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The Department of Geotechnical Engineering of Tongji University (TOU) has been consistently rated as the top one in the academic ranking of the departments of Civil Engineering in mainland China. Research focuses mainly on problematic issues in geohazards and geomechanics, such as debris flows, instability and piping of rock-fill dams, instability of slopes and retaining structures, constitutive models of natural collapsible soils.

TOU has performed several exchanges from/to Warwick University, the University of Edinburg, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and 3SR Grenoble. Additionally, Tongji University organized two international workshops on problematic soils and rocks in 2014 and 2015. The collaborations mainly focused on geo-hazards associated with the exploitation of methane hydrate bearing sediments, slope instability, tunneling, liquefaction and excavation under extraterrestrial conditions. 16 international journal papers and 1 peer-reviewed international conference paper were produced as a result of the joint work.

• Research activities/achievements within Geohazards and Geomechanics project

- A new thermal-hydro-mechanical coupled bond contact model of methane hydrate bearing sediments (MHBS)
- Rock slope stability
- Disturbance of tunnel construction
- Liquefaction hazard mapping
- Lunar surface excavation


CFD-DEM analysis of a submarine landslide triggered by thermal dissociation of methane hydrate (Jiang et al., 2015).

• Relevant Publications

Jiang M J, Sun C, Crosta G B and Zhang W C (2015). A study of submarine steep slope failures triggered by thermal dissociation of methane hydrates using a coupled CFD-DEM approach. Engineering Geology, 190: 1-16.

Jiang M J, Zhu F Y, and Utili S (2015). Investigation into the effect of backpressure on the mechanical behaviour of methane-hydrate-bearing sediments via DEM analyses. Computers and Geotechnics, 69: 551-563.

Jiang MJ, Shen ZF and Utili S (2016). DEM modelling of cantilever retaining excavations: implications for lunar constructions. Engineering Computations, 33(2): 366-394.

Liu F, Jiang M J, Sun C and Deng G (2015). On the size-dependent compressive resistance of bonded granules. Géotechnique Letters, 5: 104-111.

Wang H N, Utili S and Jiang M J (2014). An analytical approach for the sequential excavation of axisymmetric lined tunnels in viscoelastic rock. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 68: 85-106.