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Personal profile

Research interests

Pete Walker is a chartered civil engineer and a member of both the Institution of Engineers Australia and The Institution of Civil Engineers (UK). Pete studied at Sheffield City Polytechnic, now Sheffield Hallam University, (BSc Civil Engineering) and the University of Edinburgh (PhD Structural Engineering). Having previously worked in Zimbabwe (University of Zimbabwe) and Australia (University of New England), Pete joined the University of Bath in 1998. He was promoted to Professor in 2006 on becoming Director of the newly formed BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials.

His current research interests include bio-based construction materials, materials for improved indoor air quality, structural masonry and innovative timber engineering. Since joining Bath he has led various research projects, having attracted funding as PI or CI from the BRE Trust, Carbon Connections, DEFRA, EASME, EPSRC, FP7, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Great Western Research, and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). Pete has also received substantial financial and in-kind support from a number of SME and large scale industrial partners. The total value of his research projects awarded to date exceeds £10 Million.

He is currently Editor of the ICE Construction Materials journal and editorial panel member for Building Research & Information journal.


Covering a number of construction materials, Pete’s research work is centred on the development of low carbon technologies suitable for new and retrofitting applications. His original research work focussed on structural masonry (prestressed brickwork (PhD), masonry arch bridges, dry-stone walling), but whilst working in Zimbabwe (1989-1993) and Australia (1994-1997) expanded to include earth building (compressed earth blocks, rammed earth).

Since working at Bath Pete has also led research projects developing straw bale construction, hemp-lime construction, and innovative timber engineering. His research work initially centred on physical, mechanical and structural characterisation, but has developed to include work on micro-structural analysis, heat and moisture transfer in porous materials, life-cycle appraisal, environmental monitoring and testing and most recently indoor environmental quality. Recent projects have included the construction and testing of BaleHaus, an innovative prefabricated straw bale house, at the University of Bath. Current research projects include:

  • ECO-SEE: Eco-innovative, Safe and Energy Efficient wall panels and materials for a healthier indoor environment, FP7
  • EuroCell project: EU market development of MODCELL - a prefabricated eco-building system utilising renewable materials, EASME

The impact of Pete’s research work includes enabling the successful construction of a number of award winning and innovative low carbon buildings, including to date: Adnams’ new brewery distribution centre; Cheshire Oaks M&S supermarket; Eco-Depot, York; Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol; Orwell Housing Association, Suffolk; Pines Calyx, St Margaret’s Bay; Rivergreen Centre, Durham; The Triangle, Swindon; Wales Institute Sustainable Education (WISE) Building (Centre for Alternative Technology).

Pete’s PhD students have won the IStructE Young Researchers Conference Oral Presentation award on three occasions (Dr Jon Shanks, 2004; Dr Chris Mundell 2008; and, Dr Andy Thomson 2009). He and his team have been the recipients of two best journal-paper awards from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Willing to supervise PhD

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Innovative renewable construction materials (characterisation; structural; hygrothermal)
  • Lime materials (biocomposites; mortars; masonry)
  • Earthen materials (rammed earth; modern masonry)
  • Timber engineering (composites; innovative connections) 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Pete Walker is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 11 Similar Profiles
Lime Engineering & Materials Science
Timber Engineering & Materials Science
Hemp Engineering & Materials Science
Brick Engineering & Materials Science
Earth (planet) Engineering & Materials Science
Mortar Engineering & Materials Science
Straw Engineering & Materials Science
Moisture Engineering & Materials Science

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Projects 2006 2022

Research Output 1985 2019

Open Access
33 Downloads (Pure)

Full-scale simulation of indoor humidity and moisture buffering properties of clay

Cascione, V., Maskell, D., Shea, A. & Walker, P., 2 Mar 2019, Earthen Dwellings and Structures. Springer Verlag, p. 395-406 9 p. (Springer Transactions in Civil and Environmental Engineering).

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

Open Access

Influence of clay minerals and associated minerals in alkali activation of soils

Marsh, A., Heath, A., Patureau, P., Evernden, M. & Walker, P., 10 Sep 2019, In : Construction and Building Materials. 229, p. 1-16 16 p., 116816.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Phase formation behaviour in alkali activation of clay mixtures

Marsh, A., Heath, A., Patureau, P., Evernden, M. & Walker, P., 1 Jul 2019, In : Applied Clay Science. 175, p. 10-21 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Re-Baling Straw For Better Insulation

Platt, S., Walker, P., Maskell, D. & Laborel-Préneron, A., 23 Feb 2019, (Accepted/In press).

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access


Alkali activated earth construction materials

Author: Marsh, A., 3 Apr 2019

Supervisor: Heath, A. (Supervisor), Evernden, M. (Supervisor), Walker, P. (Supervisor) & Patureau, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

An assessment of the performance of calcium sulfoaluminate and supersulfated cements for use in concrete

Author: Ioannou, S., 15 Jan 2012

Supervisor: Paine, K. (Supervisor) & Walker, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

A study of carbonation in non-hydraulic lime mortars

Author: Lawrence, M., 1 Jan 2006

Supervisor: Walker, P. (Supervisor) & D'Ayala, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


A Study of Douglas-Fir Anatomical and Mechanical Properties and their Interactions

Author: Bawcombe, J., 31 Aug 2012

Supervisor: Harris, R. (Supervisor), Walker, P. (Supervisor) & Ansell, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Characterisation of Hemp-Line as a Composite Building Material

Author: Hirst, E., 31 Dec 2013

Supervisor: Walker, P. (Supervisor) & Paine, K. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD