Call for Proposals – IPGRC 2024: Innovations and Impacts of Research 

School of Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE), University of Salford, UK 

28th-30th May 2024

The International Post-Graduate Research Conference (IPGRC) invites international and national PGR students to contribute their research findings to our PGR conference in 2024. We invite paper and poster proposals that highlight novel ideas, methodologies, technological developments, or that demonstrate the impacts of research on their field. The conference will take place on Salford University campus, and will be available remotely for students from outside the University of Salford.

We are welcoming proposals for papers and posters by doctoral candidates for the sessions described below. Each session will be hosted by a distinguished researcher together with a doctoral candidate at the University of Salford. If a proposal does not fall under a session category, please note ‘free session’ in the attached application form. For any session-related questions, please contact session chairs directly (emails see below).

Presenters can also publish their papers and posters in the conference proceedings. The previous IPGRC2022 proceedings can be viewed here:

Proposal Submission Date: 1st November 2023
Acceptance Notification: 15th November 2023
Full paper submission date (to be included in conference proceedings): 15th February 2024
Paper/Poster presentation submission date: 15th May 2024

Submission of proposals: Each proposal should have a title and be 300-words long. Sessions will be 2h long and each speaker will have 20 min to present their paper. Proposal submissions will undergo a review process by session chairs, and a subset of the submitted abstract will receive invitations to submit full papers. These full papers will then undergo peer review for potential inclusion in the conference proceedings.

Venue information: The conference will take place on Salford University campus and online.

Conference fee: £85,-
University of Salford PGR students attend free of charge.

To apply, please send the attached form by November 1st 2023 to:


Collaboration Towards Digital Transformation in Construction
Khin Swe Myat, Dr Derek Hales & Prof Peter McDermott
This session aims to identify the real meanings of collaboration towards the best practice for digital transformation in construction. Collaboration has been extensively mentioned in an array of Policy documents and materials produced by those who directly involved in the action. [Click to read more]

There are several abstracts of collaboration context embedded in policy literatures of the UK Governmental and Technical reports (Policy, Standards, Framework) as they use the term “collaboration” frequently: they used it in different ways and some of them are using it in a very rhetorical way. The key focus and recommendations from the construction reports (i.e. Egan Report (1998), Wolstenholme Review (2009) and review on technical reports from 2023 to 2011 such as BIM Working Group Strategy Paper (2011), UK BIM Framework (2019), Construction Playbook (2022) emphasize on a shift towards having greater investment in collaboration by focusing on innovation (e.g. BIM and Digital Transformation), which is predicted to bring improvement in productivity and deliver better value to construction.

We are inviting doctoral level candidates to send contributions in the field of digital transformation in construction, including following topics of interest: 

  • the best practices of collaboration towards digital transformation within the collaborative work of alliances in the multidisciplinary teams.
  • promoting collaborative relations to enhance resilience, innovation and change in construction sector towards digital transformation in construction through effective contingency planning, risk management and project lifecycle management.
  • collaborative working platform enabling technologies such as BIM, information/data management through CDE, leveraging use of emerging technologies (AR, VR and AI) towards digital transformation in construction.
  • exploration into the embedded sense of collaboration acting as the best practice towards digital transformation (in terms of finding out key interdependencies in the realisation of collaboration between project stakeholders, collaborative working and collaboration policy & collaborative business relations between contracting teams).

identifying the definition of collaboration in the real case studies of digitalisation projects in construction and/or a future state of the art of Human-Machine Collaboration, Machine-AI-Human Collaboration towards the digital transformation in construction. 

Transforming Housing Towards A Low Carbon Future
Xinyi Zhang & Prof Richard Fitton
Environmental concerns and energy policies are urging the building industry to achieve net zero emissions, while sustainable housing retrofits worldwide are still at a relatively low rate. Whilst work continues at pace to create low carbon new homes, more work is needed with the existing housing stock. [Click to read more]

To make this issue even more complex various countries including UK are challenged by a large amount of heritage and hard to treat dwellings, these old buildings, paradoxically need more technological solutions and assessment to minimise the risks involved.   

In the UK’s context, we continue to see rapid escalation in the requirements of energy efficiency and emissions in new build with the introduction of the Future Homes Standard, due in 2025.  This will radically change the landscape of UK’s domestic construction, with higher building fabric efficiency and removal of natural gas from new homes, as well as an increased reliance on low carbon, energy efficient heating systems and renewable energy. Similar guidelines and initiatives are being created and implemented globally.  

In response of these challenges, we also have to take steps, with our new and existing homes against rising temperatures and more volatile climates stemming from climate change.  

Finally, all these issues must be addressed not only as a snapshot in time, but improvements and technologies should be surmised over the entire life cycle, as LCA is now a critical part of decision making both retrofit and new build.  

In this session, we invite papers to present the options to achieve efficient homes in a practical manner on a global scale, the topics covered will be: 

  • Climate change and the effect on UK and international homes. 
  • Improving the energy efficiency of our heritage and exiting housing stock 
  • New build homes in UK and other countries, what are the challenges for the industry and also occupants? 

How do we assess the lifecycle emissions and running costs for new build and retrofitted homes? 

Sustainable Innovations: Driving Change for Greener Futures
Hulaimat Kolawole & Dr Natalie Ferry
In this session, we will dive into the realm of sustainable innovations and explore how ground-breaking ideas can be transformed into practical actions that contribute to a greener future. Through presentations, we will explore the innovative research being carried out by students at the university and through panel discussions, and interactive activities, we will explore the latest advancements, challenges, and success stories in sustainable practices across various sectors. [Click to read more]

Key Topics to be Covered:

  • Renewable Energy: Highlighting innovative technologies, policies, and financing models that promote the adoption of renewable energy sources and accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
  • Sustainable Mobility: Discussing sustainable transportation solutions, such as electric vehicles, shared mobility, and intelligent transportation systems, that reduce emissions and enhance urban mobility.
  • Circular Economy: Exploring strategies to design waste out of the system, promote recycling and upcycling, and foster sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  • Nature-based Solutions: Showcasing nature-inspired approaches, such as green infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity conservation, that address environmental challenges while providing co-benefits to society.
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: Examining sustainable farming practices, regenerative agriculture, innovative food production techniques, and reducing food waste to create a more resilient and equitable food system.
  • Green Technologies and Materials: Presenting advancements in sustainable materials, clean technologies, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes that minimize environmental impacts.

Expected outcomes: 

  • Cutting-Edge Research: Participants will gain insights into the latest research findings and innovative projects conducted by researchers on sustainable innovations with real-world impact.
  • Collaborative Exploration: The session will foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among researchers, encouraging interdisciplinary discussions and the exchange of ideas for further research.
  • Policy Influence: The session will emphasize the policy implications of research in sustainable innovations, empowering researchers to contribute to policy discussions and drive systemic change.

Leveraging BIM for Lean-Built Asset Lifecycles
Alex Mbabu & Prof Jason Underwood
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a powerful enabler to collaboration, efficiency, and quality in the construction industry. However, its potential extends beyond design and construction, offering benefits throughout the entire lifecycle of built assets. This session explores the effective utilisation of BIM for Lean-built asset lifecycles, covering the whole lifecycles from inception to end of life. [Click to read more]

The session invites discussions on the following: 

  1. Introduction to BIM and Lean Construction: This section will provide an overview of BIM and Lean Construction principles, emphasising their synergies and potential integration to optimise the lifecycle of built assets. 
  2. Leveraging BIM for Planning and Design: The use of BIM during the planning and design phase, focusing on how it can enhance built asset performance and sustainability. 
  3. BIM-Enabled Construction and Assembly: Explore how BIM can enhance productivity, reduce waste, and facilitate Lean construction practices. Case studies are invited to showcase successful implementations and highlight valuable lessons learned. 
  4. BIM for Facilities Management and Operation: Explore the role of BIM in built-asset management, maintenance, and operation, with a particular focus on streamlining facility management processes through digital twins and data. 
  5. BIM for End-of-Life Strategies and Sustainable Demolition: This section will explore how BIM can facilitate deconstruction, salvage, and recycling processes. Strategies for capturing and reusing materials and components will be explored. 


  • To provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of BIM’s potential throughout the entire lifecycle of built assets. 
  • To showcase case studies and best practices demonstrating the achievement of Lean-built asset lifecycles using BIM. 
  • To demonstrate the integration of BIM with Lean Construction principles, resulting in improved collaboration, efficiency, and sustainability. 
  • To demonstrate the integration of BIM with Lean Construction principles, resulting in improved collaboration, efficiency, and sustainability. 
  • To foster knowledge sharing and networking among professionals and academia in construction, design, facility management, and sustainability. 

In this session, we aim to grow participants’ knowledge in combining BIM and Lean methodologies to enhance the lifecycles of built assets and materials, encourage sustainability, and establish lasting value in the built environment. 


From Grey to Green: Urban Liveability and the Environmental Evolution
Jerome Anokwu & Andrew Clark
Currently around 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas and it is predicted that this will increase to 70% by 2050. The vast majority of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated in cities, but unplanned or poorly planned development in these areas can result in significant environmental, social, and public health disbenefits including problems of air and water pollution, poor housing conditions, and a lack of well-designed green and blue spaces. [Click to read more]

As cities grow, they can also become more vulnerable to risks associated with long-term environmental change with new development being added to areas at increasing risk of inundation from flood waters. The idea of bringing nature and people together in sustainable cities is not a new one, dating to at least the late 19th century through the work of the Garden City Movement, but it is one that once again is achieving traction in the 21st century through the concept of nature-based solutions to climate, environmental and social problems. These principles are embodied in Sustainable Development Goal 11 which focuses on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The application of nature-based solutions to improve city liveability and resilience is evolutionary, informed by experiential knowledge and data. 

This session will explore conceptualisation and practical efforts to address urban climate, environmental, and social problems through implementation a combination of infrastructure, urban greening, pollution control systems, policies, and strategies. 

Papers are invited that explore topics such as:

  • Enhancing the quality of life in cities through the creation of sustainable development policies and balancing economic growth with social and environmental considerations in mind 
  • Preserving ecosystems by integrating nature-based solutions for sustainable urban development 
  • Creating multifunctional and inclusive spaces as well as innovative approaches to urban planning and design 
  • Evaluating the role of urban greening in mitigating climate change and enhancing sustainability

Evaluating the role of ecosystem services in delivering benefits for humans and environmental systems

Engineering sustainable construction materials for a circular economy
Masoud Yaghobian & Dr Gareth Whittleston
The construction industry contributes significantly to many countries’ economies and quality of life but conversely contributes to a significant environmental impact. There is currently a real drive from the construction industry to reduce the environmental impact of construction activities whilst maintaining economic growth and development. By embracing the benefits of circular economy principles attaining both objectives are a possibility. [Click to read more]

The integration of waste materials from various stages of construction activity and construction manufacturing processes into new sustainable construction products is a quantifiable way of reducing embodied carbon and the environmental impact of construction projects and also embracing the principles of the circular economy.  There may be barriers and problems to overcome in collecting, processing, integrating, applying and quantifying some waste materials into new construction products and this session aims to bring these to the fore. This session aims to bring together contributions from materials science, engineering and construction disciplines which dovetail with circular economy principles.  Contributions about products, applications and case studies are actively encouraged.

When healthy aging goes wrong: understanding the impact and challenges
Joseph Morgan, Dr Gemma Lace & Dr Arijit Mukhopadhyay
Information from several sources estimates that the cost of age-related diseases to be more than £60 billion per year in the UK, with a quoted increase to over £80 billion per year in 2025. The figures presented only represent how much it costs of treating and diagnosing the diseases themselves, with the value of treating the various complications representing a much greater cost. [Click to read more]

Although aging is a natural progression of life, the steady changing physiological processes can be seen as a decrease in efficient cellular functioning, increasing the risk of inflammatory disease, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegeneration, and with an ever-increasing aging population comes an increasing level of incidence within these diseases. Research into age-related diseases and the promotion of healthy ageing, will not only reduce costs within this declining economic climate but will progress both healthcare and treatment of patients whilst improving societal quality of life. 

The theme of the session will be on healthy aging, and how the pathophysiological nature of aging causes the dysregulation of healthy processes. One of the sub-focal points of the session will examine extracellular vesicles, lipid bound vesicular constructs released from cells, facilitate a wide-range of intercellular communication. Specific contributions in this area will aim to demonstrate current research from the extracellular vesicle field, surrounding potential disease biomarkers. Attendees will gain a wide range knowledge on potential diseases such as dementia, cancer, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis. Championing research within this area will elevate future researchers and hopefully drive for upcoming research to solve questions in these areas, such as methods for treatment and diagnostics.

Design and development of therapeutic nanoparticles: applications from cancer nanotechnology to new antimicrobials
Heba Elgamodi, Jack Homer, Pouria Rafati & Dr Zeljka Krpetic
Nanoparticles represent an alternative therapeutic approach and have a broad range of biomedical uses. Current applications span from cancer therapeutics to antimicrobial applications for treatment of infectious diseases, with high potential for personalised medicine design. [Click to read more]

One of the key advantages of nanoparticles is their versatility, in terms of core materials, shapes and sizes, generating a potential or high throughput screening of arising new properties and biomedical benefits. Involving diverse strategies of surface modification, nanoparticles unlock their advanced potential for targeted delivery, high-resolution sensing, and personalised medicine. Key challenges in this fast-advancing field remain around particle characterisation, i.e.physical-chemical characterisation, supernatant trace component analysis and in vitro analysis, in situ analysis of ultra-small nanoparticles, including the assessment if biomolecular coronas and its secondary effects.   

This session aims to bring together a collection of research dedicated to design, functionalisation and applications of novel multifunctional nanoparticle systems applied in biomedical field, from cancer nanotechnology to novel antimicrobial systems and identify and discuss challenges to implementation of the new technologies linked to characterisation, standardisation, risk and other relevant factors.   

The objectives of the session are:  

  • To showcase variation of design and synthesis methods, and challenge current analytical tools frequently used for the routine physico-chemical and other analysis of nanoparticles proposing robust new solutions for interpretation of analytical results.  
  • To demonstrate the breath of different applications of nanoparticles in biomedical research alongside challenges in methodologies applied for in vitro assessment of functionalised nanoparticles. What are the current practices in the field, and how they can be revised and expanded to render more robust approaches to results assessment in vitro analysis.    

To showcase any innovation in nanofabrication, functionalisation strategies and handling of nanoparticles aimed for biomedical applications, possibly involving multidisciplinary solutions.


Robustness, Resilience and Structural Integrity 
Nada Elkady, Dr Levi Augusthus-Nelson & Prof Anwar Beg
This session will bring together experts in various fields to discuss the critical aspects of designing and maintaining strong and resilient structures. In modern design, it is essential to ensure that structures can withstand unexpected events and harsh conditions. This session will explore innovative strategies, methodologies, and case studies related to achieving and enhancing the robustness, resilience, and structural integrity of different systems. [Click to read more]

The session will cover several topics ranging from micro to macro scales, including but not limited to exploring robust design methodologies that incorporate uncertainty and variability into the structural analysis in all the fields of engineering, such as civil, mechanical, aeronautical, bio-medical science etc. The session will also focus on material innovations that enhance strength and resilience, such as self-healing materials, composite materials, and carbon-efficient additives. Additionally, construction methodologies and their effect on structural behaviour will be discussed. By attending this session, participants will gain insights into the latest advancements in the field, enabling them to design and manage structures capable of withstanding uncertainties. The session will facilitate knowledge exchange, experience sharing, and potential collaborations, ultimately contributing to the long-term safety, sustainability, and efficiency of structures. 

Innovative Technology for Advanced Air Mobility
Vijay Mohan Durai Raj & Dr Omar Ariff
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market encompasses various domains, including urban air mobility (UAM), regional air mobility (RAM), transformational applications utilizing small-unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), and other missions that are poised to revolutionize the aviation industry. [Click to read more]

We encourage doctoral researchers to contribute to the advancement of AAM field by submitting contributions addressing innovative ideas and technologies within the following topics: 

  1. Urban Air Mobility (UAM): Exploring the challenges and opportunities of integrating air transportation into urban environments, including infrastructure requirements, airspace management, and community engagement. 
  2. Regional Air Mobility (RAM): Investigating advancements in regional air transportation, such as connecting underserved areas, optimizing air routes, and addressing specific regional aviation needs. 
  3. Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS): Examining the transformative potential of small-unmanned aircraft systems for various applications, including package delivery, surveying and mapping, emergency response, and beyond. 
  4. Transformational Missions: Papers focusing on emerging and transformative missions within the AAM market, such as medical transportation, disaster relief, aerial inspections, and environmental monitoring. 

We welcome submissions that explore novel ideas, ground-breaking research, practical applications, and case studies related to outlined areas of AAM. By submitting your technical papers, you will play an integral role in advancing the AAM market and shaping the future of aviation.

Acoustics innovations to meet research priorities in AI, Wellbeing, Transport and Sustainability
Jo Webb, Michael Lotinga, Nathan Green & Antonio J. Torja Martinez  
Acoustics is a fundamental enabling technology, supporting a vast range of applications that impact on us every day. Harnessing and controlling sound and vibration is essential to modern society. Acoustics plays a vital role and makes significant contributions to numerous market sectors including the automotive, aerospace, healthcare, marine, defence, consumer electronics, public transport and construction industries. [Click to read more]

The UK Acoustics Network has highlighted 20 research priorities for innovation developments in acoustics, grouped around 4 broad themes: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Wellbeing, Manufacturing and Transport, and Sustainability:  The priorities have been guided by UK government goals, but the challenges are international. The priorities cross many discipline boundaries, having synergies with areas of research at the University of Salford, both within SEE and other Schools. This session will cover research addressing any of these identified priorities, which will enhance the impact of acoustics innovation on society:
·      Acoustics for health screening and diagnostics
·      Acoustics for manufacturing and industry
·      Acoustics for new drugs, healthcare products and therapies
·      Acoustics for space exploration
·      Acoustics for understanding of climate change
·      Adaptive technologies to manipulate sounds
·      AI for making sense of sounds
·      AI for voice control and artificial speech
·      Biologically inspired and intelligent solutions for acoustics
·      Computer science for acoustics
·      Health of acoustics as discipline
·      Hearing devices and technology
·      Hearing and brain
·      Impact of noise on mental and physical health
·      Impact of sounds on wildlife
·      Mathematics for acoustics
·      New methods for noise control
·      Quieter marine propulsion technologies
·      Sustainable acoustic solutions
Understanding of soundscapes