Examining the potential for negative suction in hydrophobic soils to improve geotechnical engineering solutions in waste management

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


This primary aim of this PhD will be to determine whether the phenomenon of negative suction is exhibited in hydrophobic soils. This will allow for connecting retention with hydrophobic soil permeability, which will answer the fundamental (1) question posed in the rationale. The outcome is likely to influence future testing and the development of a theoretical framework around the hydro- mechanical properties of hydrophobic soils, which will allow answering further questions regarding the applicability of hydrophobic soils in ground engineering.

A list of preliminary objectives is:

1. Characterise wetting and drying phase progression in hydrophobic sandy soils

2. Develop a testing methodology for examining retention in hydrophobic soils

3. Describe the relationship between retention in hydrophobic soils and permeability

4. Determine causes for retention property changes between hydrophilic and hydrophobic states by connecting the results analytically to shear strength.
5. Examine the resilience of hydrophobic soils to different environmental conditions.

It is anticipated that both the primary aim and the objectives of this project will be refined during the course of the research.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509644/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2106625 Studentship EP/N509644/1 01/08/2018 31/01/2022 Milena Velikova