Andrew J. Whittle earned the B.Sc. (Eng.) (1st Class) from Imperial College in 1981 and was awarded the Skempton Prize in Soil Mechanics. He worked as a senior engineering management trainee for Western Region of British Railways before moving to the US to pursue graduate studies at MIT supported by a John F. Kennedy Scholarship (1982-1984). Andrew J. Whittle joined the MIT faculty in 1988, was tenured in 1995, and promoted to full Professor in 2000. From 2009 – 2013, Andrew J. Whittle served as Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Much of Whittle's research deals with modeling soil behavior and predicting the performance of foundations and underground construction projects. His research has been widely used in the design of foundation systems for deepwater oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. He has worked extensively on problems of soil-structure interaction for urban excavation and tunneling projects, including Boston's Central Artery-Third Harbor Tunnel and MBTA South Piers transit projects, as well as Tren Urbano, a subway system which began service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2004. In 2008 Whittle established the Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling (CENSAM), an interdisciplinary research program through the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). Through this program he has led research efforts to develop wireless sensor networks for monitoring water distribution systems and is currently the Chief Scientific Advisor for an associated start-up company, Visenti Pte. Ltd.
Professor Whittle is a Co-Editor of the International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics (since 1999) and previously served on the editorial boards for the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (1993-2009) and the Canadian Geotechnical Journal (2000-2009). He is an active consultant who has worked on more than 40 major onshore and offshore construction projects. He has served on several major expert panels; for the National Research Council and National Academy of Engineering (NRC/NAE) investigating the performance of hurricane protection systems in New Orleans; for the Governor of Massachusetts on a ‘stem-to-stern’ safety review of the Big Dig tunnels in Boston; for the Consorzio Venezia Nuovaon the MOSE project in Venice. He currently serves on an Independent Expert Panel for the Chief Executive of Hong Kong examiningthedelayintheworksof theHongKongsectionofthe Guangzhou-Shenzhen-HongKongExpressRailLink(XRL). Since 2009 he has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Professor Andrew J. Whittle has published more than 170 papers in refereed journals and conferences, and received several awards for his work from the American Society of Civil Engineers, including the Casagrande Award (1994), the Croes Medal (1994), Middlebrooks Prize (1997, 2002, and 2005) and Huber Research Award (1998). He is a licensed professional engineer in New York State. In 2010 he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering.