Foto: Simon Klein Knudsen

New professor wants to transform waste into valuable building materials

Thursday 04 Feb 16
by Sabina Askholm Larsen


Lisbeth M. Ottosen
Professor, head of section
DTU Civil Engineering
+4545 25 22 60


Niels-Jørgen Aagaard
Head of Department
DTU Civil Engineering
+4545 25 18 77
How do waste products obtain value as part of new building materials? That is the fundamental question Lisbeth M. Ottosen will try to answer in the professorship, she has just been awarded. The issue touches one of the big trends: Circular economy that combines environmental and commercial sustainability.

Disposing of residues from building materials and industrial waste can be a costly affair for both the environment and the economy. Therefore, there is great value in reusing these residues as useful parts of new materials.

In brief, this is the starting point for DTU Civil Engineering’s research into resource recovery in building materials. The research area is led by Lisbeth M. Ottosen who was appointed Professor on February 1.

"A central part of my research is to transform residues that would otherwise be considered as waste into useful resources. The residues in my research come from building materials and industrial waste. These are residues that do not currently apply in other contexts, but I see great potential in using them for new building materials," says Lisbeth M. Ottosen.

The construction industry must be on board

"It is vital to get the construction industry behind the idea that the residues which were previously regarded as waste can be valuable as raw materials in new building materials."
Lisbeth M. Ottosen

Including industry partners is a natural part of the work proces for Lisbeth M. Ottosen. As end-users, the industry must utilize the results of the research. If the circular mindset that underlies the research in resource recovery in building materials is to truly be worth something, it is necessary to get the industry on board.

"It is vital to get the construction industry behind the idea that the residues that were previously regarded as waste can be valuable as raw materials in new building materials. Therefore, it is important to involve industry partners who can regularly check the quality of the materials and thus become an active part of the development of new building materials that can be used in future industry," elaborates Lisbeth M. Ottosen.

Recycling creates sustainable value

Head of Department at DTU Civil Engineering, Niels-Jørgen Aagaard, welcomes Lisbeth M. Ottosen appointment as Professor. According to him, resource recovery of waste materials in construction materials is of great importance to sustainable value creation in society.

"The use of waste materials in construction involves significant challenges that include production, characteristics, functionality and durability. Lisbeth has extensive experience in both research and teaching, and I am sure that her deserved appointment as Professor at DTU Civil Engineering will be a good platform for continuing her excellent contribution to addressing these challenges and developing the area, "says Niels-Jørgen Aagaard.

Lisbeth M. Ottosen started as Professor on February 1.