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Dr Madhusudhan B N Murthy PhD, M.Eng

Research Fellow

Dr Madhusudhan B N Murthy's photo

Dr Madhusudhan BN Murthy is Research Fellow of Infrastructure Geomechanics within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Madhusudhan BN Murthy (Madhu) is Research Fellow of Infrastructure Geomechanics. After graduation, he spent a year in construction industry, working as a design engineer in commercial/residential buildings. In 2005 he pursued study for his Master’s degree at U.V.C.E, Bangalore University, India, which he completed with first class. He further pursued academic research at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, and was awarded a PhD in 2012. On completion of his PhD he joined the The University of Hong Kong as a Post-doctoral fellow in Geotechnical Engineering. He joined the University of Southampton in 2014.

Madhusudhan Murthy’s research is mainly focusing on geotechnical and geophysical characterisation of natural soils, which has been supported up by research on advanced laboratory testing and instrumentation and by multi-disciplinary collaborations into the characterisation of difficult geomaterials, such as the decomposed granite and shallow sub-seafloor sediments. His research and current research themes are:

  • Mechanics and geophysics of hydrate bearing sediments.
  • Geotechnics and geophysics of shallow sub-seafloor sediments
  • Mechanics of natural and reconstituted soils
  • Dynamic properties of unsaturated soils
  • Characterising strength and volumetric behaviour of destructured chalk
Figure 1

Influence of methane hydrate on seafloor sediment engineering properties.

Methane hydrate dissociation due to climate change has been linked to submarine slope instability. The mechanics of hydrate bearing sediment not only allows evaluation of submarine slope instabilities, rather other research themes like geomechanics of gas hydrate exploration, identification and detection of hydrate or gas saturated sediments. Our research using newly built bespoke Gas Hydrate Triaxial apparatus (GHTx) and existing Gas Hydrate Resonant Column apparatus (GHRC) has shown significant differences in strength and stiffness of hydrates formed in various granular sediments and evolution/loss of strength during formation/dissociation process (Fig1).

Figure 2

Geotechnical and sedimentology characterisation of deep ocean sediments.

Submarine slides are common features of continental slopes worldwide and account for the displacement and transport of large volumes. They are often orders of magnitude larger than their subaerial equivalents and occur on low angle slopes (<2o). The resolution and quantity of geotechnical and sedimentological characterisation is principal requirement to understand and mitigate risks to lives and infrastructure. Our collaborative research work on AFEN deep ocean submarine slide has shown the subtle depositional variation in deep sea sediments, which require integrating geomechanics and sedimentology knowledge to identify and quantify seafloor instabilities (Fig2).

Figure 3

Dynamic properties of cohesionless soils and their role on ground response amplification

Site specific amplification of ground motion, as a function of frequency, is a fundamental component of earthquake hazard assessment. It is also a necessary requirement of any regional seismic hazard map. Soil dynamic properties such as stiffness, Poisson’s ratio and damping are fundamental constitutive parameters that are relevant also in design and maintenance of dynamic loaded foundations such as railway trackbed, highway foundations and offshore foundations. My research work has shown the dynamic properties are not only dependent on stress, state and strain, but also particle size and degree of saturation (Fig3).

Research projects

Mechanics of landslides

Submarine landslides can threaten human life and offshore/onshore infrastructure by displacing large volumes of seafloor sediments and by catastrophic tsunamis. Understanding the slope instability and landslide processes help us to evaluate risk and mitigate the natural hazard.

Research group

Infrastructure Group

Affiliate research group

Geomechanics and Environmental Geotechnics Research Group

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Teaching assistant and lab demonstrator, MSc Civil Engineering Programme

Dr Madhusudhan B N Murthy
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number : 178/3037

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