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Professor Peter Cleall

Professor Peter Cleall

Professor - Civil Engineering

+44 (0)29 2087 5795
S/2.44, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


Professor of Geo-environmental Engineering and Head of Department of Civil Engineering (ACE). My research activities initially focused on the area of coupled flow and deformation behaviour in soils and have developed to encompass a number of areas in the subject of geoenvironmental and geotechnical engineering including ground energy, thermal fluxes and inter-seasonal heat storage, in-situ resource recovery from geological repositories and behaviour of modified soils.  Work in these areas, supported by RCUK and industrial funding has developed a number of specific analytical and numerical models alongside an improved understanding of fundamental processes.


Honours and awards

  • Telford Premium Prize 2021: "A reformulated hardening soil model" ICE Journal: Engineering and Computational Mechanics: 173(1):11–29;
  • Awarded 2018 Indian Geotechnical Society IGS-AIMIL Biennial Award
  • Teaching of the Year Award 2015/16 School of Engineering
  • Teaching of the Year Award 2014/15 School of Engineering
  • Secondment to Jacobs Engineering UK (2010-2011)
  • Member of Géotechnique Advisory Panel (2010-2013)
  • Member of Géotechnique Symposium in Print 2013 “Bio- and Chemomechanical Processes in Geotechnical Engineering” Advisory Sub-Committee
  • Editorial Board member, Environmental Geotechnics (2013-2022)
  • Advisory Board member, Environmental Geotechnics (2022->)
  • MSc External Examiner Imperial College (2012-2016)
  • Member of EPSRC Associate Peer Review College
  • Management Committee Member of COST Action CA15115 Mining the European Anthroposphere
  • Outstanding Reviewer in 2012, Computers and Geotechnics
  • Expert reviewer for SKB, Sweden.
  • Highly Commended Award for `The influence of drying conditions on convective drying of porous materials in two-stage drying`, International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow 12(1):29-46
  • Visiting Professor of Zhejiang University


























Title People Sponsor Value Duration
GESPERR - Geobatteries: energy storage in the pedosphere to enable the renewables revolution Harbottle, M, Sapsford, D, Cleall, P, Weightman, A, Ugalde-Loo, C, EPSRC 251,979

01/10/2022 - 31/03/2024

ASPIRE - Accelerated Supergene Processes in Repository Engineering Sapsford, D, Cleall, P,  Harbottle, M, Owen, N, Weightman, A EPSRC 592345 01/03/2021 - 29/02/2024
To develop and market new state-of -the-art facilities in the finite element program LUSAS for soil-structure interaction problems Jefferson A, Cleall PJ TSB and FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS 269368 01/07/2013 - 30/06/2016
In Situ Recovery of Resources from Waste Repositories Sapsford D, Griffiths A, Harbottle M, Mahdi T, Cleall P NERC 56803 01/04/2013 - 30/09/2013
In situ recovery of resources from waste repositories Sapsford D, Harbottle M, Cleall P, Mahdi T, Weightman A (BIOSI) NERC 671454 02/06/2014 - 01/06/2017
Modelling of landfill gas migration Dr PJ Cleall Persimmon Homes (West Midlands) Ltd 5467 25/11/2006 - 24/08/2007
Response of pollutant chemistry, pathways and mobility to Short Rotation Forestry on brownfield Sites Dr PJ Cleall, Dr MJ Harbottle Forest Research 27500 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2013
Modelling pre-failure shear strain (solifluction) in freezing and thawing soil slopes Prof HR Thomas, Dr PJ Cleal,l (with EARTH) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 192705 01/05/2005 - 30/04/2008
3D virtual reality platform for data analysis of large scale simulation for geoenvironmental problems Prof HR Thomas, Dr PJ Cleall Education and Learning Wales 186548 01/12/2001 - 31/07/2002
Co-ordination action on education and training in radiation protection and radioactive waste management [CETRAD] Thomas HR, Cleall PJ Commission of European Communities 50394 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2005
A land regeneration, industrial waste management and sustainable development network Thomas HR, Cleall PJ, Owen DH The National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund) 235779 01/11/2002 - 31/10/2005
SUE: Pollutants in the urban environment (PUrE)- scoping study Thomas HR, Cleall PJ, (with University of Surrey) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 18497 01/01/2004 - 30/09/2004
A land regeneration, Industrial management and sustainable development network Thomas HR, Cleall PJ, Owen DH The National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund) 66412 14/10/2002 - 13/10/2004
Land regeneration network Thomas HR, Cleall PJ Welsh Development Agency 20000 01/11/2005 - 01/04/2006
NF-PRO thermo-hyrdo-mechanical (geochemical) processes in the EBS (RTD3) Thomas HR, Cleall PJ Nirex Ltd 26800 01/06/2004 - 31/12/2007
Pollutants in the urban environments (PURE) Thomas HR, Cleall PJ, (with University of Surrey) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 295131 01/04/2005 - 31/03/2009
A land regeneration, industrial waste management and sustainable development network Thomas HR, Cleall PJ, Owen DH The National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund) 156164 14/10/2002 - 13/10/2004
Sixth International Conference of environmental geotechnics Cleall P Royal Academy of Engineering 600 06/11/2010 - 12/11/2010
Assessment of airport snow and ice management systems Cleall P J Jacobs Engineering 1500 14/02/2012 - 13/03/2012
Landfill gas modelling Cleall PJ, Thomas HR Persimmon Homes (West Midlands) Ltd 18950 01/05/2003 - 01/05/2006
Understanding and physical and numerical modelling of the key processes in the near-field, and their coupling, for different host rocks and repository strategies (NF-PRO) Cleall PJ, Thomas HR Commission of European Communities 160800 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2007

Supervised Postgraduate Research Students (28)


  1. Khaled Alshehri “Resource Recovery From Waste Repositories In A Circular Economy” Registered PhD student, Cardiff University
  2. Tianchi Wu “A Unified Microstructurally Based Constitutive Model Considering Stress-Strain And Water Retention Behaviours Of Unsaturated Soil” Registered PhD student, Cardiff University
  3. Evan Ricketts “Modelling hydrophobic soils” Registered PhD student, Cardiff University
  4. Priyanka Katta “Climate Adaptation Composite Barrier Systems In Urban Spaces For Mitigating Long-Term Climate Change Impacts” Registered PhD student, Cardiff University
  5. Ashley Patton “Investigating The Controls On The Spatio-Temporal Thermal Regime Of Urban Groundwater And Implications For Ground Source Heating And Cooling” Registered PhD student, Cardiff University
  6. Claudia Peppicelli “In situ processes in resource extraction from waste repositories” Registered PhD student, Cardiff University
  7. Steven Warwick “Methodologies for the prediction and evaluation of potential resources within landfills” Registered PhD student, Cardiff University


  1. Steven Warwick “Methodologies for the prediction and evaluation of potential resources within landfills” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  2. Syed Muaaz-Us-Salam “Enhanced Biodegradation of Model Lignocellulosic Wastes in Laboratory-Scale Bioreactors & Landfills” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  3. Suhad Abdulsattar Hasan Almahbobi “Effects of wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycles on engineering behaviour of compacted soils-specialisation-civil engineering/geotechnical engineering” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  4. Sahar Satar Abduljabar Al Khyat “Effective stress in unsaturated soils” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  5. Yahya Hamza Jebur Karagoly “Stability of landfill lining systems” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  6. Oniosun, SA 2018 “Long term phytoremediation of LNAPLs and residual oils in the vadose zone and capillary fringe” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  7. Hassanein Jawad Mortada Mobarek 2018 “A numerical and experimental study of near surface ground energy systems including the use of adaptable insulation layers” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  8. Osama Mahdi Abdul-Hussain Al Hussaini 2018 “Volume change behaviour of some geomaterials under combined influence of freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles: An experimental investigation” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  9. Khabeer Abdulameer Jaber Al Awad 2018 “The effect of biological exudates on the mechanical properties of granular soil” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  10. Huw Mithan 2018 “Quantifying the dynamic response of permafrost and slope stability to a changing climate” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  11. Brubeck Freeman 2017 “A Numerical and Experimental Investigation into Multi-Ionic Reactive Transport Behaviour in Cementitious Materials” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  12. Tom Bower 2017 “Constitutive modelling of soils and fibre-reinforced soils” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  13. Shang K 2016 “The simulation of water uptake by vegetation and its impact on slope stability using an image – based model of plant root architecture” Registered PhD student Cardiff University
  14. Muñoz Criollo J.J 2014 “An investigation of inter-seasonal near-surface ground heat transfer and storage” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  15. Page, K 2014 “The application Organic Waste Materials as a nutrient source for Short Rotation Coppice” PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  16. Vardon, P.J. 2009 “A three-dimensional numerical investigation of the thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of a large scale prototype repository”, PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  17. Glendinning, M.C. 2007 “Modelling the freezing and thawing behaviour of saturated soils”, PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  18. Singh, R.M. 2007 “An experimental and numerical investigation of heat and moisture movement in unsaturated clays”, PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  19. Yean, T.C. 2005 "An investigation of the thermo/hydraulic/mechanical behaviour of large scale experiments – including parametric studies of various critical factors", PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  20. Melhuish, T.A. 2004 "An investigation of the three-dimensional thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of large scale in-situ experiments", PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  21. Seetharam, S.C. 2003 "An investigation of the thermo/hydro/chemical/ mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils", PhD Thesis, Cardiff University
  22. Mitchell, H.P. 2002. "A study of the thermo/hydraulic/mechanical behaviour of two large scale, in-situ experiments", PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.


I am interesting in supervising PhDs involving the following areas:

  • Modelling coupled processes in geoenvironmental and geotechnical engineering systems including:
    • Ground energy
    • Barrier systems
    • Geological repositories
    • Behaviour of modified soils.
    • Unsaturated soil behaviour.
    • Thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of porous materials.
    • Freeze-thaw behaviour of soil.

Even if your idea is not precidely aligned to these areas - please get in touch - it may still be something I can supervise (or co-supervise with a colleague).

Current supervision

Steven Warwick

Steven John Warwick

Research student

Priyanka Katta

Research student

Yahya hamza jebur Karagoly

Research student

Sahar Al-Khyat

Research student

Claudia Peppicelli

Research student

Past projects