If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Mortar Engineering & Materials Science
mortar Earth & Environmental Sciences
lime Earth & Environmental Sciences
Lime Engineering & Materials Science
Conservation Engineering & Materials Science
cultural heritage Earth & Environmental Sciences
Repair Engineering & Materials Science
Binders Engineering & Materials Science

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

Research Output 1999 2019

Animal, vegetable or mineral? Characterising shell-lime, maerl-lime and limestone-lime mortar evidence from the Late Norse and Medieval site of Tuquoy, Orkney

Thacker, M., Hughes, J. & Odling, N., 19 Jun 2019, p. 107-107. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Open Access

Decision support criteria and the development of a decision support tool for the selection of conservation materials for the built cultural heritage

Turk, J., Mauko Pranjić, A., Hursthouse, A., Turner, R. & Hughes, J., 28 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Cultural Heritage. 37, p. 44-53 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Protective coatings
Decision support
Cultural heritage
Cultural Heritage
5 Downloads (Pure)

Increasing the resilience of cultural heritage to climate change through the application of a learning strategy

Sesana, E., Bertolin, C., Loli, A., Gagnon, A. S., Hughes, J. & Leissner, J., 21 Feb 2019, Transdisciplinary Multispectral Modeling and Cooperation for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage: Communications in Computer and Information Science. Moropoulou, A., Korres, M., Georgopoulos, A., Spyrakos, C. & Mouzakis, C. (eds.). Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG, Vol. 961. p. 402-423 22 p. (Communications in Computer and Information Science; vol. 961).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
cultural heritage
climate change
Cultural Heritage

Petrography of historic mortar materials: polarising light microscopy as a method for characterising lime-based mortars

Balksten, K., Lindqvist, J-E., Nitz, B. & Hughes, J., 19 Jun 2019, 5th Historic Mortars Conference. HMC 2019. Book of Abstracts: University of Navarra, Pamplona. 19th - 21st June, 2019. Galindo, J. I. A., Alvarez, J. M. F., Blasco, I. N., Benito, A. D. & Bejarano, R. S. (eds.). Pamplona: University of Navarra, p. 75-75 1 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recommendation of RILEM TC 243-SGM: functional requirements for surface repair mortars for historic buildings

Válek, J., Hughes, J. J., Pique, F., Gulotta, D., van Hees, R. & Papayiani, I., 13 Feb 2019, In : Materials and Structures. 52, 28, 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Activities 2010 2019

Internal Examiner for PhD

John Hughes (Examiner)
8 Mar 2019

Activity: Examination

17th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials (Event)

John Hughes (Peer reviewer)
1 Mar 201930 Apr 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Chair PhD Viva

John Hughes (Examiner)
27 Feb 2019

Activity: Other

5th Historic Mortars Conference 2019 (Event)

John Hughes (Peer reviewer)
1 Feb 201930 May 2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review


cultural heritage
climate change
severe weather