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Personal profile


Dr Keerthan Poologanathan is an Associate Professor and the Head of Structural Engineering at Northumbria University. Dr Poologanathan has more than 12 years of experience in R & D in steel structures (Cold-formed and Hot-rolled), thin-walled structures, optimization of steel sections, hollow flange beams, innovative steel products and systems, fire safety of buildings, light gauge steel frames, stainless steel, aluminium structures, lightweight concrete, enhanced plasterboard, phase change materials, thermal and mechanical properties at elevated temperature, modular building systems, advanced numerical modelling, genetic algorithm, energy performance of buildings, fibre composites for retrofitting and rehabilitation of structures. He has published more than 200 research papers.  


Since 2010 Dr Poologanathan has been working as a principal or an associate supervisor of more than 30 PhD students. His research is strongly supported by the UK and Australian steel industry. His work on cold-formed steel beams is already featured in Australian codes of practice (AS/NZS 4600, 2018) and he is also part of BSI’s B/525/9 “Structural use of Aluminium” subcommittee member and Eurocode 3. His research has been funded by the Innovative UK, European Union, Industry partners, Australian Research Council (ARC). He has secured ERDF IIIP PhD projects, collaborative PhD projects and KTP projects. 


Selected Grants 

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

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

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

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

5) Principal Investigator - Collaborative PhD Project, James Christopher Consulting Ltd, Newcastle (2019 to 2022) 

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

7) Principal Investigator - Collaborative PhD Project, James Christopher Consulting Ltd, Newcastle (2022 to 2025) 

8) Principal Investigator - Collaborative PhD Project, James Christopher Consulting Ltd, Newcastle (2022 to 2025) 

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

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

Research Supervision

1) 10/2020–09/2023 (exp. completion). Elilarasi Kanthasamy. Development of innovative modular construction beam. (ERDF – Home Designers) Principal Supervisor  

2) 10/2018–09/2021 (Completed) Gatheeshgar Perampalam. Optimum design of cold-formed steel beams for modular building applications. Principal Supervisor 

3) 10/2019–09/2022 (exp. completion). Kurugamage Dilini Nuwanthika Perera. Fire Performance of Affordable and High-Quality Modular Building Systems (Collaborative PhD-Extraspace Solutions Ltd). Principal Supervisor 

4) 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. Principal Supervisor 

5) 10/2019-9/2022(exp. completion): Deighton Widdowfield Small. Development of Innovative Timber Panels and Connections for Non-Standard Arrangement (ERDF- James Christopher Consulting Ltd). Principal Supervisor 

6) 10/2019-9/2022(exp. completion): Alex McIntosh. Web Crippling Design of Optimised Cold-Formed Channel Beams (Collaborative PhD- James Christopher Consulting Ltd). Principal Supervisor 

7) 10/2021-9/2024 (exp. completion): Sareh Akbarpoor, Sustainable structural strengthening for improving the service-life of concrete structures. Co-Supervisor 

8) 01/2021-01/2024 (exp. completion): Fitsum Haile, Reinforcement of Masonry and Timber Structures with Advanced Materials. Co-Supervisor 

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

10) 01/2021-01/2024 (exp. completion): Heshachanaa Rajanayagam. Development of Innovative Modular Bracing and Connections. Co-Supervisor 

11) 2018-2022 (expected completion): Jeffri Ramli, Experimental and Numerical Studies of Steel Fibre Reinforced Self-Compacting Concrete Walls. (ERDF-Lynx Funded) Co-Supervisor 

12) 10/2018-9/2021 (completed): Thadshajini Suntharalingam. 3D Printed Concrete Structures with increased Structural Performance: Experimental and Numerical Study. (RDF Funded) Co-Supervisor

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Member of Eurocode 9: Design of aluminium structures
  • Member of Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures
  • Editorial Board Members: Buildings
  • – Journal Reviewer:
    • Structures
    • Thin-Walled Structures
    • Journal of Constructional Steel Research
    • Journal of Building Engineering
    • Engineering Structures
    • Fire Safety Journal
    • Fire and Material
  • MERcon 2020 Conference co-chair, the 7th International Multidisciplinary Engineering Research Conference organized by University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

Special Awards and Achievements

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award, QUT (2011)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award, QUT (2012)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award, QUT (2014)
  • Dean’s Excellence Award for Outstanding HDR Student, QUT (2010)
  • Outstanding Higher Degree Research Award, QUT (2009)
  • Holcim Award for Best Undergraduate Project  (2006)
  • Building and Structural Engineering Award for Civil Engineering Student    (2006)


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

Education/Academic qualification

Engineering, PhD

30 Jun 201031 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2010


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