Bright Spark Lectures

Dr. Alexandre Lopes

Terrasol (Setec group), France

Bright Spark Lecture 1:

Innovative procedures to derive ground moduli from pressuremeter tests

Dr. Lopes is a senior geotechnical engineer at Terrasol (Setec group), France. He obtained his PhD degree in 2020, having as main research goal the improvement of deep foundation design methods based on pressuremeter tests. Focus was on the assessment of ground moduli. His work was later honored with the prestigious "Boussinesq Award" given by the French Society on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (CFMS). Dr. Lopes holds a joint degree in Civil Engineering between Brazil (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) and France (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech), where he also obtained his Master’s degree in 2013. He started his career as a geotechnical engineer in a consulting company in Brazil, where he worked for three years before starting his PhD in France. He is an active member of the CFMS, having chaired its Young Member’s chapter from 2021 to 2023, and now as a member of its Scientific Board. He is part of the team responsible for drafting the ARSCOP recommendations aimed at enhancing the practice of pressuremeter tests.

Dr. Maddy Murali

Fugro, The Netherlands

Bright Spark Lecture 2:

Soil spatial variability at monopile scale

Dr. Maddy Murali is a geotechnical consultant at Fugro with 8 years of industry experience in offshore and onshore geotechnical projects in Netherlands and Houston, Texas. She obtained her Masters and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University working on centrifuge modelling of caisson foundations and advanced laboratory testing. Her interests are in the areas of integrated ground modelling, foundation design, and use of novel technologies to enhance site characterization particularly for offshore wind farms. She enjoys eating, cooking and travelling in her spare time. Her hobbies also include reading fiction, recreational biking and (currently) coming up with imaginative ways of keeping a toddler occupied.

Dr. Zhongkun “Frankie” Ouyang

Institute for Ocean Engineering at Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (Tsinghua SIGS) and Ocean Geotechnics Lab (OG Lab), China

Bright Spark Lecture 3:

Effective stress strength of sands, silts, and clays from In-Situ Testing

Dr. Zhongkun “Frankie” Ouyang currently serves as the assistant professor of Ocean Engineering at the Institute for Ocean Engineering at Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (Tsinghua SIGS) and acts as the principal investigator (PI) of the Ocean Geotechnics Lab (OG Lab). Previously, he served as faculty at various universities including University of Newhaven, University of Mount Union, and Oregon State University. Frankie received his B.Eng from the University of Hong Kong, M.S. and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech and won 2019 George Sowers Distinguished Graduate Students Award. Dr. Ouyang has published over a dozen technical papers on prestigious journals including JGGE, CGJ and delivered numerous presentations on ISC5, ISC6, CPT18, and other ISSMGE conferences. He is a frequent presenter at international conferences and symposia in the field of in-situ testing. His past collaborators span from Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT), Illinois Center for Transportation to private consulting firms like Fugro Investigation and ConeTec. Dr. Ouyang’s award-winning piezocone penetration testing (CPTu) and flat plate dilatometer (DMT) interpretation system in soil strength determination has been adopted by US States and Federal agencies and geotechnical consulting firms around the world to help tackle the geotechnical characterization challenges.

Dr. Chao Shi

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Bright Spark Lecture 4:

A Machine Learning Paradigm for Subsurface Stratigraphy from Sparse Data

Dr. Shi is an assistant professor at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Nanyang Technological University. He obtained his PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from the City University of Hong Kong in 2022. His principal areas of research interest are urban geology, machine learning of geo-data, centrifuge modelling and numerical analysis of soil-structure interaction, and geo-energy system. He has five years’ industry experience in both internally leading consultancy firm and contractor company in Hong Kong. He is currently a chartered geotechnical engineer in both the UK and mainland China. He used to lead or participate in the design and construction works of various high-profile infrastructure projects, such as reclamation works for Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, ground improvement works for the 3rd runaway of the Hong Kong International Airport, and subsea tunneling works for an MTR projects. Dr. Shi has published over 20 SCI-indexed journal papers in main-stream top geotechnical journals. He was the recipient of a series of awards including Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award from ASCE (2023), R.M. Quigley Awards (Honourable Mention) from Canadian Geotechnical Journal (2022), Early Career Award from Géotechnique (2023), and Hong Kong PhD Fellowship from Hong Kong Research Grants Council (2019).