Academic Profile : Faculty

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Prof Harianto Rahardjo
Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
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Professor Harianto Rahardjo obtained his Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Geotechnical Engineering from University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada and his B.Eng. degree in Civil Engineering from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bandung, Indonesia.

He has close to 40 years of working experience in consulting, teaching and research in geotechnical engineering.
He has served as Vice-Dean/Associate Chair (Research) School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Director of NTU-PWD Geotechnical Research Centre, Head of Division of Infrastructure Systems and Maritime Studies, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

He is a member of the TC106 Committee of International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) on Unsaturated Soils and Member of the JTC1 on Natural Slopes and Landslides.

Professor Rahardjo has conducted extensive research on unsaturated soil mechanics to solve geotechnical problems associated with residual soils and for its application to sustainable urban living in tropical regions including Singapore.
He incorporated the mechanics and properties of unsaturated soils and the flux boundary conditions related to the climatic conditions (i.e. rainfall infiltration, evaporation and transpiration across the ground surface) to the assessment of the stability of residual soil slopes and trees during and after rainfalls.

His investigations indicated that unsaturated soil mechanics plays an important role in understanding the dynamic interaction between the environment and near-ground-surface soils.

These research activities have led to the development of an advanced unsaturated soil mechanics laboratory at Nanyang Technological University and numerous comprehensive instrumented slopes.
Professor Rahardjo’s recent research activities involved the application of unsaturated soil mechanics in Capillary Barrier System (CBS) for slope stabilization and Geobarrier System (GBS) for retaining structure through laboratory and numerical analyses and instrumented systems in the field.

He is the co-author of the first textbook on unsaturated soils “Soil Mechanics for Unsaturated Soils“, by D.G. Fredlund and H. Rahardjo, published by John Wiley in 1993 with Chinese translation in 1997, Vietnamese translation in 2000, Spanish translation in 2011, Japanese translation in 2014.

He is the co-author of the second textbook “Unsaturated Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice”, by D.G. Fredlund, H. Rahardjo and M.D. Fredlund and published by John Wiley in 2012.

Prof Rahardjo also co-authored the third textbook “Unsaturated Soils Guidelines – Volume 1: Soil-Water Characteristic Curves for Materials Classified according to the Unified Soil Classification System”, by K. Mercer, H. Rahardjo and A. Satyanaga and published by Australian Center for Geomechanics, University of Western Australia in 2019.

He has published over 400 technical publications.

He has also presented his research works in over 60 keynote / invited lectures and 24 short courses in various countries.

He has supervised 18 PhD students and 24 Master students who came from various countries.

Prof. Rahardjo's website:

Career details:
• Professor (2004), Associate Professor (1999), Senior Lecturer (1992), Lecturer (1991) in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Member of Professional Societies:
• Registered Professional Engineers, Singapore, 1997
• Registered Professional Engineers of Saskatchewan, Canada, 1986
• Member, Canadian Geotechnical Society, 1981
• Member, Engineering Institute of Canada, 1981
• Member, International Society of Soil Mech. and Geotechnical Engineering, 1981
• Senior Member, Engineering Institute of Singapore, 2002
• Member (Life), Southeast Asian Geotechnical Society, 1991
Main research interest:

• Rainfall - induced landslides: mechanism, assessment, characterization, instrumentation and preventive measures
• Unsaturated Soil Mechanics: laboratory testing, field measurements and numerical modelling
• Capillary Barrier System for slope stabilization and Geo-Barrier System for retaining structure using the principles of unsaturated soil mechanics
• Behaviour of unsaturated tropical soils: shear strength, air and water flows, suction measurements
• Soil improvement for tree stability
• Specialised laboratory soil testing and field instrumentation for unsaturated soils

Prizes and Awards:

• British Geotechnical Association- “2022 Geotechnical Engineering Lecture” at the Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street in London, 22 November 2022
• Winner of the 2021 SICC - Singapore International Chamber of Commerce Awards: Celebrating Collaborative Innovation! - Most Sustainable Collaboration Category for the project “GeoBarrier System (GBS)”
• The 2019 Korean Geotechnical Society (KGS) Awards Lecture at the Spring Geotechnical Conference, Seoul, South Korea on 14 March 2019.
• Minister for National Development’s R&D Awards 2017 (Special Mentioned Award) for Stability Assessment of slopes covered with Mangrove along Punggol Waterway using Unsaturated Soil Mechanics Principles, Singapore 29 June 2017.
• Winner of the “Inaugural Asia-Pacific Distinguished Lecture on Unsaturated Soils”, at the 6th Asia-Pacific Conference on Unsaturated Soils in Guilin, China on 24 October 2015.
• Nanyang Education Award (College), 12 March 2015.
• Fellow of the Teaching Excellence Academy, 12 March 2015.
• Patent No. 161787: Apparatus and Method for Preventing Slope Failure – joint patent by NTU. (Nanyang Technological University and HDB (Housing Development Board) of Singapore, 30 March 2012.
• ASTM International Award for “Outstanding Article on the Practice of Geotechnical Testing”, 25 May 2006.
• Teacher of the Year Award, Nanyang Technological University, 1998.
• National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Postgraduate Scholarship, 1988 and 1989.

Selected Publications:

• *Liu, H., ~^Rahardjo, H., **Satyanaga, A. and Du, H. (2022). Use of synthesised polymers for the development of new osmotic tensiometers. Géotechnique. Published online: 11 January 2022. #
• **Kim, Y., **Satyanaga, A., ~^Rahardjo, H., Park, H. and Sham, A.W.L. (2021). Estimation of effective cohesion using artificial neural networks based on index soil properties: a Singapore case. Engineering Geology Published online: 27 April 2021. ##
• **Li, Y., **Satyanaga, A. and ~^Rahardjo, H. (2021). Characteristics of unsaturated soil slope covered with capillary barrier system and deep-rooted grass under different rainfall patterns. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 9(3), 405-418
• ^Zhai, Q., ~Rahardjo, H., **Satyanaga, A., Zhu, Y., Dai, G. and Zhao, X. (2021). Estimation of wetting hydraulic conductivity function for unsaturated sandy soil. Engineering Geology, Published online: 20 February 2021. ##
• +Ip, C.Y.S, **Satyanaga, A. and ~^Rahardjo, H. (2021). Spatial variation of shear strength properties incorporating auxiliary variables. Catena, Published online: 1 February 2021. #
• **Kim, Y., ~^Rahardjo, H. and **Lee, D.T.T. (2021). Mechanical behavior of trees with structural defects under lateral load: A numerical modeling approach. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Published online: 19 January 2021. #
• +Chan, Y.E., +Ng, Q.L., **Satyanaga, A. and ^~Rahardjo, H. (2021). Regional stability and adaptation measures slope failures due to rainfall in Singapore. Environmental Geotechnics, Published online: 4 May 2021.
• ~^Rahardjo, H., **Shen, Y., **Lee, D.T.T., ** Ramos, R., **Nong, X. and ** Hamdany, A.H. (2021). New Osmotic Tensiometer Development. Geotechnical Testing Journal, 44(3), 722-740. #
• ^Yang, K.H., Nguyen, T.S., ~Rahardjo, H. and Lin, D.G., (2020). Deformation characteristics of unstable shallow slopes triggered by rainfall infiltration. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, Published online: 10 August 2020.
• **Satyanaga, A. and ~^Rahardjo, H. (2022). Role of Unsaturated Soil Properties in The Development of Slope Susceptibility Map. Geotechnical Engineering, 175(3), 1751-8563.
• Rahardjo, H., Satyanaga, A., Gofar, N., Leong, E.C., Kew, J.H., Wang, C.L., Wong, J.L.H. (2019). “Geobarrier System for Protection against Rainfall-induced Slope Failure” ISSMGE International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories. 5(1):26-42.
• Rahardjo, H., Kim, Y., Satyanaga, A. (2019). “Role of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics in Geotechnical Engineering”, The 2019 Korean Geotechnical Society (KGS) AWARDS LECTURE at 2019 Spring Geotechnical Engineering Conference, Seoul, South Korea, 14 March 2019.
• Rahardjo, H., N. Gofar, A. Satyanaga, E.C. Leong, C.L. Wang, J.L.H Wong (2018). “Effect of Rainfall Infiltration on Deformation of Geobarrier”, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, pp. 1-17.
• Rahardjo, H., X.F. Nong, D.T.T. Lee, E.C. Leong, and Y.K. Fong (2018) “Expedited soil–water characteristic curve tests using combined centrifuge and chilled mirror techniques”, Geotechnical Testing Journal, Vol. 41(1), pp. 2017-217.
• Rahardjo, H., Y. Kim, N. Gofar, E.C. Leong, C.L. Wang, J.L.H. Wong (2018) “Field instrumentations and monitoring of GeoBarrier System for steep slope protection”, Transportation Geotechnics, Vol. 16, pp. 29-42.
• Rahardjo, H., N. Amalia, J.D. Wee, E.C. Leong, L.F. Ow and P.Y. Tan (2017) “Effect of soil hydraulic properties on water infiltration of containerised soil”, Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol.165, pp.84-92.
• Rahardjo, H, N. Amalia, E.C. Leong, F.R. Harnas, T.T. Lee, and Y.K. Fong (2017) “Flux Boundary Measurement to Study Tree Stability”, Landscape and Ecological Engineering, Vol.13, Issue 1, January 2017, pp.81-92.
• Rahardjo, H, N. Gofar, N. Amalia, E.C. Leong, and L.F. Ow (2016) “Structural Cell Contribution to Resistance of Trees to Uprooting”, Trees - Structure and Function, October, Vol.30, Issue 5, pp.1843-1853.
• Rahardjo, H., A. Satyanaga, E.C. Leong, V.A. Santoso and Y.S. Ng (2014). “Performance of An Instrumented Slope Covered with Shrubs and Deep Rooted Grass”. Soils and Foundations, Japanese Geotechnical Society, May, Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 417-425.
  • Advanced Moisture Sensing Technology for Urban Greenery and Monitoring of Slope Stability
  • Assessment of climatic factors on slope stability
  • Mechanical Behaviour of Multimodal Soil
  • Regional Water Balance Analyses correlated to Slope Stability and Plant Health