Dr Adnan Sufian

Honorary Lecturer

School of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology


Dr Adnan Sufian completed his PhD at UNSW Sydney, spending one year as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the University of Queensland, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Imperial College London and has also worked as a geotechnical engineer with SMEC Australia. Dr Sufian's field of research is in the area of multi-scale and multi-phase mechanics of granular materials. His research aims to develop tools and guidelines so that geotechnical engineers can better handle, manipulate and construct with granular materials, and this can lead to innovative solutions to geotechnical issues surrounding the development of urban infrastructure. He is also interested in understanding natural phenomena associated with granular geomaterials such as landscapes affected by erosion, mass movement of materials in landslides, and mitigating the spread of contaminants in subsurface flows. Dr Sufian has strong expertise in the development of novel, efficient and rigorous multi-scale computational modelling techniques, including the Discrete Element Method, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Network Models, with a core focus on the interaction of water with soil particles. His research is naturally multidisciplinary and he currently collaborates with physicists, mathematicians and engineers to uncover emergent phenomena from the collective behaviour of granular particles.

Research Interests

  • Computational Modelling of Fluid-Particle Systems
    Development of computational tools including CFD-DEM (Computational Fluid Dynamics and Discrete Element Method) and PNM-DEM (Pore Network Model and Discrete Element Method).
  • Dual-Network Characterisation of Granular Materials
    Characterising the interplay between the network of contacts and the network of voids/pores in granular materials under complex stress states.
  • Internal Erosion in Embankment Dams and Flood Levees
    Application of computational and experimental techniques to uncover the fundamental mechanisms leading to the initiation and progression of internal erosion.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales


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Featured Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

  • Gibbes, Badin , Chanson, Hubert , McIntyre, Neil , Sufian, Adnan and Scheurmann, Alexander (2022). Future dam engineering in a changing world. Brisbane, Australia: School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor