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Civil Engineering





improvement of natural environment

refurbishment of old buildings

river engineering

slope stabilization

water distribution

foundations and retaining structures

dams, restoration and monitoring

railways, bridges and roads



National Agencies

Public Work Institutions


Local Governments




I am a freelance and independent civil engineer, dealing  with the design, construction, and maintenance of the natural and built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways.

In 1980, after completion of the five-year degree program at the University of Palermo, I was awarded with my first degree in Civil Engineering, scoring 110 out 110 cum laude. Afterwards, and for a long period of time before joining Imperial College London in 2005, I have been a consultant, serving on geotechnical works including foundations, retaining structures, tunnels and dams.      

I gained extensive design experience, developing projects for hydraulic and structural works. My activity covered all stages of the construction process from design to completion, monitoring and the refurbishment of old buildings. I proposed new and successful criteria, including measures to restore the upstream water tightness of embankment dams experiencing erosion through metal drain inlets and the stress analysis of a jet grouted wall protecting a circular excavation under a high hydraulic gradient.

I graduated as PhD in Civil Engineering at Imperial College London (DIC) after defending my dissertation in 2009. Upon completion of my PhD at Imperial, I pursued my academic career in UK, during which I developed new techniques for experimental research.

Facilitated by the skills I had earned during my industry experience, I designed, set up and calibrated two new equipments for micromechanical experiments on granular materials (inter-particle friction and uniaxial compression apparatuses). I also developed new techniques for characterizing particle geometry and surface topography using microscopy, interferometry, and image analysis.

Using innovative techniques to control roughness of particles, I analysed the material response using soil mechanics element tests, including stress path triaxial apparatus, oedometer, shear box, compaction apparatus. The mechanical analysis I used encompassed closed form solutions and numerical procedures, and this effort produced new ideas and results that leaded to publications in peer reviewed international Journals.

I served as a Research Assistant at the University of Bristol (November 2009 - July 2011) and subsequently as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Surrey from September 2011 until my academic resignation in September 2018. Since 2018 I have been continuing working as a civil engineer, but returning to my role as a practitioner, based in my original office in Palermo CDG Ingegneria, Civil Design Group srl.



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Ignazio Cavarretta, PhD, DIC, Civil Eng

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