Dr. Qianbing Zhang

Dr. Qianbing Zhang

Senior Lecturer in Geomechanics Engineering
Department of Civil Engineering
Room 149, 23 College Walk (B60), Clayton Campus.

Dr. Zhang is a Senior Lecturer in Geomechanics & Tunnelling Engineering and the Director of Monash GeoExtremes (MGE) Lab. He is an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Fellow undertaking the project ‘Dynamic Fracturing and Energy Release Mechanisms in Heterogeneous Materials’. He received his PhD from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and prior to joining Monash in 2015, he was a postdoctoral researcher at EPFL and University of Cambridge. He has been the Associate Editor and then the Editor-in-Chief of an Elsevier Journal Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology (JCR-Q1, Impact Factor=3.942, and CiteScore=5.0) since 2016.

MGE Lab focuses on the application of underground Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Machine Learning (ML) methodologies to Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) and underground construction. MGE Lab also focuses on the development and application of experimental techniques and multiphysics computational tools to understand the progressive failure of geomaterials and structures under extreme conditions such as natural hazards (e.g., earthquake, landslides and rock bursts) and human-made disasters (e.g., terrorist attacks and induced earthquakes).

Dr. Zhang has been invited to review proposals for Australian Research Council (ARC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), National Center of Science and Technology Evaluation of Kazakhstan (NCSTE), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), PhD and Master theses from Australian and overseas Universities, and more than 30 international journals in the fields of geomechanics, tunnelling and impact engineering.

Google Scholar   RESEARCHERID   Scopus   ORCiD


  • Ph.D. in Geomechanics, Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • M.Sc. in Geotechnical Engineering, Shandong University & The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
  • B.Eng. (Hons.) in Civil Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, China


Underground Construction Technologies

Geographic information system (GIS), Geological Modelling, and Geotechnical Modelling & Monitoring for Building Information Modelling (BIM): GeoM4BIM is a modelling system developed preferentially for underground constructions and mining.

Microwave-assisted Rock Breakage: The mining and tunnelling industries are looking for solutions to increase the rates of the advance of mechanical excavators in hard and abrasive rocks. Microwave-assisted rock breakage has substantial advantages in the volumetric heating, selective heating, instantaneous control and energy savings, which is regarded as a promising technology (Zheng et al. 2017).

Dynamic Fracturing of Materials

The split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) or Kolsky bar has been widely used for the determination of dynamic properties of materials at high strain rates (Zhang and Zhao 2014).

A triaxial Hopkinson pressure bar (ARC LE150100058) is developed to apply initial pre-stresses achieving various in-situ stress conditions, including uniaxial (σ1>σ2=σ3=0), biaxial (σ1≥σ2>σ3=0) and triaxial (σ1≥σ2≥σ3 ≠0) confinements, and then to determine dynamic properties of materials under multiaxial pre-stress states (Liu et al. 2019).

The Seismic Experimental Platform is available for the investigation on the seismic response of rock fractures, which is of great interest to rock engineers, geophysicists and seismologists.

High-Speed Measurement Techniques

High-speed three-dimensional Digital Image Correlation (3D-DIC): Two Phantom v2511 ultra-high speed cameras (up to 1 Million frames per second) for 3D-DIC measurement (Xing et al. 2017 and Xing et al. 2018)

An integrated high-frequent continuous acquisition and streaming system (i.e., acoustic emission and microseismic) for monitoring natural and human-made hazards.


2020: Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), Australian Research Council (ARC)
2019: Dean’s Award for Research Excellence by an Early Career Researcher (ECR), Monash University
2018: Department of Civil Engineering nominee for the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher
2018: Future Leader, American Rock Mechanics Association
2018: Reviewers of Excellence Award from Computers and Geotechnics
2016: Rocha Medal Runner Up Certificate, International Society for Rock Mechanics

Membership of Professional Association

Australian Tunnelling Society (ATS)
Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS)
American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM)
International Digital Image Correlation Society (iDICs)
International Society of Impact Engineering ( ImpactEng)
International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEGE)
Society of Mining Professors (SOMP)
The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)

Research Interests

For new PhD applicants:

I have a number of PhD positions. Please check PhD applications steps: https://www.monash.edu/engineering/future-students/graduate-research/how-to-apply.

Applicants are preferred who have an outstanding record which may be evidenced by one or more of the following achievements:

  • Top 5% in your department/major from a well-known university, or
  • Top 30% in your department/major from a world or region leading university, or
  • Awards or prize in major competitions, or
  • Strong industrial experience together with near one of the above.

Please send me an email with the following items:

  1. The email briefly explains your most impressive achievements (e.g., one or more of the above mentioned).
  2. Attach CV including English test result (IELTS or TOEFL), your GPA and department ranking if possible.
  3. Attach detailed undergraduate transcript; if you are a postgraduate student, also attach a detailed postgraduate transcript.

Please keep your email short so that your most impressive achievements stand out and I won’t miss them. Due to the limitation on the number of students I can supervise and the high competition, I may only respond to some of the requests. If you are self-funded, please state it in the title of the email.

For new intern/visiting students:

You need to be self-funded and have a strong record like the above described for a PhD student. We have very limited space in the department, so intern/visiting student opportunities are very limited.

Research Projects

Current projects

Dynamic Fracturing and Energy Release Mechanisms in Heterogeneous Materials

The prediction of fracturing behaviour in geomaterials (i.e. rock, soil and concrete) under dynamic/impact loads is essential in dealing with a wide range of engineering problems including excavation and mining, blasting and fragmentation, earthquake engineering, impact cratering, and protective structure design. However, current knowledge and modelling capabilities of these applications remain empirically based. This project aims to investigate fundamental issues governing the dynamic fracturing of geomaterials and apply this knowledge to advance the understanding and modelling capacity of dynamic fractures in geomaterials.

Nano-science based construction materials for tunnels and underground structures.

This theme aims to reduce the maintenance cost of infrastructure, focusing on road pavements. There are three research directions in this theme,

  1. The next generation of pavement.
  2. The next generation of facilities for testing and inspection.
  3. Strategic appointment to investigate the future underground and
    tunneling infrastructure.

Microseismic innovation and technology project

Dynamic fracturing behaviour of geomaterials under multi-axial loadings

Micromechanical analysis of rock burst induced by dynamic loading

This study is to investigate rock and coal burst triggered by dynamic loading from micromechanical perspective. Special attention will be given to analysis of microseismic signals occurring during rock dynamic failure. This work will gain new insights into coal and rock burst mechanism under coupled static and dynamic loading and near in-situ confining stress conditions. The deep understanding of this knowledge will advance monitoring and preventing coal burst hazards in mines with complex geological conditions. The research and funding commitment may be used to target appropriate government funding schemes (e.g., ARC-Linkage and ACARP) to attract further support.

Microwave and laser assisted drilling technologies

Rock dynamic fracturing for geoengineering and mining applications

Past projects

Identification and hazard control due to seismicity induced by EGS production

An experimental investigation on mechanisms of induced seismicity in EGS

  • Australian Research Council Grants:
    Dynamic Fracturing and Energy Release Mechanisms in Heterogeneous Materials
    Nano-science based construction materials for tunnels and underground structures


  • Industry Projects:
    Microseismic innovation and technology project
    Dynamic fracturing behaviour of geomaterials under multi-axial loadings
    Micromechanical analysis of rock burst induced by dynamic loading
    Microwave and laser assisted drilling technologies


  • Monash Internal Grants:
    Rock dynamic fracturing for geoengineering and mining applications
    Identification and hazard control due to seismicity induced by EGS production
    An experimental investigation on mechanisms of induced seismicity in EGS



Mr. Huachuan WANG
Dynamic Mechanical Behaviour of Cement-based Materials under Multi-axial Loadings
2018 to Present

Mr. Wanrui HU
Dynamic Fracture of Brittle Materials: a Multi-scale Model
2018 to Present

Ms. Mengqi HUANG
Integrated Numerical Analysis and Building Information Modelling (BIM) for Melbourne Metro Tunnel
2018 to Present

Relationship Between Micro-crack Geometry and Rock Micro-structures
2018 to Present

Mr. Jing LI
Micromechanical Analysis of Coal Burst Induced by Dynamic Loading
2017 to Present

Mr. Minghe JU
Quasi-static and Dynamic Behaviour of Material Interfaces
2016 to Present

Mr. Kai LIU
Dynamic Fracturing Behaviour of Geomaterials under Multi-axial Loadings
2016 to Present

Mr. Haozhe XING
High Speed 3D Image Correlation Method for Rock Dynamic Fracturing
2015 to Present


Mr. Zecheng CHEN
Numerical Modelling of Melbourne State Library Station
2018 to Present

Teaching Commitments

  • MNE3010 - Rock Mechanics (2015-2017), Coordinator
  • MNE3040 - Surface Mining Systems (2015), Coordinator
  • RSE4112 - Advanced Rock Mechanics (2018), Coordinator
  • CIV5885 - Infrastructure Dynamics (2018- )
  • CIV5886 - Infrastructure Geomechanics (2018- ), Coordinator
  • RSE3010 - Mine Geotechnical Engineering (2019- ), Coordinator
Last modified: 01/12/2019