Civil and Environmental EngineeringWestern Engineering


Research Interests

My research interests are in the areas of geotechnical engineering, soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering, in-situ testing techniques, and advanced soil mechanics laboratory tests. Please feel free to navigate through the side menu for more information about my research interests, publications, honors, and courses.

Research Group

CURRENT PhD Students

Osama Drbe
Osama completed his MESc studies at Western on the behaviour of micropiles.  He is currently working towards his PhD degree and investigating downdrag forces on pile foundations.  He is using data from field measurements instrumented piles, laboratory experiments and numerical modelling.  The outcome of Osama's research will provide more accurate solutions for the determination of negative skin friction and pile design.


Guillermo Riveros
Guillermo is investigating the cyclic behavior of gold mine tailings and methods to improve their earthquake resistance.

Alex Bilson Darko (co-supervisor S. Molnar)
Alex is studying in-situ geophysical methods for determing shear wave velocity and corroborating them with laboratory measurements.

Ronit Ganguly
Ronit is investigating new methods of characterizing in-situ soils.

Keyvan Mirbaha
Keyvan is working on his MESc thesis on the cyclic behaviour of a local carbonate sand from the Boler Mountain (London, ON) and calibration with in-situ penetration tests.  He is using a bidirectional cyclic simple shear device (first one in Canada) for determining liquefaction and cyclic behaviour of Boler Mountain sand. CPT model calibration experiments are also carried out on similar samples. These data will be compared for establishing specific liquefaction triggering relationships for a carbonate sand.


Naemeh Naghavi Abiazani (2012 - 2017, co-supervised with H. El Naggar)

 Thesis Title: Liquefaction assessment of carbonate-silica silty sands using energy, state-parameter, and shear wave velocity


Stephen Jones (2015 - 2017)

        Thesis Title: Liquefaction susceptibility analysis of Fraser River sand in miniature cone penetration tests and cyclic direct simple shear tests

Speideh Damavandinejhad (2012 - 2014)

Thesis Title: Development of a laboratory-scale CPT.

Ali El-Takch (2012 - 2013) (co-supervised with Dr. H. M. El Naggar)

Thesis Title: Cyclic and post-cyclic response of silt and sandy silt soils.

Tarek Omar (2011 - 2013)

Thesis Title: Specimen size effect on shear behavior of sand in triaxial testing.


Samanth Surapaneni (2015 - 2016)

        Project Title: Coefficient of consolidation of low-plastic fine-grained soils

Tae Young Noh (2015 - 2016)

Project Title: Effect of waste leachate on mechanicl behavior of clay.

Stewart Handrahan (2014 - 2015)

Project Title: Evaluation of seismic earth pressure in cohesive backfill soils.

Muhammad Umar (2014 - 2015)

Project Title: Comparison of methods for interpreting pre-consolidation pressure.

Gholamreza Jarghi-Araghi (2013 - 2014)

Project Title: Settlement of a bridge pier on a deep clay deposit.

Hamidreza Pourtaghi (2012 - 2013)

Project Title: Effect of ambient temperature in triaxial testing.

Houman Farbodfar (2012 - 2013)

Project Title: Effect of particle size on the results of direct shear tests.

Fatemen Eghbali-Zarj (2011 - 2012)

Project Title: Geotechnical challenges of geothermal piles.

Negin Eftekhari (2011 - 2012)

Project Title: Analysis of broken-back retaining walls.

SUPERVISED Undergraduate Thesis

Robert Querengesser (2015 - 2016)

Thesis Title: Measuring electrical resistivity and shear wave velocity in a triaxial cell.

Zaid Al-Qaysi (2013 - 2014)

Thesis Title: Electrical resistivity of cohesionless soils.

Nichole Aga Baczynski (2012 - 2013)

Thesis Title: A review of geothermal energy and its status in Canada.


Opportunities in My Group

If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in geotechnical engineering please contact me by email.