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Dr. Brendan O'Kelly

Associate Professor (Civil Struct & Env. Eng.)

Brendan O'Kelly earned bachelor's, masters and Doctoral degrees in civil and geotechnical engineering in 1992, 1994 and 2000 from University College Dublin, where he held the posts of Pierce-Newman Fellow in Civil Engineering, Research Fellow in Soil Mechanics and Assistant Lecturer in Civil Engineering for successive two-year periods (1994-2000). He earned his PhD on the topic of 'Development of a new apparatus for hollow cylinder testing under generalised stress conditions'. He then worked as a geotechnical engineer with Scott Wilson Consulting Engineers, UK (serving geotechnical design and resident engineer secondments), before joining the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, as Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering late 2001. He was made a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (2010). In 2012, during sabbatical, he served as Experienced Researcher on Marie Curie IAPP project (Nonstationary response of spatially extended structures) based in Plaxis BV, The Netherlands. He is an Associate Editor for the journals Environmental Geotechnics (ICE, UK) and Geotechnics (MDPI) and a Council Member of The International Society of Environmental Geotechnology. His main research interests are soil consistency limits, ground improvement, geotechnics of water- and wastewater-treatment sludges and the geomechanical behavior/properties of peat and other highly organic soils, on which he has published more than 100 refereed journal papers.
  Dams and Earth Structures   Environmental engineering   Geotechnical Engineering   Geotechnics   Landslides   Materials Testing   Soil Mechanics & Foundations   Solid Waste Disposal

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Details Date
Member of Scientific Committee for "Environmental Geotechnology for a Low-Carbon World" -- The 13th International Symposium on Environmental Geotechnology and Global Sustainable Development, 7th-9th December 2022, Nanjing, China. International Society of Environmental Geotechnology (ISEG), Nanjing University, Nanjing, China. 2022
Guest Editor for In-focus issue on the topic 'Geotechnical aspects of peatland restoration and management' for Environmental Geotechnics Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 1 (ICE Publishing) Feb 2022
Council Member of The International Society of Environmental Geotechnology (ISEG) - a registered non-profit professional society of researchers, policymakers, educators, corporate personnel and representatives of organizations who are active or interested in the advancement and application of knowledge in the geoenvironmental sciences and engineering to sustainable development of all regions of the world ( 2021
Member of Scientific Committee for Webinar on New Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Geotechnology (13-14th July 2021), International Society of Environmental Geotechnology ( 2021
Contributor to Indian National Academy of Engineering Expert Groups for Preparation of Technology Roadmaps with Actionable Recommendations on the topic of "Industrial By-Products (IBPs) for Sustainable Infrastructure Development". PI: Prof. DN Singh, IIT Bombay, India. 2020
Editorial Board Member, Geotechnics: an interdisciplinary, international peer-reviewed open access journal of geotechnical engineering, published quarterly online by MDPI ( 2020 -
Editorial Board Member of the Institution of Civil Engineer's international journal Environmental Geotechnics (ICE Publishing) 2017-
Technical Committee member - 7th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials (IS-Glasgow2019): Laboratory Stress Strain Strength Testing of Geomaterials conference, being held in Glasgow, Scotland, 26th-28th June 2019. 2019
Co-chaired (B.C. O'Kelly, R. Azzam and Y. Du) the session on Environmental Geotechnics for the China-Europe Conference on Geotechnical Engineering,13-16th August 2018, Vienna, Austria. 14th August 2018
National Management Committee Member for European COST Action TU1202: Impact of Climate Change on Engineered Slopes for Infrastructure ( 10/2012 TO 10/2016
Member of Scientific Committee for Civil Engineering Research in Ireland Conference (Bridges, Concrete, Geotechnics, Materials, and Structures), 28th-29th August 2014, Belfast 2014
Member of Scientific Committee for Joint Symposium on Bridge and Infrastructure Research in Ireland and Concrete Research in Ireland (2nd-3rd September 2010), Cork 2010
Member of Scientific Committee for Joint Symposium on Bridge and Infrastructure Research in Ireland and Concrete Research in Ireland (4th-5th December 2008), Galway 2008
Co-chair (B.C. O'Kelly and A. Kahru) for Environmental Restoration (session II) at the First International Conference on Environmental Management, Engineering, Planning and Economics (CEMEPE), Skiathos, Greece, 28th June, 2007 2007
Irish representative, EUCEET III, EU Academic Network Project on European Civil Engineering Education and Training ( 2006-2010
PR Officer, Geotechnical Society, Sector of Engineers Ireland 2004-2006
Irish representative, EUCEET II, EU Academic Network Project on European Civil Engineering Education and Training ( 2004 -2005
Irish representative, European Geotechnical Network for Research and Development (GeoTechNet) 2003-2005
Member of Conference Organizing Committee for the Fourth Decennial Symposium on Concrete Practice in Ireland held at University College Dublin (10th-11th May 1995) 1995
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Basic Basic
Irish Medium Medium Medium
Details Date From Date To
Chartered Engineer (CEng MICE), Institution of Civil Engineers, London 2003 2021
Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), Society for the Environment, UK 2005 2021
Chartered Engineer, Engineering Council UK 2003 2021
Chartered Engineer and Fellow (CEng FIEI) of The Institution of Engineers of Ireland 2001 2012
European Engineer (EurIng), European Federation of National Engineering Associations 2002 2012
International Register of Professional Engineers (IntPE) 2004 2012
Professional Geologist (PGeo), Institute of Geologists of Ireland 2005 2010
Member, Geotechnical Society of Ireland (MGSI), Engineers Ireland, including committee member 2004-2006 1992 2012
Fellow Geological Society of London (FGS) 2004 2009
Member, International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (and non-voting member on Council in 2005) 2005 2006
Kannan, G., O'Kelly, B.C. and Sujatha, E.R., Geotechnical investigation of low-plasticity organic soil treated with nano-calcium carbonate, Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2023, p9 , Notes: [The full paper is free to download through the following link:], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Modeling the compaction characteristics of fine-grained soils blended with tire-derived aggregates in, editor(s)Vieira, C.S. , Sustainability in Geotechnics: The Use of Environmentally Friendly Materials, Basel, Switzerland, MDPI, 2022, pp151 - 172, [Soltani, A., Azimi M. and O'Kelly B.C.], Notes: [Reprinted from: Sustainability 2021, 13, 7737, Special Issue reprint book freely accessible on the MDPI Books platform], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Assadi‑Langroudi, A., O'Kelly, B.C., Barreto, D., Cotecchia, F., Dicks, H., Ekinci, A., Garcia, F.E., Harbottle, M., Tagarelli, V., Jefferson, I., Maghoul, P., Masoero, E., El Mountassir, G., Muhunthan, B., Geng, X., Ghadr, S., Mirzababaei, M., Mitrani, H. and van Paassen, L., Recent advances in nature‑inspired solutions for ground engineering (NiSE), International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering, 8, (article 3), 2022, p36 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Roque, A.J., Paleologos, E.K., O'Kelly, B.C., Tang, A.M., Reddy, K.R., Vitone, C., Mohamed, A.M.O., Koda, E., Goli, V.S.N.S., Vieira, C.S., Fei, X., Sollecito, F., Vaverková, M.D., Plötze, M., Petti, R., Podlasek, A., Puzrin, A.M., Cotecchia, F., Osiński, P., Mohammad, A., Singh, P., El Gamal, M., Farouk, S., Al Nahyan, M.T., Mickovski, S.B. and Singh, D.N., Sustainable environmental geotechnics practices for a green economy, Environmental Geotechnics, 9, (2), 2022, p68 - 84, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Vardanega P.J., Haigh S.K. and O'Kelly B.C., Use of fall-cone flow index for soil classification: a new plasticity chart, Géotechnique, 72, (7), 2022, p610 - 617, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Rabiei, A., Zomorodian, S.M.A. and O'Kelly, B.C., Reducing hydraulic erosion of surficial sand layer by inoculation of cyanobacteria, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Ground Improvement, 175, (3), 2022, p209 - 221, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Goli, V.S.N.S., Paleologos, E.K., Farid, A., Mohamed, A.M.O., O'Kelly, B.C., El Gamal, M.M., Vaverková, M.D., Jiang, N.J., Wang, J.J., Xiao, L., Singh, P., Han, X.L., Shi, Y., Li D., Sengupta, A., Kayali, S.L., Singh, Y., Mohammad, A. and Singh, D.N., Extraction, characterisation and remediation of microplastics from organic solid matrices, Environmental Geotechnics, 2022, p34 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Soltani A. and O'Kelly B.C., Reappraisal of fall-cone flow curve for soil plasticity determinations, Geotechnical Testing Journal, 45, (1), 2022, p225 - 243, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Mohammad A., O'Kelly B.C. and Singh D.N., NovADEC: Novel Approach for Determination of the Elemental Content of organic matter, International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, 2022, p16 , Notes: [Free access to the full published article is available using the following eprint link:], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Llano-Serna M.A., Contreras L.F. and O'Kelly B.C., Discussion: The effect of surface roughness and shear rate during fall-cone calibration, Géotechnique, 2022, p3 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

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O'Kelly, B.C., Recent Trinity College Dublin environmental-geotechnics research and collaborations, with focus on greener economy by sustainable technologies, Workshop on Nature Inspired Solutions for the built Environment (NISE 1): integrated natural and engineered systems, Online, 11th February 2021, 2021, Emerging Geohazards Research Group, University of East London, London, UK, 16pp, Notes: [PDF and video of presentation available via links], Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Main Conveners, A. Assadi-Langroudi and S. Donyavi; Co-conveners, B.C. O'Kelly, M. Mirzababaei and S. Ghadr, Workshop on Nature Inspired Solutions for the built Environment (NISE 1): integrated natural and engineered systems, 11-12 February 2021, 2021, Online event organised by Emerging Geohazards Research Group, University of East London, London, UK, Notes: [B.C. O'Kelly also acted as Sessions Co-chair for Work Stream 1 (Materials, Methods and Models) and Work Stream 2 (Adaptability to the Environment), and Speaker; 181 delegates, from 5 continents, including academic, industry stakeholder and public sector delegates.], Meetings /Conferences Organised, PUBLISHED
Zhang L., O'Kelly B.C. and Nagel T., A finite-strain hyperviscoplastic model and undrained triaxial tests of peat, arXiv, 2017, p30 , Notes: [Note: this manuscript was uploaded to the open-access archive arXiv. It has not passed peer-review, and neither was it published in the Int. J. Num. Anal. Meth. Geo.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
O'Kelly, B.C. Johnston, P. and Xiao, L., Call for papers on the topic of 'Geotechnical aspects of peatland restoration and management" for Themed Issue of Environmental Geotechnics Journal, 2017, - 1, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Osorio-Salas, J.P., Summary of PhD thesis entitled "Vacuum Consolidation Field Test on a Pseudo-Fibrous Peat", Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (Principal supervisor: B.C. O'Kelly), In PhD Theses: 2013. Géotechnique, 65, (8), 2015, ppw8-, Published Abstract, PUBLISHED
O'Kelly B.C., Some current geotechnical research at Trinity College Dublin, with a focus on instrumentation and monitoring, COST Action TU1202 - Working Group 2 workshop: slopes monitoring data knowledge exchange, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College, London, 13th May 2014, 2014, 6pp, Notes: [European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action TU1202 - Addressing the impacts of climate change on engineered slopes for infrastructure], Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
O'Kelly B.C., Some current geotechnical research at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland India Concrete Research Initiative (IICRI) Group Workshop on Research Collaborations with Structural Engineering Staff at Trinity College Dublin, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 15th August 2014, 2014, Ireland India Concrete Research Initiative Group, 12pp, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
News Feature. In: Construction and Property News Magazine, "Vacuum consolidation improves peat ground conditions", Construction and Property News, 36, (7 (June)), 2010, p25 - 25, Notes: [One page News Feature on the TCD/NRA Vacuum Consolidation Field Trail at Ballydermot Bog reported in Construction & Property News Magazine], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Osorio J.P., Farrell E.R., O'Kelly B.C. and McElvaney J., Design approach for improving rampart roads, Young European Arena of Research website, Extended abstract, 2008, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
O'Kelly B.C., Development and uses of the UCD hollow cylinder apparatus, Invited academic presentation, Urban Institute Ireland, University College Dublin, Ireland, 27th July, 2007, Invited Talk, PRESENTED


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Award Date
Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, FTCD (awarded on the grounds of distincition in research and scholarship) 2010
Fellow of The Institution of Engineers of Ireland, FIEI 2008
Fellow Geological Society, London, FGS 2004
Pierse-Newman Fellowship in Civil Engineering, University College Dublin (first recipient) 1998-2000
Award recipient for best paper in geotechnical engineering at 2010 Conference on Bridge and Concrete Research in Ireland (BCRI) [Osorio J.P., Farrell E.R. and O'Kelly B.C., Peat improvement under vacuum preloading: A novel approach for bog roads in Ireland. Vol. 1, pp. 255 - 262] 2010
Research Fellowship in Soil Mechanics, University College Dublin 1996-98
Cement Roadstone Holdings Research Scholarship, Cement Roadstone Holdings plc. 1991
Geotechnical Research Award, Institution of Engineers of Ireland 1992/93 and 1993/94
Clara-Abbott Scholarship Award, Clara-Abbott Foundation, Illinois 1988/89, 1989/90, 1990/91 and 1991/92
Environmental Research Award, Lord Edward Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, University College Dublin 1992/93
Research Demonstratorship in Civil Engineering, University College Dublin 1992/93 and 1993/94
Scholar at University College Dublin (awarded on basis of fourth-year Annual Examinations in Civil Engineering) 1991/92
Scholar at University College Dublin (awarded on basis of third-year Annual Examinations in Civil Engineering) 1990/91
Soil Mechanics; Geotechnical Engineering; Geoenvironmental Engineering; Environmental Geotechnics. My research expertise encompasses the following areas: 1. Bespoke ground improvement technologies, which can be categorized into three main themes, as follows: (a) Nanoparticles, bioploymers, MICP, polyelectrolytes, cement and lime; (b) Granular columns and anchors, geosynthetics and embedded pile walls; (c) Ground improvement for peat deposits. 2. Geotechnics of biosolids, sewage sludge and water-treatment residue materials. 3. Monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines. 4. Axial monotonic and cyclic loading of open and closed-ended piles and footings. 5. Geomechanical behaviour/properties of peat, including effective-stress strength properties and constitutive modelling. 6. Atterberg limits determination. 7. Generalised stress path testing of sand using a hollow cylinder apparatus. 8. Water content determinations for peat and other highly organic soils using the oven drying method. More detailed descriptions of these research are included in the Projects Section below.