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1992 …2023

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Personal profile


Understanding the durability of materials is understanding the moisture and ion transport

Research profile

Leo Pel is an Associate Professor in the group transport in Permeable Media at the Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Leo does research in Fluid Dynamics, Materials Science and Experimental Physics. His main research interest is the combined moisture and ion transport and crystallization in porous media in order to understand damages. In the group, the potential of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) imaging on multiple length scales is combined with physical and mathematical modeling. Over the past years, the group we has built up a collection of NMR setups, which offer the unique possibility to non-destructively measure the moisture and ion content in porous media over various length scales. 

Leo’s current research focuses on Cl transport in concrete, electro kinetic transport of Li in concrete and expansion of wood due to moisture. His group studies the transport of moisture and ions in a variety of permeable materials, ranging from porous building materials of macroscopic dimensions, such as brick and concrete, over chemical reactors up to thin polymer coatings. The goal is to improve the performance by identifying the key parameters that govern the transport and damage mechanisms. 

Academic background

Leo Pel obtained his MSc in Applied Physics and received his PhD from the Department of Architecture, Building and Planning at TU/e for his thesis ‘Moisture transport in porous building materials’ in 1994. Following this, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher on the STW project ETN.3400: Development of a measurement method to determine moisture transport processes in porous materials’.  

In 2006, he was a Visiting Researcher at the J. Paul Getty Museum and in 2008 he was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University. Leo is a regular contributor to leading journalsLeo held two postdoc positions before becoming an Associate Professor at TU/e. He is involved in various national and international projects focusing on understanding the durability of porous materials. In addition, he has taken part in various EU programs focusing on the conservation of our cultural heritage.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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