Dr. Ashani S Ranathunga

Dr. Ashani S Ranathunga


I joined the University of Leeds in March 2022 as a Lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering. Prior to my appointment at the University of Leeds, I served as a Lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka for four years.

In 2013, I graduated summa cum laude in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. Subsequently, I pursued my PhD at Monash University, Australia, and successfully obtained it in 2017. My doctoral thesis, titled "Investigation of long-term safe Storage of Carbon Dioxide in Deep Coal Seams with Enhanced Methane Recovery," garnered recognition, and I was honoured with the Best PhD Thesis Award by the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University. Additionally, I received the Postgraduate Publication Award for the candidate with an excellent publication record in the year 2017.

Throughout my early career as a researcher and academic, I have been the recipient of several prestigious awards and grants. In 2023, I had the privilege of being recognized as one of the distinguished Asian Scientists by the Asian Scientist Magazine, ranking among their top 100 list. In 2022, I was honoured with the OWSD (Organization for the Women in Science for the Developing Countries) - Elsevier Foundation Award for Early Career Women Scientists in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, in 2020, I received the Bright Spark Lecturer Award from the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). This award recognized my potential as a promising young geotechnical engineer/academic. As part of this recognition, I had the privilege to present the Bright Spark Lecturer Award keynote at the 20th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering held in Sydney, Australia in May 2022.

Currently, I am working as a transformative lecturer, actively involved in teaching and scholarship for the "10-year Curriculum Redefined Programme" at the university. This program aims to reshape the educational experience of students, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their background, acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive and make a positive impact in the world.


  • School Academic Lead for Inclusive Pedagogies (SALIP)
  • Curriculum Redefined Lecturer

Research interests

My research interests align mainly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

SDG 4: Quality Education 

Education for sustainable development; Transformative learning for Civil Engineering, Lifelong Learning; Inclusive teaching & learning 

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy 

Enhanced Coal bed methane recovery 

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production 

Waste Valorisation for geotechnical engineering applications 

SDG 13: Climate Action 

Geo-sequestration of Carbon Dioxide; Waste Valorisation 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)
  • PhD in Geotechnical Engineering, Monash University, Australia
  • BSc (Hons) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka (MEng equivalent)

Professional memberships

  • FHEA, Fellow in Higher Education Academy
  • Member, International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
  • Member, British Geotechnical Association (BGA)
  • Full Member, Women's Engineering Society (WES)
  • Member, Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)
  • Graduate Member, Institute of Civil Engineers, UK (ICE)
  • Associate Member, Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL)

Research groups and institutes

  • Materials and Structures