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.
 James Lawrence

James Lawrence

Reader in Geological Engineering, PhD
Undergraduate Year 1 Coordinator
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.  
 Truong Le

Truong Le

Lecturer, PhD
Soil properties, advanced laboratory testing, soil characterisation, soft and stiff clayey soils, geotechnical instrumentation.
Email Truong
 Catherine O'Sullivan

Catherine O'Sullivan

Professor of Particulate Soil Mechanics, PhD, MIEI
Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Departmental Culture (EDDC) committee
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.

David Solans Roa

Teaching Fellow in Geotechnics
 Jamie Standing

Jamie Standing

Professor of Ground Engineering, PhD, CEng, MICE
Chair of the Undergraduate Exam Board
Soil-structure interaction; Tunnelling and deep excavations; Field monitoring; Piles; Model testing; Partly saturated soils and residual soils. 
 David Taborda

David Taborda

Reader in Geomechanical Modelling,  DIC, PhD 
Department ICT Representative
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

Senior Lecturer PhD
Director of MSc in Soil Mechanics
Director of the MSc Programme in Civil and Environmental Engineering

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.

Ken Vinck

Lecturer in Geotechnics, MSc, DIC, PhD
Deputy Director of MSc in Soil Mechanics

Advanced laboratory testing and field experiments, Soil and Site characterisation; Offshore geotechnics; Hydraulic fill; Soil improvement; Planetary geotechnics; Carbonate soils.
 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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View current researchers and their research topics

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
Sinead Birks

Sinead Birks

Started Oct 2020
Geological and geomorphological characterisation of West Cumbria
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A; Coleman, C. 
Email Sinead
Anthony Carpenter

Anthony Carpenter

Started Sep 2019
Long-term nuclear decommissioning InSAR monitoring
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A; Ghail, R.C.
Email Anthony
Emilia Castillo Fuentes

Emilia Castillo Fuentes

Started June 2021
Foundation systems for offshore wind developments in deep waters
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Potts, D.M.
Email Emilia
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
Tony Maher

Tony Maher

Started Sep 2019
Retardation of radionuclides and contaminants in weathered chalk
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A.; Ghail, R.C.
Email Tony
 Christos Miltiadis

Christos Miltiadis 

Started Mar 2021
Effect of climate change projections on infrastructure assets  
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Tsiampousi, A.Onof, C.
Email Christos
Yohei Nakamichi

Yohei Nakamichi

Started Oct 2021
Particle-scale simulation of clay using moleculer dynamics
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.; Angioletti-Uberti, S.; Tangney, P. 
Email Yohei
Salomon Jose

Jose Salomon 

Started Apr 2021
Undrained instability in saturated sands: Coupled DEM-CFD Analyses
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.
Email Jose
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
Marina Schnaider Bortolotto

Marina Schnaider Bortolotto

Started Nov 2019 [Part-time]
Investigation on the thermal behaviour of granular materials
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.Taborda, D.
Email Marina
Hassan Abdullatif Sindi

Hassan Abdullatif Sindi

Started Oct 2021
Development of new sustainable geo-materials with a focus on desert soils and construction waste
Supervised by: Carraro, JAH.O'Sullivan, C.
Email Hassan
David Solans

David Solans

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

Kai Wen

Started Oct 2019
Driveability and axial capacity of piles for offshore wind turbines
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Jardine, R.
Email Kai
 Jamie Wills Sanin

Jamie Wills Sanin

Started Mar 2020
Influence of particle level variability in soil stochastic behaviour 
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.O'Sullivan, C.
Email Jamie
 Zixiao Wang

Zixiao Wang

Started Oct 2018
An investigation of ongoing displacements of active faults in Gobi desert using InSAR technique to support the disposal of high-level radioactive wastes (HLW) in China  
Supervised by Lawrence, J.A.; Ghail, R.C.; Mason, P.
Email Zixiao
Shawn Xue

Shawn Xue

Started Nov 2018
Ground response to tunnelling with an emphasis on arching mechanisms 
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Email Shawn
Geotechnics Research Students A-Z
Geotechnics Academics A-Z

View completed PhD research titles

Geotechnics Alumni 2020-2022


NameTitle and supervisor
Bandera, Sara Fundamental analysis of the influence of structure on clay behaviour
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.; Angioletti-Uberti, S.; Tangney, P. 
Chen, Sihua Thermo-hydro-mechanical characterisation of London clay
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Carraro, JAH.
Dominguez Quintans, Camelia Static and cyclic characterisation of sandy and silty soils deposited underwater
Supervised by: Carraro, JAH.Zdravkovic, L.
Edgar, Justyna Addressing infrastructure challenges posed by the Harwich Formation through understanding its geological origins
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A; Ghail, R.C.
Elhusain, Luai Experimental study of collapse mechanisms in gravelly soils
Supervised by: Standing, J.R.
Guo, Benjamin Wei Li Reuse and sustainability of flood defences
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Tsiampousi, A.Onof, C.
Liu, Deyun The influence of particle size distribution on measures of states for granular materials and implications for small strain stiffness
Supervised by: O'Sullivan, C.Carraro, JAH.
Liu, Ryan Yin Wai Numerical modelling of complex thermo-hydro-mechanical interactions in thermo-active pile foundations
Supervised by: Taborda, D.
Mider, Malgorzata 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.
Moeller, Julia Seismic response of monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines in liquefiable deposits
Supervised by: Kontoe, S.Taborda, D.
Quinteros Araujo, Vicente Santiago On the initial fabric and triaxial behaviour of an undisturbed and reconstituted fluvial sand
Supervised by: Jardine, R.
Ruiz Lopez, Agustin Development of advanced numerical models for grey cast iron tunnel linings
Supervised by: Tsiampousi, A.Standing, J.R.
Zhou, Ding Numerical analysis of Double-O-Tube shield tunnelling
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.


NameTitle and supervisor
Kirkham, Andrew  Development of a new temperature-controlled oedometer
Supervised by: Tsiampousi, A.Potts, D.M.
Morgan, Tom Major faulting in London: Relating tectonic-scale processes to site-scale engineering geology
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A.; Ghail, R.C.
Scoular, Jennifer Using InSAR to identify potential geotechnical hazards for Tideway East and other tunnelling projects in London
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Lawrence, J.A
Vinck, Ken Advanced geotechnical characterisation to support driven pile design at chalk sites
As part of the CDT in Sustainable Civil Engineering
Supervised by: Jardine, R.


NameTitle and supervisor
Ghiadistri, Giulia Marianna  Numerical study of bentonite buffers homogenisation upon re-saturation
Supervised by: Zdravkovic, L.Potts, D.M.Tsiampousi, A.
Nguyen, Hoang Micromechanics of shear wave propagation and non-linear stiffness of granular materials
Supervised by: O’Sullivan C.
Sailer, Eleonora Numerical modelling of thermo-active retaining walls
Supervised by: Taborda, D.Zdravkovic, L.
Salim, Hendarto Assessing local and global displacements from tunnelling and water extraction in Jakarta
Supervised by:  Standing, J.R.

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). 
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League table rankings

National Student Survey

  • Overall Satisfaction, 90.2 (2022), 89.9 (2021); 78.1 (2020); 88% (2019)

QS World Universities rankings

  • Subject Ranking. Civil Engineering = 6th (2022); 6th (2021); 5th (2020); 6th (2019)
  • Overall, Imperial was voted 7th best university in the world in the 2022 rankings.

Guardian University Guide (UK)

  • Subject Ranking. Engineering: Civil = 3rd (2022); 4th (2021); 1st (2020); 1st (2019)
  • Overall, Imperial was ranked 7th in this year's Guardian university guide. 

The Times Higher Education world ranking

  • Subject Ranking. Engineering and Technology = 14th (2021); 11th (2020); 12th (2019)
  • Overall, Imperial was ranked 11th best university in this year's rankings.

The Sunday Times Good University Guide (UK)

  • Subject Ranking. Civil Engineering = 1st (2022); 4th (2021); 4th (2020); 3rd (2019); 1st (2018)

Complete University Guide

  • Subject Ranking. Civil Engineering = 2nd (2023), 8th (2022); 7th (2021); 6th (2020); 2nd (2019); 1st (2018)
  • Overall, Imperial ranked 5th best university in this year's rankings. 

View the ranking across the Faculty of Engineering

Research assessments

  • REF 2021. 75% of our research was considered 4* (highest rating), and the remaining 25% at 3* (unit of assessment: engineering).
  • REF 2014. 47% of our research assessed to be 4* (highest rating), 48% assessed to be 3* and 5% assessed as 2*  (unit of assessment: civil and construction engineering).
  • RAE 2008. 40% of our research assessed to be 4* (highest rating), 55% assessed to be 3* and 3% assessed as 2* (unit of assessment: civil engineering).