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Marijana Serdar - Phenomenological Modelling of Carbonation-Induced Corrosion of Radioactive Waste Disposal Structures (PHENEMICS)

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Marijana Serdar is our fellow from the outgoing scheme. She has implemented her 36 months long NEWFELPRO project called Phenomenological Modelling of Carbonation-Induced Corrosion of Radioactive Waste Disposal Structures (PHENEMICS) at Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, CEA in France and she came to complete and diseminate the results of the project at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Marijana Serdar has been employed at the Department of Materials, Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb since December 2005. Since 2011 she holds a Ph.D. degree from the scientific field of technical science. During the present work, she has participated in national scientific and technological projects funded by the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia, the National Science Foundation, the Unity through Knowledge Fund (UKF), the Bicro Agency and in the application and implementation of a number of international projects in COST, LIFE, FP6, FP7, CIP Eco-Innovation. She is also the head of a bilateral project between the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Zagreb and Ecole normale supérieure Paris-Saclay (ENS Cachan), which was accepted for funding under the Cogito program in 2017.

Her NEWFELPRO project is regarding three prominent scientific and technical topics: solutions for long-term disposal of radioactive waste, nano- and micro-scale techniques for evaluating macro-scale properties of materials, and use of sustainable materials in nuclear and civil engineering concrete facilities. In radioactive waste disposal structures, corrosion of reinforcement in concrete is recognised as one of the jeopardising phenomena that could lead to alterations and instabilities, such as release of radionuclides, uncontrolled underground degradation, and irretrievability, mostly due to the several hundred years of exposure of concrete in changing environment. The aim of the project is to propose a phenomenological model to the entire propagation process of carbonation-induced corrosion of reinforced concrete structures used for radioactive waste disposal. The model needs to couple chemistry-transport and mechanical damage models, but also to describe all interconnected and consequential phases of this specific corrosion process.

During her project implementation, she participated in scientific conferences, submitted scientific papers for publishing in journals and performed outreach activities. Some of these publications and activities include:

During her return phase, she obtained Assistant Professor position at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb, where she is currently trying to set up a laboratory for microstructural analysis of alternative and sustainable construction materials and apply for scientific projects to funding sheme such as Croatian Science Foundation and Horizon 2020.
The main added value of her NEWFELPRO experience she considers to be the opportunity to spread her research interest to other scientific fields, with low risk and high support from the Ministry. For her, the main value of research mobility is knowledge and experience gain, personal enrichment and openness, as well as new perspective and appreciation of home once one returns.