Lijun Deng Masterclass

24 October 2019,
Institute of Advanced Studies, UWA
Honours Students, Postgraduate Students, Early Career Researchers, Academics, Professional Researchers

*This Masterclass is full. Please contact the IAS to be put on a waitlist*

Foundation design

Toward Innovations in the Foundations under our Feet

An IAS Masterclass with Dr Lijun Deng, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta and 2019 UWA Robert and Maude Gledden Senior Visiting Fellow.

Shallow and deep foundations have been constructed by humankind for thousands of years. Being generally underground, they are often invisible in everyday circumstances, but they are perhaps the most important part of a building. However, it was not until the 1920s when Terzaghi published his classic textbook Soil Mechanics that engineers really started to understand the mechanics of foundations. In recent decades, the principles of foundation design have evolved steadily in response to societal needs for earthquake resistance and for efficient construction. Traditionally, it is often thought that a large fixed-base foundation is safer when an earthquake strikes, but this is not always the case. In earthquake-prone regions, the concept of ‘rocking’ shallow foundations as an affordable base isolation mechanism is gaining acceptance by civil engineers. Nevertheless, research into rocking foundations is still ongoing before a wide adoption in practice. Other alternative deep foundation technologies, such as helical piles and screw piles, are also increasingly used to protect buildings in earthquake zones, via different mechanisms.

This Masterclass will cover recent research into these and similar innovative foundations for structures in earthquake-prone regions. First, the performance of rocking shallow foundations will be addressed, based upon the centrifuge modeling tests and field tests. The performance-based design concept of rocking foundations, unlike traditional methods for conventional foundations, will then be proposed. Second, the emerging helical piles and screw piles were extensively tested in the field in Edmonton, Canada, for the studies of their capacities and load transfer mechanisms. The findings in these new pile types will also be shared. At the end, the audience will take away the new ideas and concepts about foundations – one of the most important infrastructure under our feet.

Dr Lijun Deng is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta (UAlberta) Canada. He joined UAlberta in January 2013, after obtaining a PhD degree in 2012 from the University of California, Davis. Dr Deng’s research interests cover geotechnical earthquake engineering, foundation engineering, soil-structure interaction, and frozen ground engineering. His research has spanned laboratory-scale testing, full-scale testing, and geotechnical centrifuge modelling. Lately He has focused on the axial performance of screw micropiles and helical piles, and the occurrence of liquefaction triggered by the 2015 Gorkha (Nepal) earthquake. He has published more than 30 journal papers. He has attracted over 1 million CA$ funding from federal agencies and local industry.

As a Robert and Maude Gledden Senior Visiting Fellow, Dr Deng is currently collaborating with colleagues at Oceans Institute at UWA.