Prof. dr. ir. Nele De Belie


Name: Nele De Belie
Title: Prof. dr. ir.
Function: Professor
T +32 9 264 55 22
F +32 9 264 58 45
Mrs. Marijke Reunes (T + 32 9 264 55 35)

Nele De Belie is professor in Durability of Cement Bound Materials at Ghent University (UGent). She is director of the Magnel-Vandepitte laboratory for structural engineering and building materials.

For more information on her research group you can visit the webpage Concrete and environment.

Her expertise includes:

  • Durability of cement-bound materials (durability in aggressive aqueous environments containing organic and inorganic acids, salts; biodeterioration and biogenic sulphuric acid corrosion; development of procedures and equipment for accelerated durability testing)
  • Advanced cementitious and mineral building materials (self healing, self cleaning, …)
  • Self-healing concrete in the news!
  • Effect of supplementary cementitious materials (fly ash, slag, silica fume, …) and polymers on microstructure development, strength, durability and sustainability of concrete
  • Biocatalytic and photocatalytic processes on building materials (biodeposition / biomineral calcium carbonate precipitation on concrete and stone; titanium dioxide photocatalysis; biological cleaning of concrete and stone surfaces)
  • Agricultural structures (structural stability, durability and animal welfare issues related mainly to concrete slatted floors and bunker silo walls); experimental study and modeling of the interaction between cattle claw and concrete floor (contact pressures, friction, biomechanics, …)
  • Non-destructive testing of fresh cementitious materials (ultrasound)
  • Mechanical, optical and acoustic properties of agricultural and food products
  • Data acquisition, multivariate data analysis, chemometrics
  • Life cycle analysis and cradle to cradle approach; completely recyclable concrete

She is laureate of different best paper prizes and awards in recognition of her scientific work. She is supervisor of several Ph.D. and M.Sc. students. She is chair or member of several national and international scientific committees and author of more than 200 publications in journals and conference proceedings. Furthermore she regularly acts as reviewer for about 20 different scientific journals.

Research group nele















Research group of Nele De Belie: “Concrete and environment” – November 2013

Nele De Belie was also advisor for “Science and Innovation” of the Flemish Minister of Economy, Enterprise, Science, Innovation and Foreign Trade, in 2005 - 2009

Scientific career

  • Research Assistant of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO – Vlaanderen) at the Biosystems Engineering Department of Ghent University from 01-10-1993 to 30-09-1997. Ph.D. Research project: “Concrete technological and chemical aspects of floor degradation in pig houses”
  • Postdoctoral Researcher of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO – Vlaanderen) at the Department Agro-technology and Economy of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven) from 01-10-1997 to 30-09-2000. Research project: “Mechanical properties of cells and tissues related to fruit texture”
  • Collaborateur Scientifique à l’Unité de Résistance des matériaux et constructions du génie rural, Gembloux University (FUSAGx), from 19-12-1997 to 19-12-1999
  • Postdoctoral researcher at The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand, from 01-02-1998 to 01-08-1998
  • Postdoctoral researcher at Chemometrics Group of The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Denmark, Copenhagen from 06-01-2000 to 15-07-2000
  • Professor at the Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research, Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ghent University, since 01-10-2000
  • Invited Professor at the Department of Construction Materials (Institüt für Werkstoffe im Bauwesen) of the University of Stuttgart, from 1 to 29 March 2004
  • Advisor for “Science and Innovation” of the Flemish Minister of Economy, Enterprise, Science, Innovation and Foreign Trade, 2005 - 2009


  • Study award of the Faculty of Bio-engineering, 1993
  • Study award for teaching “aggregatie UGent”, 1994
  • Title of “Collaborateur Scientifique à l’Unité de Résistance des matériaux et constructions du génie rural, Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, 1997-1999”
  • BBSRC Young Engineer Reward for the best paper presented at the AgEng2000 International Conference, Warwick, 2-7 July 2000
  • Armand Blanc Prize for the paper presented at the XIV Memorial CIGR World Congress, Tsukuba, Japan, 28 November - 1 December 2000
  • Rewarded as the best paper of the session TT3 “Innovative materials and products for durability”, at the 10th International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components (10dbmc), Lyon, 17-20 April 2005
  • The paper Baert, G., De Belie, N., De Schutter, G. (2010). A multi-compound model for the hydration of Portland cement – fly ash binders (Second international conference on Sustainable construction materials and technologies, Ancona, Italy, 31 May - 3 June 2010), was selected by the Award Committee as outstanding paper out of 260 manuscripts.
  • Robert L’Hermite medallist 2010
  • Best paper award for: De Muynck, W., Leuridan, S., De Belie, N. & Verstraete, W. (2011). Limestone porosity determines the protective effect of a biogenic carbonate surface treatment. In: Peixoto de Freitas V., Corvacho H., Lacasse M. (eds.), XII DBMC - 12th International Conference on Durability of building materials and components, Porto, 12-15 April 2011, Proceedings Volume II, p. 881-888. ISBN: 978-972-752-132-6.
  • Promotor of several rewarded student theses and conference papers

Committees and working groups


  • Member of RILEM and Technical Activities Committee and Cluster Convener of cluster D: Durability and Deterioration Mechanisms.

Member of several RILEM Technical Committees

  • Member of RILEM TC MIB – Microbial impact on building materials – weathering and conservation, 2003-2005
  • Member of RILEM TC ECM – Environment-conscious construction materials and systems, 2003-2006
  • Member of RILEM TC ATC – Advanced testing on cement based materials during setting and hardening, 2004-2006
  • Member of RILEM TC PAE – Performance of cement-based materials in aggressive aqueous environment; chairperson of the working group on testing methods
  • Member of RILEM TC-SFC – Sonic methods for quality control of fresh cementitious materials
  • Member of RILEM TC-SHC – Self-healing phenomena in cement-based materials
  • Chair of RILEM TC-SCM - Hydration and microstructure of concrete with supplementary cementitious materials, from 2011.
  • Member of RILEM TC - Test methods to determine durability of concrete under combined environmental actions and mechanical load, from 2011.


  • Member of EurAgEng, the European Society of Agricultural Engineers since 1994
  • Member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI)
  • Member of WTA – Wissenschaftlich-Technische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Bauwerkserhaltung und Denkmalpflege e.V.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of 3R’s - Repair, Restoration & Renewal of Built Environment, since 2009
  • Member of the organising or scientific committee of various international conferences


  • Member of the Management Committee of ILVO, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, 2004 - 2009
  • Member of the Royal Flemish Engineering Society (KVIV)
  • Member of the Plenary Technical Committee of BUCP, ‘Belgian Union of Certification and Attestation Bodies for Construction Products’
  • Member of the board of directors of SIM (Strategic Initiative Materials)

Ghent University

  • Expert member of the Industrial Research Fund (IOF) of Ghent University

Faculty of Engineering

  • Member of the Library Council
  • Member of the Council for Scientific Research
  • Member of the Education Council for Architectural Engineering
  • Member of the Faculty Board

Current teaching activities

  • Strength of materials
  • Statistics and data handling
  • Probability and statistics
  • Durability of materials
  • Sustainability of materials and structures


A list of publications (1992-now) can be found at