Our people

Academic staff | Research students | Former staff | Alumni | Visitors

Academic staff

  • Professor David Airey
    Experimental geotechnics including the fundamental behaviours of soils, cemented soils and weak rocks, laboratory testing of soil and rock, development of new testing equipment and instrumentation, model tests of foundation elements, offshore geotechnics and environmental geotechnics

  • Dr Fernando Alonso-Marroquin
    Modelling and simulation of complex systems, particle-based methods, lattice Boltzmann methods, granular flow, pedestrian flow, traffic flow and stock markets

  • Professor Itai Einav, Director
    Geomechanics, granular physics, geotechnical engineering, soil mechanics, continuum mechanics, particle-based simulations, particle flow, heat transfer, convection, energy efficiency, comminution, breakage mechanics, particle melting, particle segregation, particle agglomeration, fluid transport in partially saturated granular soils, bench-top experiments.

  • Associate Professor Abbas El-Zein
    Contaminant migration in soils, thermo-mechanical consolidation for radioactive waste disposal, modelling of health impacts of climate change and environmental risk perception

  • Dr Yixiang Gan
    Solid mechanics, mechanics of granular and heterogeneous materials, multiscale modelling, discrete element method

  • Dr Javad Ghorbani
    Partially saturated materials, geotechnical engineering, soil mechanics

  • Dr Fran├žois Guillard
    Granular materials, experimental physics, soft matter, rheology, radiography, tomography

  • Dr Benjy Marks
    Granular flow, segregation, grain crushing, grainsize dynamics, discrete element method, material point method, cellular automata, tomography, radiography

  • Emeritus Professor Harry Poulos
    Pile foundations, foundation settlements and earthquake engineering

  • Dr Gwénaëlle Proust
    Characterisation and modelling of relationships between properties of materials and their microstructure, experimentation, characterisation and modelling of the mechanical properties and structures of materials

  • Dr Pierre Rognon
    Granular flow, geotechnical hazards, constitutive modelling, material point method, discrete element method, soil anchors

  • Associate Professor Luming Shen
    Solid mechanics, multiscale modelling and simulation, nano-mechanics and materials, impact engineering

  • Emeritus Professor John Small
    Pavement design, behaviour of piled and piled raft foundations, excavation and tunnelling problems, numerical modelling including finite element and finite layer methods

Former staff

  • Dr Emmanuel Flores Johnson
  • Dr Rachel Gelet
  • Dr Irene Guiamatsia
  • Dr Dorian Hanaor
  • Dr Giang Nguyen

Research students


  • Dr Oded Ben Nun
  • Dr Glen Burton (co-supervised by the University of Newcastle)
  • Dr Shiaohuey Chow
  • Dr Sam Clarke (co-supervised by the School of Geosciences)
  • Dr Arghya Das
  • Dr Sagar Das
  • Dr Youven Duraisamay
  • Dr Ali Ghavam-Nasiri
  • Dr Ling Li
  • Dr Kate McDonell
  • Dr Mohsen Masoudian
  • Dr Guien Miao
  • Dr Thomas Miller
  • Dr Richard Moyle
  • Dr Yahya Nazhat
  • Dr Shumiao Shen
  • Dr Alessandro Tengattini
  • Dr Fahim Tonmoy
  • Dr Ruoyu Wang
  • Dr Phyllis Yu (co-supervised by the School of Geosciences)
  • Dr Chunshun (Ivan) Zhang



  • Associate Professor Miladin Radovic visited us in 2012 and will return this year from September to October and again from November to December. Dr Radovic received a BS and a MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1997 and 1992, respectively. In 2001 he received a PhD in materials engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, US. That same year he began his postdoctoral research at the Oak Ridge National. In 2006 he moved to the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, US. His research interests relate to the processing and mechanical behaviour of advanced structural and multi-functional ceramics for high-temperature applications such as MAX phases, fast ionic conductors and geopolymers.
  • Julia Ott visited us from May to July 2013. Ms Ott is a PhD candidate from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, who is researching effective properties in granular materials in energy applications, including lithium-ion batteries and solid oxide fuel cells.


  • Dr Ratna Kumar Annabattula visited us from July to September 2012. Dr Annabattula is a research scientist at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, where he works on thermal problems in functional granular materials. During his stay he gave a talk on micro-channel formation on thin films.
  • Manuel Feuchter visited us from November to December 2012. He is working on developing 3-omega-method for measuring thermal conductivities in micro- to nanoscale materials at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. During his stay his measurement system was extended to compacted granular materials.
  • Professor Alexander (Sasha) M Puzrin visited us for a second time in 2012 (see below for his 2011 visit), as part of collaborative work with the Geomechanics group at ETH, Zurich. During his stay he gave a talk about state of geomechanics research globally.


  • Professor Masayuki Hyodo is the chair of TC105 on micromechanics of geomaterials and a Professor of Environmental Geotechnical Engineering at Yamaguchi University, Japan. He visited the Lab and gave an interesting talk on the state of earthquake damage in Japan as a result of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
  • Associate Professor Motoyuki Suzuki visited us with Professor Masayuki Hyodo and gave a talk on earthquake dynamics and geomechanics. Associate Professor Suzuki studies the dynamic nature of naturally cemented sand, and its stability during earthquakes.
  • Dr James Hambleton visited us in October 2011, during which he gave a talk on contact problems in plasticity. Dr Hambleton is a Research Associate at The School of Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
  • Professor Stefan Luding visited us in July 2011 as part of a tour around Australia. He is Professor for Multi-Scale Mechanics in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands. His research deals with fluids and solids, particles and their contacts, granular materials and powders, micro-fluid systems, self-healing materials and a variety of multi-scale theory and modelling approaches.
  • Dr Giuseppe Buscarnera visited us from the Politecnico di Milano in 2011 to work with Professor Einav on the interaction between saturation processes and particle breakage. He worked on the constitutive modelling of unsaturated soils, the theory of material instability and its application to slope stability analyses.
  • Dr Emmanuil Veveakis visited us from the National Technical University of Athens to work with Professor Einav on the influence of microstructure to the response of faults, by studying possible particle breakage and growth processes. He works on the mathematical modelling of multi-physical mechanisms taking place during landslides and earthquakes.
  • Professor Alexander (Sasha) M Puzrin visited us from January to February 2011, and gave a seminar to the School of Civil Engineering. He has been Professor and Chair of Geotechnical Engineering at the Institute for Geotechnical Engineering at the ETH Zurich since 2004. He is engaged in the analysis of progressive and catastrophic failure in soils in creeping and tsunamigenic landslides, development of novel sensor technologies for geotechnical monitoring, chemical and biological soil improvement and the constitutive modelling of geo- and biomaterials. Professor Puzrin is currently involved as an expert and consultant in large-scale geotechnical projects in Russia, Israel, the US, Mexico and Switzerland.


  • Dr Adrian Russell visited us from the University of New South Wales. Dr Russell is an expert in the behaviour of unsaturated and fibre-reinforced soils. During his visit he researched particle crushing in granular media with Professor Einav.
  • Professor J Carlos Santamarina visited us in November and gave a talk at our Particles, Grains and Complex Fluids seminar series. He is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, US, where he holds the Goizueta Foundation Faculty Chair.
  • Kevin Gentric visited us from the University of Technology of Belfort Montbéliard in France, and worked on crystal plasticity modelling of titanium and magnesium. This was part of a project in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals.
  • Camille Drubay visiting us from the Université de Technologie de Troyes in France. Her project was on the characterisation of heritage materials. Several pieces of cast iron from bridges built in Australia between 1880 and 1930 were collected and comparisons were made using their mechanical properties by doing hardness testing, tensile testing and fracture testing. The microstructure of these materials was characterised using microscopy techniques such as optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.