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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Maria Diakoumi is a Principal Lecturer in Civil Engineering in the School of Environment and Technology. She has over 10 years of both academic and industrial experience in the field of Geotechnical Engineering.  

Dr Diakoumi graduated from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, with a Diploma (MEng equivalent) in Civil Engineering in 2003 and was awarded a Ph.D from the University of Southampton, in 2007. She received a Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2010. She worked as a civil engineering consultant on the design of major underground projects in London for the Mott MacDonald Group and as a part-time lecturer during her Ph.D studies (2003-2007) at the University of Southampton.

Dr Diakoumi has held several roles within the School of Environment and Technology. She has led the BEng and MEng programmes in Civil Engineering (2014-2017) as Course Leader proactively working with colleagues to develop course content, accreditation activities, and the student learning experience, and links with external bodies. She has also served as Year Tutor for the BEng and MEng programmes (L4) in Civil Engineering (2010-2013), and as a member of the Industrial Advisory Board (2014-present), School Board (2014-2017), School Academic Scrutiny Committee (2014-2017), School Management Group (2011-2013) and School Research Strategy Committee (2009-2011).

Dr Diakoumi has collaborated in various research projects which have been funded by the European Union (FP7, Interreg), the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Higher Education Academy and UKaid. She has successfully supervised three Doctorate (PhD) research degrees. She is an Editorial Board member for the International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering (2009-present) and reviews papers for a number of international journals.  She is also an external evaluator of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency.

She works closely with the regional groups of professional bodies, especially with their Graduate, Student and Apprentice (ICE GSA) committee to foster collaboration between the University and Industry by arranging continuing professional development sessions and site visits. She is a Chartered member (CEng) of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Approach to teaching

My teaching covers topics on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering as well as Civil Engineering practice. My teaching methods encompass lectures, tutorials, design work and laboratory classes; my teaching sessions are designed to encourage student interaction and group work and aim to cover both the fundamental underpinning theory as well as new developments in my field of expertise. I use a combination of theoretical questions and problem solving to encourage students to think critically, understand and challenge the limits of existing knowledge.

I always endeavor to enhance student understanding of how the theoretical aspects of Civil Engineering are applied into practice. To achieve this, I encourage students to always consider the physical meaning of introduced terms and I incorporate in my teaching several examples of case studies, design project work as well as visits to major projects under construction and invited lectures from the industry.

I have been nominated for the Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning Award several times (in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015).

Research interests

My research interests lie in the following areas:

1)    Earth retaining structures

2)    Soil-structure interaction

3)    Novel foundation systems

4)    Geotechnical centrifuge modelling

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Southampton

Master, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

External positions

External evaluator

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  • 1 Similar Profiles
retaining wall Earth & Environmental Sciences
stiffness Earth & Environmental Sciences
Soil structure interactions Chemical Compounds
Centrifuges Chemical Compounds
centrifuge Earth & Environmental Sciences
Tin Engineering & Materials Science
pile Earth & Environmental Sciences
Earth (planet) Chemical Compounds

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Research Output 2009 2019

  • 6 Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN
  • 2 Article
  • 1 Commissioned report
  • 1 Paper

Higher Education in Science, Engineering and Technology in the war affected countries

Baha, B. & Diakoumi, M., 16 Jun 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Centrifuge model testing of Fin Piles in sand

Sayles, S., Stone, K., Diakoumi, M. & Richards, D., 12 Jul 2018, 9th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics. London, p. 0-0 1 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNResearchpeer-review

centrifuge
pile
geometry
sand
model test

DISCUSSION: Mobilisable strength design for flexible embedded retaining walls

Diakoumi, M., Powrie, W. & Haigh, S., Sep 2013, 63, 12, p. 1080-1082 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Mobilisable strength design for flexible embedded retaining walls

Diakoumi, M. & Powrie, W., Feb 2013, 63, 2, p. 95-106 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
retaining wall
stiffness
porewater
ground movement
soil

Global Dimension in Engineering Education – A case study

Diakoumi, M., Hoover, E., Lewington, L. & Robinson, N., Jul 2012, 10 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearchpeer-review