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Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Professor Ashraf Osman, BSc MPhil PhD

Professor in the Department of Engineering
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42425
Room number: E371 (Higginson)

(email at

Professor Osman obtained an MPhil in 2002 and a PhD in 2005 from Cambridge University, both in geotechnical engineering. Professor Osman’s research focuses on developing analytical and numerical solutions for soil-structure interaction problems. His research has been funded by UKRI, the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Council. He is the PI for 8 GCRF and Newton Fund grants. He is leading the £1.27M GCRF/EPSRC (EP/P029434/1) project “Developing performance-based design for foundations of WIND turbines in AFRICA (WindAfrica)”. This project aims to accelerate the deployment of wind turbines in Africa by designing foundations suitable for African unsaturated soils. He is also leading the Newton Fund international consortium on Unsaturated Soils Mechanics for Engineering Practice (UnsatPractice).

Professor Osman is a member of two Technical Committees (TCs) of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE): TC219 System Performance of Geotechnical Structures and TC308 Energy Geotechnics. Professor Osman was a past member of the editorial board of the ICE  proceedings- Geotechnical Engineering (Nov 2014- Oct 2020), the Géotechnique Advisory Panel (Jan 2011-Jan 2014) and the Executive Committee of the UK Association for Computational Mechanics (2012-2014). 

Research Groups

Department of Engineering

  • Sustainable Infrastructure

Research Interests

  • Perfomance-based design methods
  • Soil-structure-atmosphere interaction
  • Large-strain deformation analysis
  • Urban data systems


Edited book

Journal Article

Conference Paper



Selected Grants

  • 2020: Shallow Landslide Susceptibility Mapping in Rize, Turkey (£40000.00 from Royal Academy of Engineering)
  • 2019: Integrated Modelling of Landslides due to Hydrometeorological Impact in Langat Basin, Peninsular Malaysia (iModelLandslides) (£380825.00 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
  • 2018: CACTUS: Climate Adaptation Control Technologies for Urban Spaces (£349758.00 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • 2017: Increasing Climate Resilience of Urban Infrastructure (£37200.00 from British Council Yemen)
  • 2015: Predicting collapse of sinkholes using an unsaturated soil mechanics framework (£12000.00 from Royal Academy of Engineering)
  • 2015: Unsaturated Soils Mechanics for Engineering Practice (UnsatPractice) (£152219.56 from ESRC)