Mainly engaged in research on cement process and cement chemistry, and has made outstanding contributions to the research on alkali-aggregate reaction, microstructure of steel slag, delayed expansion of magnesium oxide in concrete, nuclear waste solidification by cement materials, etc.
An expert in hydraulic engineering construction, Ma has hosted and participated in the construction of over 20 hydropower stations, including the Lubuge hydropower station and Manwan hydropower station. He has explored and improved the construction technologies for underground engineering and earth-rockfill dams, which include internationally advanced high-pressure inclined shaft construction technology, rock bolt crane girder construction technology, and high-pressure bifurcated tunnels without steel lining construction technology. Ma has also developed various project management models, which aided the enrichment and development of the scientific management of construction projects. Due to his research achievements, Ma is the recipient of more than 10 national and provincial scientific and technological progress awards.