Dr Ana Heitor

Dr Ana Heitor


Before joining the University of Leeds, Ana worked as a Senior Lecturer in the University of Wollongong (Australia), and previously in industry for a brief time for companies engaging in consultancy work and infrastruture construction, where she gained some experience in the design of earth dams and delivery of road construction projects.  

She is an early career researcher focused on the research of geotechnical engineering topics, with particular emphasis on the study of the stress strain behaviour of unsaturated compacted materials in the context of tranport infrastuture applications (e.g. roads, rail, ports and airports). 

Her research achivements have been recognised by a number of awards, including the Australian Geomechanics NSW Research Award and more recently University of Wollongong Women of Impact, IACMAG John Carter Award for young professionals and Churchill Fellowship. 

Research interests

I can divide my research into four distinct topics all contributing to the overarching theme of compacted materials behaviour:

  1.  Impact of climate change in geostrutures with particular reference to transport infrastructure This includes the study of the role of compaction state in the trasnport substruture materials behaviour and associated performance post-compaction drying and wetting cycles
  2.  Soil stabilization applied to transport infrastruture for enhancing performance/resiliency against climate change. This includes the use of waste materials such as lignosulfunate and fly ash but also use of bio-mediation as low carbon alternative to more established binders (e.g. lime and cement).
  3. Behaviour of compacted  waste materials to be used as synthetic fill materials. This includes but not limited to waste materials such as steel slag, coalwash, rubber, fly ash. 
  4. Geoenviromental applications This includes strategies for management of soil acidicity (e.g permeable reactive barriers) and for carbon sequestration in soils 


  • LicEng (MEng equivalent) from the New University of Lisbon (Portugal), 2004
  • MSc in Geotechnical Engineering from Kyoto University (Japan) , 2009
  • PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Wollongong (Australia), 2013

Professional memberships

  • MIEAust (Australia)
  • Engineers Australia (Australia)
  • Ordem dos Engenheiros (Portugal)
  • Australian Geomechanics Society

Student education

I presently teach Modules on the Post-graduate taught program in Geotechnical Engineering: 

CIVE 5160M – Geotechnical Investigation and Characterisation

CIVE 5162M – Constituitive Models and Numerical Analysis

CIVE 5164M – Transport Infrastructure Strategy

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities and Infrastructure
  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering
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