Climate change effect on stiffness behavior of Lateritic Soil Treated with Ordinary Portland Cement

Malaysia has used residual tropical soil (laterite soil) as a fill material for construction development. Besides that, about 25% of the total road network in Malaysia is unpaved roads whereby most of the unpaved roads use laterite soil as subgrade due to good engineering properties. However, the huge quantity of fine-grained particles in some lateritic soil exhibits poor engineering qualities and is considered problematic soil by engineers. Annually, several sections of the country have endured flooding and scorching weather. The occurrence caused extensive damage, particularly to the road structure. For example, during the dry season, the suction created has had a substantial impact on the permeability and shear strength of unsaturated soils. While flooding is a concern during this time period, designers should pay more attention to the understanding of the saturated situation. Shear strength, volume change, and compressibility parameters are used in geotechnical design. However, soil stiffness has been less considered, leading to a decrease in the lifespan of geotechnical infrastructure due to fatigue. This study is carried out in order to evaluate the influence of suction on soil stiffness at various strain levels during the wetting and drying cycles. The soil stabilisation method utilising Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is used to increase the strength of subgrade materials in order to meet the specifications for low-volume road materials. Based on the previous project (FRGS/1/2019/TK01/UTM/02/13) and using a modified oedometer with bender elements, a series of laboratory experiments will be performed using 6 per cent cement content dosages under unsaturated conditions. This study is expected to establish a relationship between the wetting and drying cycles that influence soil stiffness. This method of determining the soil stiffness of lateritic soil treated with OPC under cyclic soaking and drying is recommended as a subgrade material guideline for roads with low traffic volume.

Interested to join this work Please contact Muhammad Azril Hezmi-

Fig. 1 Distribution of Residual Soil in Malaysia
Fig, 2 Cross section of Pavement and Railway tracks construction
Fig. 3 Stiffness measurement in construction
Fig. 4 Occurrence of unsaturated soil
Fig. 5 Initial Shear stiffness with suction

Call for Participant: COME & JOIN US in INFINID 2021!!!!

InFInID 2021

Call for Participant: COME & JOIN US in INFINID 2021!!!!

Participants are eligible for CPD & CCD points!_
BEM: 2 points
MBOT: 5 points
*CIDB: To be announced

Date: 21- 22 September 2021

Platform: Zoom (Online:link will be given)
Fee: USD30 only

Dear Researchers / Academics / Practitioners,

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universitas Islam Sultan Agung (UNISSULA) organizers are proud to announce a collaboration with the geotechnical engineering, transportation, and coastal community and would like to welcome all of you to participate in InFInID 2021 which will be held from 21– 22 September 2021.
The conferences will be a premier platform for the presentation of new advances and research results in the fields of Civil Engineering (Geotechnics, Transportation & Highway, and Coastal Engineering). The conference will bring together leading researchers, engineers, and scientists in the materials and processes field of interest from around the world.

For any inquiries regarding the conference, please contact

We look forward to seeing you at InFInID 2021.


InFInID 2021 Secretariat.
UTM:, Tel: +6010336 2021 (Dr. Dayang Zulaika )
UNISSULA:, Tel: +6285740534997(Ms Ari Sentani) or +6285866888937 (Mr Niam);

Post 2020 economy review

Year 2021 will pick recovery of 2020. It’s expected to emerge from challenging 2020 in Q2 2021. This is what expert predicting based on vaccine distribution started on early Dec 2020. But I believed it will be long recovery..

Greater China, India and ASEAN will be the new economic empire..? May be…hope so.. Hope 2021 will be recovery not another black swan event.

Resumption of Growth (Credit Manulife Investment)

Geochitra 2021

In 2019 Department of Geotechnics and Transportation manages to organize a sucessful GEOCHITRA 2019. The conference managed to attract 200 participants and 8 exhibitors to the conference. The successful program has gained interest to UNISSULA, Indonesia invited us to collaborate organizing a similar conference in 2021.

Several meetings were held to ensure the coordination of the future conference could be achieved. The meeting was done through official visits and video conferences. Many ideas and suggestions were discussed to meet both agreements.

In Feb 2020, UTM had visited UNISSULA as a counter visit, this was our third official meeting. Besides the meeting, UNISSULA also introduces us to the Indonesian culture. Overall the visit was outstanding and very beneficial.

Official meeting
Visit to Old City of Semarang
Visit at Lawang Sewu
Dinner at CianJur Ikan Bakar
Visit to Kletong Sam Poo

Experiential learning

Monkey see, Monkey Do, are we monkey?

Learning by doing refers to a theory of education expounded by American philosopher John Dewey. It’s a hands-on approach to learning, meaning students must interact with their environment in order to adapt and learn[1]. Dewey implemented this idea by setting up the University of Chicago Laboratory School.[2] His views have been important in establishing practices of progressive education. For instance, the learn-by-doing theory was adopted by Richard DuFour and applied to the development of professional learning communities[3].

I believe that the school must represent present life – life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground.

— John Dewey (My Pedagogic Creed)

“… The teachers were to present real life problems to the children and then guide the students to solve the problem by providing them with a hands-on activity to learn the solution … Cooking and sewing was to be taught at school and be a routine. Reading, writing, and math was to be taught in the daily course of these routines. Building, cooking, and sewing had these schooling components in it and these activities also represented everyday life for the students.”[4]

— Peggy Hickman

In higher education implementation teaching by doing through physical modeling sees increasing use in geotechnical engineering education, there is a need for a strategic approach for integrating this powerful simulation technique into courses in a way that ensures the greatest benefit for students. For this reason, a learning theory approach, which recognizes the natural learning cycle of students, has been developed. The approach is based on amodified version of the learning theorist David Kolb’s “theory of experiential learning.” The approach emphasizes a variety of learning styles and thus is appealing to a broad range of students. The approach is relatively easy to apply to traditional geotechnical engineering coursework and requires only a modest effort to adopt. It is expected that by using this approach when designing course modules,instructors can increase the likelihood that comprehensive learning will take place.

Geotropika – Ichitra 2019 Appreciation lucheon

Alhamdulillah on 23th Dec 2019, geotropika- Ichitra 2019 held Appreciation luncheon as to celebrate the success of the programme. More than 40 people attended the programme held at KSL, JB. The food was fantastic and the venue is convenient. All the hardworks could

not be repay through this luncheon but this memory will be priceless hanging out with the team members especially near to the end of 2019.

I m looking forward for 2021 Geotropika-Ichitra which most probably will be held outside of Malaysia for the first time. Hope all the experience and bonding from the past Geotropika will be foundation of the successful future programme.

Women women women!

She has been in your life since you are tiny in her womb. Her scarifice is paramount to bring you to the world. Either she being “house manager” which the backbone of the family or working in the tough world. She always that for you.  Being mum, wife and may be an Engineer , all the struggles sometimes have it’s up and down.


I said, that’s life (that’s life) and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks
Stompin’ on a dream
But I don’t let it, let it get me down
‘Cause this fine old world it keeps spinnin’ around
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate
A poet, a pawn and a king
I’ve been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race
That’s Life
Song by Frank Sinatra
My salute to a creation called woman so a special gift to fuel their motivation  I would like to share a motivation  e book to them, so never give up especially “A WOMAN ENGINEER “

Tips on Leadership, Teamworking and Communication- Survey Camp

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, especially in School of Civil Engineering had been producing a good quality professional with all set of generic skills. We have proved to produce a prominent leader in politics, business and government sectors. Among important skills are leadership, teamworking and communication. It is confusing at first and second year of study in Civil Engineering why those skills are important. With the confusion, the student required some understanding of those skills before that can acquire it through training in classroom, laboratory and fieldwork.

In School of Civil Engineering, we had a programme known as Survey Camp which been introduced in the first year. In summary, this programme instils the technical knowledge and integrate with real engineering problems with the development of three generic skills such as leadership, team working and communication. Following are some link of videos in related generic skills. Please enjoy watching.

1. Level of leadership – John Maxwell

2. Confidence, Courage & Decision Making – John Maxwell


1.  Working together to make things happen- TED talk

2. Teamworking skills – Texas Higher Education


1.5 ways to improve your communication

2. How To Improve Communication Skills – 7 Unique Tips!