Untitled 1
PProGRess

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.

News

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!

Research

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.

Education

Courses Master Projects Bachelor Projects

Courses

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: Jeroen Van Stappen)
    • 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
  • Building Stones (Assistants: 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
  • Digital Imaging Techniques in Geology (Assistants: Tom Bultreys - Hannelore Derluyn - Tim De Kock - Jeroen Van Stappen)
    • 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
  • Digital Rocks (Assistants: Tom Bultreys - Hannelore Derluyn)
    • 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

Master projects for the academic year 2014-2015 will be announced during the first months of 2014.

2013-2014
Characterization of fluid flow parameters inside porous media: traditional tests vs X-ray CT

Marianna Traska

Correlating experimental water absorption and permeability parameters with pore network model properties, obtained from X-ray CT.

Brecht Embo

Replacement mortars for the Lede Stone

Mathias Declercq

Correlation of building stones from the Eocene, north and south of the Artois Ridge

Lars Kint

Provenance study of roman artefacts from the site of Trea, Italy

Thomas Vandenbulcke

Development of an experimental setup for in situ fluid flow experiments at the CT scanners of UGCT.

Ioannis Zarikos

Skeletonization of 3D datasets

Inne Melckenbeeck

2012-2013
The use of X-Ray CT of the visualization and characterisation of fractures in tight sandstones from Svalbard, No.

Jeroen Van Stappen

Gijs Bergmans

Maarten De Graaf

2011-2012
Study of the diversity of glauconite-rich silificied sandstone of the Lower-to-Middle Eocene in the region of Flobecq-Ghent

Michiel Goossens

Caldera colape on basaltic shield volcanoes: analogue models compared to the Karthala caldera complex, Grande Comore

Sam Poppe

Eruption dynamics of magmatic/phreatomagmatic eruptions of low-viscosity phonolitic magmas: Case of the Laacher See eruption (Eifel, Germany)

Gert-Jan Peeters

2010-2011
Research on the influence of de-icing salts on the petrophysical properties of building materials

Wesley De Boever

2009-2010
Development and characterization of a mineral compound repair mortar for the Lede stone

Antoine Willems

Services

Petrography
Building material testing Sediment analysis 3D printing

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 Inside Matters. 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

Petrography

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

Team

Prof. Dr. Veerle Cnudde

Research professor
Team Leader of PProGRess
Doctor of Science: Geology

tel:0032(9)264 4580

mail biblio

Dr. Tim De Kock

Post-doc
Doctor of Science: Geology

tel:0032(9)264 4684

mail biblio

Jeroen Van Stappen

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:0032(9)264 4627

mail biblio

Maxim Deprez

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:0032(9)264 4627

mail biblio

Géraldine Fiers

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:0032(9)264 4684

mail biblio

Timo Seemann

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Geology

tel:0032(9)264 4633

mail biblio

Redouane Meftah

Ph.D. Student
Master of Science: Fluid mechanics

tel:0032(9)264 4684

mail biblio

Abhishek Shastry

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

tel:0032(9)264 6620

mail biblio

Stefanie Van Offenwert

Assistant
Master of Science: Geology

tel:0032(9)264 4633

mail biblio

Danielle Schram

Technical Staff

tel:0032(9)264 9676

mail

Alumni

Dr. Jan Dewanckele

Doctor of Science: Geology

biblio

Dr. Wesley De Boever

Doctor of Science: Geology

biblio

Delphine Vandevoorde

Master in conservation-restauration of stone

biblio

Dr. Aurèlie Isebaert

Doctor of Science: Geology

biblio

Dr. Ir. Hannelore Derluyn

FWO Post-doc

biblio

Dr. Marijn Boone

Post-doc
Doctor of Science: Geology

biblio

Dr. Victor Cardenes

Post-doc
Doctor of Science: Geology

biblio

Dr. Tom Bultreys

Post-doc
Doctor of Science: Physics and Geology

biblio
Back to top

Contact

Adress

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

Directions