Personal profile

Research interests

Can we develop new, more sustainable building materials based on past knowledge? Can we decode the empirical knowledge of the past, translate it into modern scientific knowledge, and use this to develop new construction materials that are more respectful of the environment?
Giovanni’s research interests are centered around the development of low- and zero-carbon construction materials inspired by the past, tailored to tomorrow’s construction industry.
Giovanni’s multidisciplinary background allows him to understand the needs of the modern construction industry and bring these inside the laboratories where the new materials are developed. His expertise in the field of material culture (developed at the Institute for the History of Material Culture of Genoa, Italy) allows him to learn from the empirical knowledge of the past, and use this to further our knowledge of the past societies and to develop innovative construction materials.
Giovanni is a leading expert in lime and is passionately interested in traditional construction materials.


Giovanni L. Pesce (Gianluca) is an Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Northumbria University Newcastle.

Giovanni obtained his Master’s degree in Architecture (focussed on the conservation of historic buildings) in 1999 at the University of Genoa (Italy), with a thesis in building archaeology supervised by Prof. Tiziano Mannoni.

After graduation, he worked as a specialist in building pathology and building archaeology at the “Institute for the History of Material Culture” of Genoa and at Ipsilon p.s.c.r.l.

In 2006 he obtained a PhD in "Materials Engineering for the Science of Construction" (University of Genoa), with a thesis on the use of meta-kaolin as hydraulic additive in new lime-based construction materials.

From 2006 to 2010 he collaborated with the Department of Sciences for Architecture of the University of Genoa on a number of projects as a specialist in material characterization, building pathology and building archaeology.

In 2010 he moved to the UK where he studied the carbonation process in new lime-based construction materials. In 2014 he obtained a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Bath.

From 2013 to 2016 he worked at the University of Bath as a post-doctoral research associate on the EPSRC project: "Experimentally verified Atomistic modelling of lime in construction materials" (P.I. Dr. Richard J. Ball; C.I. Prof. Stephen Parker)

In 2016 he joined Northumbria University Newcastle as a Lecturer.

Giovanni is a member a various professional organizations such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3), the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE).

Education/Academic qualification

Civil Engineering, PhD

20 Oct 201025 Jun 2014

Award Date: 30 Jun 2014

Materials Engineering, PhD

5 Jan 200219 May 2006

Award Date: 19 May 2006

Architecture, MSc

15 Sept 199020 Apr 1999

Award Date: 20 Apr 1999

External positions

University of Bath

Sept 201631 Aug 2019


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