The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment
(023) 8059 2924

Dr Mithila Achintha  BSc(Eng), PhD(Cambridge), PCAP(Southampton), FHEA

Lecturer in Structural Engineering , Deputy Admissions Tutor

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Dr Mithila Achintha is currently a University Lecturer in Structural Engineering at the University of Southampton.

My research focuses on computational, theoretical and experimental investigations on designing sustainable structures through innovative and efficient use of construction materials: concrete, Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP), and glass

Research interests

1)  Structural use of glass in buildings; Test methods for characterisation of glass and glass structures; Performance based design rules and development of industry-wide standards and codes of practice

2)  High performance glass facades; Design and optimisation of glass façades for structural safety and energy performance

3)  Glass–Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) composites; Post-fracture behaviour of glass–GFRP composites; Long-term performance and durability of glass–GFRP composites structures

4)  Efficient connections for glass structures; Glass–adhesive joints; Novel glass-to-glass and glass-to-metal joints; Strengthened and movement-tolerant joints

5)  Bespoke fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement for concrete structures

6)  Design and construction methods for non-conventional and non-rectangular concrete structures

7)  Structural characterisation of FRP for achieving sustainable construction; Structural integrity and durability of FRP materials and structures; Development of structure forms and fabrication methods for innovative structures

8)  Strengthening and repairing of existing structures

9)  Computational structural analysis and design; Computational modelling and theoretical simulation of materials and structures

Career History

2012- Lecturer in Structural Engineering, University of Southampton

2014 Visiting Scientist. Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore

2009-11 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford (Principal Investigator: Prof. David Nowell )

2007-08 Teaching Assistant. Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

2004-08 PhD Researcher. Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

(Supervisor: Prof. Chris Burgoyne )


2009 PhD in Structural Engineering. University of Cambridge

2003 BSc in Civil Engineering. University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

2015 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. University of Southampton

Key Publications

  • Achintha, M and Balan, B (2015). An experimentally validated contour method/eigenstrains hybrid model to incorporate residual stresses in glass structural designs. The Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design 50(8): 614-627. doi: 10.1177/0309324715601914
  • Balan, B and Achintha, M (2015). Assessment of stresses in float and tempered glass using eigenstrains. Experimental Mechanics 55(7):1301-15. doi: 10.1007/s11340-015-0036-y
  • Achintha, M and Burgoyne, CJ (2008). Fracture mechanics of plate debonding. Journal of Composites for Construction 12(4):396-404. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0268(2008)12:4(396)
  • Achintha, M and Burgoyne, CJ (2013). Fracture energy of the concrete–FRP interface in strengthened beams. Engineering Fracture Mechanics 110: 38-51. doi:10.1016/j.engfracmech.2013.07.016
  • You, C, Achintha, M, Soady, k and Reed, P (2016). Low cycle fatigue life prediction in shot-peened components of different geometries – Part II: Life prediction. Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures doi: 10.1111/ffe.12542

Full List of Publications

Google Scholar


Professional Affiliations and External Appointments

2016- Member – EPSRC Peer Review College

2015- Fellow – The Higher Education Academy

2015- Steering Committee member – ‘Construction Sector Group’, Composites UK

2016- Member – Façade Engineering and the Structural Use of Glass Study Group, the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)

2016- Member – Design Standing Committee, The Concrete society

2011-12 Member – EPSRC Network LIMESNET (Network for Low Impact Materials and Innovative Engineering Solutions for Ground and Structural Engineering)







Research interests

Research Interests and Recent Research Highlights

Characterisation and modelling residual stress in glass and its effect on structural design

An investigation into strong and ductile glass–GFRP composites

Movement-tolerant joints in glass structures

Load-bearing glass–adhesive joints

Bespoke fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement for concrete structures

Bond improvement methods for FRP internal reinforcement in concrete beams

Analysis of debonding failure of externally-bonded FRP systems on concrete

Assessment of life extending surface treatment technologies for metallic structures

Research Grants and Awards

2016       Co-Investigator. ‘Modelling shot peening and its effects on fatigue in Rolls-Royce Alloys’. Rolls-Royce. £10k

2015-18  Principal Investigator. ‘Strength analysis and failure prediction of glass–adhesive joints’. PhD studentship, A*STAR (Singapore). ~£65k

2014       Principal Investigator. ‘Strength and failure assessment of Glass–GFRP composites’. Annual Adventure Research Grant, University of                      Southampton.£5k

2014-16  Principal Investigator. ‘Intelligent structural forms for concrete structures’. R&D Enabling Fund Award, Institution of Civil Engineers. £25k

2014-16  Co-Investigator. ‘Mechanics and optimization of composite risers’. Awarded proposal to A*STAR (Singapore). ~£50k

2012-15  Principal Investigator. ‘Mechanics of prestressed structural glass’. Research Award, Institution of Structural Engineers. £5k

2012-15  Principal Investigator. ‘Analysis of strength of glass’. PhD studentship, University of Southampton. ~£55k

2009-11  Post-Doctoral Research Assistant (Researcher). ‘Structural integrity of components with deep compressive residual stresses’. EPSRC. £286k

Research Group Members

PhD students

StudentThesis titleExternal funding/collaborators
Ioannis Katsivalis
(joined September 2015)
Strength analysis and failure prediction of glass adhesive joints A*STAR (Singapore), SIMTech (Singapore)
Geoff Howell
(joined September 2013)
Development of a hybrid approach to residual stress assessment based on thermoelastic stress analysis and finite element modelling Inovate UK
Chao You
(joined September 2013)
Mechanism-driven fatigue lifing developments in turbine systems China Scholarship Council

MSc students

StudentDissertation titleExternal funding/collaborators
Tudor Zirbo (2016/17) Novel approach for strengthening glass joints against eccentric loads and dimensional tolerances Institution of Structural Engineers

Former PhD students

StudentThesis titlePresent occupation
Fikri Alami
CFRP Fabrics as internal reinforcement in concrete beams Lecturer, University of Lampung, Indonesia
Bogdan Balan
Analysis of strength of glass: modelling and experiments Structural Engineer, Computer and Design Services, UK

Former MSc students

StudentDissertation titleCurrent position
Mikhail Bessonov (2015/16) Strengthening joints in glass Graduate civil engineer, Mott MacDonald, UK
Siân Louise Harry (2015/16) Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) reinforcement–concrete bond Graduate Structural Engineer, Atkins, UK
Weihao Guo (2015/16) Strong and ductile float Glass–GFRP hybrid beams  
Sotira Gergiou (2013/14) Numerical investigation of failure/strain localisation in FRP wraps Structural Engineer, Ramboll, UK
Virginio Emiliano D’Adamo (2013/14) Structural behaviour of concrete beams reinforced with steel fibres  
Jin Cheng (2012/13) Novel FRP reinforcements for optimal concrete beams  

Affiliate research groups

Infrastructure Group, Engineering Materials


Book Chapter




Module CodeModule TitleRole
CENV2030 Structural Analysis Module Lead & Lecturer
CENV2026 Numerical Methods Module Lead & Lecturer
CENV2026 MATLAB Computer Labs Module Lead & Lecturer
CENV2026 ABAQUS Computer Labs Module Lead & Lecturer
FEEG3003 Individual Project Lecturer
FEEG6012 MSc Research Project Lecturer
FEEG6013 Group Design Project Lecturer


Individual Project (FEEG3003) Students

StudentYearProject Title
Alexander Gonzalez 2016/17 Strengthening glass joints with bonded GFRP straps: a numerical investigation
Jamai Soyemi 2016/17 Investigation of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) fabrics
Reinforcement–concrete bond
Jesmer Kanvar 2016/17 Mechanical prestressing of float glass
Adrian Tsang 2016/17 Mechanical behaviour of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) fabric reinforcements in concrete beams
Katerina Spaull 2015/16 An investigation into the structural strength and characteristics of foam core Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) fabric as concrete reinforcement
Xiaohan Mei 2015/16 Parametric study of adhesive –glass Joint
Mikhail Bessonov 2014/15 Steel fibre reinforced concrete structural design
Edwin Stanzah 2014/15 Design of FRP roof trusses
Ali Al Tajjar 2013/14 Strength and ductility modelling of pre-load columns strengthened with FRP
Ian Palaczky 2013/14 Fibre reinforced concrete: structural design
Sotira Gergiou 2012/13 A unified method for strength and ductility analysis of
strengthened columns
Richard Morris 2012/13 Prediction of the strength of glass


We welcome outstanding researchers and forward-thinking organisations to join in and contribute to our research and development activities.


Industrial Partners

Our research is application-driven and we work closely with industry supporting the development and implementation of new ideas for the construction industry. We aim to develop new industrial partnerships with contractors, architects, asset owners, manufacturers, material suppliers, consultancies and designers. If you have a specific query that we may be able to help with, or whether you are seeking to develop a long term partnership, we look forward to hear from you.


The ways you can work with us include:


  • Collaborative research projects to meet specific needs of the industry
  • Partnering with us on industry-led projects (e.g. Innovate UK funded projects)
  • Developing your staff (e.g. engineering doctorates, Doctoral training Programmes)
  • Knowledge Transfer Programmes (KTP)
  • Consultancy
  • Testing materials and structures, and analysis and design of structures



Prospective post-doctoral researchers / PhD Students

PhD students and post-doctoral researchers (either you have already sorted out the funding for research or you are seeking funding for your research) interested in conducting research in our group are welcome to contact Dr Achintha at the earliest possible time. Competitions for post-doctoral research fellowships and PhD studentships are available throughout every year.


Collaboration with other researchers and research organisations

We always value working with other like-minded researchers for mutual benefits of both parties. If you are a researcher and you think that collaboration with us would be mutually beneficial please do contact us . The collaboration may be in the forms of: sharing data and resources, multidisciplinary research, technological advances, development of new research proposals, funding for research, joint publications, exchange of researchers, etc.



Dr Mithila Achintha

Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ




Dr Mithila Achintha elected to EPSRC Peer Review College

Dr Mithila Achintha was elected to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Peer Review College . Peer Review is a vital and transparent assessment process used by EPSRC to evaluate the research proposals received each year. Dr Achintha provides expert knowledge that allows EPSRC to make appropriate, considered decisions on funding in order to support for the highest quality research. As an academic member of the College, Dr Achintha is expected to provide reviews on up to eight research proposals each year.

Bogdan Balan completes PhD on ‘Analysis of Strength of Glass’

Bogdan Balan successfully defended his PhD thesis “Analysis of Strength of Glass”. The direct output of Bogdan’s PhD project is an experimentally validated finite element modelling technique that enables designers to incorporate the effect of residual stress in glass structural designs where the existing design guidelines unable to take into account for the residual stresses explicitly. Bogdan successfully modelled the residual stress distributions in float and tempered glass, and then stress evolutions in various key practical glass structural members under applied loads. In the second half of the thesis, Bogdan developed a novel form of glass–glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) hybrids which are stronger and ductile compared to conventional laminated glass. The findings of Bogdan’s research will help industry to improve safety and economy glass structures.

Dr Mithila Achintha speaks at AGM of IStructE Southern Regional Group

Dr Achintha delivered a talk at the AGM of the Southern Regional Group of the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) on 14th November 2016. Dr Achintha’s talk entitled “Recent Advances in Structural Glass Research” where he presented examples of novel forms of strong and ductile glass structural members and advanced numerical methods that can be used for design of complex glass structures.

Bogdan Balan’s work presented at CGC5

PhD student Bogdan Balan’s work on “Experimental and numerical investigation of float glass–GFRP hybrid beams” was presented at the Challenging Glass Conference 5 held in Ghent, Belgium.

Dr Mithila Achintha joins IStructE Façade Engineering and the Structural Use of Glass Study Group

Dr Achintha joined the “Façade Engineering and the Structural Use of Glass Study Group” of the Institution of Structural Engineering (IStructE). The Study Group aims to disseminate and advance knowledge in façade engineering and structural glass by bringing together consulting engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers and researchers. Currently, Dr Achintha is a part of the Steering Group and an author of a forthcoming publication “Structural aspects of cladding”.

Book chapter on “Sustainability of glass in construction” published

A book chapter “Sustainability of glass in construction”, authored by Dr Achintha, is available in a new text book “Sustainability of construction materials ”, published by Woodhead Publishing. The chapter starts with a general introduction to applications of float glass as a building construction material, followed by a description of physical, optical, chemical and thermal properties of glass. Features and benefits of using glass in buildings, such as daylighting, solar control, low emissivity, thermal insulation, noise/vibration control, self-cleaning and fire resistance are discussed in details. The sustainability of glass as a construction material, and recycling and reuse of glass are also discussed. Discussion on structural glass design, technical guidelines and recommendations for structural glazing and joints are also presented. The chapter concludes with a section on future trends. Further details can be found on the Elsevier website .

Invited research seminar at the University of Oxford

Dr Achintha delivered an invited research seminar at the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford on 6th June 2016. His talk was entitled “Structural Glass: From Brittle Glass to Ductile Glass–GFRP Hybrids”. For more information on the Abstract of the talk visit the University of Oxford website.

Research collaboration with SIMTech and A*STAR (Singapore)

Dr Achintha has secured funding from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore for a fundamental research project on load-bearing glass-adhesive joints. The research project is conducted in collaboration with Singapore Institute of Manufacturing (SIMTech).

Dr Mithila Achintha elected to HEA Fellowship

Dr Achintha was recently elected to Fellowship at the Higher Education Academy (HEA) . HEA is a British professional institution promoting excellence in higher education. HEA Fellowship is an international recognition of a commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education and demonstrates that practice of a Fellow is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework .

Research award from the Institution of Structural Engineers

Dr Achintha has recently secured Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Research Award , which is the largest grant IStructE makes through the institution’s Research Fund. This funding was used to demonstrate the efficacy of thin, prefabricated glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) laminates to prestress glass panels, and thereby to enable the development of strong and ductile glass structures using commercially available annealed glass. The grant was award based on the high quality of the research and its fulfilment of the industry focussed research challenge themes of the IStructE.

Dr Achintha appointed to steering committee of Composites UK Construction Sector Group

Dr Mithila Achintha was appointed to the steering committee of the Construction Sector Group (CSG) of Composites UK . As a steering committee member, he aims to facilitate a forum for discussion of common issues of working with fibre-reinforced polymer composites (FRPs) in construction industry and to find solutions to current difficulties, as well as outward facing dissemination of best practice. CSG also oversees the completion and publication of the FRP Bridge Design Guide.

Research award from Institution of Civil Engineers

Dr Achintha has recently secured the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Research and Development Enabling Fund Award for the research proposal entitled “Intelligent Structural Forms for Concrete Structures”. The funding was used to support the experimental works of a recently completed PhD project and a MSc research project . The projects experimentally investigated the load response and the failure behaviour of rectangular prismatic concrete beams reinforced with an innovative and efficient combined flexural and shear reinforcement system made from carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) fabric. It is anticipated that the findings of this research could be effectively used in other applications such as non-prismatic concrete geometries and as permanent formwork/reinforcement in thin concrete members where the flexible characteristics of dry CFRP fabrics are most useful.

Mikhail Bessonov wins MSc research grant from IStructE

MSc student Mikhail Bessonov won one of the IStructE MSc Research Awards (2015/16) for his project “Strengthening joints in glass”. Details of our research on this area can be found on the Movement-tolerant joints in glass structures research project page.

Invited research seminar at the University of Cambridge

Dr Achintha delivered an invited research seminar at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge on 29th November 2013. His talk was entitled “Towards improved models for predicting residual stress in glass”. Abstract of this talk can be found on the University of Cambridge website .

Dr Mithila Achintha
Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number:7/5033

Telephone:(023) 8059 2924

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