Ongoing projects:

[2] Title: Assessing reservoir performance for carbon storage in saline aquifers.

Chief Investigators: Associate Professor Luming Shen; Dr Federico Maggi; Dr Yixiang Gan; Associate Professor Abbas El-Zein; Dr Zhejun Pan. ARC Discovery Project DP170102886.$350,000, 2017-2019.

Summary: This project aims to develop a multiscale framework of site characterisation for carbon storage in deep saline aquifers and calculate measures of injectivity, storage capacity and containment. Carbon capture and storage could reduce carbon emissions within two decades. Carbon dioxide emissions are the most important drivers of climate change, with detrimental effects on humans and their environment, including water security, agriculture, coastal communities, and infrastructure. This project will improve assessment of reservoir performance for carbon storage in saline aquifers, and help reduce carbon emissions.


[1] Title: The mechanics of healing and self-healing in clayey soils.

Chief Investigators: Professor David Airey; Associate Professor Abbas El-Zein; Dr Yixiang Gan; Dr Gwenaelle Proust; Dr Daniel Dias-da-Costa. ARC Discovery Project DP170104192.$411,000, 2017-2019.

Summary: This project aims to develop an experimentally-validated theory of healing and self-healing in clay and determine clay-polymer mixtures that heal cracks and fissures in clay. Healing of fissures will improve strength and reduce hydraulic conductivity, which will reduce risks associated with construction on fissured clay and make clay barrier systems in dehydrating environments more reliable. The project’s observations of crack healing are expected to advance understanding of this phenomenon of soil mechanics and of geotechnical applications where cracking can occur, such as in foundation design, waste containment, slope stability and embankment dams.


Completed projects:

[3] Title: Heat flow in granular media under extreme loading conditions.

Chief Investigator: Dr Yixiang Gan. ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) DE130101693. $373,832, 2013-2015.

Summary: Heat flow in granular media is critical in geoscience and engineering, from shear heating in earthquake faults to failures of granular heat exchangers. These problems involve complex conditions, which this project will quantify in relations to the emerging phenomena of grain plasticity and melting, and thermal pressurisation.

[2] Title: Plasticity and creep of granular materials at elevated temperatures.

Chief Investigators: Dr Yixiang Gan and Professor Marc Kamlah. Go8 Australia-Germany Joint Research Scheme (Go8-DAAD), $27,000, 2012-2013.

[1] Title: The micro-mechanical origins of creep in granular materials.

Chief Investigators: Professor Itai Einav and Dr Yixiang Gan. ARC Discovery Project DP120104926. $350,000, 2013-2015.

Summary: Creep in granular materials is a concern for many problems in technology and science, including long-term deformations of reservoir dams and sudden instabilities along earthquake faults. This project aims to describe the fine-scale origins of granular creep, as a basis for solving problems of much larger-scale in geomechanics and geophysics.