Dr. Beena Sukumaran

Beena Sukumaran, Ph.D.

Professor & Chair

Contact Information Go to the top

E-Mail: sukumaran@rowan.edu

Telephone: 856-256-5324

FAX: 856-256-5242

Postal Address: 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028

Current Courses & Projects Go to the top

Spring 2013 Courses

Geotechnical Engineering

Spring 2013 Clinic Projects

Engineering Innovators Without Borders
FAA sponsored research on airport pavements featured on NJN
NSF sponsored research on imaging

NSF sponsored research on impact of Hurricane Sandy

Research Interests & Expertise Go to the top

  • Image Analysis
  • Micromechanics of Sands
  • Offshore Foundations
  • Numerical Modeling
  • Minority and Women Recruitment and Retention

Background Information Go to the top

     Beena Sukumaran obtained her Ph.D. from Purdue University in the School of Civil Engineering with particular emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering. Her Ph.D. research work included looking at the effects of microscopic particle characteristics on the shear strength of sands. She also devised a new method by which to quantify the shape of particles. She obtained her M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and her B.S. degree from College of Engineering, Trivandrum, Kerala, India. She worked as a visiting Professor at Prairie View A&M University soon after leaving Purdue. She also worked for Amoco Corporation performing finite element analyses on suction caissons. She continued the work at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute where she spent a year on a Norwegian Government Fellowship. Norwegian Geotechnical Institute is considered one of the leading research institutions by geotechnical engineers worldwide. Her research interests include evaluating the performance of suction caissons in different soil conditions, effect of inherent particle characteristics on liquefaction potential, pavement analysis, fuzzy set applications in geotechnical engineering and use of the discrete element method to investigate the interaction forces acting on particles. She is also extremely interested in sustainable design and design for the environment.

Professional Activities & Membership Go to the top

Awards & Merits  Go to the top

  • Program Chair Elect, Women in Engineering Division, ASEE, 2012-2013
  • Director at Large, Women in Engineering Division, ASEE, 2009-2012
  • New Jersey ASCE Educator of the Year, 2010
  • Editorial Board, International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (IJSLE), 2012-present
  • Board Member, Alice Paul Institute, 2005-2008
  • Marquis' Who's Who of American Women
  • Best faculty in Civil Engineering Award, Prairie View A&M University, 1996
  • Member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • Member of the Honor Society of Phi Beta Delta
  • Academic Excellence Award, Auburn University
  • Recipient of the Norwegian Research Council Fellowship, 1997
  • Honorary member, Golden Key Honour Society, 2003

Education Go to the top

Purdue University
Doctor of Philosophy, Purdue University
Awarded: May 1996
Thesis Topic: "Effect of inherent particle characteristics on the shear strength of sands"
Thesis Advisor: Professor G.A Leonards & Professor P.J. Fox

Auburn University
Master of Science, Auburn University
Awarded: December, 1992
Thesis Topic: "Liquefaction susceptibility mapping for downtown San Francisco using fuzzy sets"
Thesis Advisor: Professor David J. Elton

Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering
Awarded: February, 1989
College of Engineering, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Professional Experience Go to the top

Rowan University
Associate Professor, Rowan University
  • Consultant to Shell Oil and Fugro McClelland – Analyses of the response of suction anchors used to hold in place pipe line end modules
  • Analysis of undrained and drained response of suction caisson foundations
  • Analysis of dynamic response of suction caisson foundation
  • Advisor, U.S. Navy, Aircraft gear anchoring system design
  • Analysis of the seismic response of Delaware area bridges
  • Analysis of the effect of next generation aircraft loads and wheel configuration on flexible pavement behavior

Research Fellowship, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
  • Analyzed the holding capacity and performance of suction caissons due to lateral loads in soft clay sites
  • Implementation of a reliability based assessment of jacket pile-soil system. Probabilistic analysis of axial capacity of single pile
  • Analyzed the chain configuration for a taut mooring system
  • Analyzed the impact of iceberg loads during and after construction of the Hibernia platform
  • Developed a spreadsheet solution for the prediction of the pullout capacity of suction caissons
  • Analyzed various repair options for the Finchaa-Amerti penstock in Ethiopia

Research Engineer, Amoco Corporation
  • Analyzed the feasibility of using suction caissons as a cheaper and alternate foundation for deep sea drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico

Prarie View
Assistant Professor, Prairie View A&M University
  • Taught three courses including Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering, Statics and Transportation Engineering and Planning

Consultant, Northern Indiana Public Service Company
  • Performed laboratory tests and investigated the feasibility of construction of a coal ash platform using coal combustion by-products

Funded Proposals Go to the top

U.S.-France Planning Visit: Study of Granular Material Crushing through Imaging and Discrete Element Modeling Simulation, NSF, $15,471, PI.


NSF-MRI-R2: Acquisition of an X-ray Computed Tomography system with loading capabilities, $296,500.


Sukumaran, B., and Jahan, K., “Travel Grant to the American University of Dubai,” Rowan University, $2,000, 2009.


Sukumaran, B., and Mehta, Y., “Modeling of flexible pavement under moving loads,” FAA, $134,578, 2009-2010.


Sukumaran, B., “Appropriate technologies for the developing world,” Rowan University, $12,000, 2008-2009.


Sukumaran, B., “Modeling of flexible pavements under moving loads, FAA, $36,551, Continuation funding,” 2007-2009.


Mandayam, S., and Sukumaran, B., “MRI: Acquisition of an Immersive Virtual Reality System for the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University,” NSF, $392,000, 2008-2010.


Jahan, K., Mehta, Y., Sukumaran, B., Bhatia, K., UDOT Southern New Jersey GAMTTEP, Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Education Program, $100,000, Subcontract to Rowan University by the Millville School District, USDOT, August 2007- December 2008.


Sukumaran, B., “Modeling of flexible pavements under moving loads,” FAA, $54,100, Continuation funding, 2007-2008.


Sukumaran, B., “Investigation of the performance of flexible pavement systems under moving loads using finite element analyses,” FAA, $57,609, 2005-2007.


Frost, J.D., and Sukumaran, B., “Microgeomechanics across multiple strain scales,” NSF, $76,156, 2004-2006.


Mandayam, S., and Sukumaran, B., “Acquisition of a Desktop, High-Resolution, Three-Dimensional X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) System,” NSF, $238,698, 2004-2007.


Sukumaran, B., “Modeling of flexible pavements under moving loads,” FAA, $55,306, 2003-2005.


Sukumaran, B., and Mandayam, S., “Micromechanical modeling and discrete element modeling of angular materials, National Science Foundation,” $154,000, 2003-2007.


Jahan, K., Chen, J., Mandayam, S., Krchnavek, R., Sukumaran, B., Mehta, Y., Kadlowec, J., von Lockette, P., and Polikar, R., Imaging across the curriculum, National Science Foundation, Co-Principal Investigator, $74,998, 2003-2005.


Sukumaran, B., Analyses of suction caissons, Travel grant to establish collaborative proposal with University of Western Australia, $4300, 2003.


Sukumaran, B., National Science Foundation travel grant to attend the World Congress on Particle Technology, $1,000, 2002.


Tahamont, M., Lindman, J., Faison, C., Sukumaran, B., and Leftwich, S. Bildner New Jersey Campus Diversity Initiative, $195,830, 2002-2006.


Mehta, Y., and Sukumaran, B., “Investigation of new devices for use in determining mechanistic properties and performance,” Wisconsin DOT, 2002-2005, $34,681.


Sukumaran, B., “Finite Element Analyses of Subgrade and Flexible Pavements, FAA, $43,424, 2001-2003.


Kadlowec, J., Sukumaran, B., Cleary, D., “Visual Beams for Enhanced Learning in Statics and Solid Mechanics,” Co-Principal Investigator, NSF-CCLI-EMD, $40,133, 2000-2003. 


"Boundaries and Borderlands III: The Search for recognition and community in America," Co-Principal Investigator, AAC&U.


Everett, J., Cinaglia, M., Cleary, D., Jahan, K., Orlins, J., Sukumaran, B., Mehta, Y., Garden City: Adopting Sooner City at Rowan University, NSF, $61,202 + $61,975 match and cost share, 2000-2003.


Jahan, K., Sukumaran, B., Head, L., and Keil, Z.O., "AWE: Attracting Women into Engineering," EiF foundation, $26,704, 2000-2001. 


Dusseau, R., Sukumaran, B., and Cleary, D., "A Bridge to the 21st Century: A Proposal for a Strategic Engineering Partnership Between Rowan University and DRPA," Delaware River Port Authority, $998,000, 2000-2004.


Jahan, K., Sukumaran, B., Head, L., and Keil, Z.O., "AWE: Attracting Women into Engineering,” EiF foundation, $53,012, 1998-1999. 


Everett, J., L. Head, K. Jahan, B. Sukumaran, and R. Hesketh, “Field Experiences for Undergraduate Engineers”, National Science Foundation, $19,927 + $19,927 match, 1999-2003.


Everett, J., J. Chen, A. Marchese, B. Sukumaran, “Curriculum Pathfinder: A Comprehensive Guide for Students in Engineering”, Rowan University, $14,493, 1999.

Publications Go to the top

A comprehensive list can be found on her curriculum vitae.

Personal Information Go to the top

She is from Kerala in India. She was married to Srinivasan Vanchinathan on May 23, 1994. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. He works for Sun Oil Company. They have a daughter, Sruthi.