Dr. Mao-Zhu PENG

Academic qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering, the University of Western Australia, Australia, 2018 – 2022
  • M.Sc. in Tunnel and Underground Structure, Tongji University, China, 2015 – 2018
  • B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, Tongji University, China, 2011 – 2015

Research interests

  • Hydro-mechanical coupled soil-structure interaction modelling
  • Soil constitutive modelling for uplifting problems in coupled analysis
  • Modelling offshore foundation uplift

Topic 1:Hydro-mechanical coupled soil-structure interaction modelling

  • Contribution: developed a coupled hydro-mechanical coupled soil-structure interface based on finite element method.
  • Significance: realistically simulating the suction generation and separation between soil and structures, enabling modelling rate effect and breakaway during offshore foundation uplift.



  • M., Peng, Y., Tian, C., Gaudin, L., Zhang, & D., Sheng, 2022, Application of a coupled hydro-mechanical interface model in simulating uplifting problems. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechnics. (under review)


Topic 2: Soil constitutive modelling for uplifting problems in coupled analysis

  • Contribution: developed critical state-based constitutive models suitable for uplift modelling.
  • Significance: : calculation abortion due to soil tensile failure during uplift is resolved; the suction generation below structure, rate dependency of uplift capacity, and soil-structure separation can be realistically captured without user invervention.



  • M., Peng, Y., Tian, C. Gaudin, 2022. Numerical investigations into the influence of uplift rate on the uplift behaviour of plate anchors in clay. To be submitted.


Topic 3: Modelling offshore foundation uplift

  • Contribution: proposed a means to realistically simulate skirted foundation uplift at varying rates; proposed a criterion for prediction of breakaway timing during the uplift of skirted foundations.
  • Significance: the first attempt to model skirted foundation uplift in (partially) drained conditions; the first attempt to explain and predict the breakaway during skirted foundation uplift.