Sustainable Self-Healing Concrete Research: Faculty Presentation, Hosted by WPI Voyagers

WPI Professors Scarlata and Rahbar



The WPI community is invited to join us for a virtual faculty presentation highlighting their sustainable research substitute for concrete and more. Learn more about the need, the science, and the process!


Meet the Presenters

Suzanne Scarlata is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at WPI. She enjoys the study of how small molecules in the bloodstream can change the behavior of cells. In particular, her interests lie with how certain hormones and neurotransmitters can activate a family of organic molecules known as G proteins which are involved in transmitting signals from various stimuli from the exterior to the interior of cells. G proteins help control how cells move, divide, and change structure; the signaling pathways they mediate are integral to a wide array of biological functions, including sensory perception, the regulation of the heart, nervous system, and reproduction, and the development of cancer. 

Nima Rahbar is Associate Professor for Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at WPI, specializing in the area of mechanics of materials and structures. His favorite aspect of teaching is working one-on-one with graduate and undergraduate students on research projects. He is particularly interested in the bioinspired design of materials and structures. In this field, studying biological materials leads to the design of high-performance materials and structures.


As a team, they have recently received $692,386 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve and develop new functions for their Enzymatic Construction Material (ECM), a “living” low-cost negative-emission construction material they created to address one of the largest contributors to climate change—concrete—by providing what they refer to as “a pathway to repair or even replace [traditional] concrete in the future.” Rahbar and Scarlata have already made their research available for commercial use through a start-up called Enzymatic, Inc.; this new funding will also allow them to: 

  • explore new avenues for ECM’s use, including repairing cracks in different types of glass, such as eyeglass lenses, cell phone screens, and car windshields, and
  • develop a program to educate diverse populations of underprivileged girls—in Worcester and in Africa—about engineering and construction. 


Wednesday, January 11, 2023 on Zoom

1:45pm EST - Welcome Remarks / Faculty Presentation / Q&A
3:00pm EST - Program Concludes with an Optional Guest Social


This presentation will be held on Zoom and your personal login URL will be provided in your registration confirmation email. Please check your alternate, Junk or Spam folders if you do not receive your email to your primary Inbox.

Inquiries? Contact Maureen Maynard at or 508-831-5606.

Program hosted by WPI Voyagers. Learn more about this long-standing organization and view their upcoming programming here.


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Contact Person
Maureen Maynard, Office of Lifetime Engagement