Jidong Zhao

Ph.D., Professor, HKUST

Director for Computational Granular Mechanics Lab

MOE Chang Jiang Scholars Chair Professor (教育部長江學者獎勵計劃講座教授)
Editor for Computers and Geotechnics
Editor for Granular Matter
Associate Editor for ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics
Jidong's photo


Jidong Zhao is Professor of Computational Geomechanics in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of Computational Granular Mechanics Lab at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is holding a Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professorship conferred by the Ministry of Education, China (教育部長江學者獎勵計劃講座教授, 2021-2024). He earned both his bachelor degree and PhD from Tsinghua University. Prior to joining HKUST in 2008, he spent five years, first as a research fellow and then a University Lecturer, at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Dr Zhao's research has produced scalable computational approaches for rigorous simulation, analysis, and understanding of the complex multiscale mechanics and physics of granular media systems that underpin the operation and performance for key engineering and industrial processes. He establishes his signature on developing novel micromechanics models and computational multiscale modeling approaches for saturated or partially saturated granular media. His research helps to elucidate the intimate cross-scale connections between grain-scale and pore-scale physics (including particle morphology, frictional contact, sliding and rolling, and multi-phase pore fluid flows) and emerging phenomena at a continuum level (such as strain localisation, liquefaction, anisotropy, collapse and failure, phase transitions) in granular media. The computational approaches developed offer next-generation prediction and design tools in mitigating major geohazards including foundation and embankment failures, landslide and debris flow, and directing viable solutions to addressing major challenges in climate change and energy crisis, including deep underground carbon sequestration, safe and efficient offshore energy recovery (e.g., methane gas hydrate), thawing induced permafrost melting. Effort has been made to integrate all his computational tools to provide an integrated, physics-based scientific computing platform, empowered further by data science, machine learning and sensing technology, on futuristic digit twin realisations for engineering and industrial processes. His research team has also made promising progresses in providing paradigm-shifting computational solutions to metal additive manufacturing and pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing. He currently has funded projects supported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Croucher Foundation, K.C. Wong Education Foundation, and among others. He has authored more than 130 papers in peer-reviewed journals and advised over 20 graduate students (including 15 PhD students) and 18 postdoc fellows.

Dr Zhao is serving as co-Editor-In-Chief for Computers and Geotechnics (Elsevier), editor for Granular Matter (Springer) and associate editor for Journal of Engineering Mechanics (ASCE). He also serves on editorial board for International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics (Wiley), Acta Geotechnica (Springer) and Science Progress (SAGE). He regularly assesses grant applications for Australian Research Council (ARC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), European Research Council (ERC), Poland National Science Centre (NCN), Chilean National Science and Technology Commission (CONICYT) and Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC/HK). He is the immediate past Secretary for TC103 Numerical Methods in Geomechanics and is a core committee member of TC105 Micromechanics of ISSMGE and Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) Granular Materials Committee. He has been awarded Excellent Ph.D. thesis Award of Tsinghua University (2002), University of Newcastle Research Fellowship Award (2007), 2018 and 2021 Scott Sloan Best Paper Award” (2019, 2022), Granular Matter “Top 5 Cited Articles” Award (2018), and JSPS Invitational Fellowship (2023). In 2021, he also received a first-class in natural science for the MOE Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Award (Science and Technology) (高等學校科學研究優秀成果獎(科學技術)) and was conferred the Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professorship by MOE. He teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate level courses at HKUST.

Current Lab Members

Shiwei's photo

Dr Shiwei Zhao

VPRDO Research Assistant Professor ceswzhao@ust.hk

Dr. Shiwei Zhao is currently VPRDO Research Assistant Professor at HKUST. Shiwei earned a joint Ph.D. from South China University of Technology and Oregon State University in 2018. He has developed an international reputation on multiscale, multiphysics modeling of granular media and non-spherical DEM simulations. His open source non-spherical DEM code SudoDEM (visit github) is open for free download. Shiwei works closely with Jidong to co-supervise research students and solicit external fundings.

Tongming's photo

Dr Tongming Qu

VPRDO Research Assistant Professor tongmingqu@ust.hk

Dr Tongming Qu is VPRDO Research Assistant Professor at HKUST. He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Central South University (China), and earned his PhD from Swansea University (UK) in Dec 2021. He joined the Lab as a postdoc fellow in May 2022, and has been appointed as VPRD Research Assistant Professor (from May 2023) at HKUST. He works on developing novel DEM algorithms and physics-involved data-driven constitutive modelling of granular materials.

Deyun's photo

Dr Deyun Liu

VPRDO Research Assistant Professor deyunliu@ust.hk

Dr. Deyun Liu is VPRDO Research Assistant Professor at HKUST. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tongji University, MSc and MPhil degrees from the University of Hong Kong, and earned his PhD from Imperial College London in Sep. 2022. He joined the Lab as a RAP in January 2023. He works on developing numerical modeling to capture the complex aggregate characteristics of granular materials.

Chenhao's photo

Dr Hao Chen

Postdoc fellow, cechenhao@ust.hk

Dr. Hao Chen obtained his joint PhD degree from South China University of Technology and the Technical University of Munich in 2023. He joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow in February 2024 and is working on the multiscale modeling (DEM x MPM) of granular materials, incorporating particle shape and thermal-mechanical effects.

KU Quan's photo

Quan Ku

Ph.D. student, qku@connect.ust.hk

Quan obtained both his bachelor and master degrees from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in July 2020. He joined the Lab as a Ph.D. student in August 2020, working on simulation of powder compaction based pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing.

Renee's photo

Renee Agnes O. Vizmanos

Ph.D. student, ravizmanos@connect.ust.hk Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellow (2021-)

Renee obtained her bachelor degree with honor (Magna cum Laude) from University of the Philippines Diliman in 2019. She joined the Lab in August 2021 as a recipient of Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship award. Her thesis is focused on coastal wave-structure interactions

Jidu's photo

Jidu Yu

Ph.D. student, jidu.yu@connect.ust.hk

Jidu obtained both his bachelor and master degrees from Hohai University. He joined the Lab as a Ph.D. student in August 2021. He works on thermo-hydro-mechanical coupling for granular system that may undergo phase transition for simulation of methane hydrate bearing sediment and permafrost.

Changyi's photo

Changyi YANG

Ph.D. student, cyangbe@connect.ust.hk Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellow (2022-)

Changyi Yang obtained his bachelor degree from Central South University in 2019 and his master degree from Tongji University in July 2022, both with first-class honours. He won the prestigious 2022 Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship (HKPF) and joins our Lab as a Ph.D. student in August 2022.

Wentao's photo

Wentao WANG

MPhil student, wentao.wang@connect.ust.hk

Wentao obtained his bachelor’s degree from Central South University in 2018 and his master’s degree from Tongji University in 2021. Before joining the Lab as a research student in August 2023, he worked as a software engineer in a technology company. He joined the lab in Fall 2023 and will focus his research on multiscale modeling of thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes in granular media.

Zhang's photo


Ph.D. student, zchengar@connect.ust.hk

Zhang obtained his bachelor degree from Tianjin University in 2019 and his master degree from Zhejiang University in 2022. He joins our Lab as a Ph.D. student in August 2023, working on multiphysics, multiscale modeling of granular media.

Anjan's photo

Anjan Rajapakse

MPhil student, rkamr@connect.ust.hk

Anjan received his B.Sc. Eng. (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka in 2021. He was the first gold medal recipient for Mechanical Engineering of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. He joined our lab in August 2023 to work on DED (Direct Energy Deposition) in additive manufacturing.

Lab Alumni

Lab Graduates

  • Ke SHI (PhD, 2023): Thesis Title: "Multiscale modelling of crushable granular media"

  • Tao YU (PhD, 2023): Thesis Title: "Multiscale modeling of powder-based laser additive manufacturing"

  • Amiya Prakash Das (PhD, 2022): Thesis Title: "Micromechanical modelling of triphasic granular system"

  • Terry Ho Yin Leung (MPhil, 2022): Thesis Title: "3D Numerical Modelling of Bouldery Debris Flows and their Interaction with Mitigation Structures"

  • Weijian Liang (PhD, 2020): Thesis Title: "Multiscale modeling of large deformation in geomechanics"

  • Yong Kong (PhD, 2020): Thesis Title: "Computational modeling and analysis of multiphase geophysical flows interacting with resisting structures"

  • Fan Zhu (PhD, 2019; HKPF, 2015-19): Thesis Title: "Multiscale modeling of grain crushing in granular media"

  • Zhijie Yu (M.Phil, 2019): Thesis Title: "Data-driven approach for DEM-based multiscale modeling of granular media"

  • Huanran Wu (PhD, 2018): Thesis Title: "Multiscale modeling of localized deformation in high-porosity granular rocks"

  • Xingyue Li (PhD, 2018; HKPF, 2014-18): Thesis Title: "Computational modeling of debris flows and their interaction with resisting barriers based on a coupled CFD-DEM approach"

  • Tong Shan (PhD, 2015): Thesis Title: "Coupled CFD-DEM modeling of fluid-particle interaction in geomechanics"

  • Zhaochen Liu (MPhil, 2015): Thesis Title: "Micromechanical study of mechanical behavior of granular media accounting for the role of particle shape"

  • Ning Guo (PhD, 2014): Thesis Title: "Multiscale characterization of the shear behavior of granular media". (Now "100-talents Program" Professor and "1000 Young Talents Program" Awardee, Zhejiang University, China<国家青年千人,浙江大学百人计划教授>)

  • Jinfeng Wei (MPhil, 2013): Theisis Title: "Experimental Investigation of the Behavior of Fibre-reinforced Sand"

  • Zhiwei Gao (PhD, 2012): Thesis Title: "Constitutive Modeling of Anisotropic Behavior in Geomaterials: the Role of Fabric" (Now Senior Lecturer at University of Glasgow)

Postdoc Fellows

  • Xi Wang (2/2023-2/2024), now postdoc at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

  • Zhengshou Lai (2/2021-2/2023, Hong Kong Scholars Program), now associate professor at Sun Yat-Sen University

  • Weijian Liang (8/2020-7/2022), now research assistant professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

  • Fan Zhu (8/2019-4/2022), now associate professor at Kyoto University

  • Yiqiu Zhao (8/2020-8/2021), now postdoc at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

  • Yong Kong (8/2020-3/2021), now research assistant professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

  • Shiwei Zhao (10/2018-10/2020, Hong Kong Scholars Program), now Research Assistant Professor at HKUST

  • Huanran Wu (8/2018-1/2020), now Associate Professor and "Hongshen Scholar"(弘深青年教师) at Chongqing University, China

  • Xiusong Shi (1/2018-7/2019), now Professor and "1000 young Talents Program" (国家青年千人) at Hohai University, China

  • Xingyue Li (9/2018-6/2019), now Professor at Tongji University

  • Huo Fan (9/2016-9/2017) now research scientist at Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS

  • Ning Guo (9/2014-9/2016) Now "100-talents Program" Professor and "1000 young Talents Program" Awardee, Zhejiang University, China(国家青年千人,浙江大学百人计划教授)

  • Hua Jiang (9/2012-3/2013): Now faculty member at Chang'an University

  • Zhiwei Gao (9/2012-6/2013):Now Senior Lecturer at University of Glasgow

  • Yuxia Kong (9/2011-8/2012): Now Associate Professor at Nanjing Institute of Technology

  • Guilhem Mollon (10/2011-8/2012): Now Associate Professor at National Institute for Applied Sciences, Lyon, France (visit his homepage)

  • Fengtao Liu (3/2011-2/2012): Now Associate Professor at Guilin University of Technology

Visiting Students

  • Yanzhen Zhu, visiting Ph.D. student from Zhejiang University of Technology (May 2023 - Nov 2023)

  • Qingzheng Guan, visiting Ph.D. student from Zhejiang University (March 2023 - Sept 2023)

  • Yipeng Xie, visiting Ph.D. student from Central China University (May 2022 - Nov 2022)

  • Xiang Wang, visiting Ph.D. student from Central China University (Aug 2018- Aug 2019)

  • Jiayan Nie, visiting Ph.D. student from Wuhan University (Dec 2018 - Nov 2019)

  • Jichao Lou, visiting research student from Southeast University (Aug-Oct 2019)

  • Ajinka Kulkami, visiting research student from IIT Madras (Oct 2016 - Mar 2017)

  • Julien Molina, visiting research student from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines (2014)