Faculty Directory


Harianto Rahardjo

Ir. Bandung I.T., MSc PhD (Sask.), PEng ( Sask.), PEng (S'pore)
Office: N1-01b-36
Tel: (65) 6790-5246

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 over 35 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.

Career details

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

Official Appointments

  • 2015 – Present: Chairman of the School Review Committee for Promotions and Tenure (SRCPT) in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 2008 – 2014: Head of Division of Infrastructure Systems and Maritime Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 1999 - 2007: Assoc Chair (Research), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 1996 - 1999: Director, NTU-PWD Geotechnical Research Centre, 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
  • Member, Engineering Institute of Singapore, 2002
  • Member, 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

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 for slope stabilization through laboratory and numerical analyses and instrumented capillary barrier 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 and over 260 technical publications. He is also 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. He has also presented his research works in around 50 keynote / invited lectures and 24 short courses in various countries. He has supervised 17 PhD students and 24 Master students who came from various countries.

Research Projects (selected) on Unsaturated Soil Mechanics, Slope Stability and Tree Stability


  • Climate Change Impact on Urban Tree Resilience (2015 - ) (Institute of High Performance Computing of A*STAR, National Environmental Agency-NEA and National Parks Board-NParks) - Principal Investigator
  • GeoBarrier System for Use in Underground Structure (2014 - ) (Ministry of National Development-MND) – Co-Principal Investigator
  • Eye on Trees (2014 - ) (National Parks Board of Singapore-NParks) - Principal Investigator
  • Advanced Slope Engineering Based on Theory of Unsaturated Soil Mechanics (2013 - ) (Housing and Development Board Building Research Institute-HDB-BRI) – Principal Investigator
  • Assessment of Climatic Factors on Slope Stability (2005 - ) (HSR University, Switzerland) – Principal Investigator
  • Development of Specialized Structural Cells for Growing Street Trees in Constrained Planting Spaces (2013 - ) (National Parks Board of Singapore-NParks) - Principal Investigator

  • 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.
  • Rahardjo, H., A. Satyanaga, E.C. Leong and J.-Y. Wang (2014). “Comprehensive Instrumentation for Real Time Monitoring of Flux Boundary Conditions in Slope". Invited Speaker for the Third Italian Workshop on Landslides, Naples, Italy, 23-24 October 2013 and published in Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, August, Vol. 9, pp. 23-43.
  • Rahardjo, H., V.A. Santoso, E.C. Leong, Y.S. Ng, C.P.H. Tam and A. Satyanaga (2013). “Use of Recycled Crushed Concrete and Secudrain in Capillary Barrier for Slope Stabilization”.  Canadian Geotechnical Journal, June, Vol. 50, pp. 1-12.
  • Rahardjo, H., A. Satyanaga and E.C. Leong (2013). “Effects of Flux Boundary Conditions on Pore-water Pressure Distribution in Slope”. Invited Panel Presenter for the Discussion on "Engineering Application and Case Histories” in the II European Conference on Unsaturated Soils, Naples, Italy, 20-22 June 2012 and published in Journal of Engineering Geology, Special Issue on Unsaturated Soils: Theory and Applications, October, Vol. 165, pp. 133-142.
  • Rahardjo, H., V.A. Santoso, E.C. Leong, Ng., Y.S. and Hua, C.J. (2012). “Performance of an Instrumented Slope Covered by a Capillary Barrier System”. ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, April, Vol. 138, No.4, pp. 481 – 490.

  • 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.