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Dr Anna Giacomini

Associate Professor

School of Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Rock steady

Dr Anna Giacomini, Principal Researcher in the University's Priority Research Centre for Geotechnical and Materials Modelling, is committed to innovating, promoting and improving safety in mining and civil environments.

Dr Anna Giacomini 

Whilst the Australian mining industry is recognised globally for its focus on workplace health and safety, mining personnel are challenged with risks every day. Rockfalls threaten human lives, machinery and the portal structures for underground entry located at the toe of highwalls. Such hazards can also have profound financial consequences if production temporarily stops for safety issues.

Anna has been working in Rock Mechanics and Civil Engineering for more than 12 years, having received her PhD from the University of Parma, Italy in 2003. In 2007 she joined the University of Newcastle as a research academic.  Anna has enriched her extensive research experience in rockfall analysis and rock mechanics from civil engineering to mining, adapting to her new Australian environment. As the principal researcher of an Australian Research Council Linkage Project she helped develop new designs for barriers to protect valuable infrastructure, such as roads and railways, from rock fall hazards.

Her contributions to the field have been recognised by the Australian industry as she leads three major projects through the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) on rockfall hazard and mitigation. Anna's research focuses on these hazards and their impacts in open pit mines. Together with her team, she uses innovative full scale experimental testing, novel laboratory testing techniques and advanced 3D numerical modelling to provide a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of all the major components of rockfall hazard at a given mine site.

"While each mine site is different and each highwall has different needs depending on the geological configuration of the outcropped rocks and how the highwall has been excavated, our numerical tool can be used at any mine," she explains."We can provide mines with the information they need to manage the risk of rock fall at their particular site."

"We can also give an indication of the residual hazard associated with rock fall drapery system protection measures and provide crucial information for the safe and effective design of portals and roads in open cut mines."

Within her recently honoured ACARP project Rockfall Hazard matrix for Risk reduction in mine sites, supported by Rio Tinto and Glencore, Anna and her team are extending their rockfall hazard methodology with a new Evolving Rockfall Hazard Assessment methodology that incorporates field data, current analytical and numerical tools and cutting edge research developments in rock fall hazard assessment and zoning. These results will provide greater accuracy in locating personnel, machinery, and structures across work sites, thereby improving safety and reducing the risk of interruptions in production.

While Anna's research has developed locally to understand the intricacies of the Australian environment, it is universal in scope and is potentially adaptable to many mining sites worldwide. Innovation in the mining sector cannot solely focus on technology, meaning Anna's work on processes and programs to improve safe work practices in dangerous worksites are valuable to industry and individuals.

From 2012 Anna and her team of two post-doctoral researchers and four post graduate students used advanced experimental and numerical analyses to investigate the energy absorption capacity of waste rock (muck) engineered barriers in various surface mining applications. Data provided unique worldwide experimental evidence on the effect of dynamic impacts of trucks on safety berms and useful recommendations for a safer mining environment.

This research is developing advanced numerical modelling which will allow the simulation of trucks running into windrows with a various range of velocities and approach angles (up or over 60km/hr). The outcome will provide more rigorous guidelines for windrows for haul roads enabling the mine sites to define speed limits with more confidence, and to adapt the design of windrows for various scenarios where trucks can potentially travel at high velocities.

Anna's studies were recognised by University of Newcastle in 2013, awarding her the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research Excellence Award. In 2014, she was invited to become a member of the Computer and Geotechnics Editorial board. Her global expertise has also seen her supervise international masters and postdoctoral students, become an assessor for national and international funding bodies and review international journals in the rock mechanics and engineering field.

Dr Anna Giacomini

Rock steady

Dr Anna Giacomini is committed to innovating, promoting and improving safety in mining and civil environments.

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Career Summary

Biography

Dr Giacomini received her phD in May 2003 from the University of Parma, Italy. In 2002 she was awarded a four year research fellowship at the University of Parma. In October 2007 she joined the Geotechnical Research group at the University of Newcastle and she is currently a Research Academic and principal researcher in the Priority Research Centre For Geotechnical and Material Modelling , in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment. From 2009 to 2011 she was the principal researcher and the Industry Chief Investigator of an Australian Research Council Linkage project (ARC LP0989965) devoted to developing new designs for engineered barriers to protect valuable infrastructures, such as roads and railways, from rockfall hazards. Since 2009 she is the project leader of 3 ACARP (Australian Coal Associated Research Program) research projects to investigate rockfall hazards in mininig and other operational hazards.

Dr Giacomini has a rich background and extensive research experience in rockfall analysis and rock mechanics for civil and mininig applications, which are her principal areas of research. Dr. Giacomini has obtained over $1,000,000 in funding, published 20 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented her research over 40 times at international and national conferences. Dr Giacomini currently supervises 4 research higher degree PhD students and 2 post-doctoral fellows. In 2013 she was awarded the PVC Research Excellence for her demonstrated research excellence in the field and in 2014 she was invited to become a board member of the Computer and Geotechnics Editorial Board. Dr Giacomini has also been an invited reviewer for the international funding body MIUR (Italy), and many international journals in the rock mechanics and engineering fields.

Research Expertise
Experimental and Numerical Rockfall analysis. Stability of rock masses. Hydromechanical behaviour of rock joints.

Teaching Expertise
The following is a summary of my major research training and teaching: • Currently primary supervisor of 2 PhD students and co-supervisor of 2 PhD students (University of Newcastle) and 1 international PhD student (University of Bologna, Italy). Previously supervised 1 PhD student (completed in 2013). • Supervised Civil and Environmental engineering students to undertake research project (2009 - 2014). • Co supervised 10 international Masters Students (2008-2014) from the University of Milan, the University of Parma (Italy) and the University Joseph Fourier in Grenoble (France). • Co-Supervised 15 Civil Engineering Master Students (2000 - 2007) at the University of Parma, Italy. • Delivered lectures and tutorials for Geotechnics, Rock Mechanics and Slope Stability courses in the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Parma, Italy (2000-2006) • Delivered 15 hours of lectures in the Masters Research course “Rock Mechanics and Seepage in Fractured Rocks” at the Technical University of Bari, Italy (2003) • Delivered 60hrs lecture/year (2004-2006) in the course “Geotechnics for Territory Protection” in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Parma, Italy (course coordinator and solely responsible). • Delivered lectures and tutorials for the courses Geomechanics I, Geomechanics II and Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering at the University of Newcastle (2006-2011). • Co-Delivered a MOOC on Rock Mechanics and Mining Engineering for Open2Study Australia and the University of Newcastle (2013).

Administrative Expertise


Collaborations

Qualifications

  • PhD (Civil Engineering), University of Parma - Italy
  • Master of Civil Engineering, University of Parma - Italy

Keywords

  • Geomechanics
  • Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Mechanical and hydromechanical behaviour of rock joints
  • Piles foundations and foundations design
  • Rock Mechanics
  • Rock mechanics
  • Slope Stability
  • Slope stability and rockfall analysis

Languages

  • English (Fluent)
  • French (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
090599 Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified 70
091599 Interdisciplinary Engineering not elsewhere classified 20
099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified 10

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Professor University of Newcastle
School of Engineering
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2015 -  Editorial Board - Computer & Geotechnics Computer & Geotechnics
Australia
1/01/2014 -  Assessor ARC (Australian Research Council)
1/01/2012 -  International Assessor Competitive PRIN/FIRB grants, Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR)
Italy

Awards

Honours

Year Award
2013 Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Performance
University of Newcastle

Research Award

Year Award
2014 Excellent paper award to Juniors
International Association for Computer methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG)
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 28
Total funding $2,491,700

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20174 grants / $75,000

HunterWiSE: Hunter Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship$30,000

Funding body: Muswellbrook Shire Council

Funding body Muswellbrook Shire Council
Project Team Doctor Elena Prieto-Rodriguez, Doctor Karen Blackmore, Doctor Anna Giacomini, Associate Professor Sarah Johnson, Professor Regina Berretta, Professor Erica Wanless, Associate Professor Juanita Todd
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700965
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Local
Category 2OPL
UON Y

HunterWiSE: Hunter Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship$15,000

Funding body: Hunter Water Corporation

Funding body Hunter Water Corporation
Project Team Doctor Elena Prieto-Rodriguez, Doctor Karen Blackmore, Doctor Anna Giacomini, Associate Professor Sarah Johnson, Professor Regina Berretta, Professor Erica Wanless, Associate Professor Juanita Todd
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700961
Type Of Funding Donation - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFD
UON Y

HunterWiSE: Hunter Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship$15,000

Funding body: Glencore Coal Assets Australia Pty Ltd

Funding body Glencore Coal Assets Australia Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Elena Prieto-Rodriguez, Doctor Karen Blackmore, Doctor Anna Giacomini, Associate Professor Sarah Johnson, Professor Regina Berretta, Professor Erica Wanless, Associate Professor Juanita Todd
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700962
Type Of Funding Donation - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFD
UON Y

HunterWiSE: Hunter Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship$15,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Elena Prieto-Rodriguez, Doctor Karen Blackmore, Doctor Anna Giacomini, Associate Professor Sarah Johnson, Professor Regina Berretta, Professor Erica Wanless, Associate Professor Juanita Todd
Scheme Special Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700963
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20167 grants / $1,147,151

Fragmentation of rocks upon impact$473,443

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Doctor Olivier Buzzi, Emeritus Professor John Carter, Professor Stephen Fityus, Doctor Anna Giacomini, Professor Oldrich Hungr
Scheme Discovery Projects
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1500142
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

Reducing Risk-Taking Among Australian Coal Miners$302,235

Funding body: Australian Coal Research Limited

Funding body Australian Coal Research Limited
Project Team Associate Professor Mark Rubin, Doctor Anna Giacomini, Professor Brian Kelly
Scheme Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1500779
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Non Commonwealth
Category 1NS
UON Y

A new framework for a cost-effective geohazard assessment$278,878

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini, Professor Stephen Fityus, Laureate Professor Scott Sloan, Associate Professor Riccardo Roncella, Mr Shaun Booth
Scheme Linkage Projects
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1501173
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

Prediction of shear strength of rock joints$46,000

Funding body: Pells Sullivan Meynink

Funding body Pells Sullivan Meynink
Project Team Doctor Olivier Buzzi, Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1600335
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

Numerical Modelling of Drapery Systems$39,000

Funding body: Geobrugg AG

Funding body Geobrugg AG
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini, Doctor Olivier Buzzi, Mrs Soheil Tahmasbi
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1600138
Type Of Funding International - Competitive
Category 3IFA
UON Y

2016 International Visit to IRSTEA, University of Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France; to Alma Mater Studiorum - Universita' di Bologna DICAM, Bologna Italy and to Technical University of Catalonia, Barc$5,595

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini, Dr Franck Bourrier, Professor Guido Gottardi, Professor Jordi Corominas
Scheme International Research Visiting Fellowship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1501009
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

A new framework for a cost-effective geohazard assessment$2,000

Funding body: Specialised GEO Pty Ltd

Funding body Specialised GEO Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini, Professor Stephen Fityus, Laureate Professor Scott Sloan, Associate Professor Riccardo Roncella, Mr Shaun Booth
Scheme Linkage Projects Partner Funding
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1501337
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

20152 grants / $249,560

Advanced Analysis of Collisions Between Ultra Class Haul Trucks and Windrows (Additional Funding)$124,780

Funding body: Australian Coal Research Limited

Funding body Australian Coal Research Limited
Project Team Doctor Klaus Thoeni, Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1401016
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Non Commonwealth
Category 1NS
UON Y

Advanced Analysis of Collisions Between Ultra Class Haul Trucks and Windrows $124,780

Funding body: Australian Coal Research Limited

Funding body Australian Coal Research Limited
Project Team

Anna Giacomini

Scheme Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Not Known
Category UNKN
UON N

20143 grants / $265,590

Rockfall Hazard Matrix for Risk Reduction in Mine Sites$259,590

Funding body: Australian Coal Research Limited

Funding body Australian Coal Research Limited
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini, Doctor Klaus Thoeni
Scheme Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1300807
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Non Commonwealth
Category 1NS
UON Y

Numerical investigation of the performance of low energy rockfall barriers $4,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini, Doctor Olivier Buzzi
Scheme Pilot Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1400972
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

XII IAEG Congress, Torino, Italy, 15 - 19 September 2014.$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1400887
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20131 grants / $1,500

International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Brisbane Australia, 25-27 September 2013$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1300945
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20123 grants / $318,526

Energy absorption capacity of muck piles and their status as engineered hard barriers$257,935

Funding body: Australian Coal Research Limited

Funding body Australian Coal Research Limited
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini, Doctor Klaus Thoeni
Scheme Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1100942
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Non Commonwealth
Category 1NS
UON Y

Application of the brittle failure criterion to coal$59,091

Funding body: Seedsman Geotechnics Pty Limited

Funding body Seedsman Geotechnics Pty Limited
Project Team Doctor Olivier Buzzi, Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1200382
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

EGU2012-1108$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200540
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20111 grants / $1,500

Slope Stability 2011, Vancouver, Canada, 18 - 21 Septemeber 2011$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1100861
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20102 grants / $219,970

Improved Management of the Rock Fall Hazard at the Base of Highwalls$210,880

Funding body: Australian Coal Research Limited

Funding body Australian Coal Research Limited
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G0190558
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Non Commonwealth
Category 1NS
UON Y

Improved Management of the Rock Fall Hazard at the Base of Highwalls$9,090

Funding body: Seedsman Geotechnics Pty Limited

Funding body Seedsman Geotechnics Pty Limited
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo G1000599
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

20094 grants / $211,203

Barriers for cost-effective rock fall hazard mitigation$200,000

Funding body: Roads and Traffic Authority

Funding body Roads and Traffic Authority
Project Team Professor Stephen Fityus, Laureate Professor Scott Sloan, Emeritus Professor John Carter, Doctor Olivier Buzzi, Professor Gian Paolo Giani, Mr Hendrik Buys, Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Linkage Projects Partner Funding
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G0189598
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

Development of a direct shear tests apparatus for rock joints$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Early Career Researcher Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo G0190220
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Rock Engineering in Difficult Conditions, Toronto, Canada, 9-15 May 2009$1,200

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo G0190264
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Barriers for cost-effective rock fall hazard mitigation$3

Funding body: RailCorp

Funding body RailCorp
Project Team Professor Stephen Fityus, Laureate Professor Scott Sloan, Emeritus Professor John Carter, Doctor Olivier Buzzi, Professor Gian Paolo Giani, Mr Hendrik Buys, Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Linkage Projects Partner Funding
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G0189599
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - State
Category 2OPS
UON Y

20081 grants / $1,700

8th World Congress on Computational Mechanics WCCM08, Venice, Italy, 30/6/2008 - 4/7/2008$1,700

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Anna Giacomini
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0188632
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed3
Current3

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.4
PhD0.7

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2016 Masters Finite Element Modelling of Chain-link Drapery Rockfall Protection Systems M Philosophy (Civil Eng), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2016 PhD Breakage of Rocks upon Dynamic Impact and Application to Safety Berms PhD (Civil Eng), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2013 PhD A Stochastic Approach for the Shear Strength of Rock Discontinuities PhD (Civil Eng), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 PhD Numerical Investigation of the Energy Absorption Capacity of Rockfall Protection Measures for Underground Portals PhD (Civil Eng), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2015 PhD Modelling the dynamic response of rockfall protection barriers Civil Engineering, University of Bologna Co-Supervisor
2013 PhD Experimental and Numerical Investigations on Barriers for Rockfall Hazard Mitigation PhD (Civil Eng), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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News

Australian Research Council (ARC)

ARC Discovery Projects funding success 2016

November 4, 2015

Associate Professor Olivier Buzzi, Professor John Carter, Dr Anna Giacomini, Professor Dr Stephen Fityus and Professor Oldrich Hungrhave been awarded $460,000 in ARC Discovery Project funding commencing in 2016 for their research project Fragmentation of rocks upon impact.

improving safety in mining environments

Improving safety in mining environments

October 1, 2014

Led by Dr Anna Giacomini and in partnership with the Australian Coal Association Research Program and industry practitioners from the civil and the mining sector, researchers have developed cutting edge technologies that help ensure a safer mining environment

Dr Anna Giacomini

Position

Associate Professor
Geotechnical Research Group
School of Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Focus area

Civil Engineering

Contact Details

Email anna.giacomini@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 6254
Fax (02) 4921 6991

Office

Room 220
Building EA
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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