Professor Emeritus Christopher Hall

School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh


Professorial Fellow


Professor of Materials, University of Edinburgh 1999-2010
Director, Centre for Materials Science and Engineering 2000-2010
Director, Leverhulme Project, Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions 2003-2005

Director of Research, School of Engineering and Electronics 2002-2008
Lifetime Senior Member, Robinson College, Cambridge 1989-
Visiting Professor, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester 1994-2016

Visiting Scientific Advisor, Schlumberger Cambridge Research 1999-2005
Faculty Visiting Fellow, Princeton University 1998
Brian Mercer Senior Award, Royal Society 2001
Visiting Scientist, DeltaMin Marie Curie Network 2009-2012
Scientific Advisory Board, The REDUPP Project, EURATOM 2011-2014

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2013
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2010 (Curator, 2017-2021)


***I am no longer accepting applications for PhD, PDRA or internship positions


Brief biography


Research Interests

My main scientific interests are in the chemistry and physics of materials and geomaterials used in construction and oilfield engineering, and the application of several advanced experimental methods. I have worked extensively on capillary liquid transport in porous construction materials (NMR imaging methods, measurement of transport properties and modelling of capillary flow). At present, my research activities are in experimental methods for studying reactive transport and chemomechanical processes in complex inorganic materials such as rocks and cement-based materials. Our recent work includes the development of synchrotron-based diffraction tomography; the application of scanning probe microscopy to mineral/water reactions; the hydrothermal chemistry of materials under deep borehole conditions; and engineering analysis and chemistry in archaeology and building conservation.


Hall’s Notes & Queries

Occasional comments are mostly additions to the book Water Transport in Brick, Stone and Concrete (Third Edition published in 2021), written with W D Hoff. Some are afterthoughts and clarifications, others new unpublished results.  There also some notes on other publications.

NQ1  Water absorption into a short bar

NQ2  Impact

NQ3 Water vapour permeability: Errors in BS EN ISO 12572:2016

NQ4  Hirschwald redux



Materials: A Very Short Introduction  [General interest]
Water transport in brick, stone and concrete, Third edition 2021, C Hall and W D Hoff [Research monograph].    A PDF e-book is available.  A new paperback of the third edition is published July 2023.
Polymer Materials [Textbook]


Google Scholar:  Publications and Citations


Recent Publications

  • A Hamilton, P Bots, H Zhou, B Liu, C Hall.  Clean-up of divalent cobalt ions by massive sequestration in a low-cost calcium silicate hydrate material. Scientific Reports 2024, v14, 7052. [DOI].
  • C Hall, G J Lo, A Hamilton. Invited review: Water vapour permeability of inorganic construction materials. Materials and Structures 2024, v57, 39. [DOI]
  • C Hall, G J Lo, A Hamilton. Measuring water vapour permeability using remote-reading humidity sensors. Measurement Science and Technology 2022, v34, 027004. [DOI].
  • C Hall and W D Hoff. Water transport in brick, stone and concrete.  Third edition. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, London and New York. 2021. [Errata]
  • C Hall, G J Lo, A Hamilton. Sharp-Front analysis of moisture buffering. RILEM Technical Letters 2021, v6, 78-81. [View]
  • C Hall and W D Hoff. Water transport in brick, stone and concrete [Chinese language edition], China Science Press, 2020. [ISBN 978-0-415-56467-0]
  • C Hall and V Pugsley. Spontaneous capillary imbibition of water and nonaqueous liquids into dry quarry limestones. Transport in Porous Media 2020, v135, 135, 619–631. [DOI].
  • Chi Feng, A S Guimaraes, N Ramos, L Sun, D Gawin, P Konca, C Hall, J Zhao, H Hirsch, J Grunewald, M Fredriksson, K K Hansen, Z Pavlik, A Hamilton, H Janssen. Hygric properties of porous building materials (VI): A round robin campaign. Building and Environment 2020, v185, 107242. [DOI]
  • C Hall and A Hamilton. A device for the local measurement of water evaporation rate. Measurement Science and Technology 2020, v31, 127001. [DOI]
  • C Hall. Capillary imbibition in cement-based materials with time-varying permeability. Cement and Concrete Research 2019, v124, 105835. [DOI]
  • R Maddalena, C Hall, A Hamilton. Effect of silica particle size on the formation of calcium silicate hydrate [C-S-H] by thermal analysis. Thermochimica Acta 2018, v672, 142-149.  [DOI]
  • C Hall, A Hamilton. Beyond the sorptivity: Definition, measurement, and properties of the secondary sorptivity. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering (ASCE) 2018, v30, 04018049. [DOI]
  • I Ioannou, C Charalambous, C Hall. The temperature variation of the sorptivity of construction materials. Materials and Structures 2017, v50, 208. [DOI] [View]
  • C Hall. Capillary water absorption by a porous cylinder, Journal of Building Physics 2017, v42, 120-124. [DOI]
  • C Hall, A Hamilton. Discussion of “Predicting water permeability in sedimentary rocks from capillary imbibition and pore structure” by D. Benavente et al. Engineering Geology (2015) [doi: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2015.06.003]. Engineering Geology 2016, v204, 121-122. [DOI]
  • C Hall, A Hamilton. Porosities of building limestones: using the solid density to assess data quality. Materials and Structures 2016, v49, 3969-3979. [DOI]
  • C Hall, A Hamilton. Porosity-density relations in stone and brick materials. Materials and Structures 2015, v48, 1265-1271. [DOI]
  • C Hall, W D Hoff, A Hamilton. Discussion of “Learning from failure of a long curved veneer wall: Structural analysis and repair” by Paulo B Lourenço and Pedro Medeiros. ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities 2014, v28, 629. [DOI]
  • I M Griffin, C Hall, A Hamilton. Unusual water transport properties of some traditional Scottish shale bricks. Materials and Structures 2014, v47, 1761-1771. [DOI]
  • A Hamilton, C Hall.  Mechanics of moisture-expansion cracking in fired-clay ceramics. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2013, v46, 092003. [DOI]
  • C Hall, A Hamilton, M A Wilson. The influence of temperature on rehydroxylation [RHX] kinetics in archaeological pottery. Journal of Archaeological Science 2013, v40, 305-312. [DOI]
  • C Hall. Comment on “Source-like solution for radial imbibition into a homogeneous semi-infinite porous medium”.  Langmuir 2012, v28, 8587.  [DOI]
  • M A Wilson, A Hamilton, C Ince, M A Carter, C Hall. Rehydroxylation [RHX] dating of archaeological pottery.  Proceedings of the Royal Society A 2012, v468, 3476-3493.  [DOI]
  • C Hall. Comment on “Imbibition in layered systems of packed beads” by Reyssat M et al. Europhysics Letters 2012, v98, 56003. [DOI]
  • A Hamilton, C Hall.  A review of rehydoxylation in fired-clay ceramics.  Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2012, v95, 2673-2678.  [DOI]
  • C Hall, W D Hoff. Moisture expansivity of fired-clay ceramic. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2012, v95, 1204-1207. [DOI]
  • C Hall. M A Wilson, W D Hoff. Kinetics of long-term moisture expansion in fired-clay brick. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2011, v94, 3651-3654. [DOI]
  • C Hall, A Hamilton, W D Hoff, H A Viles, J E Eklund. Moisture dynamics of walls: Response to microenvironment and climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society A 2011, v467, 194-211. [DOI]
  • A Hamilton, V Koutsos, C Hall. Direct measurement of salt-mineral repulsion using atomic force microscopy. Chemical Communications 2010, v46, 5235-5237. [DOI]
  • C Hall. Fundamentals of materials. In Manual of Construction Materials, Institution of Civil Engineers, ch 1, vol 1, 2010.
  • C Hall. Engineering properties of materials. In Manual of Construction Materials, Institution of Civil Engineers, ch 2, vol 1, 2010.
  • N Meller, K Kyritsis, C Hall. The hydrothermal decomposition of calcium monosulfoaluminate 14-hydrate to katoite hydrogarnet and beta-anhydrite: an in-situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction study. Journal of Solid State Chemistry 2009, v182, 2743-2747.  [DOI]
  • L Robinet, C Hall, K Eremin, S Fearn, J Tate. Alteration of soda silicate glasses by organic pollutants in museums: Mechanisms and kinetics. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 2009, v355, 1479-1488. [DOI]
  • M A Wilson, M A Carter, C Hall, W D Hoff, C Ince, S D Savage, B McKay, I M Betts. Dating fired-clay ceramics using long-term power law rehydroxylation kinetics. Proceedings of the Royal Society A 2009, v465, 2407-2415. [DOI]
  • K Kyritsis, N Meller, C Hall. Chemistry and morphology of hydrogarnets formed in cement-based CASH hydroceramics cured at 200° to 350°C. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2009, v92, 1105–1111. [DOI]
  • K Kyritsis, C Hall, D Bentz, N Meller, M A Wilson.  Relationship between engineering properties, mineralogy, and microstructure in cement-based hydroceramic materials cured at 200°–350°C. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2009, v92, 694–701. [DOI]
  • N Meller, K Kyritsis, C Hall. The mineralogy of the CaO–Al2O3–SiO2–H2O (CASH) hydroceramic system from 200 to 350 °C. Cement and Concrete Research 2009, v39, 45–53. [DOI]
  • I D H Oswald, A Hamilton, C Hall, W G Marshall, T J Prior, C R Pulham. In situ characterization of elusive salt hydrates: The crystal structures of the heptahydrate and octahydrate of sodium sulfate. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2008, v130, 17795-17800. [DOI]
  • A Hamilton, C Hall, L Pel. Sodium sulfate heptahydrate: direct observation of crystallization in a porous material. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2008, v41, 212002. [DOI]
  • C Hall, A Hamilton.  The heptahydrate of sodium sulfate: Does it have a role in terrestrial and planetary geochemistry?  Icarus 2008, v198, 277-279. [DOI]
  • S Savage, M A Wilson, M A Carter, B McKay, W D Hoff, C Hall. Mass gain due to the chemical recombination of water in fired clay brick. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2008, v91, 3396-3398. [DOI]
  • A Hamilton, C Hall.  Sodium sulfate heptahydrate: a synchrotron energy-dispersive diffraction study of an elusive metastable hydrated salt. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 2008, v23, 840-844. [DOI]
  • I Ioannou, A Hamilton, C Hall.  Capillary absorption of water and n-decane by autoclaved aerated concrete. Cement and Concrete Research 2008, v38, 766-771. [DOI]
  • J. Skibsted, C. Hall. Characterization of cement minerals, cements and their reaction products at the atomic and nano scale. Cement and Concrete Research 2008, v38, 205-225. [DOI].
  • S D Savage, M A Wilson, M A Carter, W D Hoff, C Hall, B McKay. Moisture expansion and mass gain in fired clay ceramics.: a two-stage (time)1/4 process. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2008, v41, 055402.  [DOI]
  • C Hall, W D Hoff.  Rising damp: capillary rise dynamics in walls. Proceedings of the Royal Society A 2007, v463, 1871-1884. [DOI].
  • A Hamilton, C Hall.  A note on the density of a calcium silicate hydrate board material. Journal of Building Physics 2007, v31, 69-70. [DOI]
  • C Hall, W D Hoff, H-W Reinhardt, A Pfingstner, M A Wilson, L Serino. Sequential imbibition of two immiscible liquids into concrete.  Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2007, v40, 4642-4646. [DOI]
  • N C Collier, M A Wilson, M A Carter, WD Hoff, C Hall, R J Ball, A El-Turki, G C Allen. Theoretical development and validation of a Sharp Front model of the dewatering of a slurry by an absorbent substrate.  Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2007, v40, 4049-4054. [DOI]
  • L Robinet, K. Eremin, C Coupry, C Hall, N Lacome. Effect of organic acid vapors on the alteration of soda silicate glass. Journal of Non-Crystallline Solids 2007, v353, 1546-1559. [DOI]
  • C Hall. Anomalous diffusion in unsaturated flow — fact or fiction?  Cement and Concrete Research 2006, v37, 378-385. [DOI]
  • L Robinet, C Coupry, K Eremin, C Hall. Raman investigation of the structural changes during alteration of historic glasses by organic pollutants. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 2006, v37, 1278-1286. [DOI]
  • L Robinet, C Coupry, K Eremin, C Hall. The use of Raman spectrometry to predict the stability of historic glasses. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 2006, v37, 789-797. [DOI]
  • C Vladu, C Hall, G C Maitland. Flow properties of freshly prepared ettringite suspensions in water at 25 °C. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2006, v294, 466-472.  [DOI]
  • F Marica, Q Chen, A Hamilton, C Hall, T Al, B J Balcom. Spatially resolved measurement of rock core porosity. Journal of Magnetic Resonance, 2006, v178, 136-141.  [DOI]]
  • L Robinet, K Eremin, S Fearn, C R Pulham, C Hall. Understanding glass deterioration in museum collections through Raman spectroscopy and SIMS analysis.  Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings 2005, v852, OO8.8.1-8.8.
  • I Ioannou, C Hall, W D Hoff, V A Pugsley, S D M Jacques.Synchrotron radiation energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction analysis of salt distribution in Lépine limestone. The Analyst 2005, v130, 1006-1008.  [DOI]
  • N Meller, C Hall, J S Phipps. A new phase diagram for the CaO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O hydroceramic system at 200 °C. Materials Research Bulletin 2005, v40, 715-723. [DOI]
  • A Hamilton, C Hall. Physicochemical characterization of a hydrated calcium silicate board material.  Journal of Building Physics 2005, v29, 9-19.
  • S L Colston, P Barnes, A C Jupe, S D M Jacques, C Hall, P Livesey, J Dransfield, N Meller, G C Maitland. An in situ synchrotron energy-dispersive diffraction study of the hydration of oilwell cement systems under high temperature/autoclave conditions up to 130 °C. Cement and Concrete Research 2005, v35, 2223-2232. [DOI]
  • I Ioannou, W D Hoff, C Hall. On the role of organic adlayers in the anomalous water sorptivity of Lepine limestone. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2004, v279, 228-234.
  • P Meredith, A M Donald, N Meller, C Hall. Tricalcium aluminate hydration: Microstructural observations by in-situ electron microscopy.  Journal of Materials Science 2004, v39, 997-1005.
  • N Meller, C Hall, A C Jupe, S L Colston, S D M Jacques, P Barnes, J Phipps. The paste hydration of brownmillerite with and without gypsum: a time resolved synchrotron diffraction study at 30, 70, 100 and 150 °C. Journal of Materials Chemistry 2004, v14, 428-435.
  • S Roels, J Carmeliet, H Hens, O Adan, H Brocken, R Cerny, C Hall, L Pel. A comparison of different techniques to quantify moisture content profiles in porous building materials. Journal of Thermal Envelope and Building Science 2004, v2, 261-276.
  • J Carmeliet, H Hens, S Roels, O Adan, H Brocken, R Cernik, Z Pavlik, C Hall. Determination of the liquid water diffusivity from transient moisture transfer experiments. Journal of Thermal Envelope and Building Science 2004, v27, 277-305. [DOI]
  • S Roels, J Carmeliet, H Hens, O Adan, H Brocken, R Cerny, Z Pavlik, C Hall. Interlaboratory comparison of hygric properties of porous building materials. Journal of Thermal Envelope and Building Science 2004, v27, 307-325.
  • I Ioannou, C Hall, M A Wilson, W D Hoff, M A Carter. Direct measurement of the wetting front capillary pressure in a clay brick ceramic.  Journal of Physics D; Applied Physics, 2003, v36, 3176-3182
  • M A Wilson, W D Hoff, C Hall, B McKay, A Hiley. Kinetics of moisture expansion in fired clay ceramics: a (time)1/4 law. Physical Review Letters 2003, v90, 125503.
  • C Hall, A Hunt. Sensing device transported by fluid flow. British Patent no GB 2,352,042, 5 Mar 2002.
  • C Hall, W D Hoff. Water Transport in Brick, Stone and Concrete, Taylor and Francis, London 2002.
  • J Skibsted, C Hall, H-J Jakobsen. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging of cements and cement-based materials. In J Bensted and P Barnes (eds) Structure and Performance of Cements, Second edn, Taylor and Francis London 2002.
  • C Hall, D Bosbach. Scanning probe microscopy: a new view of the mineral/water interface. In J. Skalny (ed.) Materials Science of Concrete, v6, American Ceramic Society, pp 101-128.
  • P Barnes, A C Jupe, S D M Jacques, S L Colston, J K Cockcroft, D Hooper, M Betson, C Hall, S Bare, A R Rennie, J Shannahan, M A Carter, W D Hoff, M A Wilson, M C Phillipson.  Tomographic energy-dispersive diffraction imaging of static and dynamic systems. Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation 2001, v17, 143-167.
  • A C Jupe, J K Cockcroft, P Barnes, S L Colston, G Sankar, C Hall.  The site occupation of Mg in the brownmillerite structure and its effect on hydration properties. Journal of Applied Crystallography 2001, v34, 55-61.
  • C Hall. Unsaturated flow. In Ion and Mass Transport in Concrete, Materials Science of Concrete Special Volume, American Ceramic Society, 2001, pp 29-57.
  • C Hall. Material analysis. United States Patent no 6,072,853 6 June 2000. [.pdf title page]
  • S C Taylor, C Hall, W D Hoff, M A Wilson. Partial wetting in capillary liquid absorption by limestones. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2000, v224, 351-357. [DOI]
  • C Hall, S L Colston, A C Jupe, S D M Jacques, R Livingston, A O A Ramadan, A W Amde, P Barnes. Non-destructive energy-dispersive diffraction imaging of the interior of bulk concrete. Cement and Concrete Research 2000, v30, 491-495.
  • P Barnes, S Colston, B Craster, C Hall, A Jupe, S Jacques, J Cockcroft, S Morgan, M Johnson, D O’Connor, M Bellotto. Time- and space-resolved dynamic studies on ceramic and cementitious materials. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 2000, v7, 167-177.