Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Honorary Research Fellow







406Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Sarada K Sarma

Dr Sarada Sarma B.Tech (Hons) PhD DIC MASCE grew up in Assam India and studied Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India. After working for a few years as an engineer on the Umium Dam construction project in Assam, he came to England in 1964 to study for his PhD at Imperial College, joining the staff in 1967.

Having developed a strong interest in earthquakes following his first-hand experience of the 1950 Assam earthquake of Magnitude 8.6, Dr Sarma focused his research efforts on the fields of geotechnical earthquake engineering and engineering seismology.

In 1973 Dr Sarma introduced the first Sarma Method followed by the second more popular Sarma Method in 1979 for analysing stability of slopes both for use in seismic as well as in static conditions.

Prior to his retirement in 2004, Dr Sarma was responsible for teaching undergraduate and MSc courses in Engineering Seismology and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and supervised many PhD projects in the above mentioned areas. He is now Emeritus Reader at Imperial College and continuing his research.

Dr. Sarma has also served as a consultant on a number of projects for industry. In addition, he was invited by the Government of India to advise on the seismological and geotechnical aspects of earthquakes following the disastrous Bhuj Earthquake of India in January 2001.

Dr. Sarma has been a regular visiting professor of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology at the Institute of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at Delft, Netherlands, since 1984. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Javeriana, Civil Engineering Department, Bogota, Colombia, in 1997, at the University of Wollongong, Australia, Civil and Mining Engineering Department in 1994, at the University of West Indies, Mona in Kingston, Jamaica in 1994, a visiting lecturer on Soil Dynamics at the Texas A & M University in 1987, a visiting lecturer at the US Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA in 1987 and in 1975, a visiting Research fellow at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in 1974, a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Earthquake Engineering & Engineering Seismology, Skopje, Yugoslavia in 1968 and in 1971.

Dr. Sarma was a member of the editorial board for the international journal, Computers & Geotechnics, a committee member for drafting of the Eurocode 8 part 5 on Foundations and Geotechnical aspects and a member of International Scientific Committees of many International Conferences related to Earthquake Engineering and has chaired a number of sessions at such Conferences. In addition, Dr Sarma serves as a referee for the Australian, Canadian and Hong Kong Research Councils as well as for EPSRC.

Areas of Expertise

Engineering seismology and earthquake engineering including design of earth dams and embankments for both seismic and non-seismic conditions, assessing seismic hazard of engineering sites including soil layer effects, assessing design seismic ground motions, design of foundations and retaining walls for seismic conditions.



Douglas J, Sarma SK, 2013, Nicholas Neocles Ambraseys OBITUARY, Geotechnique, Vol:63, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:1456-1457

Tan D, Sarma SK, 2008, Finite element verification of an enhanced limit equilibrium method for slope analysis, Geotechnique, Vol:58, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:481-487

Wang JJ, Lin X, Sarma SK, et al., 2007, Determination of critical slip surface in slope analysis - Discussion, Geotechnique, Vol:57, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:481-482

Sarma SK, Tan D, 2006, Determination of critical slip surface in slope analysis, Geotechnique, Vol:56, ISSN:0016-8505, Pages:539-550


Taylor, M., Kontoe, et al., 2007, A review of performance based design procedures for the design of earth retaining structures under seismic loading, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Thessaloniki, Greece

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