PhD research

Project outline:

There can be devastating direct and indirect consequences when slope failures occur along roads. To improve the stability of slopes, slope stabilisation measures are implemented. When there is a lack of attention given to slope stabilisation in the haphazard construction/maintenance of roads, the risk of slope failure is exacerbated. This scenario can be common in many low-income countries that have fewer available resources. My PhD aims to improve the cost-effectiveness of slope stabilisation along roads in lower-income countries by: (1) developing an innovative slope stabilisation solution; and (2) by developing a methodology to assess the cost-effectiveness of slope stabilisation. An innovative solution for slope stabilisation could be re-profiling slopes to exhibit a non-linear shape. Recent theoretical work suggests that non-linear slope profiles can exhibit greater stability than linear slopes of the same average inclination. Analytical and laboratory experimental methods are being used to further investigate this theory.

Cost-effectiveness is a measure of how effective an intervention is in relation to its cost.  My PhD aims to develop a methodology to establish the cost-effectiveness of slope stabilisation measures currently found along roads in lower incomes countries. By implementing this methodology, an appropriate intervention can be chosen based on fund availability.


Professor Stefano Utili 
Dr David Milledge


NERC Iapetus