Annan Zhou

Associate Professor Annan Zhou

HDR Manager - Civil and Infrastructure Engineering

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Profile photo of Dr Annan Zhou. Annan is standing in front of a grey wall. Annan is wearing a suit shirt, blazer and glasses. Annan is looking at the camera and smiling.

Contact details

STEM | School of Engineering 


Emailannan.zhou@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


Programs

More information

Profile photo of Dr Annan Zhou. Annan is standing in front of a grey wall. Annan is wearing a suit shirt, blazer and glasses. Annan is looking at the camera and smiling.

Contact details

STEM | School of Engineering 


Emailannan.zhou@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


Programs

More information

Dr Annan Zhou is an Associate Professor in Geomechanics and Civil Geotechnical Engineering.

Overview

Associate Professor Annan Zhou obtained his PhD degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Newcastle in 2011, with an Australian Endeavor Scholarship. After his graduation, he joined RMIT as a tenured Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering and was promoted to a Senior Lecturer in 2014 and an Associate Professor in 2018. 

The major research area of Associate Professor Annan Zhou is Geomechanics and Civil Geotechnical Engineering, specifically including (1) Unsaturated soils and expansive soils, (2) Laboratory testing on soil behaviour and soil-structure (wind turbine-ground) interactions, (3) Critical state soil mechanics and constitutive modelling, (4) Robust and fast numerical methods for Geotechnical Engineering, and (5) Risk assessment/management for Civil Geotechnical infrastructure. 

The quality of his research has been recognized by being awarded several national/international awards like the ARC DECRA Fellowship (2013-2015), the AGS Hugh Trollope Medal (2014), the ISSMGE ECR International Best Paper Award (2015), the CGJ Editor’s Choice (2016, 2020), the ISSMGE Bright Spark Lecturer Award (2018) and RMIT Research Excellence Award (2021).

As a Chief Investigator, Associate Professor Annan Zhou has secured several national competitive research grants including ARC DE, DP, and LP etc. From 2014 to 2016, he was elected to be a RMIT University Research Committee Board Member to represent the ECR academics over the University. Since 2015, he serves as an editorial board member for Acta Geotechnica (Springer), Canadian Geotechnical Journal (NRC), Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (Elsevier), and Underground Space (Elsevier). 

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Industry experience

The Vice-President (Australia and Pacific, 2020-2025) of The International Society of Environmental Geotechnology (ISEG, found in 1992). 

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Research

Associate Professor Annan Zhou’s research contributes to better understanding and modelling of the fundamental constitutive behaviour of unsaturated soils. Any soil can be unsaturated with water due to either evaporation or engineering processes like excavation. Unsaturated soils have been widely blamed for many geotechnical problems like slope failures, dam collapses, pavement cracking, and foundation failures since they can produce large deformation and even suddenly lose strength in wetting events. A/Prof Annan Zhou has established a new modelling framework cross multiscale (micro-/meso-/macro-scales) to tackle the most fundamental issues in unsaturated soil mechanics. Within this framework, many unanswered questions and seemingly conflicting behaviours related to strength, deformation, soil-water interaction of unsaturated soil can be reasonably explained and effectively modelled. Based on the novel multiscale modelling framework and robust numerical techniques, he has developed advanced numerical tools for better design and assessment of infrastructure involving unsaturated soils in Australia and worldwide. 

Research keywords

Unsaturated Soils, Soil Mechanics, Constitutive Modelling, Numerical Methods, Multiscale Modelling, Geotechnical Risk Assessment

Research output summary

200+

Publications

10

Projects

8

Awards

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Supervisor interest areas

  • Unsaturated soils
  • Soil mechanics
  • Constitutive modelling
  • Numerical methods
  • Multiscale modelling
  • Soil-structure interaction
  • Georisk assessment. 

Supervisor projects

  • Expansive soil behaviour at nanoscale and molecule simulation under thermo-chemo-hydro-mechanical loads
  • Meso-mechnical behaviour for unsaturated soils and multi-phase DEM modelling 
  • Performance analysis and optimisation of monopile-supported wind turbines subjected to various wind and operation loads and different ground conditions 
  • Hybrid machine learning algorithms and optimisation techniques as new solution for geotechnical problems 
  • Numerical implementation of advanced soil constitutive models: finite element method and applications 

Feature publications

Interpretation of unsaturated soil behaviour in the stress–saturation space, I: volume change and water retention behaviour

Computers and Geotechnics, 43, pp.178-187 

Zhou, A.*, Sheng, D., Sloan, S.W. and Gens, A. (2012).

Capillary water retention curve and shear strength of unsaturated soils

Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 53(6), pp.974-987 

Zhou, A.*, Huang, R. and Sheng, D. (2016).

A micro-mechanical model for unsaturated soils based on DEM

Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 368, pp.113-183

Liu, X., Zhou, A.*, Shen, S.L., Li, J. and Sheng, D (2020).

Key publications by year

  • Silica sand enhanced cement mortar for cementing steam injection well up to 380° C, H Liu, Y Bu, A Zhou, J Du, L Zhou, X Pang - Construction and Building Materials 308, 125-142, 2021
  • A multisurface elastoplastic model for frozen soil, K Sun, A Zhou - Acta Geotechnica, 1-24, 2021
  • Application of diffusion-advection equations to in-field monitoring of soil suction profiles, S Venkatesan, J Droniou, I Roy, D Robert, A Zhou - Computers and Geotechnics, 2021
  • Semi-analytical solutions to the consolidation of unsaturated composite ground enforced by stone columns under equal strain condition considering smear effect, L Zhang, L Wang, A Zhou, Y Xu, X Xia, Transportation Geotechnics, 2021.
  • Grouting characteristics in rock fractures with rough surfaces: Apparatus design and experimental study, X Wang, F Xiao, Q Zhang, A Zhou, R Liu - Measurement, 2021.
  • Approach based on TOPSIS and Monte Carlo simulation methods to evaluate lake eutrophication levels, SS Lin, SL Shen, A Zhou, YS Xu - Water Research 187, 2020.
  • A three components thixotropic agent to enhance the thixotropic property of natural gas well cement at high temperatures, S Guo, Y Bu, A Zhou, J Du, Z Cai - Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 84, 2020.
  • Data in intelligent approach for estimation of disc cutter life using hybrid metaheuristic algorithm, K Elbaz, SL Shen, A Zhou, ZY Yin, HM Lyu - Data in Brief, 2020.
  • Evolutionary hybrid neural network approach to predict shield tunneling-induced ground settlements, K Zhang, HM Lyu, SL Shen, A Zhou, ZY Yin - Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 106, 2020.
  • Data on evolutionary hybrid neural network approach to predict shield tunneling-induced ground settlements, K Zhang, HM Lyu, SL Shen, A Zhou, ZY Yin - Data in Brief 33, 2020.
  • Investigation of landslides that occurred in august on the Chengdu–Kunming railway, Sichuan, China, Q Zheng, SL Shen, AN Zhou, H Cai - Geosciences 9 (12), 497, 2019.
  • Foundation pit collapse on 8 June 2019 in Nanning, China: a brief report, YT Chin, SL Shen, AN Zhou, J Chen - Safety 5 (4), 68, 2019
  • Stress–dilatancy relationship for fiber-reinforced sand and its modeling, Y Kong, A Zhou, F Shen, Y Yao - Acta Geotechnica 14 (6), 1871-1881, 2019.
  • Experimental investigation on the blocking of groundwater seepage from a waterproof curtain during pumped dewatering in an excavation, YS Xu, XX Yan, SL Shen, AN Zhou - Hydrogeology Journal 27 (7), 2659-2672, 2019.
  • Influence of MFPSA on mechanical and hydrophobic behaviour of fiber cement products, C Li, A Zhou, J Zeng, Z Liu, Z Zhang - Construction and Building Materials 223, 1016-1029, 2019.
  • Dynamic performance of shear-thickening fluid damper under long-term cyclic loads, K Lin, H Liu, M Wei, A Zhou, F Bu - Smart Materials and Structures 28 (2), 2018.
  • Effect of stress state on soil–water retention and its application on the strength prediction, Y Gao, D Sun, A Zhou, J Li - Geotechnique Letters 8 (4), 324-329, 2018.
  • Backfilling performance of mixtures of dredged river sediment and iron tailing slag stabilized by calcium carbide slag in mine goaf, C Chu, Y Deng, A Zhou, Q Feng, H Ye, F Zha - Construction and Building Materials 189, 849-856, 2018
  • Factors affecting corrosion of buried cast iron pipes, W Wang, D Robert, A Zhou, CQ Li - Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 30 (11), 2018.
  • Investigation on fatal accidents in Chinese construction industry between 2004 and 2016, WL Meng, S Shen, A Zhou - Natural Hazards 94 (2), 655-670, 2018.
Web

Feature projects

Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils and its modelling

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE130101342) 
Chief Investigator (DECRA Fellowship): Zhou, A.N. 

2013 - 2015

Accurate prediction of safe life of buried pipelines

ARC Discovery Project (DP140101547) 
Chief Investigator: Li, C.Q., Setunge, S. and Zhou, A.N.

2014 - 2016

Soil dynamics at extreme deformations

ARC Discovery Project (DP200100549)
Chief Investigator: Nazem, M., Zhou A. N. and Moridpour, S. 

2020 - 2023

Key projects by year

  • Project Title: Soil dynamics at extreme deformations 
    2020-2023 ARC Discovery Project (DP200100549)
  • Project Title: Subgrade model incorporating unsaturated soil behaviour, cyclic loading, and climatic effects and test methods 
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.01.2)
  • Project Title: Optimisation of pavement fund allocation for pavement rehabilitation based on pavement condition data and remaining life cycle analytics
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.04.4a)
  • Project Title: Enhancement of asphalt using crumb rubber, ultra-fine-grained materials and self-healing additives
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.04.4b)
  • Project Title: Development of a smart pavement asset management platform combining traffic models, pavement construction data, condition assessment data, traffic management, multi-sensor information and optimised rehabilitation strategies 
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.05.2)
  • Project Title: Sustainable planting of trees in suburban environment on shrinkable clays
    2016-2019 ARC Linkage Project (LP160100649)
  • Project Title: Accurate prediction of safe life of buried pipelines 
    2014-2016 ARC Discovery Project (DP140101547)
  • Project Title: Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils and its modelling
    2013-2016 ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE130101342)
  • Project Title: Development of a decision-making tool for whole life care of underground storm water pipeline network 
    2013-2016 Contracted Research (RMIT Research ID: 0200312326) funded by Melbourne Water, Brimbank, Great Dandenong, Darebin, Monash, Port Phillip, and Whittlesea city councils
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Awards

Annan Zhou award photo

2021 RMIT Research Excellence Award (Technology), RMIT 

Award date: 2021

Recipients: Annan Zhou


The ISSMGE Bright Spark Lecture Award, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) 

Award date: 2018

Recipients: Annan Zhou

The Hugh Trollope Medal, Australian Geomechanics Society

Award date: 2015

Recipients: Annan Zhou

Key awards by year

  • 2021 RMIT Research Excellence Award (Technology), RMIT 
  • 2020 The CGJ Editor’s Choice, Canadian Geotechnical Journal 
  • 2018 The ISSMGE Bright Spark Lecture Award, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) 
  • 2016 The CGJ Editor’s Choice, Canadian Geotechnical Journal 
  • 2016 The CGJ Outstanding Reviewer, Canadian Geotechnical Journal 
  • 2015 The ISSMGE Early Career Researcher International Best Paper Award on Unsaturated Soils, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)
  • 2015 The Hugh Trollope Medal, Australian Geomechanics Society
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Grants

  • Project Title: Soil dynamics at extreme deformations 
    2020-2023 ARC Discovery Project (DP200100549)
  • Project Title: Subgrade model incorporating unsaturated soil behaviour, cyclic loading, and climatic effects and test methods
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.01.2)
  • Project Title: Optimisation of pavement fund allocation for pavement rehabilitation based on pavement condition data and remaining life cycle analytics
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.04.4a)
  • Project Title: Enhancement of asphalt using crumb rubber, ultra-fine-grained materials and self-healing additives
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.04.4b)
  • Project Title: Development of a smart pavement asset management platform combining traffic models, pavement construction data, condition assessment data, traffic management, multi-sensor information and optimised rehabilitation strategies
    2019-2023 ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub Project (IH180100010.05.2)
  • Project Title: Sustainable planting of trees in suburban environment on shrinkable clays
    2016-2019 ARC Linkage Project (LP160100649)
  • Project Title: Accurate prediction of safe life of buried pipelines 
  • 2014-2016 ARC Discovery Project (DP140101547)
  • Project Title: Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils and its modelling
    2013-2016 ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE130101342)
  • Project Title: Development of a decision-making tool for whole life care of underground storm water pipeline network 
    2013-2016 Contracted Research (RMIT Research ID: 0200312326), Funded by Melbourne Water, Brimbank, Great Dandenong, Darebin, Monash, Port Phillip, and Whittlesea city councils
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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.