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Designing for Seismic Safety & Resilience - Pipeline to Prosperity in Dhaka

Event organised by Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics

30 March 2022

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Turn on a tap in Dhaka and there will be times when the water is undrinkable, or nothing comes out at all. The city of more than 18M people is one of the world’s most crowded and many face going thirsty as ground water supplies decline. This presentation will discuss the challenges associated with delivering the Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply Project in a moderately seismic environment.

As part of this scheme, water from the Meghna river will supply drinking water to 4M people in Dhaka by building 100km of new pipeline, some of the deepest tunnels in Bangladesh and the country’s biggest treatment plant. The biggest challenge was imposed by the ground conditions which consisted of transitional wet silts which have the potential to liquefaction under design scenario.

A pragmatic risk-based approach was adopted where a combination of ground improvement using sand compaction piles and selection of flexible pipeline joints is designed to flex with earthquake movement. The project will also highlight the sustainable outcomes and benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to delivering major infrastructure projects.


Dr Barnali Ghosh CEng FICE

Dr Barnali Ghosh CEng FICE

Mott MacDonald

technical director

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Dr Barnali Ghosh CEng FICE

Barnali Ghosh has been nominated by the British Geotechnical Association for the John Mitchell Award, to recognise her major contributions to the practical aspects of geotechnical offshore and earthquake engineering.

She is currently a technical director at Mott MacDonald, where she leads a team of specialist geo seismic engineers - who carry out both regional and site specific geotechnical and seismic hazard assessments for a range of structures in the energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors. During her long career, Dr Ghosh has acted as a seismic designer and reviewer for high-profile projects around the world. Of particular note is her sustainable solutions and performance-based design approaches for developing countries which have wide-ranging social outcomes for communities.

Dr Ghosh is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Cambridge University for Geo Seismic Engineering. She has also worked part time as an adviser for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) UK, after being awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851.

She has been extensively published in international journals, is an invited speaker in many seismic conferences, and has recently contributed to ICE MOGE (Manual of Geotechnical Engineering). She was part of the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) following the Nepal earthquake in 2015 and is part of several committees related to seismic engineering.

Dr Ghosh was the winner of the prestigious 2017 Shamsher Prakash Award for Excellence in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and a winner in the Top 50 Women in Engineering Award in UK (2020). Her pioneering work in propagating sustainable solutions and practical application of embodied carbon principles in rehabilitation of Gumbasa Irrigation Canal was recognised in the Ground Engineering Sustainability award in 2022.

She is also part of the network for inclusion of diversity and women in Mott MacDonald, and a role model and mentor for women engineers within the company. Recently, as panel member for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) diversity committee (Southeast), she is working with ICE Connect to increase the number of women Fellows within the association.

For more information please contact:

Elena Arrobbio