Numerical Research

Numerical researchers

Numerical Research

PhD students enjoying geotechnical finite element analysis

PhD and researchers Autumn 2017

PhD students

PhD students and researchers in geotechnics: Autumn 2017

laboratory research

Laboratory research

PhD students working in the Bishop lab

PhD students are engaged across all of the main research activities in the Geotechnics Section and enjoy many other oppotunities during their time here.  Our PhD alumni are spread across the world working in both industry and academia.

For  information on current research vacancies, please contact either Dr Stavroula Kontoe or Sue Feller. For more information about the PhD programme, please visit the  For more information about the PhD programme, please visit the Department's postgraduate research pages. This page includes details of fees, what to put into an application, and how to apply. 

View potential PhD supervisors

Geotechnics Academic and Teaching Staff A-Z

 Antonio Carrero

Antonio Carraro

Senior Lecturer, PhD, MSc, BSc
Fundamental soil mechanics; Advanced laboratory testing of soils; Sustainable geomaterials; Intermediate soils; Offshore sediments.
 Jardine, Richard

Richard Jardine

Professor of Geomechanics, FREng, MSc, DIC, PhD, FICE, FCGI
Deputy Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Soil mechanics; Constitutive behaviour; Laboratory and field experiments; Instrumentation; Geotechnical design; Soft Ground engineering; Deep foundations; Offshore geotechnics; Geohazards; Cold region geotechnics.
 Stavroula Kontoe

Stavroula Kontoe

Senior Lecturer, MSc, DIC, PhD, CEng, MICE
Director of MSc in Soil Mechanics
Computational geomechanics; Earthquake engineering; Site response; Dynamic behaviour of soils and earth structures. 
 James Lawrence

James Lawrence

Senior Lecturer, PhD
Upper Cretaceous carbonates (Chalk), geological disposal of radioactive waste, geomechanics, structural geology, petroleum reservoir characterisation, modelling slope instability, coastal recession related to the impact of climate change and weathering of rock.  
 Catherine O'Sullivan

Catherine O'Sullivan

Professor of Particulate Soil Mechanics, PhD, MIEI
Discrete element modelling; Particulate soil mechanics; Micro-computed tomography; Internal erosion; Stress wave propagation; Cyclic soil response; Validation of discrete element models (DEM).
 Dave Potts

Dave Potts 

GCG Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, PhD, FREng, CEng, FICE
Application of FEM to geotechnical problems; Geotechnical numerical analysis; Constitutive modelling; Soil-structure interaction.
 Jamie Standing

Jamie Standing

Reader in Ground EngineeringPhD, CEng, MICE
Soil-structure interaction; Tunnelling and deep excavations; Field monitoring; Piles; Model testing; Partly saturated soils and residual soils. 
 David Taborda

David Taborda

Senior Lecturer,  DIC, PhD 
Computational geomechanics; Constitutive modelling of soils; Soil dynamics; Cyclic soil behaviour; Soil-Structure interaction; Geothermal energy systems; Thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of soils; Optimisation algorithms.
 Katerina Tsiampousi

Katerina Tsiampousi

Lecturer PhD
THM modelling of geo-materials; behaviour of partially saturated media in deep nuclear repositories; reliability and risk of geotechnical structures (excavations, tunnels, slopes, foundations); behaviour of railway embankments under seasonal changes in suction.
 Lidija Zdravkovic

Lidija Zdravkovic

Professor of Computational Geomechanics, DIC, PhD 
Head of Geotechnics Section
Development and application of FEM in geotechnical engineering; Constitutive modelling; Unsaturated soils; THM modelling of geomaterials; Soil-structure interaction; Laboratory testing of soils.
Geotechnics Academics A-Z
Geotechnics Academics A-Z

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Geotechnics Research Students A-Z

Peter Adesina

Peter Adesina

Started Oct 2018
Improving the resilience of Africa's dams and levees to internal erosion
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.; Sufian, A.
Email Peter
Stewart Agar

Stewart Agar

Started October 2016
DInSAR for Analysis of Ground Deformation in the Rural UK
As part of the CDT in Nuclear Energy
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A; Ghail, R.C.
Email Stewart
Sara Bandera

Sara Bandera

Started Oct 2017
Fundamental analysis of the influence of structure on clay behaviour
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.; Angioletti-Uberti, S.; Tangney, P. 
Email Sara
Shiua Chen

Sihua Chen

Started Oct 2017
Thermo-hydro-mechanical characterisation of London clay
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Carraro, JAH.
Email Sihua
Camelia Dominguez

Camelia Dominguez

Started Oct 2017
Advanced experimental characterisation of offshore sediments subjected to multidirectional loading
Supervised by: Carraro, JAH.Zdravkovic, L.
Justyna Edgar

Justyna Edgar

Started Oct 2016
The origins of Harwich formation
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering

Supervised by: Lawrence, J.AGhail, R.C.
Email Justyna
Luai Elhusain

Luai Elhusain

Started Jan 2018
Experimental investigation into collapsible soils from Sudan 
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Email Luai
 Giulia Marianna Ghiadistri

Giulia Marianna Ghiadistri

Started Oct 2015
Numerical study of bentonite buffers homogenisation upon re-saturation
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Potts, D.M.Tsiampousi, A.
Email Giulia
 Benjamin Guo

Benjamin Guo 

Started Oct 2016
The re-use and sustainability of flood defences
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering

Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Tsiampousi, A.Onof, C.
Email Benjamin
 Hendarto Hendarto

Hendarto Hendarto 

Started Jan 2016
Assessing local and global displacements from tunnelling and water extraction in Jakarta
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Email Hendarto
 Hoang Nguyen

Hoang Nguyen

Started February 2016
Micromechanics of shear wave propagation and small-strain stiffness in granular soil
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.
Email Hoang
 Andrew Kirkham

Andrew Kirkham

Started Oct 2016
Numerical study of bentonite buffers homogenisation upon re-saturation
Supervised by: Tsiampousi, A.Potts, D.M.
Email Andrew
Marios Koronides

Marios Koronides

Started Oct 2018
Numerical investigations of field real-scale experiments involving dynamic soil-structure interaction
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Zdravkovic, L.
Email Marios
Ryan Liu

Ryan Liu

Started Oct 2017
Advanced thermo-hydro-mechanical interactions in underground structures
Supervised by: Taborda, D.
Email Ryan
Gosia Mider

Gosia Mider

Started Oct 2017
Understanding geological evolution of chalk cliffs and coastal processes using InSAR
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A.; Ghail, R.C.
Email Gosia
 Julia Katharina Moeller

Julia Katharina Moeller

Started Mar 2018
Seismic response of foundations for offshore wind turbine generators
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Taborda, D.
Email Julia
 Tom Morgan

Tom Morgan

Started Oct 2016
The role of faulting in London: How tectonic-scale processes influence site-scale geotechnical behaviour
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A.Ghail, R.C.
Email Tom
 Santiago Quinteros Araujo

Santiago Quinteros Araujo

Started Oct 2017
Influence of sampling techniques and fabric on sand behaviour
Supervised by: Carraro, JAH.Jardine, R.
Email Santiago
Agustin Ruiz Lopez

Agustin Ruiz Lopez

Started Oct 2017
Development of advanced numerical models for cast iron tunnel linings
Supervised by: Tsiampousi, A.Standing, J.R.
 Eleonora Sailer

Eleonora Sailer

Started Oct 2015
Numerical analysis of thermo-active retaining structures
Supervised by: Taborda, D.Zdravkovic, L.
Email Eleonora
Tara Sassel

Tara Sassel

Started Oct 2018
Simulating the build-up of soil pressures behind integral bridges
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.
Email Tara
Jennifer Scoular

Jennifer Scoular

Started Oct 2017
Monitoring tunnel induced ground movements using satellite InSAR, verified with traditional surveying
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A.Mason, P.; Ghail, R.C.
Email Jennifer
David Solans

David Solans

Started Mar 2018
Seismic performance and design of tailing dams
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Zdravkovic, L.
Email David
Ken Vinck

Ken Vinck

Started Oct 2016
Advanced laboratory testing to enable sustainable and cost-effective offshore wind turbine design 
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering

Supervised by: Jardine, R.J.
Email Ken
Shawn Xue

Shawn Xue

Started Nov 2018
Ground response to tunnelling with an emphasis on arching mechanisms 
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Email Shawn
Ding Zhou

Ding Zhou

Started Oct 2017
Numerical analysis of double-O-tube tunnelling
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.
Email Ding
Geotechnics Research Students A-Z
Geotechnics Academics A-Z

View completed PhD research titles

Geotechnics Alumni 2010-2019


NameTitle and supervisor
Abadias Gomez, David Constitutive modelling of cyclically loaded soils for application in offshore engineering
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Taborda D M G
Bischoff, Christine Monitoring ground movements and infrastructure in London, UK, using Permanent Scatterer Interferometry
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Ghail, R.C., Mason, P.
Knight, Christopher  Multiscale analysis of liquefaction phenomena in soils
Supervised by: O’Sullivan C., Daniele, D., Haynes, P., Van Wachem, B.
Liu, T. Advanced laboratory testing of Offshore Wind Turbine foundations under lateral loading
Supervised by: Jardine, R.Kontoe, S.
Mantikos, Vasileios Development of novel apparatus for establishing swelling and water retention characteristics of Bentonite 
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.Tsiampousi, A.
Skiada, Evangelia Consistent incorporation of topography effects into ground motion prediction equations
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Stafford, P.J.


NameTitle and supervisor
Buckley, R.M. The axial behaviour of displacement piles in chalk
Supervised by:  Jardine, R.; Kontoe, S.
Tallett-Williams, Sarah Site classification for seismic hazard assessment
Supervised by: Stafford, P.; Fenton, C.H.
Ushev, Emil Laboratory investigation of the mechanical properties of Cowden Till under static and cyclic conditions 
Supervised by: Jardine, R.


NameTitle and supervisor
Gawecka, Klementyna Numerical analysis of geothermal piles
Supervised by: Taborda D M GPotts D M
Kawano, Kenichi* Numerical evaluation of internal erosion due to seepage flow
Supervised by: O’Sullivan C.; Shire, T.
Martinez Calonge, Daniel Experimental investigation of Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical behaviour of soils
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.; Sim, W.W.
Otsubo, Masahide Particle scale analysis of soil stiffness and elastic wave propagation
Supervised by: O’Sullivan C.; Sim, W.W.
Tsaparli, Vasiliki Numerical modelling of earthquake-induced liquefaction under irregular and multi-directional loading.
Supervised by: Kontoe, S., Taborda D M G
Taylor, Howard Assessing the potential for suffusion in sands using x-ray micro-CT images  
Supervised by: O’Sullivan C.



NameTitle and supervisor
Han, Jeong Min Comprehensive macroseismic analyses for probabilistic seismic hazard assessment in intraplate regions
Supervised by: Fenton, C.H.


NameTitle and supervisor
Aghakouchak, Amin Advanced laboratory studies to explore the axial cyclic behaviour of driven piles
Supervised by: Jardine, R.; Sim, WW.
Cui, Wenjie Development, implementation and application of thermo-hydro-mechanical coupling for soils in finite element analysis
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Potts, D.M.
Han, Bo Hydro-mechanical coupling in numerical analysis of geotechnical structures under multi-directional seismic loading
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Kontoe, S.
Lessi Cheimariou, Angeliki Optimal treatment of nonlinear site response through a set of novel methodologies
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Stafford, P.
Summersgill, Freya Numerical modelling of stiff clay cut slopes with nonlocal strain regularisation
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Potts, D.M.
Wan, Siu Pong Field monitoring of ground response to EPBM tunnelling close to existing tunnels in London Clay
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.Burland, J.B.Potts, D.M.


NameTitle and supervisor
Alhaj Abdalla, Khalid M.A. Mechanical response of two plastic clay soils from Sudan
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Avgerinos, Vasileios Numerical Investigation of tunnelling beneath existing tunnels
Supervised by: Potts, D.M.Standing, J.R.
Huang, Xin Exploring critical-state behaviour using DEM
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.Kwok, F. (University of Hong Kong)
Newman, Tim Causes of confined space hypoxia during underground construction in the Lambeth Group beneath London
Supervised by: Ghail, R.CStanding, J.R.
Ní Bhreasail, Aine An investigation of the micromechanical response of soil to one dimensional compression in varied thermal conditions.
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.Fenton, C.H., Lee, P.D. 
O'Donovan, John Micromechanics of Wave Propagation through Granular Material.
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C. 
Pelecanos, Loizos Seismic performance, analysis and design of earth dams
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Zdravkovic, L 
Shire, Thomas Micro-scale modelling of granular filters
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C., Van Wachem, B.
Yu, Jessica Assessing ground interaction effects and potential damage on existing tunnels before and after new excavation works
Supervised by:  Standing, J.R.Vollum, R.Potts, D.M.Burland, J.B.
Kimpritis, Thomas The control of column diameter and strength in Jet Grouting processes and the influence of ground conditions (MPhil)
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.


NameTitle and supervisor
Pedro, António M. G. Geotechnical investigation of Ivens shaft in Lisbon
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.
Rimoy, Siya, P. Ageing and axial cyclic loading studies of displacement piles in sands
Supervised by: Jardine, R.


NameTitle and supervisor
Brosse, Amandine Marie Study of the anisotropy of three British mudrocks using a hollow cylinder apparatus.
Supervised by: Jardine, R.
Hosseini Kamal, R Experimental study of the geotechnical properties of U.K mudrocks.
Supervised by: Coop, M. Jardine, R.
Shen, C.-K A micromechanical investigation of drained simple shear tests on dense sand using discrete element simulations
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.Jardine, R.


NameTitle and supervisor
Wilkinson, Stephen The Microstructure of UK Mudrocks
Supervised by: Fenton, C., Coop, M.
Fonseca, J The evolution of morphology and fabric of a sand during shearing
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.; Coop, M. 
Giannopoulos, Konstantinos  Numerical analysis of the reuse of piled raft foundations
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Potts, D.M.
Taborda, David  Development of constitutive models for application in soil dynamics.
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Kontoe, S.
Tsiampousi, Aikaterini  Numerical analysis of slopes in unsaturated soils.
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Potts, D.M.


NameTitle and supervisor
Barreto Gonzalez, Daniel Numerical and experimental investigation into the behaviour of granular materials under generalised stress states
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.Zdravkovic, L.
Arango-Gaviria, Maria Cristina Ground-motion prediction for subduction-zone earthquakes: Insights from South and Central American data
Supervised by: Bommer, J., Strasser, Fleur
Papaspiliou, Myrto-Ioanna On the incorporation of site response in probabilistic seismic hazard analyses
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.; Bommer, J.
Cavarretta, Ignazio The influence of particles characteristics on the engineering behaviour of granular materials
Supervised by: Coop, M.; O'Sullivan, C.
Cheung, L.-Y.G. Micromechanics of sand production in oil wells
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.; Coop, M. 
 Schutz, Reinhard Numerical modelling of shotcrete for tunnelling
Supervised by: Potts, D.M.Zdravkovic, L.
 Shipton, B The Mechanics of transitional soils
Supervised by: Coop, M.

Geotechnics 2008-2009


NameTitle and supervisor
Abela, J Blinding struts in cut & cover excavations
Supervised by: Professor D. Potts/Dr R. Vollum/Professor B. A. Izzuddin
Aldama Bustos, G An exploratory study of parameter sensitivity, representation of results and extensions of PSHA: Case Study - United Arab Emirates
Supervised by: Professor J. Bommer
 Barreto Gonzalez, D Numerical and experimental investigation into the behaviour of granular materials under generalised stress states.
Supervised by: Dr C. O'Sullivan/Dr L. Zdravkovic
Cavarretta, I The Influence of Particle Characteristics on the Engineering Behaviour of Granular Materials
Supervised by: Professor M. Coop; Dr C. O'Sullivan
Zolghadr Zadeh Jahromi, H Nonlinear Soil-Structure Interaction 
Supervised by: Professor B. A. Izzuddin; Dr L. Zdravkovic


NameTitle and supervisor
Bodas Freitas, T M Numerical Modelling of the Time Dependent Behaviour of Clays
Supervised by: Professor D. Potts
Zabidi, H Studies of karst in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Supervised by: Dr M. de Freitas

Pre-2008 Information about completed PhD research prior to 2009 may be available from the section but is only available to registered members of the Department. Please contact Sue Feller.

Our academic standing


MEng Accredited CEng (Full)

Our degrees are accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). 
See for further information.

MSc (Technical)

Our degrees are accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree. 
See for further information.



League table rankings

National Student Survey

  • Overall Satisfaction, 88% (2019); 84% (2018); 94% (2017); 96% (2016)

QS World Universities rankings

  • Subject Ranking. Civil Engineering = 6th (2019); 3rd (2018); 4th (2017); 5th (2016); 4th (2015); 9th (2014); 1st (2013). 
  • Overall, Imperial was voted 8th best university in the world in this year's QS rankings.

Guardian University Guide (UK)

  • Subject Ranking. Engineering: Civil = 1st (2020); Civil = 1st (2019); 1st (2018); 1st (2017); 1st (2016); 2nd (2015); 2nd (2014)
  • Overall, Imperial was ranked 7th in this year's Guardian university guide.

The Sunday Times University Guide (UK)

  • Subject Ranking. Civil, Chemical and other Engineering = 1st (2017); 1st (2016).

The Times Higher Education world ranking

  • Subject Ranking. Engineering and Information Technology = 7th (2018); 7th (2017); 9th (2016); 6th (2014/15); 9th (2013/14)
  • Overall, Imperial was ranked 9th best university in this year's Times Higher Education world rankings.

Complete University Guide

  • Subject Ranking. Civil Engineering = 1st (2018); 2nd (2017), 2nd (2016), 2nd (2015)
  • Overall, Imperial ranked 5th best university in this year's Complete University Guide.

Research assessments

  • REF-14. 47% of research assessed to be 4* (highest rating), 48% assessed to be 3* and 5% assessed as 2*.
  • RAE 2008. 40% of research assessed to be 4* (highest rating), 55% assessed to be 3* and 3% assessed as 2*.