Civil Engineering Building (H20)
Level 5, Room CE504
Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr Adrian Russell is an Associate Professor in Geotechnical Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW and a member of the Centre for Infrastructure and Engineering Safety (CIES).
As a geotechnical engineer, Russell looks to understand how infrastructure such as buildings, foundations, tailings storages, roads, tunnels, bridges, railways and ports interact with the ground. His research interests include soil mechanics, rock mechanics and the mechanics of fibre reinforced geomaterials and their use in infrastructure to increase strength and failure resistance. Able to recognise the value of academic-industry partnerships, a number of his research ideas have been successfully implemented within industry including the development of a new type of soil-cement-fibre mix technology for use in retaining wall systems to reduce cost and embodied carbon in partnership with Wagstaff Piling Pty Ltd, and the development of a technique to prevent blockages in ore passes in partnership with Glencore Pty Ltd.
A natural teacher, Russell brings innovation into the classroom with a more creative approach to teaching engineering design. Encouraging students to reach beyond the standard texts for an answer and utilise new technologies while maintaining an understanding of basic concepts is key to developing a more innovative approach to problem solving. Russell’s love of teaching extends outside the university classroom. He also delivers the travelling workshop 'Unsaturated soil mechanics for practicing engineers' to industry professionals on behalf of the Australian Geomechanics Society.
PGCert in Higher Education, University of Bristol, UK, 2008
PhD, The University of New South Wales, Australia, 2005
BE (Civil Engineering), The University of New South Wales, 1998
Russell teaches in most areas of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students at UNSW.
His current courses include:
- CVEN9521 Slope Instability and Stabilisation
- CVEN3031 Civil Engineering Practice
- CVEN3731 Environmental Engineering Practice
- CVEN4202 Advanced Topics in Geotechnical Engineering
Associate Professor Russell currently leads a research group comprising 1 research associate, 5 PhD students, 2 Masters students and 1 practicum student working in the research areas of:
- Applied unsaturated soil mechanics, particularly the way unsaturated soils can be characterised using in situ tests, and the way unsaturated soils interact with shallow foundations and retaining walls;
- The fundamental modelling of the stress–strain behaviour of soils, linking microstructure to large scale behaviour;
- Fundamental rock mechanics, focussing on failure mechanisms and microstructural deformation;
- The mechanics of fibre reinforced geomaterials and their use in infrastructure to increase strength and failure resistance; and
- Dynamics and liquefaction of soils and tailings.
Russell uses mainly analytical modelling techniques in his research, along with full-scale physical model experiments, such as UNSW’s biaxial seismic simulator.
Industry engagement through research
Recent examples include:
- The development of a new type of soil-cement-fibre mix technology for use in retaining wall systems to reduce cost and embodied carbon, in partnership with Wagstaff Piling Pty Ltd. Outcomes feature in a 2017 paper published in the journal Geosynthetics International.
- Developed a technique to prevent blockages in ore passes when the ore is moist making it 'sticky', in partnership with Glencore Pty Ltd. Outcomes feature in a 2016 paper published in the International Journal for Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences.
- Research discoveries on using the CPT to characterise soils in variably saturated states also feature in the textbook: Jefferies, M. & Been, K. (2016), Soil liquefaction: A critical state approach, CRC Press.
Grants - National (since 2010)
- A. Fourie, J. Vinod, Md. Mizanur Rahman; A. Russell, I. Gillani, M. Davies, J. Lupo, P. Maney, T. Martin, G. Lysay, T. Johndrow, C. Priscu. Evaluating potential static liquefaction of taiklings to prevent failures. Australian Research Council Linkage Project LP160101561, 2016-2019, $630,000 from the ARC plus $600,000 from industry partners (Newmont Mining, Rio Tinto, Tech Coorporation, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Freeport-McMoran).
- D. Williams plus 14 others including A. Russell. National rock, concrete and advanced composite testing capability. Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities LE160100206, 2016, $800,000.
- A. Russell, D. Muir Wood. Internal erosion of soils: microstructural modelling. Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP150104123, 2015-2017, $325,500.
- A. Russell, N. Khalili, G. Zhao, A. Khoshghalb, S. Sloan, G. Kouretzis, B. Indraratna, C. Rujikiatkamjorn, M. Cassidy, C. Gaudin, D. Williams, A. Scheuermann. An earthquake shaking table to investigate foundation and soil structure interaction systems. Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities LE150100130, 2015, $320,000.
- A. Russell, N. Khalili. Shallow foundations in unsaturated soils: understanding mechanistic behaviour through numerical modelling, analysis and experimental investigation. Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP140103142, 2014-2016, $420,000.
- B. Indraratna plus 28 others including A. Russell. National facility for cyclic testing of highspeed rail. Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities LE140100010, 2014, $900,000.
- N. Khalili, A. Russell. Erosion of variably saturated soils - a fundamental investigation. Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP1096497, 2010-2012, $270,000.
Grants – International
- G. Zhao plus others including A. Russell. Multi-scale discrete numerical method and heterogeneous high performance computing for the rock dynamics. National Natural Science Foundation of China, 2017-2020.
- J. Wang, A. Russell, M. Coop. Tackling particle morphology in the micromechanical study of crushable sands: a combined experimental, theoretical and numerical approach, General Research Fund, Research Grant Council of Hong Kong SAR, 2016-2019, HK$780,000.
To Associate Professor Russell and his PhD students:
- Invited Lecturer at InterPore 2016, a conference of the International Society for Porous Media
- Invited Lecturer at a conference on Advancing Experimental Geomechanics, 2016
- International Best Journal Paper Award, from TC106, the Technical Committee on Unsaturated Soils within the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), 2016
- Keynote Lecturer at the Australian Academy of Science Elizabeth and Frederick White Conference, 2015
- Best Paper Award at Australasia’s ACCM, 2015
- International Innovation Award from TC106, 2014
- Editor's Choice Award, one of four best journal papers in Géotechnique Letters, 2012
- Editor's Choice Award, one of four best journal papers in Géotechnique Letters, 2011
- IACMAG Excellent Journal Paper Award, 2011
- Semi-plenary lecture to IACMAG, 2011
- The Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) Research Award (NSW), 2011
- Best Paper Award at the UK's YGES, 2008
- Best Paper Award at IS-KYUSHU, 2007
- Australian Geomechanics Society, Member
- Australasian Association for Computational Mechanics, Member
- The Australian National University, Visiting Fellow, 2013-2015
- The University of Sydney, Visiting Scholar, 2010
- Computers and Geotechnics
- Australian Geomechanics Society, Sydney Chapter, Committee Member, 2016- present
- Australasian Association for Computational Mechanics, Executive Committee Member, 2012- present
- TC106, The Technical Committee on Unsaturated Soils, Secretary, 2014- present
- TC106 Awards Subcommittee, Chair, 2012- present
- The Sixth International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, held in Sydney 2-4 July 2014, Secretary
Geotechnical engineering, soil mechanics.