Dr Esther Norton

Interim Head of School

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Built environment

Research Supervision:Yes

Esther's area of expertise is engineering education and innovative curriculum design. Esther is particularly interested in designing project based curricula which attract a diverse spectrum of people by reflecting the holistic nature of engineering and highlighting the environmental, societal and ethical implications of engineering projects as much as the technical.



After completing a doctorate in geotechnical engineering at the University of Sheffield Esther worked as a civil engineering academic at a university in the North of Chile for many years. She taught soil mechanics and dynamics and also won a World Bank grant to develop a skills based curriculum. With this grant Esther equipped engineering labs and built study rooms for the students to carry out practical project work. Since being at ARU she has completely redesigned the engineering undergraduate curricula so our courses are now project based. This means our students are developing the professional skills they need to hit the ground running on graduation.

Spoken Languages

English and Spanish

Research interests

  • Landfill Engineering
  • Soil Liquefaction

Areas of research supervision

  • Galleting: history and usage
  • Mathematical modelling of flow through course grained drainage material
  • Finite element analysis applied to soil liquefaction
  • Geotextiles used as root barriers


  • BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering
  • MSc Civil Engineering
  • Degree Apprenticeships Civil Engineering


  • BEng (Hons) Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
  • PhD Geotechnical Engineering, University of Sheffield
  • PGCertHE, Anglia Ruskin University

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Senior Fellow, the Higher Education Academy
  • Chartered Engineer, MIET

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Landfill feasibility studies
  • Hydroelectric feasibility studies