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Department of Architecture



Nilmini Dissanayake is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Natural Material Innovation (CNMI) within the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. Nilmini is currently involved in the EU Horizon funded project WOODCIRCLES, an innovative project aims to improve the circularity of wood used in construction by reusing and recycling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and materials consumption. Nilmini will assess sustainability using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to quantify the environmental impact when reused and recycled wood is used for construction.

Nilmini completed her PhD at the University of Plymouth on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for flax fibre reinforced polymer matrix composites. She worked at the University of Exeter as a postdoctoral Researcher on a project funded by EPSRC to improve mechanical properties of natural fibre reinforced composites for potential use in automotive body panels. Following a 5-year career break, she joined NPL as a Higher Research Scientist, having been awarded a Daphne Jackson Fellowship in 2018 to return to research. During the fellowship, Nilmini investigated the influence of moisture uptake on natural fibre reinforced polymer matrix composites using accelerated aging techniques, and mechanical creep was modelled using TTSP (Time-temperature super positioning) by DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis). She led projects in sustainability of fibre reinforced composites and durability of natural fibre reinforced composites. Her work included, investigating the data quality and measurement gaps that exist within the LCA framework for composites, developing a set of recommendations and guidelines to improve the data quality and investigating traceability of recycled carbon fibre.

Nilmini is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), Chartered Scientist (CSci) and a fellow of Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (FIMMM). She is a member of the IOM3 Advisory Council as the Southeast Regional Representative and also involved with the IOM3 Natural Materials Group (NMG), Sustainability working group of the Composites group and the Bioladies Network.

Research Associate – Centre for Natural Material Innovation