Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
EngineeringOur research

Research Group: Infrastructure Group

Currently Active: 
Yes

The Infrastructure Research Division encompasses research carried out in the areas of geomechanics, and structures and construction.

Recent achievements in key research areas include:

  • lead participation in the EPSRC centre for rail systems research, RRUK
  • EPSRC field monitoring projects at Canary Wharf and Canada Water (JLE); Blackwater Valley (Surrey); Coventry; Heathrow Terminal 4; and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link at Ashford
  • centrifuge model testing programmes on stabilised base retaining walls and pile-stabilised cutting slopes (both TRL funded), and temporary trackways (DERA)
  • field and centrifuge model testing programmes to investigate the response of transmission tower foundations to dynamic loads and climate change (National Grid plc; three grants: £580,000)
  • large-scale tests on the hydraulic properties of refuse in the context of sustainable landfill and waste stabilisation (EPSRC/Cleanaway); and laboratory tests to investigate factors affecting the rate and magnitude of secondary settlements of landfills (EPSRC) and biological clogging of leachate drains (BNFL)
  • advanced numerical modelling (using discrete element, 3D finite difference and finite element analyses, and a 3D particle-based code) applied to the Three Gorges Project (China), shear bands in particulate materials (EPSRC), stability of masonry retaining walls (Highways Agency), hydrocarbon exploration in Colombia (BP), soil penetration processes incorporating interface adhesion
  • development of web-based geotechnical data visualisation systems (Southampton e-Science Centre, EPSRC)
  • EPSRC platform grants in liquid and gas flow processes in wastes, and the management of residual wastes
  • the use of carbon fibre-reinforced composites to strengthen cast and wrought iron and steel beams in bridges and other structures, and to strengthen cast iron struts under preload
  • the innovative use of polymer composite materials in bridge and sandwich panel construction
  • the use of high-strength reinforced cast stone in novel applications such as building panels, and earthquake and blast-resistance structures
  • shear and moment capacities of reinforced concrete pile caps
  • soil–structure interaction of reinforced concrete integral bridges
  • behaviour of steel sheet piles
  • management of vibrations in long-span steel–concrete composite beams
  • post-plastic analysis of pitched roof portal frames
  • strength, fatigue and fracture of tubular onshore and offshore structures

Advanced soil-testing apparatus (cyclic triaxial, resonant column, hollow cylinder) is being used for problems ranging from characterisation of the Atherfield Clay (EPSRC funding) to the dynamic behaviour of offshore gas hydrates at high pressure and low temperature and railway sub-base materials (EPSRC/RRUK).  

We have contributed to fundamental knowledge in the areas of groundwater control, retaining walls, landfill engineering, soil behaviour, structural repair techniques and the safety of offshore structures. CFRP beam research led to the largest ever structural strengthening contract using carbon-fibre composites at Shadwell station, LUL. Research results are consistently disseminated to industry through authorship of guidance documents and reports.

We currently hold over £4 million in research funding, supporting over 30 researchers. Much of this is derived from EPSRC sources but we also receive significant financial support from charities, industry and government. We collaborate extensively with the construction and waste management industries, and have international research links with institutions in China, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Kazakhstan, Korea, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa and Western Australia.

We welcome applications to carry out doctoral research in our areas of expertise. For further information please contact the Head of Division, Professor Ole Thomsen or our administrative team.

Contact us

Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering
Engineering and Physical Sciences
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
Southampton SO17 1BJ

Administrative officers:

Sheila Stickland
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8946
Email: civinfra@soton.ac.uk 

Satwant Virdee
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 4914
Email: S.Virdee@soton.ac.uk 

Melanie Hallford
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 2192
Email: M.Hallford@soton.ac.uk 

Aparna Subaiah-Varma 

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7745
Email: A.Subaiah-Varma@soton.ac.uk 

Kelly Carter
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 2692
Email: K.R.Carter@soton.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

Postgraduate programmes:

MSc Civil Engineering (1 year)

Articles

Book Chapter

  • Beaven, R. P., Powrie, W., & Zardava, K. (2011). Hydraulic properties of MSW. In D. Zekkos (Ed.), Geotechnical characterization, Field Measurements and Laboratory Testing of Municipal Solid Waste (pp. 1-43). (ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication; No. 209). Virginia, US: American Society of Civil Engineers.
List of related projects to Infrastructure Group
Related ProjectsStatus
Ballasted Rail TrackActive
Leachate recirculation and collection systemsActive
UKCRIC Strand C: Data Analytics Facility for National InfrastructureActive
Description and modelling of fractures developed in association with discontinuities in the Earth’s crustActive
High-fidelity testing of wind turbine blade substructuresActive
How do we reduce the length of landfill aftercare? Active
Infrastructure monitoring using passive remote imageryActive
Integrated experimental and computational characterisation of advanced composite materials subjected to multiaxial loadingActive
Interface characteristics in composite sprayed concrete lined tunnelsActive
Landfill hydraulics Active
Understanding landfill processes Active
Mechanics of landslidesActive
Modelling the effects of material microstructureActive
Novel Integrated Imaging Approaches for Damage Characterisation of Composite Materials and StructuresActive
Performance of buildings subjected to blastActive
Foundations as an energy sourceActive
SASICE - Safety and Sustainability in Civil EngineeringActive
EP/R039178/1: SPINE: Resilience-Based Design of Biologically Inspired Columns for Next-Generation Accelerated Bridge ConstructionActive
Structural dynamics and blast effects on structuresActive
Track 21 - Railway Track for the 21st CenturyActive
Use of multibeam sonar for geological mapping of the seabedActive
Environmental and social consequences of decommissioning offshore infrastructureActive
Solid Bulk Cargo Liquefaction: Strategies for Effective Control, funded by Lloyd's Register FoundationDormant
Share this research group Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings