Associate Professor Johnny Ho

Associate Professor

School of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology


Johnny Ho joined School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland (UQ) in Sep 2013 as a Senior Lecturer. Before joining UQ, Dr Ho has been working in both Hong Kong and Brisbane offices of Arup from 2003 to 2007 on some large scale infrastructure projects such as The Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong and Ipswich Motorway Upgrade (Wacol to Darra) in Queensland, Australia. In Sep 2007, he joined the Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor. Dr Ho’s research interests are on scientific study on dilatancy of High-flowability and -perfromance concrete due to poly-carboxylate based superplasticizers and its application to concrete-filled steel tubular (CFST) and FRP-confined concrete structures. He has developed discrete element modelling of binary packing of 2D discs and 3D spheres using Python and C++ coding. This model, combined with the rheological model of superplasticized concrete, will contribute a more scientific concrete mix design method for low-carbon-footprint, low cost and high performance concrete (HPC) based on wet packing modelling of particles in the fresh concrete with incorporation of multi-sized fillers. Dr Ho is also interested in applying the low-carbon-footprint high-performance concrete to single- and double-skinned concrete-filled-steel-tube and FRP-confined columns with external steel confinement and/or internal concrete expansive agent.

Dr Ho has published over 100 SCI journal papers and 40 conference papers. Two of his journal papers have been awarded the Transactions Prizes in respectively 2004 and 2005 presented by The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. In 2011, Dr Ho was awarded the Best Presenter in the 11th International Conference on Concrete Engineering and Technology in Malaysia. In 2010, one of his students was awarded The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers Outstanding Paper Award for Young Engineers/Researchers. Dr Ho has also been very successful in obtaining research and teaching grants, including a HK$1.2m General Research Fund (GRF) grant in Hong Kong in 2010, an A$286K ARC Discovery Project (DP) grant in 2015 and a CNY$600K National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant in 2020 in PRC. Dr Ho has also been very successful in supervision of undergraduate student in performing their final year projects/thesis. In 2012 and 2013, two of his Final Year Project students were given the Merit Awards of the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) Hong Kong Graduates and Students Papers Competition for the outstanding project work. In 2017, his thesis project student were awarded The HKIE Outstanding Paper Award for Young Engineers/Researchers by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and was awarded HKD$5,000 cash prize and a return ticket to and accomodation in Hong Kong for presenting his awarded paper.

Dr Ho is a passionate teacher and one of the most popular lecturers amongst the students. He is responsbile for teaching a broad range of structural engineering courses, which consist of Reinforced concrete design as per EC2, AS3600 and Hong Kong Code, Prestressed concrete design as per EC2 and AS3600, Structural analysis, Finite element method, Design of steel structures as per AS4100, Structual fire engineering. Dr Ho obtained very high teaching (92%) and course (85%) evaluation scores in every semester since 2013 and was awarded the "Most Effective Teacher by Dean’s Commendation Students" in the Faculty of EAIT, UQ, in 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Research Interests

  • Packing density physical modelling
    Coding developing of modelling packing of multi-sized spheres
  • low-carbon-footprint and high-performance concrete using fillers
    Study of the effect of pozzolanic and inert fillers on the strength, workability and durability performance of concrete
  • Stress-strain model of confined concrete with silica fume
    Study of the effect of adding silica fume on the wet packing density and the constitutive modelling of confined concrete
  • Rheology of cement powder paste
    Investigation of the dilatancy swerve in superplasticized cement powder paste and mortar

Research Impacts

To respond to global warming, my research advocates the use of low-carbon footprint high-performance concrete by designing scientifically concrete mixes using theory of packing density, filler technology and concrete/mortar/paste rheometry. The application of this type of concrete in hybrid-confined concrete-filled-steel-tube and FRP-confined conrete columns not only can improve the structural performance and safety of buildings and infrastructures, but also cut down the carbon footprint of the whole construction industry that offers Australia a more sustainable living environment. Theoretical dsicrete element models about the packing of binary 2D discs and 3D spherical particles are produced that will help the future investiagtion of the effect of particle packing in the design mix of concrete and hence developing method for concrete mix design using optimized particle size distribution.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Hong Kong


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Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.