Skip to main content
Stephen Bentley  BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MIMM, CGeol, FGS

Professor Stephen Bentley

BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MIMM, CGeol, FGS

Former College Dean of International
Emeritus Professor of Engineering Geology

School of Engineering


Professor Bentley is an Engineering Geologist.

He graduated from Nottingham University with top honours having won the Williamson Prize and a University Exhibition for being the top student in his year. At Leeds University he undertook a NERC sponsored MSc in Engineering Geology and Geotechnics and then moved to the Civil Engineering Department for doctoral research with Professor I J Smalley. His PhD thesis concerned the relationship between geochemistry and geotechnical behaviour of clays and was funded by the then Science Research Council; the thesis was completed in less than 2 years and resulted in 5 journal papers. The external examiner was Professor J R L Allen.

During his career at Cardiff, Professor Bentley acted as sole supervisor to 12 PhD and MPhil research students, five of which were sponsored by EPSRC, together with over 60 MSc research projects. Many of the PhD research topics involved industrial sponsorship; companies have included Hyder, Welsh Water, Halcrow, Railtrack (now Network Rail) and the Wales Environment Trust.

He has reviewed grant applications for NERC and EPSRC and examined PhD theses at the universities of Birmingham, Durham, Nottingham and Loughborough. For three years, Professor Bentley was the External Examiner for the MSc Degree in Engineering Geology at Durham University.

Highlights of his research work include the textbook 'Correlation of Soil Properties' which has been adopted by many consultancy firms as a standard reference book. He completed a new book on a similar theme which was published by John Wiley in 2016. Also the visualisation software, 'STRATA', which was used in the design of the foundations for the 5.1 km bridge over the Severn Estuary in South West England. The STRATA software was successfully commercialised and was sold into over 100 companies in 12 countries worldwide.

Professor Bentley has acted as a consultant to the Department of the Environment (UK) on the comprehensive earth science mapping of the land adjacent to waters impounded by the Severn Barrage. He has also been retained as a consultant to the Departments of Public Works in Brunei and Saudi Arabia.

Professor Bentley has 110 publications, over 45 of which are journal papers.

Professor Bentley has been involved in the establishment of the engineering training company, Engineering Practice Ltd, the engineering consultancy, Earth Science Partnership, the software and utility support company, MBA Group Ltd and the not-for-profit recycling company and fore-runner to WRAP Wales the Wales Environment Trust.

He was the International Dean for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering until his retirement from the University on 31 July 2018. In May 2018, Professor Bentley was nominated for, and won, a Cardiff University Excellence Award for his contribution to "Excellence in International Activities". In June 2018, he was awarded Emeritus Professor status in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to Cardiff University".

In retirement, Professor Bentley and his wife spend much of the year at their italian home and are kept busy tending their olive grove.



Factors and influences affecting recycling targetsGriffiths A J, Bentley SCeredigon County Council3000001/10/2011 - 30/09/2014
Development of compost process technology for components of a municipal solid waste streamDr KP Williams, Dr AJ Griffiths, Dr SP BentleyCarmarthenshire Environmental Resources Trust Ltd 35119101/09/2001 - 01/09/2006

Supervised Students

Decision Making For Local Authorities In Wales In The Context Of Waste ManagementDAVIES Alexander Lloyd TheodorosThesis SubmittedPhD
The Properties of Crimped Fibre-reinforced Soils and their Use in the Provision of Grass Surfaced RoadsJONES Martyn JeremyGraduatePhD
Planning for Future Reprocessing and Manufacturing Requirements for Waste in WalesLAWLOR SineadGraduatePhD