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Dr Xianfeng Liu

Research Associate

School of Engineering

Career Summary


Name: Xianfeng LIU Date of Birth: October, 1980 Nationality: Chinese Address: Building EA121 Telephone: +61 (02) 49212074 (office) E-mail:

Research Expertise
(1) Multi-physical processes in geomechanics: constitiutive modelling and coupling analysis

(2) Microstrucrual analysis of clays under environmetal loading (mechanical, hydraulical, chemical)

(3) Modelling of reactive transport in porous media

(4) Heavy metal transport in clays


  • PhD, Ecole Centrale de Nantes - France
  • Master of Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University - China


  • Contaminants transport in soils
  • Soil microstructure analysis
  • THMC modelling of Underground coal fires


  • French (Fluent)

Fields of Research

090501Civil Geotechnical Engineering100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
6/04/2015 - 30/07/2015Research AssociateUniversity of Newcastle
School of Engineering
3/12/2011 - 4/12/2011Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Engineering


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (10 outputs)

2015Zhang C-L, Jiang G-L, Liu X-F, Wang Z-M, 'Lateral displacement of silty clay under cement-fly ash-gravel pile-supported embankments: Analytical consideration and field evidence', JOURNAL OF CENTRAL SOUTH UNIVERSITY, 22 1477-1489 (2015)
DOI10.1007/s11771-015-2665-9Author URL
2015Liu XF, de Carteret R, Buzzi OP, Fityus SG, 'Microstructural effects of environmental salinity on unbound granular road pavement material upon drying', Acta Geotechnica, 1-7 (2015)
DOI10.1007/s11440-015-0393-9Author URL
2015Liu XF, de Carteret R, Buzzi OP, Fityus SG, 'Microstructural effects of environmental salinity on unbound granular road pavement material upon drying', Acta Geotechnica, (2015)

Areas of high environmental salinity are predicted to increase over the next 40 years in Australia, due to land use and climatic changes. This presents a risk to road assets as accumulation of salts within roads has been found to cause damage to thin bituminous surfacings. It is in this context that the present study explores the microstructural changes caused by environmental salt crystals accumulating within unbound granular road pavements. Fine-grained specimens were prepared by static compaction, immersed in different solutions, and finally either freeze-dried or oven-dried at 40 °C. The effects of different drying procedures and salinity on soil¿s microstructure were explored via mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscope observation. Results suggest that a freeze-drying process can significantly modify the microstructure, which should be taken into account when conducting any microstructural analysis on high-salinity soil specimens.

Co-authorsOlivier Buzzi
2014Liu X, Buzzi O, 'Use of hand-spray plaster as a coating for soil bulk volume measurement', Geotechnical Testing Journal, 37 (2014) [C1]

This paper presents a new coating material [hand-spray plaster (HSP)] used to measure the bulk volume of soil specimens having irregular shapes. The new method has been validated against two benchmark methods, namely, the wax and plastic bag methods, by conducting swelling and shrinkage tests on intact Maryland clay. The results show that the new method yields similar values of volume but with much reduced data scattering. The HSP method is also far easier to use than the other two methods. Finally, the stiffness of the coating has been measured and its restraining effect has been found to be negligible. Some of the benefits of using the HSP method are: (1) limited fluid retention by the specimen postimmersion for volume measurement, (2) reduced water-intake rate with elimination of cracking upon swelling caused by high-suction gradients, (3) absence of the restraining effect on specimens upon swelling, and (4) accurate determination of the swelling and shrinkage curves with only one specimen per curve. Copyright by ASTM Int'l (all rights reserved).

Co-authorsOlivier Buzzi
2014Buzzi O, Sieffert Y, Mendes J, Liu X, Giacomini A, Seedsman R, 'Strength of an Australian Coal Under Low Confinement', Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 47 2265-2270 (2014) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authorsAnna Giacomini, Olivier Buzzi
2014de Carteret R, Buzzi O, Fityus S, Liu X, 'Effect of Naturally Occurring Salts on Tensile and Shear Strength of Sealed Granular Road Pavements', JOURNAL OF MATERIALS IN CIVIL ENGINEERING, 26 (2014) [C1]
DOI10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0000938Author URL
Co-authorsOlivier Buzzi, Stephen Fityus
2014Zhang C, Jiang G, Liu X, Wang Z, 'Deformation performance of cement-fly ash-gravel pile-supported embankments over silty clay of medium compressibility: a case study', Arabian Journal of Geosciences, (2014)
2012Liu X, Collin F, Buzzi OP, Sloan SW, 'Numerical modelling of ground temperature evolution as a result of underground coal fire', Australian Geomechanics Journal, 47 27-32 (2012) [C1]
Co-authorsOlivier Buzzi, Scott Sloan
2012Liu X, Hammad T, Saiyouri N, Hattab M, 'Physical chemical analysis of marine sediment cementation from the Gulf of Guinea', Comptes Rendus - Geoscience, 344 461-470 (2012) [C1]
2007Jiang G, Liu X, Zhang J, Zhao R, 'Shaking table test of composite foundation reinforcement of saturated silty soil for high speed railway', Frontiers of Architecture and Civil Engineering in China, 1 353-360 (2007) [C1]
Show 7 more journal articles

Conference (7 outputs)

2014Liu XF, Buzzi OP, Vaunat J, 'Influence of stress-volume path on swelling behavior of an expansive clay', Unsaturated Soils: Research and Applications, Sydney (2014) [E1]
Co-authorsOlivier Buzzi
2014Yang C, Yang CS, Liu XF, 'An improved modeling of hydro-mechanical behavior of unsaturated compacted soils', Unsaturated Soils: Research and Applications, London (2014) [E1]
Co-authorsChao Yang
2012Liu X, Collin F, Buzzi OP, Sloan SW, 'Numerical modelling of ground temperature evolution and soil subsidence as a result of underground coal fire', 11th Australian New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics Conference Proceedings, Melbourne, Australia (2012) [E1]
Co-authorsOlivier Buzzi, Scott Sloan
2012Liu X, Buzzi OP, 'Experimental characterization of shrinkage behaviour of Australian expansive soils', Unsaturated Soils: Research and Applications, Napoli, Italy (2012) [E1]
Co-authorsOlivier Buzzi
2010Liu X, Saiyouri N, Hicher P, 'Heavy metal transport in satured clays: experimental study and numerical simulation', Third Edition of the Euro Mediterranean Symposium on Advances in Geomaterial and Structures, Tunisia (2010) [E1]
2010Liu X, Saiyiuri N, Hicher P, 'Influence of Induced pH changes on heavy metals retention by kaolinite and bentonite', Proceedings Of The Geoshanghai International Conference, Shanghai, China (2010) [E1]
2009Saiyouri N, Liu X, Khalil T, Muresan B, Hicher P, 'Reactive transport in granular media: modeling the erosion and filtration', Proceedings of the International Symposium on Computational Geomechanics, France (2009) [E1]
Show 4 more conferences

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013Microstructural Changes of Expansive Soils upon Swelling and its Effect on Permeability
Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Dr Xianfeng Liu


Research Associate
Geotechnical group
School of Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Contact Details
Phone(02) 4921 5331


University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308