Mechanical response of geomaterials (e.g. brick, rock, shotcrete, and concrete) under cyclic, dynamic and fast strain-rate loads are substantially different from that of a quasi-static or homogenous loading. Such impact/cyclic stresses could, for instance, be exerted to geostructures during drilling and blasting (D&B) or spalling and rockburst events in deep excavations, which usually deform the near-field rocks at very high strain rates. While quasi-static compression tests have been widely performed on geostructures since the 1960s, coupled dynamic/cyclic and biaxial loading on geostructures have largely been ignored since it would require sophisticated laboratory equipment to model the complex stress conditions. Using the new Hybrid Biaxial/True Triaxial testing facility at UQ Civil, the main objective of this PhD project is to investigate the fracture growth in geomaterials under combined dynamic/cyclic/biaxial stresses by adopting digital image correlation (3D DIC) and high-speed photography techniques.
We are seeking a full-time, highly motivated PhD candidate to perform high-quality research in the field of rock testing and fracture mechanics. The successful candidate will be working under the supervision of Dr Mehdi Serati and Professor David Williams the Geotechnical Engineering Centre (GEC) within the School of Civil Engineering. The candidate will join a multidisciplinary team in partnership with industry partners.