Dr Peter Kelly


Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering

SETU Carlow, Kilkenny Road Campus

e: peter.kelly@setu.ie      t: 059 9175000


Dr Kelly is an experienced lecturer in geotechnical engineering. He lectured for 6 years at the University of Portsmouth, England and before joining SETU Carlow, Ireland in 2019. Specialising in modules such as Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Geology and Geology, he teaches and supervises all across Civil Engineering/Construction courses, as well as on the newly launched flagship GeoDrilling Apprenticeship programme, critical for the geotechnical and geoscience sectors. Dr Kelly is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

Dr Kelly's research interests lie in the physical modelling of geotechnical problems. He has investigated aspects of foundation engineering, soil structure interaction and ground improvement. His PhD project investigated ‘Soil structure interaction and a group mechanics of vibrated stone column foundations’ using advanced laboratory techniques involving transparent synthetic soil and laser aided imaging. Since his PhD, he has explored the applicability of the novel transparent soil physical modelling technique through collaborative projects and implemented research in new subject areas such as geosynthetics and earthquake engineering. He has keen interest in designing and installing state of the art laboratory systems which embrace pro-active pedagogic learning, using applied research activity to deliver a holistic UG/PG learning experience.


Conference Proceedings and Papers

Kelly, P. and Black, J.A. (2015). Physical modelling of soil structure interaction in stone column foundations. XVI Eur. Conf. on Soil Mechanics & Geotechnical Engineering (ECSMGE).

Kelly, P. and Black, J.A. (2014). Physical Modelling of Vibro Stone Column Foundations using Transparent Soil. 13th BGA Young Geotechnical Engineers’ Symposium, Manchester, July 2014.

Kelly, P. (2014). Soil structure interaction and group mechanics of vibro stone column foundations. PhD Thesis. University of Sheffield. http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/5812/

Kelly, P. and Black, J.A. (2012). Optimisation of Stone Column Design Using Transparent Soil and Particle Image Velocimetry. Proc. IS-GI Brussels 2012. Recent Research, Advances & Execution Aspects of Ground Improvement Works.

Kelly, P. and Black, J.A. (2010). Group Mechanics of Vibrated Stone Column Foundations.11th BGA Young Geotechnical Engineers’ Symposium, Bristol, July 2010. University of Bristol, 2010.

Research Supervision

Dr Kelly has supervised numerous research projects over the years. He is keen to take on PhD students in the geotechnical engineering field including but not limited to the following areas:

  • Sustainable Design of Stone Columns
  • Advanced physical modelling in geotechnics
  • Soil structure interaction of integral bridges

Engagement and Collaboration

  • Transparent Soil Research Group
  • Vibro Research Group
  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Institute of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)
  • British Geotechnical Association (BGA)