Dr Zhiwei Gao
- Senior Lecturer (Infrastructure & Environment)
I am a Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at the James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow. I am also a member of the Glasgow Computational Engineering Centre (GCEC) funded by the EPSRC.
- 2009 - 2012: PhD in Civil Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China
- 2006 - 2008: Master (Research) in Civil Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China
- 2002 - 2006: Bachelor in Civil Engineering with first honours, Beihang University, Beijing, China
- September 2021-September 2022: RAEng Industrial Fellowship at Geowynd
- August 2020 - present: Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering, Infrastructure and Environment Research Division, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow
- July 2013 - August 2020: Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering, Infrastructure and Environment Research Division, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow
- September 2012 - June 2013: Post-doc Research Assistant, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
My main research interest is the constitutive modelling of soils. I have developed constitutive models for sand anisotropy and used them in finite element modelling of practical boundary value problems. The research has shown that anisotropy can cause strain localisation and anisotropy should be considered in calculating the bearing capacity of shallow foundations. I have also developed a new composite method for the constitutive modelling of fine-grained soils containing discrete gas bubbles (gassy clay). Papers have been published in the Can Geotech J and NAG. One publication was the 2022 Can Geotech J editor's choice paper: A critical state constitutive model for gassy clay.
I have collaborated with QTS to develop a design for lightweight rock catch fences, with funding from the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) of Innovate UK. We have also designed a new remote monitoring system with the support of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (currently Built Environment – Smarter Transformation). Both the new catch fence and monitoring system have been deployed by QTS in railway projects in the UK.
I have worked with Geowynd on finite element modelling of offshore wind turbine foundations in sand. The project was funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellowship. A new method for modelling the cyclic response of monopiles has been developed and published in Computers and Geotechnics.
Gao, Z. , Zhao, J., Li, X.-S. and Dafalias, Y. F. (2014) A critical state sand plasticity model accounting for fabric evolution. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 38(4), pp. 370-390. (doi: 10.1002/nag.2211)
Gao, Z. and Zhao, J. (2013) Evaluation on failure of fiber-reinforced sand. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 139(1), pp. 95-106. (doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0000737)
Gao, Z. , Zhao, J. and Yao, Y. (2010) A generalized anisotropic failure criterion for geomaterials. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 47(22-23), pp. 3166-3185. (doi: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2010.07.016)
Gao, Z. and Zhao, J. (2015) Constitutive modeling of anisotropic sand behavior in monotonic and cyclic loading. Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 141(8), 04015017. (doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)EM.1943-7889.0000907)
Hong, Y., Wang, L., Zhang, J. and Gao, Z. (2020) 3D elastoplastic model for fine-grained gassy soil considering the gas-dependent yield surface shape and stress-dilatancy. Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 146(5), 04020037. (doi: 10.1061/(asce)em.1943-7889.0001760)
Gao, Z. and Diambra, A. (2021) A multiaxial constitutive model for fibre-reinforced sand. Geotechnique, 71(6), pp. 548-560. (doi: 10.1680/jgeot.19.P.250)
- 2023-2026: Modelling-assisted design and artificial intelligence for geotechnical engineering. The Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professors with Mr Sangeet Patra at Subsea 7. £10.2k.
- 2023-2025: Rockfall hazard mitigation using reinforced earth walls made from local soils. The Royal Society International Exchanges 2022 Cost Share (NSFC). £12k.
- 2023: Turing Network for AI in offshore wind geotechnics. Turing Network Development Award. The Alan Turing Institute and EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account. £10k.
- 2021-2022: Offshore-foundation design using state-of-the-art Constitutive models: Embedding Advanced Numerical approaches (OCEAN). Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellowships with Geowynd (https://geowynd.com/). £33k.
- 2021-2022: Multiphysics modelling of gas migration in fine-grained marine soils. The Royal Society International Exchanges with Dr Nabil Sultan at Ifremer France (https://annuaire.ifremer.fr/cv/16726/en/). £5k.
- 2018: Mechanical response of rock catch fence wires under high strain-rate loading. University of Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund. £8k.
- 2017-2018: Smart fences-Development of a condition monitoring system (CMS) for rockfall catch fences. Funded by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and QTS Group Ltd. £90k.
- 2015-2017: Development of a more robust and cost-efficient rockfall catch fence design. Funded by Knowledge Transfer Partnership of Innovate UK and QTS Group Ltd (https://www.qtsgroup.com/). £170k.
I am always looking for highly motivated graduate students to undertake research on computational geomechanics, with a focus on gassy soils, climate change and offshore wind turbine foundations. Some of the projects (offshore geotechnics, constitutive modelling of soils and AI) can be found here. You are also welcome to bring your own proposals. If you are interested, please get in touch with me via email. Some of the scholarships available include:
- EPSRC and School funded scholarships (including CSC fee waiver)
- Commonwealth Scholarship
- The Carnegie PhD Scholarships
- British Council scholarships for women in STEM
- British Council's scholarship
- Scotland's Saltire Scholarships
- Chevening Scholarships
If you need any help in applying for these scholarships, please get in touch with me and I am very happy to help.
I am also happy to support excellent postdoctoral researchers. You can apply for the fellowships below. I am happy to help you develop the research proposals:
- Newton International Fellowships (for non-UK citizens)
- Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships
- EPSRC Fellowships (up to three years of support for post-doctoral awards, and up to five years of support for open awards)
- Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowships (Total funding of up to £500,000 over the five-year period)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council fellowships
- The Leverhulme Trust Fellowships
- Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellowships
- RSE saltire early career Fellowships
- Chen, Qianxu
Physics-constrained data-driven modelling of anisotropic sand behaviour
- Li, Xin
Nonlocal regularization of anisotropic sand models
- Sungurtekin, Turkay
Data-driven modelling of sand behaviour under cyclic loading
Current and past PhD students:
- Dr Mian Huang: Mian has worked on constitutive modelling of fibre-reinforced sand. He has published two journal papers (Comput Geotech & Acta Geotech). He has been awarded PhD degree. PhD thesis title: Constitutive modelling of fibre-reinforced sand based on the concept of effective skeleton stress and void ratio.
- Dr Hongjian Cai: Hongjian has worked on constitutive modelling of gassy clay. He has published two journal papers (Int J Geomech & Can Geotech J). He was awarded the PhD degree in 2023. PhD thesis: Constitutive modelling of fine-grained soils containing gas bubbles.
- Dr Abdurrahim Mohsen Essayah: Abdurrahim's research was on discrete element modelling energy dissipation in granular materials. One journal paper has been published in Granular Matter. He was awarded the PhD degree in 2023. PhD thesis: A micromechanical investigation on the mechanism of energy dissipation in granular materials.
- Dr Paverean Mudcharoen. Paverean's research has focused on the development of a simplified design method for capillary barrier systems on slopes validated by thermo-hydraulic numerical modelling. First supervisor: Prof. Simon Wheeler. PhD thesis: Capillary barriers on slopes subjected to rainfall: numerical modelling and development of simplified methods of analysis.
- Mr Xin Li: Xin is working on the nonlocal regularization of anisotropic sand models.
- Ms Qianxu Chen: Qianxu is working on data-driven modelling of anisotropic sand behaviour.
- Mr Turkay Sungurtekin. Turkay is working on data-driven modelling of sand behaviour under cyclic loading.
Postdoctoral and visiting researchers:
- ENG4070: Geotechnical Engineering 4: This is a course for BEng, MEng and MSc students. I was the course convenor for one year. This course has included content on site investigation, ground improvement and pile foundations.
- ENG4072: Ground Engineering 4: This is a course for BEng, MEng and MSc students. The main content includes finite element modelling in ground engineering, time-dependent soil response and basic knowledge of unsaturated soil mechanics.
- ENG4188: Geotechnical Design Project 4: This design project is for MEng students. It is based on a brief for a road embankment and bridge abutments on soft clay, with the embankment height varying across the site, ground conditions based on real site investigation data and various other site constraints. Students work in groups and consider the behaviour of the embankment firstly with no ground improvement and secondly with various forms of ground improvement, with the objective of developing a design for the embankment and the bridge abutments.
- ENG3086: Transportation Engineering 3: This is a course for BEng, MEng and MSc students on transportation design. It includes the inclusivity of transportation networks, and design for walking, cycling and motorways.
- ENG3073: Geotechnical Engineering 3: This is a course for BEng, MEng and MSc students. Content includes the consolidation, drained/undrained analysis, soil behaviour in shear and critical state soil mechanics.
- ENG3076: Civil Design Projects 3: This is a design project for Year 3 students. I am delivering the second part related to geotechnical engineering. Students are required to carry out a geotechnical design for a railway platform extension and embankment stabilisation using their knowledge learnt in Geotechnical Engineering 3.
- Google Scholar: Zhiwei Gao - Google Scholar
- Publons: Gao, Zhiwei - Web of Science Core Collection
- Linkdin: Zhiwei Gao | LinkedIn
- Editor's choice paper of Canadian Geotechnical Journal 2022: A critical state constitutive model for gassy clay
- Wiley Top Downloaded Article 2014 in NAG: A critical state sand plasticity model accounting for fabric evolution - Gao - 2014 - International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics - Wiley Online Library
- Wiley Top Downloaded Article 2021 in NAG: The deformation and failure of strip footings on anisotropic cohesionless sloping grounds - Gao - 2021 - International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics - Wiley Online Library