White received an NSF CAREER award (started July 2016), which is highlighted in an issue of the American Ceramic Society Bulletin (click here).

Check out our new papers:
Impact of chemical variability of ground granulated blast-furnace slag on the phase formation in alkali-activated slag pastes
Modeling the formation of alkali aluminosilicate gels at the mesoscale using coarse-grained Monte Carlo 

July 2016 – A belated welcome to Eric McCaslin. Eric is a CBE graduate student (started Fall 2015) who completed his undergraduate studies at Georgia Tech.

February 2016 – Welcome to Nishant Garg. Nishant joins the group as a postdoc, having completed his PhD last year at Aarhus University.

December 2015 – A belated welcome to V. Ongun Ozcelik. Ongun joined the group in October as a postdoc. He completed his PhD earlier this year at Bilkent University.

December 2015 – Group photo in front of the new Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment building!

From L to R: Ongun Ozcelik, Claire White, Anna Blyth, Kengran (Blake) Yang, Pierre-Marie Nigay (visiting postdoc) and Kai Gong. Photographer: Enrico Sassoni.

September 2015 – Antoine Morandeau departed in July this year for an academic position at Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs des Travail de la Construction de Caen (ESITC-Caen) in France.

Check out our new(ish) papers:
Role of Magnesium-Stabilized Amorphous Calcium Carbonate Mitigating the Extent of Carbonation in Alkali-Activated Slag,
In Situ X-ray Pair Distribution Function Analysis of Accelerated Carbonation of a Synthetic Calcium-Silicate-Hydrate Gel, and
Nanoscale Heterogeneities in a Fractured Alkali-Activated Slag Binder: A Helium Ion Microscopy Analysis

March 2015 – A belated welcome to Maria Elia Natali, who is visiting our group for 6 months. Maria is a PhD student from the University of Bologna.

November 2014 – Check out our new paper on the atomic scale ordering in conventional and alkali-activated cements: Intrinsic Differences in Atomic Ordering of Calcium (Alumino)Silicate Hydrates in Conventional and Alkali-Activated Cements

September 2014 – Two new grad students are starting in the group this semester, Kengran (Blake) Yang and Kai Gong. Welcome Blake and Kai.

August 2014 – Angela and Kevin, two high school students working in the group this summer, are featured in an article on the Princeton homepage. The article can be found here.

June 2014 – Welcome Thomas Berti. Thomas is a visiting Masters student from France who will be working with us until September.

June 2014 – Welcome Angela Mao and Kevin Shen. Angela and Kevin are high school students working in the group this summer as a part of the Laboratory Learning Program.

June 2014 – Welcome Kristina Bennett. Kristina will be working in the group this summer as a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) student at Princeton University. She is majoring in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly magazine recently contained a piece on Claire White and sustainable cement research. The article can be found here. Another article can be found here from eariler in the year.

Catherine Eiben will be giving an oral presentation at the 5th Advances in Cement-Based Materials: Characterization, Processing, Modeling and Sensing (ACerS), July 9-11 in Cookeville, TN. She will be presenting her recent research on the permeability of alkali-activated slag cements.

Recent publication – “Uncovering the True Atomic Structure of Disordered Materials: The Structure of a Hydrated Amorphous Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3⋅3D2O)” is available in Chemistry of Materials.

November 2013 – Welcome Dr. Antoine Morandeau. Antoine is a postdoc in the group and joins us from Ifsttar and Unité de Recherche Navier (Université Paris Est Marne la Vallée) where he recently completed his PhD. Congratulations and welcome.

September 2013 – We have two undergraduate senior year thesis students who will be working in the group this year. Clarissa Wilbur and Jarred Mihalik. Welcome Clarissa and Jarred!

September 2013 – Welcome Catherine Eiben! Catherine is a Masters of Science in Engineering student and will be conducting a thesis on sustainable cements. She joins us from industry, having worked for a couple of years in an engineering firm after completion of a BEng. (Civil) at Cornell University.

August 2013 – Dr. Claire White started at Princeton University and is settling into life on campus.