MSE Research Project Database

Near surface geophysics: Evaluation of soil properties through electromagnetic and mechanical waves

Project Leader: Guillermo Narsilio
Staff: Associate Professor Guillermo Narsilio, Dr Amir Arangi
Student: Vacant - Expressions of interest welcome. Essential: Bachelor of Civil Engineering in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering (with honours) or closely related discipline Meet all relevant criteria to gain entry to Unimelb's PhD program Expertise in laboratory and/or field testing, or numerical modelling Desirable: Track-record of high-quality journal publications Excellent communication skills in both spoken and written English
Collaborators: Associate Professor Dongryeoul Ryu, Adrian Giecco (AquaTerra)
Primary Contact: Guillermo Narsilio (Geotechnical Engineering) (
Keywords: civil engineering; contaminant transport; geotechnical engineering
Disciplines: Infrastructure Engineering

Soils, rocks and other porous materials, and processes that take place within them, may be characterised by using waves. Both mechanical and electromagnetic waves can be used to provide complementary information. The use of these techniques is the equivalent of “seeing” or “hearing” the soil. Examples include seismic and ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveying.

Additionally, waves may be utilised to alter or enhance certain processes. For instance, dewatering of mine tailings can be accelerated by applying a DC electric current.

Our research efforts focus on the fundamental understanding, modelling and development of geophysical tools and techniques for both laboratory and in situ applications.

Potential student projects within this research area include:

  • Estimation of the electrical conductivity of soils through transient magnetic fields
  • Electrokinetic dewatering of mine tailings: Modelling and design
  • Non-invasive measurement of soil moisture and salinity for calibration and validation of microwave satellite missions

Applicants should complete the short form “Interested in a PhD with us?” found at Associate Professor G. Narsilio’sgroup website.

Further information:

Our 100 MHz GPR. The group has other GPR antenna, EMs, Seismic, utility detectors, etc
An (disturbed) electromagnetic field that is generated in a source antenna is picked up by the receiver antenna.