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Dr Joao Mendes

Senior Lecturer

Department: Mechanical and Construction Engineering

My research interests are primarily related to the understanding of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils through laboratory and field experiments.

On one hand, understanding the impact of future climate and its effects on the stability and serviceability of earth structures (e.g. embankments); and, on the other, in the development and optimisation of new and existing methodologies for the study of unsaturated soils in laboratory (e.g. development of double cell triaxial cells) or as means of monitoring the water retention behaviour in earth infrastructure (e.g. in the improvement of high capacity tensiometers or HCTs). On the latter, I have a particular interest in understanding and how to prevent/minimise cavitation in HCTs.

Other research interests are related to the development of eco-friendly construction materials and to the capillary pressure build up in early age concrete. 

Research Gate

Campus Address

Ellison Building ELB117


  • Civil Engineering PhD Assessment of the impact of climate change on an instrumented embankment: an unsaturated soil mechanics approach June 30 2011
  • Engineering Other Qualification Licenciature em Engenharia Geologica June 21 2005

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • On the development of an Ultra-High Capacity Tensiometer capable of measuring water tensions to 7 MPa, Mendes, J., Gallipoli, D., Tarantino, A., Toll, D. 1 Jun 2019, In: Geotechnique
  • Optimization of bricks production by earth hypercompaction prior to firing, Bruno, A., Gallipoli, D., Perlot, C., Mendes, J. 20 Mar 2019, In: Journal of Cleaner Production
  • First Saturation and Resaturation of High Capacity Tensiometers with 1.5 MPa High Air Entry Value (HAEV) Ceramic Filters, Mendes, J., Gallipoli, D., Toll, D., Tarantino, A. Jun 2018, Second Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
  • A microstructural insight into the hygro-mechanical behaviour of a stabilised hypercompacted earth, Bruno, A., Perlot, C., Mendes, J., Gallipoli, D. Feb 2018, In: Materials and Structures
  • Effect of stabilisation on mechanical properties, moisture buffering and water durability of hypercompacted earth, Bruno, A., Gallipoli, D., Perlot, C., Mendes, J. 15 Sep 2017, In: Construction and Building Materials
  • A geotechnical perspective of raw earth building, Gallipoli, D., Bruno, A., Perlot, C., Mendes, J. Jun 2017, In: Acta Geotechnica
  • Mechanical behaviour of hypercompacted earth for building construction, Bruno, A., Gallipoli, D., Perlot, C., Mendes, J. 1 Apr 2017, In: Materials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
  • Influence of initial water content on the mechanical behavior of unsaturated sandy clay soil, Mendes, J., Toll, D. Dec 2016, In: International Journal of Geomechanics
  • Advances in the monitoring of geo-structure subjected to climate loading, Tarantino, A., Gallipoli, D., Jommi, C., Mendes, J., Capotosto, A., Amabile, A., Pedrotti, M., Pozzato, A., Beneš, V., Bottaro, F., Denzer, H., Boeck, F. 12 Sep 2016, In: E3S Web of Conferences
  • Building the UPPA high capacity tensiometer, Mendes, J., Gallipoli, D., Boeck, F., Von Unold, G., Tarantino, A. 12 Sep 2016, In: E3S Web of Conferences


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