Dr Barreto completed his first degree in Civil Engineering at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) in 2003. After a 2-year period of work in industry as Civil and Geotechnical Engineer, he completed a MSc in Soil Mechanics and Engineering Seismology (2005), and a PhD in Soil Mechanics (2010), both at Imperial College London. Since 2009 Dr Barreto has worked at Edinburgh Napier University where he is Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering. He is also the Head of the Research Centre for Civil Engineering.
Dr Barreto research involves advanced laboratory testing, and the numerical modelling of soil behaviour using the Discrete Element Method (DEM). Recent research projects relate to dissolving soils, cemented soils, behaviour of rubber/sand mixtures, as well as cyclic behaviour of driven piles and climate change effects in soils.
His research has been published widely in both journals and conference proceedings. He is also contributing author for the textbook "Geotechnical Engineering Design" published by Wiley in 2015. Dr Barreto is a prolific reviewer. He is also UK member for the technical committee TC105 (Geomechanics micro to macro) of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, and member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland.