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Post Nominals PhD, MSc, DIC, FHEA
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Dr Barreto completed his first degree in Civil Engineering at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) in 2003. After a 2-year period of work in industry as Civil and Geotechnical Engineer, he completed a MSc in Soil Mechanics and Engineering Seismology (2005), and a PhD in Soil Mechanics (2010), both at Imperial College London. Since 2009 Dr Barreto has worked at Edinburgh Napier University where he is Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering and Lead for the Geomechanics Micro-to-Macro Research Group (GM2M).

Dr Barreto research involves advanced laboratory testing, and the numerical modelling of soil behaviour using the Discrete Element Method (DEM), a numerical technique that accounts for the particulate nature of granular materials. He is a world leader in the use of DEM for geotechnical applications and is particularly interested on particle size distribution and particle shape effects on granular materials, as well as the use of AI and machine learning techniques to enhance DEM simulation.

His research has been published extensively in both journals and conference proceedings, and he is contributing author for the textbook "Geotechnical Engineering Design" published by Wiley in 2015. He is also UK member for the technical committee TC105 (Geomechanics micro to macro) of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, and (Emeritus) member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland. Dr Barreto has been member of the Editorial Panel for Geotechnique, Computers and Geotechnics, ICE Proceedings - Geotechnical Engineering, amongst others. He is also founding and current member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Scottish Universities Press.

Dr Barreto's research has been funded by Scottish Funding Council, the British Council, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, as well as several industrial partners. Currently Dr Barreto is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering Leverhulme Trust. This Fellowship has enabled Dr Barreto to focus on research related to machine learning and DEM for the simulation of soils whilst providing funding for a replacement academic. Last but not least, Dr Barreto is the Action Chair of the Open Network on DEM Simulations ( This is a 4-year project funded by COST that provides approximately €600k to support networking activities amongst 200+ ON-DEM members from all European states, and a vast range of research fields, backgrounds and experience. ON-DEM aims to promote the industrial utilisation of open-source DEM codes and the scientific advances required for the next generation of DEM simulation of large-scale problems.
Research Interests Numerical modelling using discrete element methods; advanced soil laboratory testing
Teaching and Learning At Edinburgh Napier University:
CTR09132 - Foundation Analysis and Design
CTR10132 - Transportation Geotechnics and Geoenvironmental Engineering
CTR11501 - Offshore and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
CTR11523 - MEng Dissertation (Civil and Transportation Engineering)

Trans-national Education:
Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Analysis (Shanghai Normal University, China)
Water Resources Engineering (California Unitec, Myanmar)
PhD Supervision Availability Yes
PhD Topics Soil Mechanics
Geotechnical Engineering
Computational Geomechanics
Experimental Soil Mechanics
Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering