Dr Adnan Sufian

Dr Adnan Sufian

Senior Lecturer
Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Senior Lecturer, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering

I am a Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney). I completed my PhD at UNSW Sydney, spending one year as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following the completion of my PhD, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Imperial College London, after which I joined the University of Queensland as a Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering. 

I also worked as a geotechnical engineer with SMEC Australia, where I was involved in several large-scale infrastructure projects around New South Wales, Australia, including Hunter Expressway, Gerringong Upgrade, Glenfield to Leppington Rail Line and Gosford Passing Loop, with experiences in site investigation, design, construction phase services, and project proposals.

Education

BE (Civil Engineering), University of New South Wales, 2012
PhD (Civil Engineering), University of New South Wales, 2017 

Research Interest

My field of research is in the area of multi-scale and multi-phase mechanics of granular materials. My research aims to develop tools and guidelines so that geotechnical engineers can better handle, manipulate and construct with granular materials, and this can lead to innovative solutions to geotechnical issues surrounding the development of urban infrastructure. I am also interested in understanding natural phenomena associated with granular geomaterials such as landscapes affected by erosion, mass movement of materials in landslides, and mitigating the spread of contaminants in subsurface flows. 

I focus on the interaction of water with soil particles, where I use a combination of theoretical, numerical and experimental tools to develop a fundamental understanding of these multi-scale and multi-phase interactions and apply this basic research within a geotechnical context. I have strong expertise in the development of novel, efficient and rigorous multi-scale computational modeling techniques, including the Discrete Element Method (DEM), Pore Network Models (PNM) and coupled Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD-DEM).

While I focus on geotechnical applications, my research also has wider implications in the field of pharmaceutical, chemical processes, manufacturing, agriculture, and food processing. Research in the area of granular materials is a naturally multidisciplinary field and I am currently collaborating with physicists, mathematicians and engineers to uncover emergent phenomena from the collective behaviour of granular particles.

HDR Supervision

Current HDR projects include:

  • Modelling and characterising transport processes in granular media using dynamic pore network models and graphs
  • Investigating the role of particle shape on internal erosion
  • Resilient Infrastructure in a Changing Climate: A Focus on Scouring in Extreme Flood Events

I am available to supervise HDR projects in the following fields:

  • Computational modelling of fluid-particle systems including pore networks and coupled CFD-DEM
  • Theoretical, numerical and experimental investigations of internal erosion
  • Large-scale physical modelling of erosion phenomena in embankments

Grants & Funding

  • Sufian A. (2024-2026). Predicting internal erosion in dams using real-time coupled experiments. Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Australian Research Council
  • Sufian A. (2023-2026). Safeguarding dams and levees from internal erosion failure. ARC Early Career Industry Fellowships, Australian Research Council
  • Zheng, W. and Sufian A. (2023-2024). Onset and progression of internal erosion in hydroelectric dams using a coupled fluid-solid simulation method. NSERC Alliance International Catalyst

Awards & Invitations

  • Invited feature lecture on "Particle-scale simulation of internal erosion processes" at the IRNGeoMech Workshop 2023
  • Best Paper Award (Early Career Researcher) at the Australasian Conference of Computational Mechanics (2019) held at the University of Tasmania.
  • Best Paper Award (Postgraduate Student) at the Australasian Conference of Computational Mechanics (2015) held at the Queensland University of Technology.
  • UNSW Geotechnical Discipline Prize (2011)

Outreach

Professional Organisations/Affliations

  • Australian Geomechanics Society, Member
  • Engineers Australia, Member

Service Roles

  • Co-organiser of the European Working Group on Internal Erosion (EWG-IE) Symposium
Phone
+61 2 9065 2309
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Ramakrishna Annapareddy VS; Sufian A; Pain A; Scheuermann A, 2024, 'A Generalized Framework to Estimate the Seismic Active Thrust on Rigid Retaining Walls with Partially Saturated Backfill', International Journal of Geomechanics, 24, http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/IJGNAI.GMENG-8995
    Journal articles | 2023
    Annapareddy VSR; Pain A; Sufian A; Godas S; Scheuermann A, 2023, 'Influence of heterogeneity and elevated temperatures on the seismic translational stability of engineered landfills', Waste Management, 158, pp. 1 - 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2023.01.004
    Journal articles | 2023
    Annapareddy VSR; Sufian A; Bore T; Scheuermann A, 2023, 'Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Particle Migration in Gap-Graded Granular Soils: Insights from Experimental Observations', Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 149, http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/JGGEFK.GTENG-11094
    Journal articles | 2023
    Chen K; Qi R; Xing X; Sufian A; Lourenço SDN, 2023, 'Constriction size retention criterion for calcium alginate microcapsules in granular materials', Powder Technology, 413, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2022.118034
    Journal articles | 2023
    Holden SAW; Sufian A; Scheuermann A, 2023, 'The importance of initial particle position on filter performance in granular soils', Computers and Geotechnics, 162, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2023.105632
    Journal articles | 2023
    Zhang Y; Sufian A; Scheuermann A, 2023, 'Influence of hydraulic and geometric conditions on the early stages of the filtration process in idealised granular soils comprising spherical particles', International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 47, pp. 2343 - 2363, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nag.3583
    Journal articles | 2022
    Annapareddy VSR; Sufian A; Bore T; Bajodek M; Scheuermann A, 2022, 'Computation of local permeability in gap-graded granular soils', Geotechnique Letters, 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/jgele.21.00131
    Journal articles | 2022
    Sufian A; Bittner T; Bore T; Bajodek M; Scheuermann A, 2022, 'Physical observations of the transient evolution of the porosity distribution during internal erosion using spatial time domain reflectometry', Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 59, pp. 1443 - 1458, http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cgj-2021-0570
    Journal articles | 2021
    Che H; O'Sullivan C; Sufian A; Smith ER, 2021, 'A novel CFD-DEM coarse-graining method based on the Voronoi tessellation', Powder Technology, 384, pp. 479 - 493, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2021.02.025
    Journal articles | 2021
    Sufian A; Artigaut M; Shire T; O'Sullivan C, 2021, 'Influence of Fabric on Stress Distribution in Gap-Graded Soil', Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 147, http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002487
    Journal articles | 2020
    Smith ER; Trevelyan DJ; Ramos-Fernandez E; Sufian A; O'Sullivan C; Dini D, 2020, 'CPL library — A minimal framework for coupled particle and continuum simulation', Computer Physics Communications, 250, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpc.2019.107068
    Journal articles | 2019
    Sufian A; Knight C; O'Sullivan C; van Wachem B; Dini D, 2019, 'Ability of a pore network model to predict fluid flow and drag in saturated granular materials', Computers and Geotechnics, 110, pp. 344 - 366, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2019.02.007
    Journal articles | 2019
    Sufian A; Russell AR; Whittle AJ, 2019, 'Evolving pore orientation, shape and size in sheared granular assemblies', Granular Matter, 21, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10035-018-0856-4
    Journal articles | 2018
    van der Linden JH; Sufian A; Narsilio GA; Russell AR; Tordesillas A, 2018, 'A computational geometry approach to pore network construction for granular packings', Computers and Geosciences, 112, pp. 133 - 143, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2017.12.004
    Journal articles | 2017
    Ferraro A; Sufian A; Russell AR, 2017, 'Analytical derivation of water retention for random monodisperse granular media', Acta Geotechnica, 12, pp. 1319 - 1328, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11440-017-0546-0
    Journal articles | 2017
    Sufian A; Russell AR; Whittle AJ, 2017, 'Anisotropy of contact networks in granular media and its influence on mobilised internal friction', Geotechnique, 67, pp. 1067 - 1080, http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/jgeot.16.p.170
    Journal articles | 2015
    Sufian A; Russell AR; Whittle AJ; Saadatfar M, 2015, 'Pore shapes, volume distribution and orientations in monodisperse granular assemblies', Granular Matter, 17, pp. 727 - 742, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10035-015-0590-0
  • Preprints | 2022
    Annapareddy VSR; Sufian A; Bore T; Bajodek M; Scheuermann A, 2022, Computation of local permeability in gap-graded granular soils, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/jgele.21.00131
    Preprints | 2022
    Annapareddy VSR; Sufian A; Bore T; Scheuermann A, 2022, Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Particle Migration in Gap-Graded Granular Soils: Insights from Experimental Observations, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/JGGEFK.GTENG-11094
    Preprints | 2022
    Che H; O'Sullivan C; Sufian A; Smith E, 2022, A Novel CFD-DEM Coarse-Graining Method Based on the Voronoi Tessellation, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2021.02.025
    Preprints | 2022
    Sufian A; Bittner T; Bore T; Bajodek M; Scheuermann A, 2022, Physical observations of the transient evolution of the porosity distribution during internal erosion using spatial time domain reflectometry, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cgj-2021-0570
    Preprints | 2022
    Sufian A; Knight C; O'Sullivan C; Wachem BV; Dini D, 2022, Ability of a pore network model to predict fluid flow and drag in saturated granular materials, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2019.02.007
    Conference Papers | 2020
    Sufian A; Knight C; O'Sullivan C; van Wachem D; Dini D, 2020, 'Capturing Local Fluid Field Characteristics in Porous Media using Pore Network Models', in 22nd Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, AFMC 2020, http://dx.doi.org/10.14264/54548eb
    Conference Papers | 2019
    Artigaut M; Sufian A; Ding X; Shire T; O’Sullivan C, 2019, 'Influence of stress anisotropy on stress distributions in gap-graded soils', in E3S Web of Conferences, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/20199214007
    Conference Papers | 2017
    Sufian A; Russell AR; Whittle AJ, 2017, 'Micro-scale anisotropy of contacts and pores in granular media', in Radjai F; Nezamabadi S; Luding S; Delenne JY (eds.), EPJ Web of Conferences, EDP Sciences, Montpellier, France,, pp. 15003, presented at Powders and Grains 2017 – 8th International Conference on Micromechanics on Granular Media, Montpellier, France,, 03 July 2017 - 07 July 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/epjconf/201714015003
    Conference Papers | 2015
    Sufian A; Russell AR, 2015, 'Microstructural pore changes in Gosford sandstone during compressive loading', in Geomechanics from Micro to Macro - Proceedings of the TC105 ISSMGE International Symposium on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro, IS-Cambridge 2014, pp. 1219 - 1224, http://dx.doi.org/10.1201/b17395-220