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PProGRess (Pore-scale Processes in Geomaterials Research group) studies the various processes that occur inside the pore space of porous geomaterials. The group specializes in non-destructive imaging of the 3D structure of all kinds of materials, from the nano- to macro-scale. Our group wants to stretch the limits of real-time imaging of processes in the pore space of geomaterials, in terms of both temporal and spatial resolution.

PProGRess evolved from the “Sedimentary Geology and Engineering Geology” (SGIG) research group, and therefore still holds a lot of expertise in the field of natural building stones and the assessment of their properties. PProGress researchers are skilled in many traditional research techniques, e.g. optical microscopy, grain size analysis and technological testing of natural building stones.

PProGRess is part of the Ghent University Centre for X-Ray Tomography (UGCT) and of the department of Geology at Ghent University.


New Vacancy

8th Frebruary 2018. PProGRess is searching for a PhD student in the context of the FWO-SBO project "MoCCHa-CT: Model-coupled 4D-µCT for advanced material characterization". The key challenges for the PhD student of PProGRess in this project, will be to characterize different heterogeneous building materials with attention towards multi-scale characterization of pore geometries using high-resolution imaging complemented by tunable dark-field imaging. More information and how to apply can be found here.

Congratulations Dr. Jeroen Van Stappen!

20th December 2017. Congratulations to PProGress researcher Jeroen Van Stappen, who succesfully defended his PhD thesis titled "A micro-CT investigation into pore-scale CO2 sequestration processes in fractured reservoir rocks", in order to obtain a doctoral degree in Geology from Ghent University.

New Vacancy

15th December 2017. PProGRess and the Department of Geology are searching for a PhD student in the context of advanced macro-model generation based on micro-scale visualization experiments of two-phase flow through porous sedimentary rocks. More information and how to apply can be found here.

UGCT Meeting

15th December 2017. UGCT organized its annual meeting on December, 15th 2017. Nice presentations were given by the members on their research project.

Workshop: Nano-Cathedral

11th October 2017. On October 24, Bressers and Ghent University (Department of Geology) organize a workshop on the 'Nano-Cathedral' project: an European study on the use of nanomaterials for the sustainable protection and consolidation of natural stone in historical buildings. More information and registration: here.

Welcome Laurenz Schröer!

1st October 2017. PProGRess welcomes new PhD student Laurenz Schröer, who will investigate the microbial colonisation of porous sedimentary rocks for their management of petrophysical properties. Laurenz's research will be supervised by Prof. Veerle Cnudde (PProGRess), Dr. Tim De Kock (PProGRess) and Prof. Nico Boon (Ghent University, Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology).

Specialist Course

8th September 2017. From 4 to 8 September, PProGRess and the Geology Department organized the specialist course "Imaging and modelling of (reactive) fluid transport in geomaterials: from pore to continuum scale" by the PProGRess team. We were able to accommodate 30 students from over 8 nationalities from all continents.

Specialist Course: Registration is now open!

1st July 2017. PProGRess is organizing a specialist course "Imaging and modelling of (reactive) fluid transport in geomaterials: from pore to continuum scale" (first week of September) in collaboration with Pau University (France) and Utrecht University (Netherlands). More information and registration: here.

ICTMS 2017

26-30th June 2017. UGCT was represented on the 3rd International Conference on Tomography and Structures in Lund (Sweden) with a delegation of 13 people. Various presentations were given by the UGCT delegation and one of our students, Maxim Deprez, won the Bernard Long student poster award.

Welcome Stefanie Van Offenwert!

15th February 2017. PProGRess welcomes new assistant Stefanie Van Offenwert, who will investigate reactive fluid flow in porous sedimentary rocks. Stefanie's research will be supervised by Prof. Veerle Cnudde (PProGRess) and Dr. Tom Bultreys (Imperial College).

Welcome Abhishek Shastry!

16th January 2017. PProGRess welcomes new PhD student Abhishek Shastry, who will investigate 4D-µCT imaging of soil removal from a porous organic substrate. Abhishek's research will be supervised by Prof. Veerle Cnudde (PProGRess) and Prof. Matthieu Boone (Ghent University, Department of Physics and Astronomy).

Congratulations Dr. Tom Bultreys!

2nd December 2016. Congratulations to PProGress researcher Tom Bultreys, who succesfully defended his PhD thesis titled "Two-phase flow in rocks: new insights from multi-scale pore network modeling and fast pore scale visualization", in order to obtain a doctoral degree in Physics and Geology from Ghent University.

Welcome Redouane Meftah!

15th November 2016. PProGRess welcomes new PhD student Redouane Meftah, who will investigate the link between the (micro)structure of building materials and their acoustic properties, in close collaboration with Saint-Gobain.

Welcome Timo Seemann!

20th October 2016. PProGRess and the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCKCEN) welcome new PhD student Timo Seemann, who will investigate gas transport through hardened cement paste and mortars.

Welcome Géraldine Fiers!

1st October 2016. PProGRess welcomes new PhD student Géraldine Fiers, who will investigate the impact of the physical characteristics of flint and its weathering on the preservation of prehistorical use wear traces. Géraldine's research will be supervised by Prof. Veerle Cnudde (PProGRess), Dr. Tim De Kock (PProGRess) and Prof. Philippe Crombez (Ghent University, Department of Archeology).

Congratulations Dr. Aurélie Isebaert!

30th September 2016. Congratulations to PProGress researcher Aurélie Isebaert, who succesfully defended her PhD thesis titled "Repear mortars for stone: increased compatibility through optimised development", in order to obtain a joint doctoral degree in Geology from Ghent University and in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Mons.

Check out our YouTube Channel!

PProGRess has launched its own YouTube Channel, as a showcase for our experimental data, results and presentations. Go and have a look at our movies at this link!


Topics Publications

We mainly investigate the chemical, physical and biological processes that influence structural and chemical changes in geomaterials. These processes include the weathering of building stones and concrete, crystallization of ice, salts and mineral phases inside porous media, dissolution of minerals by environmental impact and the behavior of fluids inside porous geological materials. One of the most important experimental techniques we apply in this context is non-destructive imaging at the micron scale, particularly by X-ray micro-CT.

Building stone research

Building stones are sensitive to weathering and undergo internal changes through a complex interaction of chemical, physical and biological processes. Following a holistic approach, both geomaterials and extrinsic influences are viewed as part of a complex system. Our current research endeavours encompass a variety of projects, including:

  • - the link between nano- micro and macroscale processes inside natural stone
  • - the boundaries of the possibilities of the non-destructive imaging techniques and their improvement
  • - the prediction of the macroscopical behaviour based on microscopical study
  • - data fusion of the different non-destructive imaging techniques to obtain maximum information
  • - the monitoring of internal changes due to external chemical, biological and/or physical changes
  • - the modelling of fluid flow behaviour inside the porespace of natural building stones
  • - the modelling and monitoring of crystallisation (e.g. of salts) in the pore space of natural building stones.

By data-fusion of non-destructive research techniques, we characterize the (sub)micron scale petrophysical properties of geomaterials and their internal fluid flow behaviour. Since 2005, the PProGRess group has co-operated the Centre for X-Ray Tomography (UGCT; www.ugct.ugent.be) (headed by Prof. L. Van Hoorebeke, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UGent), where "state-of-the-art" X-ray micro/nano-CT scanners have been developed.



Professor Veerle Cnudde is head teacher of several courses inside the bachelor and master in Geology programmes of Ghent University.

These courses include (click for scope and links to ects files*):

  • Optical Mineralogy and Petrography (Assistant: Julie De Weirdt)
    • Acquiring theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of the optical behaviour of minerals.
    • Learning to identify the most important rock-forming minerals by using a petrographical microscope.
    • Learning to recognise and describe microtextural characteristics of sedimentary and crystalline rocks.
    • ects Dutchects English
  • Geology of Building Stones (Dr. Tim De Kock)
    • Recognising the discussed natural building stones based on information from several different research domains (petrography, microscopy, engineering ,...)
    • Being able to develop a research plan for the identification of natural building stones
    • Being able to report the results of the characterization research into a scientific report
    • Being able to define the history of the stone (origin of the stone, weathering processes, restoration) and to develop a conservation plan
    • ects Dutchects English
  • Imaging Techniques of Consolidated and Unconsolidated Sediments (Assistants: Stefanie Van Offenwert - Maxim Deprez)
    • The aim of the course "Rock imaging techniques" is to provide the students with an overview and insight of a selection of imaging techniques which can be used to study rocks both structurally as well as chemically. Attention will be given towards a realistic outcome of the use of these techniques in order to answer specific geological questions. Important recent developments in these technologies will be discussed and illustrations will be given how they may be applied to geological problems.
    • ects Dutchects English
  • 3D Digital Rocks (Dr. Tom Bultreys - assistant: Stefanie Van Offenwert)
    • Understanding how fluids occupy and migrate through porous media is of great importance in many geological fields like petroleum engineering, hydrology and environmental engineering. Additionally, the search to better understand the inner workings of rocks that challenge traditional laboratory testing has led to a new approach known as digital rock physics. Based on 3D images (deriving from X-ray CT data, FIB/SEM data, synthetic 3D images of rocks based on information obtained from microscopical 2D techniques or 3D imaged rocks based on simulation of the sedimentation, compaction and diagenesis) can be used as an input for material and dynamical properties (including fluid flow behavior).
    • ects Dutchects English

*ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer and accumulation System. This guarantees a uniform description of every course, improving transparency and comparability in Europe.

Master projects

Colloid transport visualization in sediments and rocks using dynamic X-ray imaging

Benjamin Blykers

Stone weathering in urban environments: an assessment under full climatic monitoring

Daphne Guilbert


PPROGRESS offers various services, both to other members of Ghent University and external customers. Services perfomed by PProGRess are limited to the field of stones and other building materials, for (commercial) CT-related services, we would like to refer to UGCT's spin-off company XRE. We are capable of performing petrographic analysis on natural building stones, technological tests on building materials, analysis of sediments and 3D printing.
Petrographic analysis is performed according to European Standard EN 12407:2007


PPROGRESS performs petrography on natural building stones, for the description and/or identification of this materials. Any building stone can be analysed, but our main expertise in terms of analysis lies in building stones from Belgium and Northern France. For more information you can contact Tim De Kock or professor Veerle Cnudde.

Building material tests

Many traditional building material tests can be performed by our team. All tests are performed and reported according to European Standards. The tests we can perform include:

  • Determination of open porosity and apparent density - NBN EN 1936:2007
  • Determination of capillary water absorption - NBN EN 1925:1999
  • Determination of water absorption by submersion under atmospheric pressure - NBN EN 13755:2008
  • Determination of sound speed propagation - NBN EN 14579:2004
  • Determination of resistance to frost weathering - NBN EN 12371:2010
  • Determination of resistance to thermal shock - prEN 14066:2012
  • Determination of resistance to salt crystallization - NBN EN 12370:1999
  • Determination of technological properties of roofing slates - EN 12326:2011
    • Water absorption
    • Freeze-thaw resistance
    • Non-carbonate content
    • Carbonate content
    • Resistance to sulfur dioxide exposure
    • Thermal shock resistance
    • Petrographic examination

For the execution of technical tests on building materials (Pressure strength, tensile strength, skid resistance,...) you can contact our colleagues of Labo Magnel.

Sediment anaylysis

Standard sediment analysis can be performed at our lab. Standard procedures include grain size analysis by sieving, particle size analysis with SediGraph, determination of organic matter content, determination of calcium carbonate content,... .

For more information about these tests, please contact Danielle Schram.

3D printing

Our 3D printer is a Stratasys UPrint SE Plus. This particular type prints with a vertical resolution of 0.254 mm and a horizontal resolution of about 0.5 mm. The printed material is ABS. A detailed description of the UPrint SE Plus can be found here.

For more information and pricing of our 3D printing services, please contact Danielle Schram


Prof. Dr. Veerle Cnudde

Research professor
Team Leader of PProGRess
Doctor of Science: Geology

tel:+32 9 264 4580

mail biblio

Dr. Tim De Kock

Doctor of Science: Geology

tel:+32 9 264 4684

mail biblio

Maxim Deprez

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:+32 9 264 4627

mail biblio

Géraldine Fiers

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:+32 9 264 4684

mail biblio

Timo Seemann

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:+32 9 264 4633

mail biblio

Redouane Meftah

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Fluid mechanics

tel:+32 9 264 4684

mail biblio

Abhishek Shastry

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Material Processes and Technology of Composites

tel:+32 9 264 6620

mail biblio

Stefanie Van Offenwert

Master of Science: Geology

tel:+32 9 264 4633

mail biblio

Laurenz Schröer

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:+32 9 264 4633

mail biblio

Danielle Schram

Technical Staff

tel:+32 9 264 9676



Dr. Jan Dewanckele

Doctor of Science: Geology


Dr. Wesley De Boever

Doctor of Science: Geology


Delphine Vandevoorde

Master in conservation-restauration of stone


Dr. Aurèlie Isebaert

Doctor of Science: Geology


Dr. Ir. Hannelore Derluyn

FWO Post-doc


Dr. Marijn Boone

Doctor of Science: Geology


Dr. Victor Cardenes

Doctor of Science: Geology


Dr. Tom Bultreys

Doctor of Science: Physics and Geology


Dr. Jeroen Van Stappen

Doctor of Science: Geology

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Krijgslaan 281 - Building S8
Department of Geology (WE13)
1st floor - Corridor C1
9000 Ghent