Engineering and Information Sciences


Buddhima Indraratna

Current Positions:

- Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Wollongong
- Director, Centre for Geomechanics and Railway Engineering
- Program Leader, ARC Centre of Excellence in Geotechnical Sciences and Engineering


Tertiary Education:
- PhD in Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering, Uni. of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, 1987
- MSc in Soil Mechanics and Engineering Seismology, Imperial College, Uni. of London, UK, 1983
- BSc (Honours) in Civil Engineering, Imperial College, University of London, United Kingdom, 1982

Research Interests:

Ground Improvement including Sub-surface Drainage and Soft Clay Stabilisation; Large Scale Geotechnical Testing and Process Simulation, Railway Foundations, Jointed Rock Engineering, Geoenviornmental Engineering including Remediation of Acid Sulphate Soils, Flow through Porous and Jointed media including Dam Filters, Dams and Embankment Engineering, Numerical & Analytical Modelling; Ground Instrumentation

Research Grants:
Over 15 million dollars of Research Grants under Australian Research Council (Linkage and Discovery), and Cooperative Research Centre for Railway Engineering during the past decade.

Professional Activities:

Fellow, Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Australia (FTSE)
Fellow, Institution of Engineers Australia (FIEAust)
Fellow, Geological Society of England (FGS)
Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (FASCE)
Fellow, Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (FIE)
Fellow, Australasian Inst. of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM)
Chartered Professional Engineer of Australia (CPEng)
Chartered Engineer, United Kingdom (CEng)
Member, Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London (MIMM)

Australian representative in several Technical Committees of International Society of Soil mechanics & Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) (Transportation Geotechnics, Ground Improvement, Coastal and River Disaster Mitigation and Rehabilitation and Foundation Engineering for Difficult Soft Soil Conditions)

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER for the following Journals:
(i) ASCE, J. of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Eng.,
(ii) Canadian Geotechnical Journal.
(iii) Ground Improvement, ICE London
(iv) Geomechanics and Geoengineering, Taylor and Francis.
(v) Geomechanics and Engineering, Techno Press,

SPECIAL INVITATIONS (more details given in the list of publications)
More than 44 Invited Keynote and Theme Papers at prestigious international conferences.
Selected recent papers include:
Keynote Paper: Ninth International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways, and Airfields Trodheim, Norway (BCRRA'13), 2013
Keynote Paper: Indian Geotechnical Conference, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 2013
Keynote Paper: First International Conference on Foundation and Soft Ground Engineering Challenges in Mekong Delta, Binh Duong, Vietnam, 2013
General Reporter: 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ICSMGE), TC202- Transportation Geotechnics., Paris, France, 2013
State of the Art Report: Seventh International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, Chicago, USA, 2013
Keynote Paper: International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 2012
Keynote Paper: Eighth International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways, and Airfields University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (BCR2A'09), 2009

PhD Research Students Supervision:
Successful Completion of over 40 PhD graduates. Selected PhD research of graduates who are holding prestigious industry and academic positions include:
1. Analysis of Prefabricated Vertical Drains in Soft Ground, I. Redana (1998) Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia
2. Constant Normal Stiffness Behaviour of Rock Joints, A. Haque (1999) Senior Lecturer Monash University, Melbourne.
3. Coupled Water-Air flow through rock joints, P. Ranjith (2000)- Professor Monash University, Melbourne.
4. Acid Sulphate Soils Remediation by Groundwater Table Management, B. Blunden (2000)-Senior Environmental Engineer BHP-Billiton, Wollongong.
5. Behaviour and Design of Dam Filters, M. Locke (2001)- Principal Engineer, GHD, Melbourne.
6. Floor Failure Mechanisms in underground mines, J. Nemcik (2003)-Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong.
7. Acid Sulphate Soils Remediation by Tidal Buffering, W.Glamore (2003)- Senior Geoenvironmental Scientist, Water Resources Research Centre, Manly, Sydney.
8. Behaviour of Vertical Drains with Vacuum Preloading, C. Bamunawita (2003)-Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey Geotechnics, Brisbane.
9. Dynamic Modelling of Recycled Ballast Stabilised with Geosynthetics, W. Salim (2004) Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Gold Coast, QLD.
10. Constant Normal Stiffness Shear Behaviour of Clay-Infilled Joints, S. Welideniya (2004) Senior Geotechnical Engineering, SRK Geotechnics, Perth.
11. Two-phase Flows in Jointed Rock, J. Price (2005)- Principal Engineer, SRK Geotechnics, Perth.
12. Modelling of Smear Effects with Cavity Expansion Theory for Mandrel Driven Vertical Drains, I. Sathananthan (2005) Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey Geotechnics, Brisbane.
13. Effect of Confining Pressure on Cyclic Behaviour and Degradation of Railway Ballast, J. Lackenby (2005)-Senior Engineer, ANSTO, Lucas Site.
14. Modelling of Radial Drainage with Vacuum Pressure in Geosynthetic Drains, R. Cholachat (2005)-Associate Professor, Uni. of Wollongong.
15. Application of Vacuum Pressure through Unsaturated Vertical Drains in Soft Clay, R. Walker (2005) Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey Geotechnics, Sydney
16. Shear behaviour of Clay-infilled Rock Joints under Triaxial Shearing, M. Jayanathan (2006). Senior Geotechnical Engineer, SRK Geotechnics, Perth.
17. Filtration Modelling in Granular Soils, A. Raut (2006). Principal Geotechnical Engineer, SMEC-International, Sydney.
18. Suction-Shear Strength Aspects of Native Vegetation for Rail Track Stability, B. Fatahi (2006). Senior Lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney
19. Constitutive Modelling of Chemically Treated Soils, T. Muttuwel (2007). Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey Geotechnics, Sydney
20. Filtration of Granular Media under Cyclic Conditions, L. Dominic (2009) Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey Geotechnics, Sydney
21. Shear strength of infilled clay joints, D. Oliveira (2009) Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey Geotechnics, Sydney
22. Acid sulphate soil remediation with permeable reactive barriers, G. Regimi (2011) Senior scientist, Water resources research centre, Manly
23. Cyclic densification of ballast, P. Thakur (2011) Senior geotechnical engineer, SMEC-International, Brisbane.
24. Cyclic behaviour of soft clay, N Jing (2012) Lecturer, Shanghai UST
25. Deformation of geogrid stabilised fouled ballast in rail tracks, N. Trung (2012) Lecturer, UOW
26. Geotechnical study of engineering behaviour of fouled ballast, N. Tennakoon (2012) Research Fellow, UOW
27. Deformation behaviour of geosynthetically reinforced ballast, S. Hussaini (2013) Lecturer, IIT-Patna
28. The role of PVD and vaccum preloading on viscoplastic behaviour of soft soil, K. Kianfar (2013) Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Coffey Geotechnics, Wollongong
29. Erodible soil stabilised by lignosulphonate, R. Athukorala (2013) Research Fellow, UOW
30. Post compaction characteristics of unsaturated silty sand, A. Heitor (2013) Lecturer, UOW
31. Influence of infill saturation on the shear strength of soil-infilled rock joints, W. Premadasa (2013) Lecturer, Kotelawala defence academy, Sri Lanka
32. Clogging of permeable reactive barriers in acid sulphate soil terrains, U. Pathirage (2014) Research Fellow, UOW

Recent Consulting Activities:
An active consultant to a large number of national and multi-national geotechnical firms, local Councils and overseas Government Departments and Ministries during the past 15 years.

Port Kembla Port Corporation, Outer Harbour Reclamation (2009- current)
BHP-Billiton, Construction potential of coal wastes (2009 - current)
Port of Brisbane Corporation, Port Reclamation and Ground Improvement (2008)
Coffey Geotechnics, Port of Brisbane Development (2006).
Arup Geotechnics, Design and analysis of rail track near Newcastle, NSW (2005-2007)
Shoalhaven City Council, Remediation of Acid Sulphate Soil problems (2000-2004).


2013 Vice-Chancellor's award for Excellence in Research Partnerships
2012 Robert M. Quigley, Honourable Mention Award by the Canadian Geotechnical Society
2012 Eurasian University Medal
2011 Engineers Australia Transport Medal
2010 Vice-Chancellor's Award Outstanding Research - Senior Researcher Category
2009 EH Davis Memorial Award, Australian Geomechanics Society and Inst. of Engineers, Australia
2009 B-HERT (Business-Higher Education Round Table) award: Most Outstanding Research and Development Collaboration for Rail Track Innovations in Australia
2009 Honorary Professor, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, in recognition of contributions to Ground Improvement
2009 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Collaborative Industry Partnerships-Highly Commended
2008 IACMAG Award: Excellent Contributions: Regional awarded by the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG), 2008
2008 IACMAG outstanding paper award in the area of vertical drains and vacuum preloading
2007 Robert M. Quigley, Honourable Mention Award by the Canadian Geotechnical Society
2007 Vice-Chancellor's Challenge Grant for Research, University of Wollongong
2006-2007 Australian Academy of Sciences Award for European Research Collaboration
2006 Wollongong Trailblazer Open Competition 2006 - First Prize for research innovation; Ground improvement methods for roads and rail infrastructure
2006 Australian Geomechanics Society award for Best Paper at the Young Geotechnical Engineers Soft Soil Engineering Symposium, AGS, Sydney. Fatahi, B. and Indraratna, B. Soft Soil Improvement Induced by Tree Root Suction (paper presented by B. Fatahi, PhD student)
2001 Ministry of Science & Technology (Sri Lanka) Commendation for Sri Lankan Expatriates for outstanding contributions to economic and infrastructure development
2001 Vice-Chancellor's Challenge Grant for Research, University of Wollongong
2001 Late Sirima Bandaranaike Felicitation for contributions to Soft Clay Engineering, Ministry of Science & Technology, Sri Lanka
1999 Swedish Geotechnical Society Award at the 12th European Conference on Soil Mechanics for contribution to the field of ground improvement, 1999
1984 - 1987 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Award for Doctoral research at University of Alberta, Canada

Future Research Topics:

Multidisciplinary research areas encompassing transportation, mining and geoenvironmental issues.

Research Students

  • Dongli Zhu : A Study on Interaction Between Pile and Prefabricated Vertical Drain in Soft Clay
  • Pubudu Jayathilaka : influence of osmotic suction with tree roots on stability of surrounding soil
  • Shay Haq : Geohydraulics of Granular Filters under Extreme Conditions for Dams and Railways
  • BABAR Sajjad : Modelling Transition Zones and Optimal Design Adjoining Tunnels and Bridges
  • Minh Nghi Phan : Lattice Boltzman Method(LBM) coupled with Discrete Element Method (DEM) to model mud pumping under railways.
  • Fatima Mehmood : Use of Rubber Tyres with Compacted Infill Materials to Minimise Track Degradation
  • Mihimal Kadurugamuwa : Application of Dynamic Consolidation with Vertical Drains for problematic railway subgrades
  • Ameyu Tucho : Heavy Haul Railroad Design Upgrading Based On Fundamental Track Dynamics
  • Bibek Baral : PVD-Pile Hybrid System under cycles loads applied as Soft Subgrade Solis
  • Hoang Minh Truong : Cyclic Behaviour and Associated Deformation of Subgrade Soil Subjected to Mud Pumping in Heavy Haul Railroads
  • Miriam Tawk : Role of Unsaturation in Compacted Waste Materials for Transport Infrastructure
  • Chuhao Liu : Improved performance of stabilised ballast in Rail Tracks
  • Rakesh Sai Malisetty : 'Dynamic Track Analysis Considering the Effect of Rayleigh Waved Generated by Fast Heavy Haul Trains'
  • Mandeep Singh : Role of Prefabricated vertical drains in mitigating the effects of mud-pumping
  • Senura Athuraliya : Biological and Geochemical clogging of Piezometers in low-lying acid sulphate soils
  • Courage Dzaklo : Application of Natural and or stabilized black soils as a sub-structural fills for railway track foundations
  • Waranga Habaraduwa Peellage : Effect of Cyclic Loading on the stability of bedded or sediment infilled jointed rock with special reference to rail tunnels.
  • Chathuri Kulappu Arachchige : Experimental and Numerical Study of Granular (Ballast) Matrix with a Finer Rubber Fraction Subjected to Cyclic Loading
  • Soumyaranjan Mishra : Application of waste off-the road tyres in improving the lateral confinement in railway track