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LANDSLIDE HAZARD MITIGATION

The design of countermeasures against landslides is empirical in nature. The problem with empiricism is that it is not possible to discern whether a design is insufficient, adequate, or over-conservative. More importantly, a transition from empirically-based to scientifically-based design is crucial for enhancing the resiliency of communities in the mountainous regions against geohazards. We are conducting research to reveal fundamental mechanisms of interaction between landslides and countermeasures and develop design guidelines that practitioners can use.

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DIGITISATION IN GEOMECHANICS

In an effort to enhance the preparedness and resiliency of communities situated in mountainous regions against Geohazards, engineers and scientists will need to embrace Internet of Things technology and artificial intelligence to develop digital twins of geotechnical infrastructure. These twins will enable the development of diagnostic and prognostic models for geotechnical infrastructure. An example is the use of fully convolutional neural networks (FCNN) to digitize physical model test data for predictive and numerical calibration purposes.

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SOIL-ATMOSPHERIC INTERACTION

With global warming, a paradigm shift in the way we look at geotechnical problems has occurred. Thermal-hydro-mechanical coupling has never been more important as we seek to improve our understanding of how changing climate variables influence the initiation and scale of geohazards, and the performance of geotechnical infrastructure. Only by elucidating the effects of soil-atmospheric interaction can we enhance our preparedness and resilience against the challenges posed by climate change. 

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BLUE GEOTECHNICS

We still have only a very limited understanding of what happens under the sea. Answering questions about submarine geohazards is essential for sustainable offshore development. As development moves offshore, platforms, pipelines, and cables will become susceptible to landslide hazards. Therefore, improving our understanding of initiation, transportation, and deposition mechanisms of submarine landslides will lead to safe and economical submarine engineering.

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MICROPLASTIC POLLUTION

Microplastic particles are an environmental concern because they have been reported to enter the food chain and pose a threat to human health. The existing foundation of work on microplastics places a strong emphasis on sampling techniques, pollution detection, and plastic toxicity. However, there remains a dearth of literature that investigates the migration of microplastics in soils. Capturing the migration of microplastic particles in porous media is a prerequisite for modelling the complex transportation, sedimentation, and entrainment processes. These models will help to identify the extent of microplastic pollution and develop potential remediation strategies.