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Dr Wangcheng Zhang

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering


Dr. Wangcheng Zhang is an Assistant Professor in Offshore Geotechnics within the Department of Engineering at Durham University. He obtained his MEng in 2013 from Tongji University and PhD in 2018 from the University of Western Australia (UWA). Before joining Durham University, he worked for ETH Zurich as a postdoctoral Research Scientist. 

Dr Zhang has been independently working, or collaborating with industry partners and academic colleagues on offshore and onshore projects, leveraging findings from modelling to practice. He has used a combination of analytical and numerical methods to develop criteria for offshore landslide initiation and evolution. His research work has also helped the determination of spatial variability of marine sediments and its implications on soil characterisation using small-scale penetrometers and large-scale foundations. He is an expert user and developer of a variety of geotechnical numerical tools, from small strain to large deformation, and from macro-scale continuum medium to micro-scale particulate system. His research outcomes have been applied into industry projects and produced over 30 publications with one sharing the IACMAG Excellent Paper Awards for Junior Researchers in 2017. 

Dr Zhang's career objective is to carry out fundamental research at an internationally recognized standard of excellence in the areas of the offshore geotechnical engineering and marine engineering geology, to use expertise to safeguard lives and offshore renewables from marine geohazard and geotechnical risks, and to educate the next generation of specialists by profession. 

Research interests

  • Offshore geotechnical engineering: marine geohazard; soil characterization (penetrometer tests); offshore foundations (pile, suction caisson, etc.); soil-structure-water interaction
  • Geo-risk: Landslides and their impacts; progressive failure of soils
  • Multi-scale geotechnical numerical modelling: Large-deformation Finite Element Method; Discrete Element Method; Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics; Random Finite Element Modelling


Journal Article

Supervision students