Mithila Achintha, BSc (Eng), PhD (Cambridge), PGCAP, FHEA, CEng, FIStructE, FIMMM


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Infrastructure Carbon Modelling

Graphene Concrete

Personal profile


Mithila is a researcher, engineer and educator currently working as a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Sustainable Infrastructure  Materials at the University of Manchester where he leads Construction Materials research within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering. Currently, he is Programme Director for Civil Engineering Undergraduate Programmes at the University of Manchester. Mithila has a PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of Cambridge (Supervisor Prof Chris Burgoyne). After PhD, he joined Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering Research Group at the University of Oxford where he worked for three years as a postdoctoral research fellow on an EPSRC sponsored project PI: Prof. David Nowell. Prior to joining the University of Manchester, he worked as a lecturer in structural engineering at the University of Southampton.

The overarching aims of Mithila’s current research are enhancing technical performance, resilience, durability, low carbon, sustainability, cost efficiency and circular economy of the construction materials and the civil engineering structures. Mithila’s current research focuses on experimental, theoretical and computational investigation of novel and efficient use of a range of constructions materials and composites such as concrete, fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) and glass and sustainable construction technologies, including digital design and construction.

As a research investigator, Mithila has been awarded and managed a total research funding / contracts approaching £1M, including funding from national and international research councils, such as European Commission, Innovate UK and A*STAR (Singapore). Mithila has also received research funding from professional associations such as Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). Mithila has strong links with a number of local and international research groups and industry partners. Over the last few years, Mithila has successfully completed supervision of four PhD students and one post-doctoral research fellow. He has authored/co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. He is the author of a book chapter on “Sustainability of Glass in Construction”, and he is currently writing a book titled “Engineering with Glass”. Mithila received two “outstanding research” awards from his previous employer university. 

Besides activities on research, Mithila has made substantial contributions to teaching and learning of undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has been the principal supervisor of several national and international award-winning undergraduate, Masters and PhD research projects.  Mithila has a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) and since 2015 he is a Fellow (FHEA) of Advance HE.  He is also a chartered engineer (MIStructE and CEng), and he is a member of the Research Panel of IStructE. Mithila is a member of EPSRC Full Peer Review College and also a co-author of the recently publsihed IStructE technical publication “Structural Aspects of Cladding”. He is an editorial board member of Structures journal.


Previous Employment

2012-20 – Lecturer in Structural Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Southampton

2009-11 –  Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford (EPSRC project - EP/F026226/1)

2007-08 - Teaching Assistant. Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge


2009 - PhD in Structural Engineering. University of Cambridge

2003 - BSc in Civil Engineering. University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

2015 - Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). University of Southampton

Fellow (FHEA). Advanced HE

Chartered Member (MIStructE).  Institution of Structural Engineers

Chartered Engineer (CEng). Engineering Council, UK

Research interests

Dr Achintha is willing to supervise PhD students and post-doctoral researchers on projects related to:

  • Low carbon concrete
  • Glass in facades and structures
  • Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) in construction
  • FRPCrete: A novel concrete–FRP composite
  • FRP reinforced concrete
  • Recycled/reused materials in construction
  • Materials under extreme exposure
  • Infrastructure materials for sustainable/resilient structures
  • Digital construction (3D printing, construction materials for 3D printing, Construction automation)
  • Sensing and data collection for infrastructure materials and structure development     
  • Life cycle/durability assessment methods of infrastructure materials and structures
  • Advanced computational modelling of construction materials and structures (building and updating material and structure digital twins)
  • Experimental mechanics (characterising, analysing and testing infrastructure materials and structural members)
  • Innovative structural solutions        


Previously completed externally-funded projects (selected)      

National Highways’ Lower Thames Crossings project’s carbon analysis project.  Provided an independent expert review on National Highways’ Lower Thames Crossings project’s carbon calculation analysis and models. This consultancy project was carried out via UKCRIC Ltd as a collaborative project with six partner universities including University of Cambridge, The University of Manchester, Cranfield University, University of Edinburgh, Loughborough University, and University College London. (2022)

 “Towards low impact and innovative new concrete structures: Exploitation of FRP fabric reinforcement”. IF Marie-Sklodowska Curie Fellowship (for Dr W Sun). Horizon 2020 – European Commission. (£173,000) PI. (2018-20)

Structural Metal Decks Ltd – University of Southampton Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). (£145,000) Lead Academic Supervisor. (2017-19)

 “Modelling shot peening and its effects on fatigue in Rolls-Royce Alloys". Rolls-Royce Ltd. (£10,000) Co-I. (2016)

"Strength analysis and failure prediction of glass adhesive joints". A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) Research Attachment Programme (ARAP) (Singapore). (£40,000) PI. (2015-19)

“Mechanics and optimization of composite risers”. A*STAR (Singapore). (£368,800) Co-I. (2014-16)

"Intelligent structural forms for concrete structures”. R&D Enabling Fund Award, Institution of Civil Engineers. (£25,000) PI. (2014-16)

"Mechanics of prestressed structural glass”. IStructE Research Award, The institution of Structural Engineers. (£5,000) PI. (2012-15)


I currently teach the following modules:

 MACE20152  Materials 2 (MEng/ BEng Civil Engineering)

MACE30792  Structural Design and Materials (MEng/ BEng Civil Engineering)

MACE40102 / MACE61029 Composites and Polymers (MEng/MSc Aerospace Engineering, MEng Mechanical Engineering, MSc Mechanical Engineering Design)

MACE60000  Dissertation (MSc Structural Engineering)

MACE40002 Civil Engineering Design (MEng Civil Engineering)

MACE40971 Structural Engineering Design (MEng Civil and Structural Engineering)

MACE60014 Practice of Structural Engineering Design (MSc Structural Engineering)



Dr Achintha’s group is looking for outstanding researchers and forward-thinking industrial partners to join and contribute to the research projects.


Industrial Partners

The group’s research is application-driven and it has several past and ongoing industrial collaborations with large construction companies and small engineering practices.

If you are interested to form a substantial research collaboration with us or you have a specific query that we may be able to help with, please contact us via


Prospective PhD Students and Post-Doctoral researchers

Available PhD projects 

Graphene Concrete 

Infrastructure Carbon Modelling


PhD students and post-doctoral researchers (either you have already sorted out the funding for research or you are seeking funding for your research) interested in conducting research in Dr Achintha’s group are welcome to contact him via at the earliest possible time. Competitions for post-doctoral research fellowships and PhD studentships are available throughout every year.

Prizes and awards

2018. Global Partnerships Award (£7,000), University of Southampton

2014. Annual Adventures Research Award (£5,000), University of Southampton

2004-07. Overseas Research Studentship (ORS) Award, Universities UK

2004-07. Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship, University of Cambridge


Awards won by doctoral students

2019. (Ioannis Katsivalis) Runner-up, SIMTech (Singapore) PhD Poster Symposium

2016. (Geoff Howell) Runner-up, Young Stress Analyst Competition, British Society for Strain Measurement (BSSM)

2014. (Bogdan Balan) Best Poster, 3rd Postgraduate Conference, University of Southampton


Awards won by undergraduate research project students

2022.  (Zak Barker). The Concrete Society Prize for Distinguished Performance in a Concrete Related Reserch Project, The University of Manchester

2022. (Jiunn Yuh Lim) Best Poster Presentation (Civil Engineering), Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester.

2020. (Darshan Mahendran and Arif Omar) Best Poster, IstructE Undergraduate Grant Competition

Activities and esteem



Invited Speaker  at  Ceramics Academic Forum, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK (18 April 2024)


Session Chair - "Decarbonising Construction", Engineering the Future Conference, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (28-29 March 2023)


Speaker - Şişecam 37th International Glass Conference (17-18 November 2022)

Guest Lecturer - Teaching module "Infrastructure Development" of the School of the Built Environment, University of Reading    (08/12/2022)


Invited Speaker - Industry Session, Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 International Conference RML4 2020 (20-22 September 2021)

Invited Speaker - Reserach Seminar, Society of Structral Engineers, Sri Lanka (23/03/2021)

Judging Panel Member - IStructE Young Researchers Conference (17/03/2021)


External Esteem

Member IStructE Research Panel

Member EPSRC Full Peer Review College

External Doctoral thesis examiner (UK, Australia)

Co-author IStructE technical publication “Structural Aspects of Cladding”

Symposium organiser at IABSE Conference Bath 2017 on “Instilling imagination and innovation in structural design”. Bath, UK

Invited speaker (UK, Australia, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka)

My group

Dr Mithila Achintha (Principal Investigator / Group Leader)

Current Doctoral (PhD) Students

(7)  Ashani Fernando. Geopolymer Concrete (starts in September 2023)  

(6) Xuan Wang. FRPCrete

(5) Ali Alzahrani. FRP concrete

(4) Aaruga Selvaratnam. 3D Concrete Printing

(3) Gaurav ChandLow Carbon Concrete

(2) Abdulaziz Alsaleh. FRP-Concrete Bridge Descks  (co-supervise)

(1) Feyza Yildirim. Structural Glass


Current MSc Students

(1) Hansikaa Sathish

(2) Sanjith Acharya

(3) Haya Alusaimi

(4) Neha Mariam Daniel

(5) Lydia Nuttall




Post-doctoral research fellow

Dr Wei Sun (2018-20) (now a Professor at National Huaqiao University)


Doctoral (PhD) students

Dr Ioannis Katsivalis (2015-19) (now a post-doc at Chalmers University of Technology)

Dr Chao You (2013-17) (now an Associate Professor at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics)

Dr Geoff Howell (2013-17) (now a senior engineer at a consultancy firm)

Dr Bogdan Balan (2013-16) (now a Principal Engineer at the Steel Construction Institute)


MPhil student

Fikri Alami (2013-16) (now a lecturer at Lampung University, Indonesia)


KTP Associate

Kofo Spaine (2017-19) (now a Rail Systems EIT, Canada)


MSc project students

Zhiyu Jin (2021/22)

Ting Hei Au (2021/22)

Phoebe Neophytou (2021/22)

Tereza Kelckova (2021/22)

Shuge Huang (2020/21)

Sadiq Yusuf (2020/21)

Angelina Cruz (2020/21)

Shudan Xue. (2020/21)

Yingjian Gao (2018/19)

Fei Shen (2017/18)

Tudor Zirbo (2016/17)            

Mikhail Bessonov (2015/16) 

Siân Harry (2015/16)              

Weihao Guo (2015/16)           

Sotira Gergiou (2013/14)       

Virginio D’Adamo (a visiting MSc student) (2013/14) 

Jin Cheng (2012/13)

Further information

Departmental Academic Leadership Roles

(1) Programme Director for Civil Engineering Degree Programmes (2022-Present)

(1) Civil Engineeing Admissions Lead (2022)

(2) Civil Engineering Employability Lead (2022)

(3) Civil Engineering Year 2 Tutor (2022) 



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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

Committee Member , IStructE (Lancashire and Cheshire Regional Group)

2 Nov 2022 → …

School Governor, Ravensbury Community School

6 Jan 20221 Oct 2023

Editorial Board member - Structures, Elsevier BV

1 Mar 2021 → …

Visiting Academic and Doctoral thesis supervisor, University of Southampton

1 Jan 202131 Dec 2022

Research Panel member, Institution of Structural Engineers

1 Jan 2019 → …

Areas of expertise

  • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
  • Sustainability
  • Resilience
  • Embodied Carbon
  • Construction Innovation
  • 3D Printing
  • Structural Engineering
  • Construction Materials
  • TG Bridge engineering
  • Concrete
  • FRP
  • TH Building construction
  • Concrete
  • FRP
  • Glass
  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Residual Stress
  • Computational Modelling
  • Experimental Mechanics
  • Structural Integrity

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced materials
  • Energy
  • Aerospace Research Institute
  • Digital Futures
  • Thomas Ashton Institute


  • Construction Materials
  • Construction Technology
  • Structural Engineering
  • Concrete
  • FRP
  • Glass
  • 3D printing
  • Embodied Carbon
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Experiments
  • Computational Modelling
  • sustainability
  • Resilient Infrastructure
  • Infrastructure
  • Circular Economy
  • Digital Twins
  • Innovation
  • Structures


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