Project Description

Project Title: Effect of Climate Change on Rainfall- Induced Failures for Embankment Slopes in Timor-Leste.

This project is about geotechnical investigation for the roadway under package R2 of the Road Network Development Sector Project (RNDSP) in Timor-Leste. The construction of the package R2 section started in around 2012. Rainfall-induced failure is common after intensive rainfall events in mountainous areas, particular in areas covered by residual soils.

Faculty profile

  • Full Name: Dr. Geoff Chao
  • Department: Geotechnical and Earth Resources Engineering (GTE)
  • Designation: Associate Professor
  • Achievement: Ph.D., P.E

Severe weather significantly increases the potential for slope failures. Cracks and slope failure at some sections were observed as early as in Jan 2013. It was reported that the slope failure commonly occurred after heavy rainfall events. Failure of the repaired slopes at some locations happened again. AIT personnel conducted a site assessment on 21st November 2017 to observe the conditions of the roadways, rock/fill slopes, and culverts at the site. 10 locations were identified to have slope and/or drainage issues with in the Package R2 section.

The objectives/ aim of the project:

  1. To evaluate the as- built conditions of the roadway for determination of causes oft the slopes failures.
  2. To provide remedial measures of the slopes.
  3. To provide suggestions for in proving design standards or specifications to mitigate possible future problems on similar works with in the region.


This is a 3-year project that started on 2018 and will end at 2020. This project is being taken place at Timor-Leste.

The resource that the project is using is the expertise Dr. Sangam Shrestha (WEM) as it deals with climate change.  One student from GTE is also involved in this project as project assistant who is working in the project site to determine the causes of the rainfall-induced failures and to evaluate the effect of climate change on the failures. The project Committee has recently proposed but not yet received devices for Slope movement monitoring, Surface monitoring and Remote sensing.

Dr. Geoff Chao is the project head. There are 4 project committee members and they are Dr. Giao (GTE), Prof. Noppadol (GTE), Dr. Sangam (WEM) and Dr. Geoff (GTE).

The expertise involved in this project is from two academic programs of SET – GTE and WEM.


The main donor of the project is ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB).

The collaboration with other companies or institutions is as follows – the project was received by the department through AIT solutions and Dr. Seah (Alpha Geotech co. ltd) is also involved in the project as the design and construction supervisor of the project.


The project has not faced any obstacle till date and the chances for the findings to fail is from 0.1% to 0.5% after they implemented.

AIT has provided the meeting rooms for the meetings regarding the projects, the usage of computer software for the project, in terms of resources.

AIT in terms of infrastructure has provided the laboratories to perform their experiments and testing.

Due to AIT’s goodwill and good networking GTE was able to get the project through AIT solutions.