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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment


Cohort 2's Alexandra Clarà  Saracho’s stellar career grows by leaps and bounds. When Alexandra finished her PhD in FIBE CDT in 2021, she was appointed a Research Fellow at King’s College, University of Cambridge. Barely 2 years after her PhD graduation, in January 2023, she has been conferred Assistant Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. 

At the intersection between geotechnical engineering, the biological sciences, and materials chemistry, Alexandra's research expertise lies in the field of bio-mediated soil processes and sustainable geotechnical engineering practices. Through a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary approach, Alexandra combined fundamental investigations of microbial processes, with the characterization and physical modelling of bio-geotechnical systems to advance fundamental engineering knowledge and develop innovative technologies for CCS, geothermal energy generation, hazard mitigation, and infrastructure construction. 

Furthermore, she has also leveraged methods to 3D print soft materials that encapsulate bacteria and have properties that can change in response to external stimuli, such as soluble signaling factors. This is advancing fundamental science for engineering living materials with site-specific cellular composition and unprecedented functionalities, including adaptive behavior, CO2 sequestration, and autonomous self-fabrication and structure formation in the form of mineral reinforcement. 

"I am presently the principal investigator of a Royal Society Grant and a recipient of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Bright Spark Lecture Award. Ultimately, through rigorous science, I strive to generate solid engineering that can make a meaningful and positive impact in society."
Alexandra Clarà Saracho

Recently, Alexandra has been selected to receive the ISSMGE Environmental Geotechnics Bright Spark Lecture Award. The International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering ISSMGE is the pre-eminent professional body representing the interests and activities of engineers, academics and contractors worldwide that actively participate in geotechnical engineering. The ISSMGE provides a focus for professional leadership to some 90 Member Societies and around 20,000 individual members.

The Bright Spark Lecture Award was created to promote young geotechnical researchers of ISSMGE to play a significant role in various international and regional conferences, with the opportunity to deliver keynote lectures.

The award will be presented during the 9th International Congress on Environmental Geotechnics in Crete (Greece), 25-29 June 2023.  While there, Alexandra will be giving a Plenary Lecture about Biogeotechnics.

Well done and Congratulations Alexandra!