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Dr. Jinyuan Liu

Jinyuan Liu
BEng, MEng, PhD, PEng, PE
416-979-5000 ext. 6469

Areas of Academic Interest

Geotechnical engineering

Urban tunnelling

Ground improvement



Year University Degree
2003 New York University PhD
1999 Tongji University PhD
1995 Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute MEng
1992 Hohai University BEng

Selected Courses

Course Code Course Title
CVL 434 Geotechnical Engineering of Soils
CVL 600 Foundation Engineering
CV8315 Mechanized Tunnelling in Urban Areas


In his lab for applied geotechnical research, Jinyuan Liu’s daily work requires him to play with dirt. “There’s not a lot of glory in it,” he says, laughing. “The beauty of my work is mainly buried in the ground, so people generally don’t see it. But it’s highly interesting to me and offers economic and social benefits for infrastructure development.”

Liu is particularly interested in the practical potentials of mixing cement with Champlain Sea clay, which, in its native form, makes construction around the Ottawa region difficult. The clay is highly sensitive but can be stabilized by blending in cement. Liu’s lab contains about $100,000-worth of clay samples from the Ottawa area which are used for testing and modelling.

His current work aligns well with his background in tunnel and deep excavation design. Liu also uses artificial intelligence to analyze trends in historical data to uncover new possibilities for improving geotechnical design, like pile foundations. “We need to be really up to date on the technology. At the same time, we work mostly with mother nature’s materials. For me, that’s an interesting combination.”

Jinyuan's LinkedIn Profile (external link, opens in new window) 

Jinyuan Liu

“The best engineering students are curious and love their chosen field. Attitude and work ethic take you far in life.”

  • Liu J. 2014. Soil Nailing for Highway Construction in Ontario. MTO HIIFP-120 Report, 165p.
  • Liu J, Liu M, Zhu Z. 2012. Sand deformation around an uplifting plate anchor. ASCE, Journal of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Engineering, 138(6), 728–737.
  • Iskander M, Liu J, Sadek S. 2002. Transparent amorphous silica to model clay. ASCE, Journal of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Engineering, 128(3), 262-273.
  • Liu J, Iskander M. 2010. Modelling capacity of transparent soil. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. 47(4), 451-460.

View more publications on ResearchGate (external link, opens in new window) .

  • Member, 2007-2019, Deep Foundation Institute - Technical Committees
  • Chair & Member, 2008-2019, Canadian Geotechnical Society - Education Committee
  • Special Issue Co-Editor, 2011-2017, GeoChina International Conference Series
  • Member, 2015-2016, Tunnelling Association of Canada - Ontario Chapter - Executive Committee
  • Chair & Member, 2008-2012, Canadian Geotechnical Society - Southern Ontario Section - Toronto Group - Executive Committee
  • Tunnel Engineer, 2005-2007, Jacobs Engineering Group, Detroit, MI
  • Senior Geotechnical Engineer, 2002–2005, STV Inc., New York, NY