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Dr George Kouretzis

Associate Professor

School of Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Bridging the gap

Dr George Kouretzis and his colleagues work towards bridging the gap between research, engineering applications and public benefit, particularly in the area of onshore pipeline networks, the circulatory lifelines of modern society.

Dr George Kouretzis

Motivated by the challenges he faced during his involvement in the design of buried pipelines in problematic areas, Kouretzis' research focuses on increased safety levels and uninterrupted operation of pipeline infrastructure, from mega gas pipelines to local water distribution networks.

Kouretzis and his group examine the behaviour of pipelines crossing soil deposits that are sensitive to environmental and climate change effects, areas susceptible to mine subsidence, or zones of high seismicity. They also investigate the impact of new developments on existing networks, and the detrimental effects that an accidental blast or a terrorist attack may have on a critical lifeline. The goal of all these studies is the same: to understand how onshore pipeline infrastructure will perform under the influence of these natural or anthropogenic hazards, under which circumstances there is a significant risk of failure, and which measures practicing engineers must take to mitigate the probability and the consequences of this failure.

The outcome of these studies is a compilation of practical design tools, charts and simple computer codes that can be readily used by pipeline engineers in their current and future projects. Kouretzis has collaborated with a number of consulting companies in implementing the findings of this research in critical projects, such as the design of high-pressure natural gas pipelines crossing active seismic faults. New construction techniques have been adopted from the insight gained on pipeline behaviour, and these tools are now endorsed by international guidelines on the design of buried pipelines, superseding earlier methods proposed in the 70s and 80s.

Recently, the Australian Research Council awarded a grant to a team to be led by Kouretzis to further delve into the effects of environmental changes on onshore pipelines, with a particular focus on Australian conditions. This 3-year project commencing in 2015 will include the development of a custom-built laboratory apparatus to investigate how buried pipelines interact with their surrounding soil. The team is collaborating with a number of international groups working in the same field, and their long-term aim is to create a national buried pipeline research hub at the University of Newcastle.

Kouretzis obtained a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, and received his MSc and PhD from the School of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, in 2005. In the following years, he continued his engagement with NTUA's School of Civil Engineering, first as a post-doctoral researcher and later as a part-time lecturer. After a four-year period where he was primarily engaged with industry-related activities, George joined the University of Newcastle and the Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering 2012 and currently holds a senior lecturer position in the School of Engineering.

In parallel with his research on buried pipelines, Kouretzis is working on various problems in the areas of soil-structure interaction, computational geomechanics, geotechnical earthquake engineering and soft soil testing techniques. He has published over 35 papers in monographs, refereed journals and peer-reviewed conference proceedings on the analysis of buried pipelines affected by geohazards, the aseismic design of tunnels and the numerical simulation of large deformation problems in geomechanics. His research has attracted substantial funding from government as well as industry sources, and he has been involved in several projects as project leader and chief investigator. Kouretzis also serves as associate editor of Canadian Geotechnical Journal and as guest editor of Australian Geomechanics. He is also an active reviewer for a number of international journals, and member of the review panel of international funding bodies.

Parallel to his academic activities, since 2000 Dr Kouretzis has been involved as an expert engineering consultant in a series of major energy and transportation infrastructure projects, including high- and medium-pressure natural gas and crude oil pipeline networks, bridges and motorway tunnels in areas of high seismicity, critical runway embankments etc. He is also an active member of the Australian Geomechanics Society, and currently serves as secretary of its NSW-Newcastle Chapter.Finally, Kouretzis is the recipient of a number of awards for research and teaching excellence from organisations including the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics and the Australian Association of Computational Mechanics.

Dr George Kouretzis

Bridging the gap

Dr George Kouretzis is working towards bridging the gap between research, engineering applications and public benefit, particularly in the area of onshore pip

Read more

Career Summary

Biography

George (Georgios) Kouretzis obtained a diploma in Civil Engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece and received his MSc and PhD from the School of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece in 2005. In the following years, he continued his engagement with the School of Civil Engineering, NTUA first as a post-doctoral researcher and then as a part-time lecturer. His research interests include numerical simulation of dynamic soil-structure interaction effects under cyclic loading, analytical and numerical methods to assess pipeline and tunnel performance under transient and permanent ground displacements, design of protective structures to resist conventional weapons effects, numerical simulation of moving boundary problems in geomechanics, and evaluation of soil and topography effects on strong earthquake ground motion. Parallel to his research activities, he has been involved since 2000 as an engineering consultant and as an auditor in a series of major energy and transportation infrastructure projects, including high- and medium-pressure natural gas and crude oil pipeline networks, bridges and motorway tunnels in areas of high seismicity, critical runway embankments etc. He has published over 30 papers in monographs, refereed journals and peer-reviewed conferences, and serves as an active reviewer for a number of international journals. 

Research Expertise
Oriented towards the following four fields, lying in the areas of geotechnical earthquake engineering, dynamic response of structures and computational geomechanics: - Evaluation of soil and topography effects on strong earthquake ground motion, - Soil-structure interaction under earthquake and blast loading, - Aseismic design of underground structures under transient and permanent ground displacements, - Design of protective structures to resist conventional weapons effects, and - Moving boundary problems in geomechanics.

Teaching Expertise
- Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering: soil investigation methods and in situ testing, analysis and design of shallow and deep foundations, soil and groundwater contamination and remediation techniques, application of numerical methods in geotechnical engineering problems. - Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering; aseismic design of pipelines and tunnels, mitigation of liquefaction effects on structures, seismic slope stability, assessment of soil effects and microzonation studies, seismic design of retaining walls. - Foundation Engineering; Analysis and design of flexible retaining walls, soil anchors, methods for soil improvement.

Collaborations
He has been a member of research groups of the School of Civil Engineering and of the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens Greece, as well as of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Geotechnical Engineering), National Technical University of Athens - Greece
  • Diploma of Civil Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace - Greece
  • Master of Science (Engineering), National Technical University of Athens - Greece

Keywords

  • Dynamic response of structures
  • Foundation engineering
  • Geotechnical earthquake engineering
  • Numerical and analytical methods in geomechanics
  • Soil and topography effects on strong ground motion
  • Soil-structure interaction

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
090501 Civil Geotechnical Engineering 85
090506 Structural Engineering 15

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

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

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2008 - 1/09/2008 Casual Academic National Technical University of Athens
Geotechnical Division
Greece
1/07/2005 - 1/01/2008 Research Assistant National Technical University of Athens
Geotechnical Division
Greece
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 5
Total funding $549,623

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


20161 grants / $5,000

Seismic response of large diameter offshore FRP pipelines$5,000

Funding body: AWE Environmental Systems Pte Ltd

Funding body AWE Environmental Systems Pte Ltd
Project Team Doctor George Kouretzis
Scheme Small Research Consultancy
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1600936
Type Of Funding International - Competitive
Category 3IFA
UON Y

20151 grants / $479,623

Unsaturated soil-structure interaction with emphasis on buried pipelines$479,623

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Doctor George Kouretzis, Professor Daichao Sheng, Associate Professor Kristian Krabbenhoft
Scheme Discovery Projects
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1400255
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

20142 grants / $60,000

Research of partial embedment of pipelines and study of pipeline 3D lateral buckling analysis$40,000

Funding body: Hyundai Heavy Industries

Funding body Hyundai Heavy Industries
Project Team Doctor George Kouretzis, Professor Daichao Sheng, Laureate Professor Scott Sloan, Mr Ji Lim
Scheme Visiting Researcher
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1400118
Type Of Funding International - Non Competitive
Category 3IFB
UON Y

An earthquake shaking table to investigate soil-structure interactions$20,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Adrian Russell, Professor Nasser Khalili, Dr Gaofeng Zhao, Dr Arman Khoshghalb, Laureate Professor Scott Sloan, Doctor George Kouretzis, Professor Buddhima Indraratna, Dr Cholachat Rujikiatkamjorn, Professor Mark Cassidy, Professor Christophe Gaudin, Professor David Williams, Dr Alexander Scheuermann
Scheme Equipment Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1400617
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20131 grants / $5,000

New Staff Grant 2012$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor George Kouretzis
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1201169
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current2

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.95

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Experimental and Numerical Modelling of Soft Soil Testing Techniques PhD (Civil Eng), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2015 PhD Modelling of Embankments on Improved Soft Soils PhD (Civil Eng), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
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News

Australian Research Council (ARC)

ARC Discovery Project funding success

November 19, 2014

Dr Georgios Kouretizis, Professor Daichao Sheng and Associate Professor Kristian Krabbenhoft have been awarded more than $463,000 in ARC Discovery Project funding commencing in 2015 for their research project Unsaturated soil-structure interaction with emphasis on buried pipelines.

Dr George Kouretzis

Position

Associate Professor
School of Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Focus area

Civil Engineering

Contact Details

Email georgios.kouretzis@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 6449

Office

Room EA207
Building EA Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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