Faculty Profile

Nishant Garg

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nishant Garg
Nishant Garg
Assistant Professor
2129 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-9448

Primary Research Area

  • Construction Materials


  • Ph.D. in Nanoscience at Aarhus University, 2015
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering Materials at Iowa State University, 2012
  • B.E. in Civil Engineering at Thapar University, 2010


Nishant Garg is an Assistant Professor in the CEE department working on the chemistry and characterization of construction materials.

Previously, he was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher at Princeton University where he applied X-ray and neutron scattering to characterize novel and sustainable cements. He obtained his Ph.D. in Nanoscience at Aarhus University, Denmark in 2015 where he used solid-state NMR to study cements and clay minerals. With his multi-disciplinary background in chemistry, materials science, and civil engineering he has spent his research career in developing a fundamental understanding of sustainable, durable, and environment-friendly cement-based materials.

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 10/2018 - Present
  • Lecturer, Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials, Princeton University, 01/2018 - 06/2018
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University, 01/2016 - 10/2018

For more information

Research Statement

Prof. Garg's research revolves around the fundamental and nanoscale characterization of cement-based materials using various spectroscopic and scattering techniques. His research goal is to gain a thorough understanding of novel, sustainable cements using a multi-disciplinary, materials science approach.

Graduate Research Opportunities

I'll be hiring a couple of graduate students starting from Fall 2019. If you're interested, please mention your interest to work with me in your formal application.

Research Interests

  • Mineral reactivity and dissolution
  • Nanoscale characterization of cement-based materials
  • Cement chemistry

Research Areas

Selected Articles in Journals

  • White, C. E.; Garg, N.; Olds, D. P.; Vocaturo, J.; Everett, M.; Page, K.; ￿A uniaxial load frame for performing in situ neutron studies of stress-induced changes in cementitious materials and related systems￿ Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 092903, 2018.
  • Yang, K.; ￿cȩlik, V. O.; Garg, N.; Gong, K.; and White, C. E.; ￿Drying-induced atomic structural rearrangements in sodium-based calcium-alumino-silicate-hydrate gel and the mitigating effects of ZrO2 nanoparticles￿ Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 20 (13), 8593-8606, 2018.
  • Garg, N.; White, C. E.; ￿Mechanism of zinc oxide retardation in alkali-activated materials: an in situ X-ray pair distribution function investigation￿ Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 5, 11794￿11804, 2017.
  • Garg, N.; Skibsted, J.; ￿Pozzolanic reactivity of a calcined interstratified illite/smectite (70/30) clay￿ Cement and Concrete Research, 79, 101-111, 2016.
  • Garg, N.; Wang, K.; ￿Estimating efficiency of fly ashes: an alternative definition of k values￿ Journal of Sustainable Cement Based Materials, 4, 25-33, 2015.
  • Garg, N.; Skibsted, J.; ￿Thermal activation of a pure montmorillonite clay and its reactivity in cementitious systems￿ Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 118:21, 11464-11477, 2014.
  • Wang, X., Wang, K., Li, J., Garg, N., & Shah, S. P. ￿Properties of self-consolidating concrete containing high-volume supplementary cementitious materials and nano-limestone￿ Journal of Sustainable Cement-Based Materials, 3 (3-4), 245￿255, 2014.
  • Garg, N.; Wang, K.; Martin, S.W. ￿A Raman spectroscopic study of the evolution of sulfates and hydroxides in cement￿fly ash pastes￿ Cement and Concrete Research, 53, 91-103, 2013.
  • Garg, N.; Wang, K.; ￿Comparing performance of different clays on fly ash modified mortars￿ Journal of Sustainable Cement Based Materials, 1:3, 111-125, 2012.

Invited Lectures

Other Publications

Conferences Organized or Chaired

  • Co-chair of 10th Advances in Cement-based Materials Conference, of American Ceramic Society, Cements Division scheduled in Urbana, Illinois for June 2019.
  • Co-organizer of the session on cementitious materials in the division of Geochemistry at 253rd American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, California, April 2017

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Ceramic Society, 2016 - Present

Teaching Honors

  • Princeton ￿Writing in Science & Engineering￿ Teaching Fellowship, 2017

Research Honors

  • Journal of European Ceramic Society (JECS) Trust Grant, 2018
  • Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship, Federal Highway Administration, 2011