Discovery Project Awarded to CIES researchers

Congratulations to PSM Professor Nasser Khalili and CIES academics Dr Arman Khoshghalb, and Dr Babak Shahbodagh; who with colleagues Professor Jie Li from RMIT and Emeritus Professor Harry Poulos (USyd) have been awarded a prestigious ARC Discovery Project grant for 2023.  (DP230102874: $470,000)


Their geotechnical engineering project will develop a mechanistic approach to pile foundation design in variably saturated soils through integrated expertise in the fields of unsaturated soil mechanics, material nonlinearity, numerical modelling, limit analysis and experimental investigation.

It will achieve a rigorous understanding of pile behaviour in unsaturated soils subjected to monotonic loading through a comprehensive program of scaled laboratory testing, numerical and theoretical analyses.

The models, theories, mechanics and predictive tools arising from this research will have direct and immediate impact on the planning, design, construction and management of many types of infrastructure involving pile foundations in industrial and residential developments.

Professor Jonathan Morris, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Enterprise, has congratulated the University’s researchers on their grant success. 

“The Discovery Projects support cutting-edge research into 'new' knowledge that drives much of Australia’s world-leading research.

“Our UNSW projects will deliver significant outcomes.”

In total, 41 UNSW projects received more than $17 million - UNSW Engineering has 14 projects totalling more than $6 million.

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