Personal profile


Dr. Brabha Nagaratnam is an Associate Professor or Reader at the Faculty of Engineering and Environment. She is also the Programme Leader for the Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship Programme at Northumbria University. She is a structural engineer with a sustainable and value engineering background. Her career commenced in the construction industry working in structural design firms mostly in Malaysia and Ireland, 5 years prior to joining academia. She started her academic career at Technological University Dublin in 2006. She then continued her academic career at Curtin University Malaysia from 2010 before joining Northumbria University as an Assistant Professor in 2017.

Her research interest is in innovative and sustainable construction materials i.e primarily concrete materials such as ultra-high performance, green concrete, self-compacting concrete, fibre reinforced concrete, analysis and design of structures, fire safety and structural investigations, and repair and strengthening. She believes that all future builds should have as little impact on the environment as possible and use as many natural materials, in order to keep wastage at a minimum. Since, she has expanded her experimental research portfolio including lightweight steel structures, modular building construction and other structural materials.

She is also an active researcher with numerous publications in Q1 Journals and is currently a reviewer for the International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials, Journal of Construction and Building Materials and Journal of Cleaner Production. 

Selected GRANTS:

1) Principal Investigator - European Regional Development Fund NU/Lynx Precast on Self Compacting Concrete Floor Slabs Containing Fibres (2019 to 2022)

2) Principal Investigator - European Regional Development Fund NU/Bespoke Concrete on Ultra High-Performance Concrete Thin Slabs (2020 to 2023)

3) Principal Supervisor - Knowledge Transfer Partnership with ESS Modular Construction, Ireland on Innovative Modular Building Connections (2020 to 2022). 

4) Principal Investigator - Knowledge Transfer Partnership (Redbrooks/Northumbria University) Development of Composite Structures - Long Span Flooring Systems”. (2020)

5) Co-Investigator - ERDF Industrial Intensive Innovation Programme (IIIP) (NU/The Home Engineers) (2020 to 2023)

6)  Co-Investigator - ERDF Industrial Intensive Innovation Programme, James Christopher Consulting Ltd, Newcastle (2019 to 2022)

7) Co-Investigator - Collaborative PhD Project, Northumbria University – Extraspace Solutions Ltd (2019 to 2022) 




10/2020-9/2023 (exp. completion): Muhamad Sifan, Durability of Ultra High Performance Concrete. (ERDF-Bespoke Concrete Funded) Principal Supervisor

01/2021-01/2024 (exp. completion): Heshachanaa Rajanayagam. Development of Innovative Modular Bracing and Connections. Principal Supervisor

2018-2022 (expected completion): Jeffri Ramli, Experimental and Numerical Studies of Steel Fibre Reinforced Self-Compacting Concrete Walls. (ERDF-Lynx Funded) Principal Supervisor

10/2018-9/2021 (completed): Thadshajini Suntharalingam. 3D Printed Concrete Structures with increased Structural Performance: Experimental and Numerical Study. (RDF Funded) Principal Supervisor

 Completed. Tsao Kee Ern. MSc. Conflict Management Strategies for Project Leaders in Construction Industry. Principal Supervisor

2/2021-1/2024 (exp. completion). Armin Jamali. Porosity of Ultra-High Performance Concrete. (RDF Funded) Co-Supervisor

10/2020–09/2023 (exp. completion). Elilarasi Kanthasamy. Development of innovative modular construction beam. (ERDF – Home Designers) Co-Supervisor

10/2018–09/2021 (Completed) Gatheeshgar Perampalam. Optimum design of cold-formed steel beams for modular building applications. Co-Supervisor

10/2018-6/2021 (Completed): Hisham Hafez. Life Cycle Analysis of Concrete Using Supplementary Cementitious Material. (RDF Funded) Co-Supervisor

2019 - 2022 (exp completion). Ross Dobson. Structural Behaviour of Composite Light Weight Structures. Principal Supervisor 

10/2019–09/2022 (exp. completion). Kurugamage Dilini Nuwanthika Perera. Fire Performance of Affordable and High-Quality Modular Building Systems. Co-Supervisor

10/2018-9/2021 (Completed): DM Madhushan Priyankara Dissanayake. Structural Behaviour of Stainless-Steel Beams Subjected to Shear, Bending, and Combined Bending and Shear Actions. Co-Supervisor

10/2019-9/2022(exp. completion): Deighton Widdowfield Small. Development of Innovative Timber Panels and Connections for Non-Standard Arrangement. Co-Supervisor

2018-2021 (Completed) Khizar Abid “Geomechanical Evaluation of the Depleted Reservoir for CO2 Sequestration and Storage. Co-Supervisor


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Civil Engineering, PhD

30 Jun 201631 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2016


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