• Biography

    Professor Daichao Sheng is a Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and the Head of School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) since 2019. Before his current role, he was a Professor of Geomechanics at the University of Newcastle during 1997-2019. He also holds a conjoint position at Central South University in China since 2013. His research interest spans computational geomechanics, unsaturated soils, transport geotechnics and environmental geotechnics. Prof Sheng is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (FTSE), and a Fellow of Institute of Engineers in Australia (FIEAust).

  • Presentation Abstract

    Dynamic loads can cause pore fluid and particle migration in porous materials, resulting in catastrophic consequences such as sinking of cargo ships at sea. This lecture focuses on experimental study of effects of load frequency, load magnitude, particle size and excess pore pressure on particle migration in unsaturated iron ore and silty sand under cyclic loads. It demonstrates that water can be “shaked” out of relatively dry samples of iron ore or silty sand, a process that resembles the mud pumping phenomenon in railway tracks. Our research busts the myth that sinking of cargo ships at sea is caused by liquefaction of the solid cargo. Rather, it is the free water that accumulated at the surface of the cargo in the cargo holder that causes the listing of the ship and destablise it.