Home » Research » Research Areas

Research Areas

l        Problematic Soil Stabilization and Ground Improvement

l        Pile Foundation and Underground Engineering

l        Problematic Soil Stabilization and Ground Improvement

l        Soil Constitutive Modeling and Soil Behavior

l        Environmental Geotechnics

l        Design Theory and Practice of Pile Foundation

l        In-situ test technique


Problematic Soil Stabilization and Ground Improvement

Mainly relies on the highway projects at Jiangsu province and Eastern China

Main Research Topics:

u      In situ testing evaluation and application for the nature of the special   foundations;

u      Special foundation treatment technology and design theory of highway; and

u      Subgrade stabilization of special soils 

Main Research Topics:

u      The National Key Technology R&D Program

u      National Natural Science Found of China (NSFC)

u      Local DOT Projects


u      National Invention Award (Second Grade)


   Design Theory and Practice of Pile Foundation

Main Research Directions:

u      Bearing capacity testing technology of large-diameter pile foundation and load transfer theory of large bridges and urban high-rise buildings.

u       Stability analysis theory of surrounding rock of underground engineering and monitoring technology of environmental impact. Combined with Nanjing subway and  highway tunnel project ,the main research directions are further research on surrounding rock analysis  method of tunnel under the complex geological environment  and the demonstration of monitoring technology and countermeasures of the surrounding environment with the city subway construction impact .

u      Pile foundation and underground engineering design theory and testing technology. The main research directions are aiming at large-diameter pile foundation testing technology and load transfer theory of large bridges and high-rise buildings, and research on the stability analysis theory of surrounding rock of underground engineering and monitoring technology of environmental impact.


Soil Behavior and Soil Constitutive Modeling

Main Research Topics:

u    Behavior of soft clay

u    Unsaturated soil mechanics

Research Projects:

u    Environmental mechanical behavior and its application of composite clays (NSFC, PI: Prof. Liu Songyu)

u    Electric resistivity of structural soil and its application (NSFC, PI: Prof. Liu Songyu)

u    Structural characterization and strength of unsaturated expansive soil (NSFC, PI: Prof. Miao Linchang)

u    Deformation and stability caused air-water transference of the expansive soils under complex environment(NSFC, PI: Prof. Miao Linchang)

u    Compression model of natural deposited structural clays (NSFC, PI: Prof. Hong Zhenshun)

u    Quantitative evaluation method of natural deposited structural clays (NSFC, PI: Prof. Hong Zhenshun)

u    Sensitivity of natural deposited structural clays considering stress history (NSFC, PI: Prof. Hong Zhenshun)

u    Deterioration character and quantitative evaluation of natural deposited structural clays in the leaching environment(NSFC, PI: Prof. Hong Zhenshun)

u    Theory and evaluation on mechanical disturbance of natural structural soft clay(NSFC, PI: Deng Yongfeng)

u    Pore water effect on hydraulic-mechanical behavior of natural soft clays under desalination conditions(NSFC, PI: Deng Yongfeng)

Research Achievements:

u     China national invention patents

u     Journal papers in Géotechnique, Geotechnical testing Journal, and Engineering Geology etc.

International cooperation:

u    Long-term collaboration with Dr. Yujun Cui in Ecole des ponts, ParisTech and Jie Han in the University of Kansa.


Unsaturated soil mechanics

A large portion of the world population is found in the arid regions of the world where the groundwater table is deep. The drier climatic regions have become increasingly aware of the uniqueness of their regional soil mechanics problems. In recent years, there has also been a shift in emphasis in the developed regions from the behavior of engineered structures to the impacts of developments on the natural world. There has been an ongoing desire to expand the science dealing with soil mechanics such that it will embrace the behavior of unsaturated soils.

  The development of a rational approach to the behavior of unsaturated soils can be traced to three main events.

u      In arid countries around the world there have been problems associated with volume changes of unsaturated soils in response to changes in the water content of the soil, for example, expansive soils;

u      There is an increasing concern for the environment protection in developed countries. The migration of chemicals is superimposed on the conductive movement within the water phase. Many of this kind of process occurred at the upper portion of the profile which should be treated as unsaturated soils;

u      The number of the software using in geotechnical engineering is always increasing. However, to couple the unsaturated soil mechanics with flow mechanics is still a problem in those kinds of software.

Environmental Geotechnics

Main Research Topics:

u    Remediation techniques of industrially contaminated lands and contaminated tidal mud

u    Development of sustainable geo-materials and related engineering properties

u    Transport of contaminants in engineered clay barriers and interactions with clayey soils

Research Projects:

u    Containment performance of soil-bentontite vertical cutoff walls (NSFC)

u    Mechanisms and long-term performance of solidified/stabilized heavy metal-contaminated soils (NSFC)

u    Mechanisms of soft soil modification using calcium carbide residues and engineering applications (NSFC)

u     Micro characteristics of clays contaminated by industrial pollutants (NSFC)

u     Interaction of contaminated soils and cement  (Doctoral Programs Foundation from Education Ministry of China)

u    Key techniques of assessment and remediation of typical municipal industrial contaminated lands (Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province)

u    Reuse of industry wastes and stabilized problematic soils as road subgrade materials (Jiangsu Province Funds for Distinguished Young Scientists)

u    New Century Excellent Researcher Award Program from Ministry of Education of China, Jiangsu Province 333 high- level talents program

u    Application of calcium carbide residues as binders to stabilize highway embankment fills,

Research Achievements:

u     China national invention patents

u     High quality international journal papers indexed by SCI

International cooperation:

u    Long-term collaboration with Dr. A. Al-Tabbaa and K. Soga in the University of Cambridge

Development and Utilization of Urban Underground Space

  The underground space is the space below the surface in urban planning. The development and utilization of underground space can improve the ground environment, develop the underground traffic and reduce air pollution. It can relieve the contradiction between the shortage of urban land resources and the rapid urban development to realize the sustainable development. With the continued rapid growth of our national economy and the improvement of urbanization in recent years, the development and utilization of urban underground space has become a hot topic in the field of geotechnical engineering.

Completed Research Projects:

u    Disaster assessment and treating technology of highways above the mined-out (Jiangsu Department of Transportation project)

u    Prediction of the environmental effect and approaches of using the urban underground spaces (Key Project supported by the Education Ministry of China)

u    Predicting and mitigating the land subsidence caused by the urban underground construction (Jiangsu six-talent summit high-level projects supported by Jiangsu Province)   

Active Research Projects:

u    Study on supporting structures of the deep excavation in Suzhou subway projects(Suzhou high-level technology project)

u    Environmental effect of shielding in Wuxi subway projects (Wuxi Rail- Transit project

u    Optimization of designing loading and models in shield tunneling lining design(Wuxi Rail- Transit project


In-Situ Soil Testing

The in-situ test techniques are the effective methods to obtain information of soil stratum. All kinds of in-situ test developed towards muti-functional apparatus, which obtain information in a term test. For instance, it can measure the parameter of the pore pressure, temperature, wave velocity, lateral stress, resistivity and radioactivity in the top of CPT. In order to ensure the construction quality rapidly, exactly and continuously, the TDR test was developed, which can get the water content and dry density. A series of measure apparatus were developed to estimate the quality of the big diameter cast-in-place and the pile foundation under the building internationally, for example the pore probing, the concrete penetrometer and the thermal exchange pile.

     The lab’s aim is to grasp the in-situ test technical direction internationally and organize a workshop to study the in-situ test techniques, which will make be important base fulcrum of geotechnical engineering inland and be advanced overseas.


Investigating aspect:

Basic theory studying in model in situ testing

1 Studying on the geotechnical engineering monitoring, Inspecting, method and criterion

2  Exploitation and application in muti-functional CPT

3  Inspecting on freeway foundation treatment

4  Monitoring on underground engineering

5  Inspecting on Geotechnical engineering construction quality