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MPM-DREDGE project -- Fellows


Scientist-in-charge & Exchange Fellow (MER)

Prof Kenichi Soga

Kenichi Soga is Professor of Civil Engineering. He joined the Geotechnical Group as lecturer (1994-2000) and then was senior lecturer (2000-2003) and Reader (2003-2007). He holds the current post since 2007. He specialises in the area of Geotechnical Engineering and Environmental Geotechnics.
He was born in New York, but received most of his education in Japan. He went to Kyoto University to study Civil Engineering and obtained B.Eng. and M. Eng. in 1987 and 1989, respectively. In 1989, he was awarded a two-year scholarship from the Murata Overseas Scholarship Foundation to continue his study at the University of California at Berkeley. At Berkeley, he worked as a Research Assistant between 1991 and 1994 and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1994.
He is a Fellow of Churchill College since 1995 and acts as a Director of Studies in Engineering. He is currently the external examiner for the civil engineering programmes of the University of Southampton and the University of Hong Kong. He was visiting professor at University of Rome "La Sapienza", Tongji University, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Chulalongkorn University, JSPS fellow at Kyoto University and visiting researcher at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Colorado School of Mines, Deltares and Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.
He is an editorial member of Computers and Geotechnics, Geomechanics and Geoengineering, Georisk and Geomechanics and Engineering. In the past, he served as an editorial board memeber for Geotechnique (2003-2005), ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (2001-2009), JGS Soils and Foundations (2001-2005) and Vadose Zone Journal.
He is co-author of "Fundamentals of Soil Behavior, 3rd Edition" (John Wiley and Sons) with James K. Mitchell. He has written more than 200 journal and conference papers and is recipient of the Telford Gold Medal (Institution of Civil Engineers), the George Stephenson Medal (Institution of Civil Engineers), the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (American Society of Civil Engineers), the Crampton Prize (Institution of Civil Engineers), the JE Jennings award (South African Geotechnical Society), and the Schofield award (International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics). He has delieverd numerous number of keynote lectures including the 2007 Geotechnique Lecture at ICE.
He is fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and an Executive member of the Technical Oversight Committee of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE).
He is the secretary of TC105 GeoMechanics of the ISSMGE and a member of EPSRC Peer Review College.


Scientist-in-charge & Exchange Fellow (MER)

Dr Hans Teunissen


Project Coordinator & Exchange Fellow (ER)

Dr Alexander Rohe

Alexander Rohe was born on 4th June 1976 in Leonberg (Germany). He lived and studied in primary and secondary schools in south–west Germany. After attending the Technical Gymnasium in Leonberg (Germany) he fulfilled his civil service for one year at an old peoples home.
He started to study Civil Engineering at Stuttgart University in August 1996. In July 1999 he moved to Delft to continue his study of Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology. He graduated in August 2004 at the chair of Soil Mechanics under supervision of professor Frans Molenkamp on the subject of ‘uniqueness of material models’ and obtained a M.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering.
In September 2004 he started as a research assistant at the Geo–engineering section of the Delft University of Technology under the supervision of professor Frans Molenkamp at the chair of Soil Mechanics. His research topic was the analysis and behaviour of material models towards parameter limits in numerical applications, and the research resulted in this doctoral thesis.
During the past years he wrote several papers for international conferences as well as international peer reviewed journals. He also acted as thesis advisor for graduation students and has fulfilled teaching activities for graduate students in the curriculum of the Master course of geomechanics. He participated in the international geomechanics network ALERT and attended the international network of MUSE for unsaturated soil mechanics. On national Dutch level he participated in the Graduate School of Engineering Mechanics.
Since May 2009 he is employed by Deltares, the Dutch Research Institute for Hydraulic and Geotechnical Engineering, located in Delft. There his research activities are related to soft soil engineering focussing on infrastructural projects and dike and offshore technology. Since July 2011 he is involved in the research programme concerning the Material Point Method (MPM) for numerical modelling of large deformations in soil–water interaction problems.


Project Secretary & Exchange Fellow (ER)

Joost Breedeveld, MSc

After finishing his Bachelor of the Built Environment (including two traineeships in the field of foundation engineering at large Dutch contractors) in 1999, Joost Breedeveld obtained his Masters degree in Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology. He graduated in January 2003 at the chair of Foundation Engineering under the supervision of prof Frits van Tol. Since February 2003 he works as geotechnical engineer for GeoDelft in Delft (The Netherlands), which in 2008 merged into Deltares (amongst others, with the former WL|Delft Hydraulics). This is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure. His consultancy and research assignments include the (verification of the) geotechnical design of on shore, near-shore and off-shore structure (e.g. embankments, foundations, earth retaining structures and pipelines) in soft soil conditions. In recent years his focus has shifted to hydraulic structures, both within and out of the primary water defense structures in the Netherlands. While in many of these assignments the use of advanced models calculation models (including complex constitutive models) was essential, he has become an experienced user of calculation models based on the Finite Element Method (mainly PLAXIS).
Joost represents Deltares in several international networks (ELGIP, ECTP, ISSMGE) in the areas of delta technology and geo-engineering, of which some are aiming at influencing the EU programs that fund trans-national research cooperation (e.g. Horizon 2020, INTERREG, EurekaBuild). Through this work he got involved in the FP7 Marie Skłodowska-Curie action GEO-FLUID working on the extension of the material point method code for fluid-structure interaction and erosion. Within Deltares this was one of the (EU funded) predecessors of the current MPM-DREDGE project.


Exchange Fellow (ER)

Dr Bruno Zuada Coelho

Bruno Zuada Coelho has obtained a 5 year degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Porto, in Portugal (specialisation in Geotechnics), followed by a Masters in Structural Engineering (2 years), where he developed a MSc thesis concerning the dynamic behaviour of piled slabs for high-speed railways.
In 2007 he started a PhD at Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, where he researched the dynamic behaviour of railway transition zones in soft soil.
Between 2011 and 2013, Bruno worked at TNO, the Dutch institute of applied sciences, as a Research Scientist in the Structural Dynamics group. During this period, he was member of the European project, CargoVibes. He was involved in the assessment of the performance of ladder track for the reduction of vibration propagation due to freight trains. Simultaneously, he coordinated the experimental evaluation of railway induced vibrations due to freight trains in Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands. At the same time, he developed numerical tools (Finite Element Method) for the analysis of soil-structure interaction problems.
Currently, he holds a research position at Deltares, where he is involved in the assessment of the performance of geotechnical infrastructures affected by gas extraction induced earthquakes. Additionally, Bruno is member of the Dutch workgroup for railway induced vibrations, and is involved in the development and application of numerical tools for geotechnical problems (Finite Element Method and Material Point Method).
His main areas of interest are soil dynamics and dynamic soil-structure interaction, and to applying this research to a variety of geotechnical problems, such as road and railway infrastructures, offshore foundations and pipelines.


Post-Doc & Recruited Fellow (ER)

Dr Mario Martinelli

Mario Martinelli studied at “Sapienza” University of Rome (Italy). He got the degree (first level Italian degree) in Civil Engineering in 2006, the second level Italian degree in Geotecnical Engineering in 2008 and the PhD in Geotechnical Engineering in 2012.
During his PhD, he dealt with the study of advanced constitutive soil models of sands that he used in 3D FEM time-history coupled analyses. He spent 10 months at the University of California (Davis, USA) as a visiting PhD student working with particular attention on dynamic soil-structure-interaction and 3D FEM simulations with advanced constitutive models (soil and structure). From 2012 to 2013 he also worked as a post-doctoral researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Pavia (Italy), and 2 months again at UCDavis. Since January 2014 he is employed by Deltares, the Dutch Research Institute for Hydraulic and Geotechnical Engineering, located in Delft.


PhD-student & Exchange Fellow (ESR)

James Fern, MSc

James studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne and graduated in 2011 with a MSc in Civil Engineering. During his studies, he spent a year at the Technical University in Berlin and then undertook a project in Hamburg involving the construction of an underground rail tunnel. It was as a result of this that he developed his interest in geotechnics and hydraulics. After he graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he worked for over a year for a Swiss engineering consultant specialising in the construction of dams. Here, he designed underground structures such as power tunnels and caves, as well also working on surface excavations.
James joined the Geotechnical Research Group at in October 2012 as a PhD student. He was supervised by Professor Kenichi Soga and was affiliated to Girton College. He graduated with a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2016 and is now a research associate at the University of California, Berkeley.
The Swiss National Science Foundation has awarded Mr James Fern a 13-months Doc'Mobility scholarship (grant no. P1SKP2 158621) to carry out MPM simulations of slope failures in unsaturated conditions at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and in partnership with the MPM Research Community.


PhD-student & Exchange Fellow (ESR)

Xuanyu Zhao, BSc

Xuanyu Zhao studied at Hohai University, Nanjing, China. He majored in Hydraulic Engineering and graduated in June 2014 with a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering. He worked in the State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering in Hohai University as a research assistant from March 2013 to August 2013 to study the characteristics of sediment transport in open channel flows with submerged vegetation.
Xuanyu joined the Geotechnical and Environmental Research Group of University of Cambridge in October 2014 as a PhD student. He is now supervised by Dr Dongfang Liang and affiliated to Darwin College.