Research Categories

Earth Sciences & Engineering

NameResearch Interests
Assoc Prof Adam Douglas SwitzerAdam Switzers main research interest lies in using coastal stratigraphy to define the recurrence interval of catastrophic marine inundation events (tsunami or large storms). His most significant contributions to the field include: * the first study of modern storm deposits from the Australian southeast coast; * the recognition that immature heavy mineral suites in coastal sandsheets may indicate tsunami deposition rather than storm deposition in coastal settings; * the recognition of an erosional signature of large scale washover of coastal dunes using Ground Penetrating Radar; * initial evaluation of the sedimentary processes associated with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the southeast coast of India a definitive review and re-analysis of large boulder accumulations in coastal settings on the southeast Australian coast.
Asst Prof Amal Chandran• Small Satellite Development. • Satellite Instrumentation for Atmospheric remote sensing. • Optical and Infrared remote sensing on cubesat platforms • Cubesat instrumentation for Ionospheric plasma measurements. • Climate Modeling: Stratospheric Sudden Warmings, Atmospheric Coupling, Stratosphere-Mesosphere dynamics I have PhD student positions open for suitable candidates to work on instrumentation and atmospheric modeling. In addition to their research, the PhD students will be expected to work as student project managers/system engineers on ongoing cubesat projects, learning all aspects of cubesat development and engineering. Students with prior experience in working with satellite hardware and background in electrical/mechanical engineering and coding experience will be preferred.
Dr Anna LagerstroemResearch interests Forest ecolgy. Plant species functional trait variation. Plant traits and soil property links. Nitrogen fixation. Selected publications Lagerström, A., Nilsson, M.-C., Wardle, D.A. (2013) Decoupled responses of tree and shrub leaf and litter trait values to ecosystem retrogression across an island area gradient. Plant and Soil, 367: 183–197. Lagerström, A., Esberg, C., Wardle, D.A., Giesler, R. (2009) Soil phosphorus and microbial response to a long-term wildfire chronosequence in northern Sweden. Biogeochemistry, 95: 199–2013. Lagerström, A., Bellingham, P.J., Bonner, K.I., Wardle, D.A. (2011) The effect of simulated herbivory on growth and nutrient status of focal and neighbouring early successional woody plant species. Oikos, 120: 1380–1392. Lagerström, A., Nilsson, M.C., Zackrisson, O., Wardle, D.A. (2007) Ecosystem input of nitrogen through biological fixation in feather mosses during ecosystem retrogression. Functional Ecology, 21: 1027–1033.
Prof Benjamin P. Horton200 million people worldwide live along coastlines less than 5 meters above sea level. By the end of the 21st century this figure is estimated to increase to 400 to 500 million. These low-lying coastal regions vulnerable to changes in sea level brought about by climate change, storms or earthquakes. My research uncovers fundamental knowledge about how sea level has changed in the past and how it may change in the future. My findings therefore impact upon important ethical, social, economic and political problems specifically facing such coastal regions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) re-emphasized the importance of sea level as a barometer of climate and drew attention to the potentially devastating consequences of future climate change. The IPCC highlighted the uncertainty with which the driving mechanisms of recent sea-level change are understood and the disconnect between long-term geological and recent observational trends. My research directly addresses the rates and geographic variability of sea-level change, which was highlighted at the top of the list of the eight priority science questions in the “Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences” report. The study of sea-level change was subsequently recommended as Strategic Research Priority I in “A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research”. An incomplete understanding of the earthquake and tsunami hazards associated with the Sunda and Japan subduction zones contributed to the devastating societal impacts of the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Tohoku events. Instrumental records of previous earthquakes and tsunamis proved too short to estimate the potential magnitude and recurrence interval of such great events that recur centuries to millennia apart. My earthquake and tsunami records on centennial and millennial temporal scales are necessary to understanding long-term subduction zone behavior and the occurrences of large, but infrequent events. Tropical Cyclones and their associated storm surges are among the most destructive natural disasters to impact coastal regions. The severity and frequency of coastal floods is increasing (and will worsen in most locations over the 21st century. But the short timescale and narrow range of 20th century forcing captured by the instrumental record may not address important mechanisms underlying the dramatic changes expected in the late 21st century. My reconstructions of paleo storms reveal spatial and temporal variability of tropical cyclone activity and provided insight into their relationship with global climatic changes. I have forged very strong international collaborations with developed and developing countries (e.g., Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Philippines, Vanuatu and Thailand). My research involves partnerships between fellows, graduate and undergraduate students of geology, archaeology, geophysics, oceanography, fluvial hydrology, statistics and atmospheric science. My research portfolio extends beyond the collection and interpretation of sea-level data to include topics as diverse as: development of Gaussian process models for the statistical analyses of paleoclimate data; the socio-economic impact of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; the application of diatom analysis in forensic science; 20th century inter-decadal variability in temperature and precipitation; and the timing and location of emerging civilizations in relation to the productivity of coastal margins. I have thus assembled multinational, interdisciplinary research teams. This has enriched my own thinking and that of my postdoctoral scientists and graduate and undergraduate students. I am/have been supervisor to 22 students to the degree of PhD and 11 postdoctoral scientists.
Asst Prof Benoit TaisneBenoit Taisne’s current research focuses on the early anticipation of the style and size of volcanic eruptions. He uses new tomographic methods (muon telescopes) to shed light on two crucial parts of the volcanic system that have so far remained elusive for volcanologists and hazard managers, and which are key inputs for ash dispersal models: - The structure (i.e. density distribution) and geometry of the volcanic conduit, - The characteristics of ash columns. Results from the muon tomography experiments will be complemented by more traditional data and methods from different disciplines like geophysics (seismologic studies), geodesy (GPS studies), and geochemistry (petrology and gas chemistry). All these data will be jointly inverted in near real-time with physics-based models of magma migration to get quantitative values for key physical parameters controlling the eruption style, and hence anticipate the style and size of eruptions to come. His main research interests are: - Magma migration - Eruption dynamic - Development of realtime monitoring technics - Numerical simulation - Laboratory experiments in fluids dynamics
Asst Prof Caroline Bouvet De MaisonneuveThe development of increasingly precise geophysical monitoring tools has led to progress in the field of eruption forecasting, but predicting the size and vigor of an eruption remains a major challenge in the assessment of risks. The vast majority of active volcanoes display wide ranges in eruption styles over long and short time scales, from effusive lava flows or dome growth to explosive Strombolian, Vulcanian, or Plinian eruptions. My long term goals are to shed light on the combinations of processes and physical parameters that govern the magnitudes and styles of eruptions, and to enhance our ability to interpret geophysical and geodetic monitoring signals in terms of magmatic processes. My main research interests, therefore, focus on: What processes control the magnitude and style of a given eruption? How and why do these controlling factors change from one eruptive center to the next? Why does the magnitude and style vary from eruption to eruption at a same volcano? In addition, the fact of addressing these questions may also bring elements of response to more petrology-based problems such as: How to reconcile the plutonic and volcanic record? How and where do magmas differentiate (e.g. assimilation vs. fractional crystallization)? How do the transport, accumulation, and differentiation of magma affect the formation of continental crust?
Assoc Prof Cheng NianshengProf Cheng Nian-Sheng's areas of expertise are hydraulics, sediment transport and turbulence. His current research works focus on open channel flows with vegetation, turbulent flows over dune-covered bed, and simultaneous measurements of two-phase flows.
Asst Prof Cheung Sai Hung-Catastrophe risk modeling, analysis, mitigation and management due to natural disasters and man-made hazards -Reliability, Risk engineering and science -Stochastic dynamics -Complexity science -Earthquake engineering, Performance-based engineering -Sustainable urban planning and development -Climate Change Impact Studies -Optimal decision making, design and control under uncertainty -Uncertainty quantification, System identification -Structural health monitoring
Prof Chiew Yee MengHe has had more than 25 years of research experience in many aspects of fluvial, hydraulic, coastal and offshore engineering. His particular research interest is in the area of erosion, sediment transport and turbulence. In addition to his research activities, Dr Chiew provides extensive consulting services to the engineering industries, both internationally and in Singapore. He was the Chairman of the 2nd International Conference on Scour and Erosion (ICSE-2) that was held in Singapore in November 2004. SELECTED PUBLICATION LIST 1. Chiew, Y. M. "Mechanics of Local Scour Around Submarine Pipelines" Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 116, no. 4, 515-529, 1990. 2. Chiew, Y. M. "Scour Protection at Bridge Piers" Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 118, no. 9, 1260-1269, 1992. 3. Chiew, Y. M. and Parker, G. "Incipient Sediment Transport on Non-Horizontal Slopes" Journal of Hydraulic Research, IAHR, vol. 32, no. 5, 649-660, 1994. 4. Chiew, Y. M. "Mechanics of Riprap Failure at Bridge Piers" Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 121, no. 9, 635-643, 1995. 5. Song, T. and Chiew, Y. M. and Chin, C. O. "Effect of Bedload Movement on Flow Friction Factor" Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 124, no. 2, 165-175, 1998. 6. Cheng, N. S. and Chiew, Y. M. "Turbulent Open-Channel Flow with Upward Seepage" Journal of Hydraulic Research, IAHR, vol. 36, no. 3, 415-431, 1998. 7. Melville, B. W. and Chiew, Y. M. "Time Scale for Local Scour at Bridge Piers" Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 125, no. 1, 59-65, 1999. 8. Cheng, N. S. and Chiew, Y. M. "Incipient Sediment Motion with Upward Seepage" Journal of Hydraulic Research, IAHR, vol. 37, no. 5, 665-681, 1999. 9. Ming, D. H. and Chiew, Y. M. "Experimental study for shoreline changes behind a detached breakwater" Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, ASCE, vol. 126, no. 2, 63-70, 2000. 10. Chiew, Y. M. and Lim F. H. "Failure behavior of riprap layer at bridge piers under live-bed conditions" Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 126, no. 1, 43-55, 2000. 11. Song, T. and Chiew, Y. M. "Turbulence Measurement in Non-Uniform Open Channel Flow Using an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV)". Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, vol. 127, no. 3, 219-232, 2001. 12. Chiew, Y.M. "Failure Mechanisms of Riprap Layer around Bridge Piers". Invited Paper (Plenary Section) in Proc. of First Int. Conf. on Scour of Foundations (ICSF-1), Vol. 1, 70-91, 2002. 13. Chen, X. W. and Chiew, Y. M. "Response of Velocity and Reynolds Stress Profiles to Sudden Change of Bed Roughness in Open-Channel Flow". Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 129, no. 1, 35-43, 2003. 14. Chen, X. W. and Chiew, Y. M. "Velocity Distribution of Turbulent Open Channel Flow with Bed Suction". Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 130, no. 2, 140-148, 2004. 15. Chiew, Y. M. "Local Scour and Riprap Stability at Bridge Piers in a Degrading Channel". Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 130, no. 3, 218-226, 2004. 16. Lu, Y., Chiew, Y.M. and Cheng, N. S. "Review of seepage effects on turbulent open-channel flow and sediment entrainment". Journal of Hydraulic Research, IAHR, 46(4), 476-488, 2008.
Prof Chu JianDr Chu's area of expertise includes labotrory and in-situ testing, soil properties, ground improvement, land reclamation, and waste utilisation. My research focus areas at the present are: (1) Instability behaviour of granular soil; (2) Innovative ground improvement methods including the use of microbial technologies; (2) Waste utilisation; and (4) Disaster mitigations.