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Personal profile


Majid Sedighi is a Reader in Geotechnical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering. He is also the Head of Internationalisation (Africa and the Middle East) at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Majid is a Member of the Advisory Panel of Géotechnique (Editorial Board). He is also the Discipline Lead of Geotechnics/Engineered Barrier System at the NWS (Nuclear Waste Services) Research Support Office.  Majid currently holds an Adjunct Professor position in Geoenvironmental Engineering at Zhejiang University, China.

Majid joined the University of Manchester in 2015, following a period of four years working as a UNESCO Research Fellow at the Geoenvironmental Research Centre, Cardiff University (2011-2015). He is a Civil Engineer with an MSc and PhD in Geotechnical Engineering. He also worked as a Senior Design Engineer in consulting engineers for five years (2002-2007).

His expertise and research interests cover areas of geoenvironmental engineering with a focus on coupled THCM behaviour of geo-materials and multi-physics, multiscale phenomena involved in their behaviour. He completed his PhD on coupled thermal, hydraulic, chemical and mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils at Cardiff University. In his PhD, he advanced the understanding of chemically coupled processes in compacted swelling clays. He has developed reactive transport models under coupled THCM formulations which have been used for studying the behaviour of compacted clay barriers in the context of geological disposal of high level radioactive waste.

He has supervised 16 PhD students since 2011 who have worked on laboratory/field scale experimental and computational research projects. He has developed more than 60 research outputs including 30 peer reviewed journal papers. He is the recipient of two Best Paper Awards including the ICE’s Environmental Geotechnics Prize in2019. He leads the Geo-Environmental research theme and activities in the School of Engineering. He is also a member of the Centre for Crisis Studies and Mitigation at the University of Manchester.

His current research projects focus on erosion of clay in geological disposal, tackling environmental problems of geothermal energy, access to clean water and tackling contaminants in soil including microplastic and hazardous gases. He has been heavily involved in directing and management of the scientific developments in several research projects including geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste (SAFE Barriers funded by EPSRC, Rock thermal data analysis, geological carbon sequestration, ground source heat systems, advanced computational modelling of geo-energy problems and developing decision support system as part of a £10M European funded research project on geo-energy at Cardiff University between 2010 and 2015. 





Research interests

My research interests lie in the area of geo-materials engineering with a focus on advancing the understanding of coupled and reactive processes in soil and rock in relation to energy and environmental applications through experimental investigation and numerical modelling. 

  • Coupled thermal, hydraulic, chemical and mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils. 
  • Chemo-mechanical processes under demanding environments (e.g. elevated temperature effects, rock matrix acidising)
  • Reactive transport modelling of chemicals and gas in porous media 
  • Clay barriers for geoenvironmental applications (e.g. geological disposal of HLW) 
  • Thermo-active geo-structures (e.g. ground-based energy systems)

My group


The research projects and interests of our group are currently on

  • Peridynamics modelling of mutiphysics problem in geotechnical applications 
  • Reactive transport of chemicals and gas in porous media (e.g. biochar and soil) 
  • Clay in geoenvironmental applications (e.g. geological disposal of HLW) 
  • Tacking micorplastic in water and wastewater and filrteration systems 

Two PhD vacancies exist for entry in 2020 and 2021 for high quality applicant interested in below research areas: 

  • Peridynamics modelling in geotehcnical applications (Computational).
  • Filteration of microplastic in wastewater systems (Experimental).
  • Reactive transport of chemicals in soil/rock (Experimental and Computational)

Candidates with strong research track record in relevant areas will be supported for internal funding schemes and scholarships. 


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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), The Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 1 May 2019

External positions

Adjunct Professor in Geoenvironmental Engineering, Zhejiang University

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


Dive into the research topics where Majid Sedighi is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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  • Best Paper Award

    Sedighi, Majid (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Environmental Geotechnics Prize

    Sedighi, Majid (Recipient), Hepburn, Benjamin D.B. (Recipient), Thomas, Hywel Rhys (Recipient) & Vardon, Philip James (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Highly Commendable Paper Award

    Sedighi, Majid (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Outstanding Reviewer Status Award

    Sedighi, Majid (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Other distinction