Skip to Content
Exit Menu
Dr Tao Zhao

Dr Tao Zhao
Senior Lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Howell Building 210


Dr. Tao Zhao is a senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Brunel University London. Prior to joining Brunel University, he was an Assistant Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at Sichuan University, China during 2015-2018. Tao was a visiting scholar in The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2016. Tao received his DPhil (PhD) degree in Engineering Science from University of Oxford in 2014. His DPhil research project was “Investigation of Landslide-Induced Debris Flows by the DEM and CFD”, supervised by Prof. Guy Houlsby and Prof. Stefano Utili. Tao holds a BEng degree in Civil Engineering awarded in 2010 by Tongji University, China. Tao’s research interest spans a broad range of computational analysis of geotechnics and geohazards. Over the past 10 years, he has been working on the computer modelling of landslides, debris flows, and rock avalanches using the discrete element method (DEM) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Tao has been dedicated to understanding the underlying physics of these geohazards and establish predictive models. Tao has published more than 30 high-quality peer-reviewed scientific papers on leading research journals with an H-index of 20 from the Google Scholar. 


  • 06. 2019          Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (FHEA)      
  • 2010—2014    DPhil (PhD) in Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.
  • 2006—2010    B.Eng. in Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China


  • Department International Partnership Officer
  • Member of Brunel University International Working Group (China region)
  • Transnational Education (TNE) Programme Coordinator
  • CEE Department Web Champion
  • Digital Education Champion

Newest selected publications

Shen, W., Zhao, T., Dai, F., Crosta, GB. and Wei, H. (2020) 'Discrete Element Analyses of a Realistic-shaped Rock Block Impacting Against a Soil Buffering Layer'. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 53 (8). pp. 3807 - 3822. ISSN: 0723-2632 Open Access Link

Journal article

Zhao, T. and Liu, Y. (2020) 'A novel random discrete element analysis of rock fragmentation'. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 44 (10). pp. 1386 - 1395. ISSN: 0363-9061 Open Access Link

Journal article

Wei, H., Zhao, T., Meng, Q., Wang, X. and Zhang, B. (2020) 'Quantifying the morphology of calcareous sands by dynamic image analysis'. International Journal of Geomechanics, 20 (4). pp. 04020020 - 04020020. ISSN: 1532-3641 Open Access Link

Journal article

Shen, W., Zhao, T., Dai, F., Jiang, M. and Zhou, G. (2019) 'DEM analyses of rock block shape effect on the response of rockfall impact against a soil buffering layer'. Engineering Geology, 249. pp. 60 - 70. ISSN: 0013-7952 Open Access Link

Journal article

Zhao, T. and Crosta, GB. (2018) 'On the dynamic fragmentation and lubrication of coseismic landslides'. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 123 (11). pp. 9914 - 9932. ISSN: 2169-9313 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(19)