Activity 1 Team, Monash University, September 2014



Back row (left to right): Suranji Rathnayaka, Jing Yi Ren, Rui Jiang (Jerry) , Darshana Weerasinghe, Ben Shannon,  Li Chik, Derek Chan
Seated (left to right): Jayantha Kodikara, Philip Stevens, Xiao-Ling Zhao
Absent: Wing Kong Chiu, Kenneth Lim, Leslie Wong


Professor Jayantha Kodikara is the leader of Activity 1 and also the Chief Investigator for the project. He is a Professor with the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University, Victoria, Australia. His expertise is in the areas of Geotechnical, Geoenvironmental and Geo-infrastructure Engineering. He received his Bachelor degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 1983 and PhD degree in Geotechnical Engineering from Monash University in 1989. He has published over 200 technical papers on a diverse range of topics. He has attracted over 3 million dollars in external and internal research grants, during his 10 year tenure as an academic. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer in Australia and is a Fellow of Engineers Australia. His current research interests include; advanced condition assessment and pipe failure prediction, stabilisation of soils and rocks for road pavements, geomechanics featuring soil suction, evaporation and cracking of soils, CO2 sequestration and numerical modelling.


Professor Xiao-Ling Zhao obtained his PhD in 1993 and Doctor of Engineering (higher doctorate) in 2012 from the University of Sydney. He joined Monash University in December 1994 and was appointed as Chair of Structural Engineering in November 2001. He was the Head of Department of Civil Engineering from 2008 to 2011. He is a Fellow of ASCE and is a Fellow of Engineers Australia. He has attracted research funds of $10 million total, including 16 Australian Research Council Grants. He has published 7 books, 5 edited special issues in international journals, 160 refereed international journal papers and 200 refereed international conference papers. Current research interests are tubular structures and FRP strengthening of structures.


Professor Wing Kong Chiu Received his BE and PhD from the University of Western Australia in 1987 and 1991 respectively. W.K. Chiu is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Monash University, Australia. Professor Chiu’s interests are in the fields of structural mechanics, structural health monitoring and advance composite structures. He has long-standing research collaborations with researchers from DSTO (Fishermens Bend) and various private and government agencies in USA, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. His research is funded by the Australian Research Council, Cooperative Research Centre (Advanced Composites), CIEAM, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, US Air Force, US Navy and Singapore Government authorities. He is a member of the Editorial Board of two International Journals – Polymers and Polymer Composites and the International Journal of Structural Health Monitoring. He has published more than 130 papers in Journals and International Conferences. He has conducted numerous engineering consulting projects in the fields of fatigue and fracture, industrial noise and structural dynamics.


Mr Philip Stevens has wide ranging experience across R&D, commerce and industry. This includes in minerals exploration, as a research scientist and senior manager at BHP Billiton, and in the finance industry. As a management consultant he has worked for global firms such as Ernst & Young and has advised boards of directors and executive management in sectors including manufacturing, technology and utilities. He holds a BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Adelaide and MBA from Monash University.


Dr Derek Chan graduated from RMIT University with first class honours in Civil Engineering. He joined Monash University as a post-graduate student in 2004, received his MSc in 2008 and PhD in 2014. His PhD is focused on the study of pipe-ground interaction behaviour accounting for seasonal climate effects and soil properties. His research interests includes buried pipe failure prediction, unsaturated soil mechanics, field instrumentation and installation techniques, and soil water characteristic behaviours.


Dr Benjamin Shannon graduated from Monash University with first class honours in Civil Engineering and Science. He completed his PhD at Monash in 2013 on the topic of fracture propagation of cohesive soils under tensile loading and desiccation. His main focus and work is on laboratory scale testing of soil and large diameter cast iron pipes.


Ms Jing Yi Ren graduated from RMIT University in Commerce and Geographic Information System in 2003 and 2011 respectively. She joined Monash University as a research assistant in 2014. She has wide range of work experience in government agencies, which mainly focused on database management and spatial analysis.


Mr Kenneth Lim graduated from the Monash University with first class honours in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently pursuing his PhD at Monash University. His research interests include structural health monitoring of large structures such as pipes using distributed fiber optic sensors.


Mr Suranji Rathnayaka graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 2010 with first class honours and worked two years there as an assistant lecturer. He joined Monash University as a PhD student in 2012. Major research interests are hydraulic modelling of water distribution networks, GIS mapping techniques and finite element modelling.


Mr Darshana Weerasinghe graduated from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka with first class honours in Civil Engineering in 2013. He joined Monash University in 2014 as a PhD student. His PhD research focuses on the study of interactions between seasonal swell/shrink behaviour of reactive soils and failures of buried pipes in order to develop a pipe failure prediction mechanism in terms of soil moisture variations. His research interests are unsaturated soil mechanics, numerical modelling of unsaturated soils and the interactions with buried pipes.


Mr Rui (Jerry) Jiang  graduated from Central South University and Monash University with first class honours in Civil Engineering in 2013. He continued his study as a PhD student at Monash University in 2014 on the research topic of fracture and fatigue mechanisms of cast iron water pipes. His major research interests are fracture and fatigue mechanics, numerical simulation of underground infrastructures and mechanical testing on cast iron pipes.


Mr Leslie Wong graduated from Monash University with first class honours in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.  He continued his study as a PhD student at Monash University in 2013.  His major research interests include monitoring the structural health of water pipelines and pressure transients with distributed optical fiber sensors, post-processing of the response from distributed optical fiber sensors, and finite element modelling.


Mr Li Chik graduated from Monash University with a double degree in Commerce and Civil Engineering (First class honours) in 2013 and he continued his studies as a PhD student at Monash University in 2014. His major research interests are statistical modelling of pipe failure and modelling the risk of pipe failure.