Introduction of our group

The professorship Construction Chemistry conducts research in the field of inorganic binders (especially cement) and organic admixtures.

We synthesize polymers (e.g. PCE superplasticizers) and investigate their effectiveness in binders with a reduced CO2 footprint.

Recent News:

Successful field application of the new drilling fluid "Si-Drill" developed by TUM / Professorship Construction Chemistry Prof. Plank in geothermal drilling: in June 2024, Si-Drill was successfully used on two geothermal wells for a climate neutral building near the University of Mainz. The project is funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK). Project partners are BESTEC and Woellner companies.

Prof. Plank presented his recent research on PCE superplasticizers for calcined clay blended cements as well as from the Danish research project CALLISTE at the “International Conference on Cements Containing Calcined Clays (LC3)” ICCCSC 2024 from 15. – 17. May 2024 in Nanjing/China.

On October 10, 2023 Prof. Plank was elected into the German Academy of Technical Sciences (acatech)

A high ranking delegation of professors from 8 universities in China and 6 universities in Germany met at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) of TU München for a symposium on “Low Carbon Binders for Concrete” which was sponsored by the Sino-German Center for the Promotion of Science. Prof. Plank (TUM) and Prof. Xie Ning from University of Jinan had organised the symposium on which several research topics were identified for future cooperations between Germany and China.

On 25 August, a delegation from Tongji University in Shanghai/China headed by Prof. Lu Zichen and Ms. Zhou was hosted by the Professorship Construction Chemistry. During the meeting, current topics in construction chemistry and perspectives for the future were discussed. Moreover, the students from Shanghai enjoyed testing the energy-harvesting floor developed by our group at the entrance to our chemistry building.

Prof. Plank attended this year’s International Chemistry Olympiad as chairman of the jury which took place in the historic city of Khiva/Uzbekistan on the ancient silk road. From this province came the inventor of the algorithm, Al-Khwarizmi (~780 - 850).

On April 19, 2023 Prof. Plank and Prof. Lei visited the “China Museum for Chemical Admixtures” which was built in Xiamen under the patronage of KZJ Admixture Company, organized by Ms. Guo from CABR and opened in November 2022.

On January 20, 2023 Prof. Plank and his team gave a presentation within the educational series of the “KinderUni” at TU München entitled “Why does it suddenly become so hot?” There, the scientific fundamentals of the ongoing global warming were presented to children at the age of 7-12 years by means of numerous experiments.

On October 18 2022 TUM President Prof. Hofmann appointed Prof. Plank as “TUM Emeritus of Excellence (EoE)”. Prof. Plank is only the third EoE of the Department of Chemistry so far, who has been awarded with this title.

On October 5, at a meeting of the Construction Chemicals Association in Berlin Prof. Plank gave an experimental lecture on occasion of the farewell to the Association’s long-standing General Manager Mr. Norbert Schröter.

On Sept.14-15, the 4th International Conference PCE 2022 on Polycarboxylate (PCE) Superplasticizers was hosted by our group as a virtual event, with 175 participants from 36 countries. It was a tremendous success and brought together the global community of experts in concrete admixtures. A total of 20 high-level presentations were given on topics ranging from fundamental academic research to specific PCE polymer design and to field applications.
The next conference PCE 2023 will take place in Sept./ Oct. 2023.

Dr. Lei Lei, Habilitandin ("Junior professor") at the group for Construction Chemistry (Prof. Plank) on June 21 received the E.+K. Dyckerhoff Award 2021 for Young Scientists in recognition of her groundbreaking work on a new generation of PCE superplasticizers for low carbon cements

Prof. Plank visits Libya on 24 - 30 March 2022 within the framework of an exchange program supported by DAAD

Inauguration of our „Energy Harvesting Floors“ by TUM president Prof. Hofmann at Vitruvius yard at TUM main campus on October 27 2021.

Our former Ph.D. student Dr. Alexander Engbert received the Science Medal of the industry association "Deutsche Bauchemie e.V." in recognition of his works on alginates as substitutes for Li-based accelerators in ternary binder systems on Sept. 9, 2021 in Bonn.

Bill Gates supports our cooperation partner

May 2021: Ecocem materials, a developer of low carbon "green" cements and our cooperation partner for novel innovative PCE superplasticizers received 22.5 mio. € in equity capital from Bill Gate`s venture capital company "Breakthrough Energy Ventures".

Master`s Thesis Award 2020 by the GDCh Division Chemistry of Construction Materials Awarded to Christopher Schiefer, M. Sc.

The Master`s Thesis award 2020 by the GDCh division chemistry of construction materials was awarded to our PhD student Christopher Schiefer during the 3rd ICCCM on March 17th 2021 for his Master`s Thesis "Mg-Al-LDH-PCE Nanocomposites as Hydration Accelerators for Cement“.

Inauguration of the „Energy Harvesting Floor“ by TUM-President Prof. Hofmann and Vice President Prof. Kramer on January 15th 2020.

22.09.20: Installation of the piezoelectric „Energy Harvesting Floor“ at the entrance of the Department of Chemistry.

Highlights of the carnival lecture 2020.

Prof. Plank in Mosul, Iraq as part of a DAAD funded exchange program between TU Munich and Northern Technical University, Mosul in December 2019.

Prof. Plank receives SPE Service Award:

on 14. September 2019 the SPE Service Award was handed over to Prof. Plank by SPE President elect Shauna Noonan in recognition of his achievements in organizing international SPE Conferences, for the support of young professionals and for his role as director of SPE Germany Section South.

The price for excellent teaching was awarded to Prof. Plank at January 26th 2019.

Visit of a Chinese Delegation from President Xi Jinping in July 2019 to the topic "Foundations for Promotion of Science in Germany"

Report from BBC Arabic as Part of our in the EU-Project „ThermoDrill" developed Drilling FLuid for Geothermal Wells, 2019.

Awarding of the Science Medal Award of Deutsche Bauchemie e.V. to our former PhD student Dr. Thomas Hurnaus, now BASF, 7th June 2019 in Münster.

Invitation and Presentation at the Vietnam Concrete Association (VCA) and Vietnam Institute for Building Materials (VIBM) in Hanoi, March 13th 2019.

More Information

Highlights of the carnival lecture 2019.

Cooperation agreement with the University of Jinan for the establishment of a "Joint laboratory" at January 1st 2019.

 2nd International Conference on UHPC Materials and Structures (UHPC 2018) in Fuzhou, November 07th - 10th 2018.

12th ICSP in Beijing, October 28th - 31th 2018.

Interview with Prof. Plank in PNP to the topic: "Es lockt die Freiheit der Wissenschaft", April 2018.

Interview Prof. Plank

Highlights of the carnival lecture 2018.

Appointment of Prof. Plank as Honorary Professor at the University of Jinan in November 2017.

Eco-friendly Cement –
The Chair on Arte.

Experiments on the Hydration of Cement under Zero Gravity.

In the beginning of March 2016 a researcher team of the Chair for Construction Chemistry conducted experiments on the early hydration of cement under zero gravity conditions utilizing parabolic flights. The crystallization (nucleation) of ettringite and calcium silicate hydrates (C-S-H phases) were investigated.

It was found out that under zero gravity, the ettringite crystals formed are more abundant yet smaller which can be explained by the absence of convection. The results were published in several scientific papers (see section "research", list of publications).



German Version

Current Events

5th International Conference on Polycarboxylate Superplasticizers
(PCE 2024)

25. - 26. September 2024
VIRTUAL Conference

4th Global Futurecem Conference & Exhibition
Brussels, Belgium

6. - 7. December 2023

Prof. Plank became a Honorary Fellow of the British Institute of Concrete Technology on July 19, 2022

More Information

Master`s Thesis Award 2020 to Christopher Schiefer

„Energy Harvesting Floor“

More Information

Past Events

3rd International Conference
on Polycarboxylate Superplasticizers
(PCE 2019)

September 24 - 25, 2019

Homepage PCE 2019

Opening Video

Impressions PCE 2019

Construction Chemistry in Singapore

TUM-Asia offers within the Master course "Industrial Chemistry" construction chemistry as a specialization module.

The goal of the module is to provide insights in the field of construction chemistry. The lecture will cover topics such as material properties of construction materials, cement chemistry, chemical admixtures and application systems like concrete, dry mix mortar and coatings.