School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Professor Stefano Utili

Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, Head of Geotechnical and Structural Engineering

Background

Laurea (equivalent to MEng, Politecnico di Milano, It), MSc (Chalmers University, Sweden), PhD (Politecnico di Milano), CEng FICE FGS, Eur Ing

Stefano currently leads the GEST Group. His first degree was in Structural Engineering followed by a doctorate in Geotechnical Engineering. Prior to being appointed at Newcastle University he was Lecturer at the University of Oxford (2008-11) and Associate Professor at University of Warwick (2011-16).


Memberships

  • Full Member of the EPSRC College of Reviewers
  • Editorial Board Member of Engineering Geology
  • Editorial Board Member of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
  • Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE).
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of London (FGS).
  • Member of International Technical Committee TC105 of the ISSMGE
  • Member of International Technical Committee TC208 of the ISSMGE
  • Member of the British Geotechnical Association.
  • European Engineer, FEANI member.

Professional History

  • Sept 2016 - Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Newcastle University
  • Feb 2016 to Aug 2016: full Professor at University of Warwick
  • October 2011 to Feb 2016: Associate Professor at University of Warwick.
  • October 2008 to September 2011: Departmental Lecturer at University of Oxford and Tutor at St Anne's College .
  • November 2006 to October 2008: Post-doctoral Research Fellow (grade 7) in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK).
  • May 2005 to October 2006: senior engineer at SnamReteGas (ENI group, national oil and gas company), San Donato Milanese (Italy)
  • April 2004 to April 2005: technical office responsible at GL Locatelli Srl, Turate (Italy)
  • March 2001 to April 2004: PhD student at Politecnico di Milano, Milano (Italy).


Academic Qualifications

  • 2004: PhD in Geotechnical Engineering, with distinction, Politecnico di Milano, Milano (Italy)
  • 2001: M.Sc. in Structural Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg (Sweden)
  • 2000: Laurea (MEng) in Civil Engineering (5 years degree), summa cum laude, Politecnico di Milano, Milano (Italy)

Research

ORCID orcid.org/0000-0003-3156-8013

Scopus author profile

Google scholar

Guest Editor of Special Issue in Engineering Geology on 'Monitoring, physical and numerical modeling of landslides and debris flows'.

The bulk of my research is about reducing the impact of landslides and slope instabilities on engineering infrastructure and the built environment. The increasing threat of natural hazards due to the expanding size of cities, growing use of infrastructure, and the effect of increased climatic variations means that the economic losses induced by geohazards keep increasing so engineering solutions able to provide a step change in the way we tackle landslides are urgently needed.

My main research interests are as follows:

  • Numerical and experimental modelling of the initiation of landslides and subsequent debris flows under various load and climatic conditions.
  • Development of analytical solutions based on limit analysis to assess the stability of slopes
  • Development of the Discrete Element Method for non -spherical particles (e.g. sand grains) and the simulation of engineering problems in rock mechanics such as tunnelling in jointed rock masses and the stability of rock slopes 
  • Investigation of the behaviour of sands and cemented soils (e.g. lunar soil,
    methane hydrate bearing sands) via the Discrete Element Method for constitutive modelling purposes.


My research group

PhD candidates are welcome to contact me to apply for a thesis in one of the mentioned areas or to propose their own research theme.


Current PhD students

The list of my current PhD students is in chronological order of start date. Links to their individual profiles are provided:

Natalie Wride

Bowen Yang

Nicko Kassotakis

Vasileios Angelidakis

Past PhD students

Graduated in 2013, Chia Weng Boon has been awarded the Rocha Medal 2016 for the best PhD thesis in Rock Mechanics. This award is conferred to the best PhD selected among a worldwide pool of theses. Further details are available at https://www.isrm.net/fotos/noticias/NewsReleaseCouncil15_A4.pdf. Currently Dr Boon is working in a private company in Singapore as specialist geotechnical engineer for projects involving undeground excavations in rock.

Graduated in 2013, Chiara Modenese currently works at Atkins Global.

Graduated in 2014, Tao Zhao currently works at Sichuan University in Chengdu (China) as an Associate Professor.

Graduated in March 2015, Kovthaman Murugaratnam currently works in industry.

Graduated in July 2015, Giulia Macaro currently works at Atkins Global.

Graduated in May 2016 Weigao Wu currently works as geotechnical engineer in China.

Graduated in January 2017, Chrisoula Vulgari currently works at Atkins as geotechnical engineer.

Graduated in August 2017, Akram Abd currently works at Newcastle University.
 


Post-Doctoral collaborators
2014 August - October Mr Prashanth Vangla from IISC (Bangalore, India) 2013 Sept - 2014 Sept Dr Tao Zhao 2014 March - May Dr Anitha Kumari
2011 April - October Dr Giuseppe Dattola is now working at Universita Milano Bicocca as a post-doctoral researcher. He used the DEM to investigate the onset of instabilities in cemented sands.

2010-2011 Ms Irene Redaelli is now PhD student at Politecnico di Milano. She used the DEM to model cemented sands.


Current grants

April 2015 - March 2019:

Coordinator for “Geohazards risk assessment, mitigation and prevention” EU H2020 RISE. Total sum of the project 2.147 € million (EU funds for €1,804,500). The academic partners involved in the exchange are: University of Warwick, Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (Grenoble, France), Universidad Politecnica Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences (Vienna, Austria), Itasca France Ltd (Lyon, France), Applied Seismology Consultants (Shrewsbury, UK), University of San Simon (Cochabamba, Bolivia), University of San Juan (Buonos Aires, Argentina), Tongji University (Shanghai, China), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia, US).

February 2012 - January 2016:

Coordinator for “Geohazards and geomechanics” EU FP7 IRSES (International Researchers staff Exchange Scheme). Total sum awarded: €438,900. The academic partners involved in the exchange are: University of Warwick, Universidad Politecnica Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (Grenoble, France), Universita Milano Bicocca (Milano, Italy), University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK), Tongji University (Shanghai, China), Tsinghua University (Bejing, China), Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore, India).


Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching

I teach:

  • CEG3201 - Geotechnical Design (10 credits)

I contribute to teach:

  • CEG3003 - Engineering Ethics and Sustainability (10 credits)
Project supervision:
  • CEG8099 Investigative Research Project (MEng)

Postgraduate Teaching

I teach:

  • CEG8208 - Geotechnical Design (20 credits)
Project supervision:
  • CEG8296 Project and Dissertation in Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology (MSc)
  • CEG8396 Project and Dissertation in Structural Engineering (MSc)

Publications