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Professor Rebecca Lunn

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Prizes and awards

Elected as an Outstanding Woman of Scotland
Elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Elected a Fellow of The Institution of Civil Engineers
Leader of the £1.3M EPSRC Research Consortium SAFE Barriers
Aberconway medallist 2011. Awarded by the Geological Society of London every 2 years to a researcher aged 45 years or less to recognise distinction in the practice of geology with special reference to work in industry

more prizes and awards


Along-strike fault core thickness variations of a fault in poorly lithified sediments, Miri (Malaysia)
Sosio De Rosa Silvia, Shipton Zoe K., Lunn Rebecca J., Kremer Yannick, Murray Titus
Journal of Structural Geology Vol 116, pp. 189-206, (2018)
Microscale analysis of fractured rock sealed with microbially induced CaCO3 precipitation : influence on hydraulic and mechanical performance
Tobler Dominique J., Minto James M., El Mountassir Grainne, Lunn Rebecca J., Phoenix Vernon R.
Water Resources Research, (2018)
A study on the mechanical interaction between soil and colloidal silica gel for ground improvement
Wong Christopher, Pedrotti Matteo, El Mountassir Grainne, Lunn Rebecca J.
Engineering Geology Vol 243, pp. 84-100, (2018)
Could magnetic properties be used to image a grouted rock volume?
Lunn R.J., Corson L.T., Howell C., El Mountassir G., Reid C., Harley S.L.
Journal of Applied Geophysics Vol 155, pp. 162-175, (2018)
Applications of microbial processes in geotechnical engineering
El Mountassir G., Minto J. M., van Paassen L. A., Salifu E., Lunn R. J.
Advances in Applied MicrobiologyAdvances in Applied Microbiology, (2018)
'Microbial mortar'- restoration of degraded marble structures with microbially induced carbonate precipitation
Minto James M., Tan Qian, Lunn Rebecca J., El Mountassir Grainne, Guo Hongxian, Cheng Xiaohui
Construction and Building Materials Vol 180, pp. 44-54, (2018)

more publications

Research interests

  • Use of microbially mediated mineral precipitation for ground improvement and ground sealing
  • Development and application of colloidal silica-based grouts for ground improvement and ground sealing
  • Development of detectable cementitious grouts for reliable barrier formation
  • Fluid flow in geological faults, estimating fault permeability (particular relevance to radioactive waste disposal, CO2 sequestration and oil and gas exploitation)
  • The relationaship between fault permeability and seismicity - temporal and spatial evolution
  • Predicting ground permeability through structural geology and rock mechanics
  • Groundwater flow and contaminant transport
  • Rock mechanics and structural geology
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
  • Computer modelling

Professional activities

Feasibility study for the use of microbially induced calcite precipitation for improving rock strength

more professional activities


ANRC 013-01 Biotechnology for Treatment and Repair of Concrete Nuclear Infrastructure
Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Jul-2018 - 30-Jun-2021
SAFE - a Systems Approach For Engineered Barriers
Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
Steel waste canisters, bentonite clay and cement backfills constitute the multi barrier concept for the deep geological disposal of radioactive waste. The aim of this research project was to deploy and refine advanced monitoring technologies for simultaneous imaging of THMC variables (pH, temperature, pore-water pressure, swelling etc) within these elements of the multi-barrier systemi  n these elements of the multi barrier system in these elements of the multi barrier system in these elements ofin the laboratory. State-of-the-art micro-to-nano scale wireless devices were embeded into bentonite, and, combined with micro-scale geophysical and magnetic monitoring surveys, 2D and 3D heterogeneities in THMC behaviour were illumnated. These monitoring technologies were integrated with experiments to gain a predictive understanding of the THMC evolution of clay-based engineered barriers, and their interfaces, up to the upper-bound of realistic environmental conditions. Interfaces comprised of joints within the clay as well as interfaces to the surrounding rock, cement and waste container. Experiments and modelling focused on the effects of strong gradients in temperature (<150 degrees C), low pH cements and high salinity (10-40 g/l) across the EBS interfaces, and on the fingering of flow along joints and interfaces that may give rise to a heterogeneous THMC system response.
Period 30-Sep-2012 - 29-Mar-2017
What happens to groundwater chemistry during fault slip: implications for rock friction (£1.2K)
Stillings, Mark (Principal Investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Lord, Richard (Co-investigator)
Mimicking the pressure changes in groundwater during earthquakes. Changes in groundwater pressure can trigger precipitation and dissolution of minerals, changing water chemistry and fracture surfaces. This in turn can lead to changes in rock friction, potentially increasing the magnitude of future earthquakes.
Period 31-Mar-2018 - 31-Mar-2019
Groundwater geochemistry changes during unloading due to reservoir drainage - pilot study (£7K)
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator) Stillings, Mark (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator)
Use of NERC Isotope Community Support Facility, application IP-1583-1115
Period 01-Feb-2016
Groundwater geochemistry changes during unloading due to reservoir drainage: Main study (£25K)
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator) Stillings, Mark (Post Grad Student) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator)
Use of NERC Isotope Community Support Facility Application IP-1762-1117 (£25K)
Period 01-Feb-2018
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | McKay, Lucy
Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) McKay, Lucy (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jul-2020

more projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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