School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Mohamed Rouainia

Reader in Computational Geomechanics



Dr Rouainia has been a member of academic staff in the the Geotechnical and Structural Engineering (GEST) Group in the School since 2003. His research interests focus on the development and implementation of multi-surface soil plasticity models capable of modelling nonlinear cyclic loading (with applications in renewable energy foundations effects of current and future climate scenarios on infrastructure slopes etc.). Geomechanics and fluid  flow processes in unsaturated soils/rocks have been a major focus of recent work (with applications in gas shales, CCS and ground source energy). His teaching focuses on geotechnics, soil modelling and numerical methods for civil engineers and engineering geologists.


Dipl.-Ing in Civil Engineering
MSc Geotechnical Engineering
Ph.D in Computational Geomechanics

Roles and Resposibilities

GEST Postgraduate PGR Selector
School Coordinator of the International Exchange Programmes (Erasmus)
Coordinator for the Geotechnical Engineering Lab


Member of the Geotechnique Advisory Panel (GAP) 2012-2014

Member of the editorial board of Geotechnique Letters

Member of NAFEMS Geotechnical Committee.
Member of Northern Geotechnical Group (NGG) Committee.
Chairman of the Association of Computational Mechanics in Engineering - UK, 2008-2009.
Vice-Chairman of the Association of Computational Mechanics in Engineering - UK, 2007-2008.

Industrial Relevance

Small strain modelling of excavations and tunnels
Offshore wind turbine foundations
Soil/pipe interaction
Software consultancy services 



Research Interests

My research interests and expertise currently encompass the following areas: (i) the development of advanced kinematic hardening models for natural soils and routine use of such models in geotechnical problems; (ii) the implementation of robust numerical integration schemes for the integration of advanced soil constitutive relations; (iii) the assessment of climate change effects on embankment slopes; (iv)  the long term cyclic performance of offshore foundations and feasibility of novel foundation solutions and (vi) the development of seismic performance based design methods for geotechnical systems.

Postgraduate Supervision

• Jing-Rui Peng - Behaviour of finned piles in sand under lateral loading (completed 2005)
• Mahdi Alyami - Seismic behaviour of gravity quay walls built on liquefiable soils (Completed 2008)
• Salah Hamuda - The relation between soil compaction and its thermal characterisation (completed 2009) - now a Senior Lecturer at Tripoli University
• Owen Davies - Numerical analysis of the effects of climate change on slope stability (completed 2010) - now a Senior Geotechnical Engineer for Mott MacDonald in Sydney, Australia
• Ulf Boeker - Petrophysical and geological characterisation of shale reservoirs (completed 2011)
• Stylianos Panayides - Application of kinematic hardening structure models to geotechnical problems - now a  Geotechnical Discipline Manager for Subsea7, Sutton
• Abdulbaset Alterimi - Thermal conductivity of pfa for geothermal applications
• Gerardo Gonzalez - Modelling carbon capture and storage in voids created by underground coal gasification
• Roosevelt Issac - Field investigations and hydrological studies of two unstable, unsaturated soil slopes
• Michael Drews -  Lithological and petrophysical variability of fine-grained sediments
• David Simpson - Advanced laboratory characterisation of soft rocks - now a Senior Engineer for Cundall, Newcastle
• Paul Sargent -  The use for sustainable materials in soil stabilisation - now a  Senior Lecturer (Geotechnics) at Teesside University
• Majid Goodarzi - Geomechanical characterisation of organic-rich shale properties using small scale experiments and homogenisation methods
• Aizat Mohd Taib - Numerical analysis of unsaturated tropical slopes - now a  Lecturer at UKM, Malaysia
• Tom Charlton - Fragility analysis of offshore wind foundations
• Yusuf Guzel - Influence of input motion section and soil variability on nonlinear ground response analyses
• Tom Fender -  The geomechanical properties of organic matter in fine grained rocks (2016-2020)
• Sam Mahaffey - A coupled hydrodynamic and discrete element method for modelling flash flood debris (Completed 2018)

External Examination of PhDs

External examiners for PhDs at Leeds, Southampton, Swansea, Kingston, Bristol, Sheffield, Durham, Cambridge and UMIST, Lille (4), UPC Barcelona, Wuhan (2).

Esteem indicators

Review for the French National Research Agency (ANR)

Reviewer for the US Department of Energy of Office of Science
Visiting Research Fellow at the USQ, Australia
Visiting scholar at the University of Newcastle, Australia

Invited lectures

Northern Geotechnical Group Annual seminar: Invited Speaker - A case study of destructuration effects on the performance of a trial embankment, Newcastle, 20 June 2013.

Symposium on Modelling of granular materials: problems and solutions? The influence of degradation of structure on the behaviour of a full scale embankment, University of Dundee, 6th August. 2010.

International Workshop on Geoenvironmental Engineering, Numerical modeling (relevant to EKG applications): State-of-the-art in UK research and practice, Wuhan, China, 16 March 2009.

Workshop on numerical modelling in geomechanics, Seismic behaviour of gravity quay walls, Newcastle, UK, 24 April 2009.

Seminario de Geotecnica, Constitutive model for unsaturated soils with structure degradation, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, 5th July 2008.

Seminar on Geotechnics 2020, Northern Geotechnical Group (NGG), Newcastle, 29th January 2008.

5th Annual BGA Conference, Constitutive model for anisotropy and destructuration of natural clays, Westminster, London, 13th June 2007.

Invited Panel Presentation, Structure and anisotropy of natural soils, 16th Int. Conf. on Soil Mech. and Geotech. Eng., Osaka, Japan, 12th September 2005.

European Plaxis users meeting, Finite element modelling of small strain soil behaviour, Karlsruhe, Germany, 11th November 2004.  


Current/Recent Grants

ACHILLES - Assessment, Costing and enHancement of long lIfe, Long Linear assEtS (EP/R034575/1) Co-Investigator, July 2018 - Dec 2022 (£4,872,904)

Multiscale time-dependent behaviour of organic rich mudrocks. BP, £37,000. PI 2017-2021

Petrophysical and micromechanical shale properties. BP, £34,000. PI 2017-2018

GeoPOP - Pore pressure and its prediction in clastic sedimentary rock. Industry funded, £550,000. PI 2012 – 2016

Finite element analysis of offshore foundations. Atkins, £30,000. PI 2014-2017

EPSRC Small Equipment Grant - £10k - 2012

GASH (Shale Gas Europe). Industry funded, £400,000. Co-PI  2009 – 2012

Shale Gas Canada. Industry funded, £500,000, 2008-2011, Co-PI with Calgary

Applications of an advanced soil model. Buro Happold, £30,000. PI 2008-2012

BIONICS - EPSRC funded, £125,000. Co-PI, 2004-2009

Soft rock behaviour. Buro Happold, £30,000. PI 2010-2013

Anisotropy and destructuration of natural clays – EPSRC funded, £125,000. PI 2004-2007




Undergraduate Teaching

Principles of soil mechanics for civil engineers.

Contributions to:

  • CEG1201 Geotechnical Properties of Soils and Rocks
  • CEG2201 Geotechnics 

Project supervision:

  • CEG3099 Individual Design Project (BEng)
  • CEG8099 Investigative Research Project (MEng)

Postgraduate Teaching

Degree Programme Director, MSc Engineering Geology and MSc Geotechnical Engineering.

Geomechanics and numerical analysis of geotechnical structures for geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists.

Module leader for:

  • CEG8201 Geomechanics
  • CEG8205 Soil Modelling and Numerical Methods 

Contributions to:

  • MAR8092 -  Pipeline engineering
Project supervision:
  • CEG8296 Project and Dissertation in Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology (MSc)