Nishant Garg

Nishant Garg
Nishant Garg
  • Assistant Professor
(217) 300-9448
2129 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg

Primary Research Area

  • Construction Materials

Research Areas

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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.


  • 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

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

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Concrete Institute, 2019 - Present
  • Member, American Ceramic Society, 2016 - Present

Service on Department Committees

  • Member, NSEL Advisory Committee (2020 - 2022)
  • Member, CEE Advisory Committee (2020 - 2022)

Research Interests

  • Development of Low-CO2 and Sustainable Cements
  • Solid Waste Management and Sustainability
  • Impact of Nuclear Radiation on Concrete Microstructure
  • Nano- and Atomic-scale Characterization of Cement-based Materials

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'm actively looking for multiple graduate students (MS & Ph.D.) to join my research group. If you're interested, please apply online and mention your interest to work with me in your formal application.

Primary Research Area

  • Construction Materials

Research Areas

For more information

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Garg, N.; Özçelik, V. O.; Skibsted, J.; White, C. E. ''Nanoscale Ordering and Depolymerization of Calcium Silicate Hydrates in the Presence of Alkalis.'' Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 123 (40), 24873–24883, 2019.
  • Garg, N.; and Skibsted, J.; ''Dissolution Kinetics of Calcined Kaolinite and Montmorillonite in Alkaline Conditions: Evidence for Reactive Al(V) Sites.'' Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 102 (0), 7720–7734, 2019
  • Özçelik, V. O.; Garg, N.; and White, C. E. ''Symmetry induced stability in alkali doped calcium-silicate-hydrate.'' Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 123, 22, 14081-14088, 2019.
  • 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.; Özcȩlik, 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.

Other Publications

Teaching Honors

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

Research Honors

  • Stephen Brunauer Award, American Ceramic Society, 2021
  • Journal of European Ceramic Society (JECS) Trust Grant, 2018

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