Dr Thomas Shire
- Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering (Infrastructure and Environment)
telephone: 0141 330 3557
Dr Tom Shire is a Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Glasgow and a Chartered Civil Engineer. Tom joined the University as Lecturer in April 2017. From August 2016 to March 2017 he was a Research Associate in the Geotechnics section at Imperial College London, focusing on laboratory testing of unsaturated soils and from January 2015 to August 2016 he was a Teaching Fellow in Civil Engineering, also at Imperial.
Tom carried out his PhD research at Imperial College London from 2010-2013, focusing on discrete element modelling (DEM) of granular filters for embankment dams using the open source code LAMMPS. The work was awarded the Unwin Prize for the best PhD in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Tom graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2005 with an MEng in Civil Engineering with German. Following this he spent four years working for Scott Wilson Ltd. (now part of Aecom) as an assistant geotechnical engineer. In 2009 he joined Imperial College to study for an MSc in Soil Mechanics, followed by a PhD. Tom Joined Atkins as a geotechnical engineer in 2013, working on projects in the nuclear and oil and gas sectors before returning to Imperial College in 2015.
Tom's research interests are in the areas of geotechnical engineering and granular materials. In particular he has experience using discrete element modelling (DEM) with high performance computing (HPC) and coupled DEM-computational fluid dynamics (DEM-CFD). He has applied these tools to topics including the internal erosion of dams and levees. He is a member of the Glasgow Computational Engineering Centre.
He also has an interest in unsaturated soils including laboratory testing.
If you are interested in carrying out research in Geotechnical Engineering at Glasgow please contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently looking for students to work on the following projects. Informal enquiries can be made to email@example.com
Liquefaction causes the ground to undergo dramatic reductions in strength and stiffness and commonly occurs in sandy soils subject to shaking by earthquakes. An example of the hazard posed by liquefaction is the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, which caused 185 deaths and lead to damage totalling an estimated $40 billion.
The aim of this project is to study the liquefaction of sands with fines using discrete element modelling.
Students with backgrounds in Physics, Chemical Engineering, Process Engineering, etc. are welcomed in addition to Civil and Geotechnical Engineers.
Experimental testing of anisotropic unsaturated soils
Unsaturated soils give rise to major hazards including a loss of ground strength during rainfall leading to catastrophic landslides or collapse of infrastructure. They are encountered throughout tropical regions of the world as well as in all compacted fill materials in temperate climates.
This work will build on previous research at the University of Glasgow that has studied the small and large strain deformation characteristics of unsaturated soils. The project will use advanced geotechnical element testing to study the effect of stress-induced anisotropy on unsaturated soils under a range of conditions which are relevant for engineering practice.
Backward erosion: a coupled DEM-LBM analysis
Internal erosion, also known as piping, is one of the main causes of dam and levee embankment breach during floods, both in the UK and worldwide. It occurs when soil particles are washed out of an embankment by water seepage, eroding material from within until the embankment collapses.
Backward erosion is one of the main forms of internal erosion, but the physical processes which underlie it are still poorly understood.
This project will use a numerical technique (coupled DEM-LBM) to improve our understanding of the processes which cause backward erosion at the micro-scale by modelling individual sand grains and their interactions with fluid seeping through/under a levee.
It will build on previous experimental findings and recent improvements in the DEM-LBM code, in particular improvements allowing simulations to be carried out using supercomputers.
- Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (CEng MICE)
- British Dam Society
- British Geotechnical Association
- International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ISSMGE
- Committee member, ICE Scottish Geotechnical Group
- ISSMGE Technical Committee 306, Geo-Education