• 679 Citations
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Personal profile


Jonathan joined the University of Dundee as a Lecturer in 2006, following MEng and PhD degrees at the University of Cambridge, and was promoted to Professor of Civil Engineering in 2018.  His expertise includes centrifuge and 1-g physical modelling, Finite Element simulation and analytical modelling, with research interests in three areas associated with innovative design against extreme dynamic environmental actions:

   (i) Earthquake Engineering

   (ii) Biomediated Geotechnical Engineering (e.g. use of vegetation in Civil Engineering)

   (iii) Offshore Geotechnics, primarily anchoring systems for marine renewable energy

This research has been supported by funding from the UK Research Councils, the European Commission, and various overseas, charitable and industrial organisations to a total value of over £4.5M. He was awarded the British Geotechnical Association Medal in 2009, the TK Hsieh Award for Civil Engineering Dynamics from the ICE/IStructE in 2010 and the ISSMGE TC203 Young Researcher Award in Earthquake Engineering in 2018. In 2017 he gave the 13th Géotechnique Lecture on the use of vegetation in low carbon geotechnical engineering.

He was Chairman of the Editorial Panel of the International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (2014-2018) and has previously served on the Géotechnique Advisory Panel (2011-2013). He is an instructor on the Standard and Advanced courses in Computational Modelling in Geotechnics run annually in the UK by PLAXIS BV and is a UK National Representative on both Technical Committees TC104 (Physical Modelling) and TC203 (Earthquake Engineering) of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).

He is also the principal author of Craig's Soil Mechanics, 8th Edition and co-author of Design of Piles in Liquefiable Soils.

Jonathan is currently Discipline Lead for Civil Engineering, having previously developed and led the University's MSc in Geotechnical Engineering for 8 years

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Master of Engineering, University of Cambridge


  • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Earthquake Engineeing
  • Soil Mechanics
  • Centrifuge modelling
  • Numerical modelling
  • Soil-structure interaction

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jonathan Knappett is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 11 Similar Profiles
Piles Engineering & Materials Science
Centrifuges Engineering & Materials Science
Soils Engineering & Materials Science
centrifugal model test Earth & Environmental Sciences
centrifuge Earth & Environmental Sciences
pile Earth & Environmental Sciences
Sand Engineering & Materials Science
soil Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2021

Research Output 2004 2020

A Macroelement Approach for the Stability Assessment of Trees

Dattola, G., Ciantia, M., Galli, A., Blyth, L., Zhang, X., Knappett, J., Castellanza, R., Sala, C. & Leung, A., 1 Jan 2020, Geotechnical Research for Land Protection and Development: Proceedings of CNRIG 2019. Calvetti, F., Cotecchia, F., Galli, A. & Jommi, C. (eds.). Switzerland: Springer , Vol. 40. p. 417-426 10 p. (Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering; vol. 40).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

33 Downloads (Pure)

Implications of volume loss on the seismic response of tunnels in coarse-grained soils

Kampas, G., Knappett, J., Brown, M., Anastasopoulos, I., Nikitas, N. & Fuentes, R., 1 Jan 2020, In : Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 95, p. 1-14 14 p., 103127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Seismic response
seismic response

Influence of foundation type on seismic response of low-rise structures in liquefiable soil

Qi, S. & Knappett, J., Jan 2020, In : Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering. 128, p. 1-13 13 p., 1057862.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Seismic response
seismic response
soil structure
1 Citation (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)

On Lagrangian mechanics and the implicit material point method for large deformation elasto-plasticity

Coombs, W. M., Augarde, C., Brown, M., Brennan, A., Charlton, T., Knappett, J., Motlagh, Y. & Wang, L., 1 Jan 2020, In : Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering. 358, p. 1-32 32 p., 112622.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
plastic properties
39 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
soil strength
Winkler foundation


13th Geotechnique Lecturer

Jonathan Knappett (Recipient), 2017

Prize: National/international honour

geotechnical engineering

Best paper award

Marianna Loli (Recipient), Jonathan Knappett (Recipient), Michael Brown (Recipient) & Ioannis Anastasopoulos (Recipient), 2014

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


British Geotechnical Association Medal, 2009

Jonathan A. Knappett (Recipient) & S. P. Gopal Madabhushi (Recipient), 2009

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

TC203 Yound Researcher Award 2018

Jonathan Knappett (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

natural disaster

T K Hsieh Award 2010

Jonathan A. Knappett (Recipient) & S. P. Gopal Madabhushi (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Civil engineering

Activities 2006 2019

IIT Bhubaneswar

Michael Brown (Visiting lecturer), Jonathan Knappett (Visiting lecturer), Shantanu Patra (Visiting researcher), Sumanta Haldar (Visiting researcher)
1 Mar 20191 Mar 2021

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Physical modelling of structural and biological soil reinforcement

Jonathan Knappett (Keynote speaker)
19 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Use of vegetation in low-carbon geotechnical engineering

Jonathan Knappett (Invited speaker)
6 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Use of vegetation in low-carbon geotechnical engineering.

Jonathan Knappett (Invited speaker)
6 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

9th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geoetchnics

Jonathan Knappett (Member of programme committee)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Development of improved predictive tools for mechanical soil root interaction

Author: Duckett, N., 2014

Supervisor: Knappett, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


New methods for in situ measurement of mechanical root-reinforcement on slopes

Author: Meijer, G. J., 2016

Supervisor: Bengough, A. (Supervisor), Knappett, J. (Supervisor), Loades, K. W. (External person) (Supervisor) & Nicoll, B. C. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Screw piles as offshore foundations : Numerical and physical modelling

Author: Al-Baghdadi, T., 2018

Supervisor: Brown, M. (Supervisor) & Knappett, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Seismic performance of pile-reinforced slopes

Author: Al-Defae, A. H. H., 2013

Supervisor: Knappett, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Seismic performance of vegetated slopes

Author: Liang, T., 2015

Supervisor: Knappett, J. (Supervisor), Muir Wood, D. (Supervisor) & Bengough, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy