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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

My specialism is in the composition and properties of construction geomaterials, particularly of historic buildings. I research the properties of mortars and stone in old buildings to help conserve them better. I have taught earth science, covering the fundamentals and field courses and now teach geology to Civil Engineering students, and the properties of construction materials.

I was the secretary to RILEM technical committee TC-RHM “Repair Mortars for Historic Masonry”, was a member of TC-SGM, “Specifications for Non-Structural grouting of historic masonries and architectural surfaces”, and now of TC-LHS "Specifications for testing and evaluation of lime-based materials for historic stuctures. I am also a member of the Applied Petrography Group of the Geological Society of London, the ICOMOS - ISCS International Scientific Committee for Stone and the Permanent Scientific Committee of the International Stone Congresses. 

Current research activities

My recent research awards include AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Research Cluster (2009-10), as a partner in the EU "HEROMAT" 7thFP funded project (2011-2015) and a further AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme Research Development Award (2013-14). This project "Materiality, authenticity and value in the historic environment: a study of the effects of material transformation and scientific intervention" involved working closely with anthropologists and ethnographers to understand how science use in heritage affects the way we value historic buildings and sites. I recently led an EU funded IPERION CH MOLAB visit to characterise the consequences for the stone walls of the fire-damaged Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building.

I have organised several conferences on construction materials: Historic Mortars 1999, Nanotechnology in Construction 2003, the 10th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials 2005, the 3rd Historic Mortars Conference 2013 and most recently the 13th Congress on the Deterioration and Conservation of Stone September 2016.


Desired research direction

To continue to develop interdisciplinary links in the area of Cultural Heritage, whilst maintaining an emphaisis on material characterisation and performance issues.


External positions

International Advisory Committee, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic: Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

1 Jan 201931 Dec 2023

Board Member - Treasurer, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Stone

17 Dec 2018 → …

Fellow of the Geological Society, Geological Society of London

18 Apr 2018 → …


  • QE Geology
  • Petrography
  • TH Building construction
  • Mortar
  • Stone
  • Heritage
  • Heritage Science

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Mortar Engineering & Materials Science
mortar Earth & Environmental Sciences
cultural heritage Earth & Environmental Sciences
Conservation Chemical Compounds
Repair Engineering & Materials Science
masonry Earth & Environmental Sciences
Cements Engineering & Materials Science
sandstone Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2018

Adapting cultural heritage to climate change risks: perspectives of cultural heritage experts in Europe

Sesana, E., Gagnon, A. S., Bertolin, C. & Hughes, J. 14 Aug 2018 In : Geosciences. 8, 23 p., 305

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
cultural heritage
climate change
severe weather
Protective coatings
Decision support
Cultural heritage
Cultural Heritage

Historic Mortars: Advances in Research and Practical Conservation

Hughes, J. (ed.), Válek, J. (ed.) & Groot, C. J. W. P. (ed.) 10 Jul 2018 Springer Nature. 336 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Historic Mortars from Tuquoy, Westray, Orkney Islands: a SEM-EDS study

Hughes, J. Oct 2018 Paisley: University of the West of Scotland. 33 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Energy dispersive spectroscopy
scanning electron microscopy
Open Access
historic building
Microscopic examination
cultural heritage

Activities 2010 2019

Chair PhD Viva

Hughes, J. (Examiner)
12 Mar 2018

Activity: Examination

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment (Journal)

Hughes, J. (Peer reviewer)
30 Jun 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review

Journal of Cultural Heritage (Journal)

Hughes, J. (Peer reviewer)
29 May 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review

Workshop on vulnerability and adaptation of cultural heritage to climate change

Sesana, E. (Organiser), Gagnon, A. (Member of programme committee), Hughes, J. (Member of programme committee)
22 Mar 2018

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course



Yve Christie

cultural heritage
climate change
severe weather