Academic Profile : Faculty

Prof Harianto Rahardjo_1_2.jpg picture
Prof Harianto Rahardjo
Emeritus Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
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Professor Harianto Rahardjo is currently an Emeritus Professor with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

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 is a member of Professional Engineers of Singapore and Saskatchewan, Canada. He is a Core 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, a Joint Technical Committee set up by the three sister societies ISSMGE, International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) and International Association of Engineering Geology (IAEG). He has served as an engineering consultant and advisor to various international projects.

Professor Rahardjo started his career as a Lecturer at Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) in 1990. He was subsequently appointed as Senior Lecturer in 1992, Associate Professor in 1999 and promoted to a Full Professor of School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore from 2004 to 2023. Professor Rahardjo has also served as the Head, Division of Infrastructure Systems and Maritime Studies (2008-2014), the Vice-Dean and Associate Chair (Research), School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, NTU (1999-2007) and Director of NTU-PWD Geotechnical Research Centre, NTU (1996-1998). He was also appointed as the Technology Leader, Ground Water Sensors, NEWRI, NTU (2022-2023). He has close to 43 years of teaching, research and consulting expertise in geotechnical engineering and has won several teaching awards over the years. Professor Rahardjo has been listed by the Stanford University for three consecutive years, as among the top 2% of scientists globally in the Geotechnical area, since 2021. His research interests are in the behaviour of unsaturated soils, the effects of flux boundary conditions on geotechnical structures, rainfall - induced landslides (assessments & instrumentation), soil improvement for tree stability, laboratory soil testing for saturated & unsaturated soils, specialised soil testing techniques & their interpretation, and analytical techniques in geotechnical engineering. Professor Harianto Rahardjo has been conferred the honorary title of Emeritus Professor with effect from 1 January 2024. NTU recognises Prof Rahardjo’s distinguished scholarship, exemplary service and contributions made to the University, Singapore, and globally.

Professor Rahardjo has conducted extensive research on unsaturated soil mechanics to solve geotechnical problems associated with tropical residual soils. His research focus has been on rainfall-induced landslides; one of the major natural disasters occurring in many parts of the world. He has applied unsaturated soil mechanics principles to better understand the mechanisms that lead to and initiate rainfall-induced slope failures especially in tropical residual soil formations. 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 has worked on various projects over the years such as the development of Slope Management and Susceptibility Geographical Information System for Singapore, application of unsaturated soil mechanics in capillary barrier system for slope stabilization and landfill capping, and development of a GeoBarrier System for a cover system and a retaining structure. Currently, Professor Rahardjo and his collaborators are developing an advanced moisture sensing technology for urban greenery and monitoring of slope stability. In addition, Professor Rahardjo has also applied unsaturated soil mechanics to soil improvement for tree stability, understanding the effects of rainfall on tree stability and developed instruments for tree inclinometer with the associated analytics.

Professor Rahardjo 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, Japanese translation in 2014, Spanish translation and over 400 technical publications. He also co-authored 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. He was the Chairman for The First Asian Conference on Unsaturated Soils (UNSAT-ASIA 2000), Singapore, 2000. He has also presented his research works in numerous keynote / invited lectures and short courses in various countries.
Professor Rahardjo has been awarded several distinguished awards for his contribution in geotechnical engineering especially related to the application of unsaturated soil mechanics in engineering practice and in teaching, such as:

• Teacher of the Year Award, NTU in 1998
• ASTM International Award for “Outstanding Article on the Practice of Geotechnical Testing”, 25 May 2006.
• Nanyang Education Award (College), NTU in 2014
• 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.
• Conferred as Fellow of the Teaching Excellence Academy, NTU in 2015
• Korean Geotechnical Society (KGS) Awards Lecture at the Spring Geotechnical Conference, Seoul, South Korea, 2019.
• Winner of the 2021 SICC - Singapore International Chamber of Commerce Awards: Celebrating Collaborative Innovation! - Most Sustainable Collaboration Category for the project “GeoBarrier System (GBS)”
• British Geotechnical Association: to deliver “2022 Geotechnical Engineering Lecture” at the Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street in London, 22 November 2022.