Shobha K. Bhatia

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence

Civil and Environmental Engineering

151K Link Hall



  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1980.
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee, India, 1973.
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee, India, 1971.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Use of synthetics and natural products in mitigating soil erosion and soil
  • Dewatering and containment of dredged sediments and waste
  • Use of recycle materials in civil infrastructures
  • Women in science and engineering

Dr. Bhatia’s current research efforts focus on the testing, development, design, and innovative use of sustainable natural and polymeric materials for the protection of water quality. In the area of soil erosion, a significant issue that can negatively impact surface water quality, Dr. Bhatia has worked extensively to develop methods to reduce stream bank erosion, evaluate the properties and performance of erosion control products, and develop new, innovative products to minimize soil erosion. Using a multidisciplinary collaborative approach, Dr. Bhatia has worked closely with manufacturers, national and international agencies, and research centers in the development of sustainable solutions for soil erosion issues. Recently, Dr. Bhatia worked on a research project to assess stream restoration methods to reduce stream bank erosion in the Catskill Mountains. Dr. Bhatia has also performed research to evaluate the technical, political, and cultural aspects of the use of natural erosion control materials (coir and jute) in India and the United States. Dr. Bhatia has also established unique testing facilities at Syracuse University to test erosion control products.

Dr. Bhatia has also worked extensively on the development of sustainable materials and methods to dewater dredged sediment, a significant and urgent issue in the US and around the world. Dr. Bhatia is currently investigating the dewatering performance of twenty-five different dredged sediments from water bodies in the US using polymeric and natural flocculants and polymeric and natural fiber geotextiles. Bench-scale, pilot-scale, and large-scale tests will be conducted to evaluate the interaction between sediments, flocculants, and geotextiles. Unique testing facilities have been developed at Syracuse University to characterize the sediments and flocculants. A model will be developed incorporating the sediments, flocculants, geotextiles, and filter-cake characteristics to predict geotextile performance. The systematic study will explore the use of environmentally-friendly flocculants and geotextiles in dewatering and containing dredged sediments and also provide a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of chemically-conditioned sediment dewatering using geotextile tubes. The wealth of data that will be generated will allow for the thorough evaluation of existing test methods, the development of new test standards (in consultation with an industrial advisory board), and the creation of a model to verify results. Dr. Bhatia is also working extensively with industry and international researchers on the development of geotextile tubes for dewatering fly ash.

Dr. Bhatia has also been extensively involved in engineering education. She is co-director of the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) initiative at Syracuse University. She is a Co PI of the National Science Foundation funded project SUADVANCE.


  • Recognized as GeoLegend, Geo Institute, American Society of Civil Engineering, January 2020.
  • Recipient of the Award of Appreciation from the ASTM in 2019 and 2014 for successfully completing more than ten studies and 31 one years of service to D 35 Committee.
  • Appointed to the National Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering of the National Academy of Science-Engineering-Medicine, 2016-2018.
  • Woman in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN), 2015 University Agent Award, 2015.
  • Invited and participated in an educational workshop on multi-scale soil-environment problems, to explore key challenges for future geo-engineers at University of Cambridge, England. Funded by the National Science Foundation, September 2014.
  • Appointed member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee, Geo Institute, American Society of Civil Engineering, 2012 – 2015.
  • YWCA Syracuse and Onondaga County, Diversity Achievers Award, Syracuse, New York, 2012.
  • Chancellor’s Citations for Faculty Excellence and Scholarly Distinction, Syracuse University, February 2009
  • Recipient of the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, the Graduate School, Syracuse University, March 2008
  • Recipient of the Women of Influence Award – Division of Student Affairs, Office of Residence Life, Syracuse University, April 2007
  • Recipient of the College Technology Educator of the Year award from the Technology Alliance of Central New York for her pronounced and consistent role in the community – beyond “the hill” of Syracuse University, March, 2004
  • Recipient of the International Network for Engineering Education and Research (iNEER) Award for Excellence in Fostering Sustained and Unique Collaborations in International Research and Education, July, 2003
  • Recipient of 2000 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, Syracuse University, 2000-2003

Select Publications:

Bhatia, S. K., Lebster, G., and Khachan, M. (2021). “Dewatering Contaminated Slurries Using Geotextile Tubes,” GEOSTRATA, American Society of Civil Engineering, March/April Issue, 2021.

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2020) “Role of Geotextile Pore Opening on the Dewatering Tests,” Geosynthetics International, September,

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2019). “Comparisons between Geotextile Pore Sizes Obtained from Capillary Flow And Dry Sieving Tests, “Geotechnical Testing Journal , DOI: 10.1520/GTJ20180203.

Gallagher, P., Bhatia, S. K., Alestalo, S., Soundarajan, S., and Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, A. (2019) “Increasing Collaboration among Geotechnical Engineering Faculty: A Case Study from the “Geotechnical Engineering Women Faculty: Networked and Thriving Project,” ASCE, Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP 314 ed., pp. 86-98.

Duggan, K. L., Morris. M., Bhatia, S. K., and Lewis, K. E. (2019).  “Analyzing the Toxicity of Cationic Polyacrylamide and Cationic Starch on Aquatic Life,” Journal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste, ASCE. Oct; 23(4): 10.1061/ HZ.2153-5515.0000467.

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2018). “Sediment Retention and Clogging of Geotextile with High Water Content Slurries,” International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering, 4: 13.

Ratnayesuraj C.R, Kiffle, Z.B., Bhatia, S.K., Lebster G. and Timpson, C. (2018).Tests and Analytical Model to Predict Geotextile Tube Performance in the Field: A Case  Study.  International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo, March 5-10, 2018.

RatnaYesuraj, C.R. and Bhatia. S.K. (2018). Testing and Analytical Modeling of Two-dimensional Geotextile Tube Dewatering Process. Geosynthetics International, Volume 25, No. 2 April, pp.132-149.

Fatema, N., and Bhatia, S. K. (2018). “Sediment Retention and Clogging of Geotextile with High Water Content Slurries,” International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering, 4: 13.

Khachan, M. M., and Bhatia, S. K. (2017). The Efficacy and Use of Small Centrifuge for Evaluating Geotextile   Tube Dewatering Performance. Geotextiles and Geomembranes45(4), 280-293.