Buscarnera Research Group - Geomechanical Modeling @ Northwestern

  Northwestern University, Department of Civil and Enviromental Engineering


Giuseppe Buscarnera

Assistant Professor

g-buscarnera at northwestern.edu



BSc, Politecnico di Milano

MSc, Politecnico di Milano

PhD, Politecnico di Torino



Professor Buscarnera obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano and a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino. Prior to joining Northwestern University, he has been a postdoctoral associate at the Politecnico di Milano and has collaborated with several institutions, such as the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The University of Sydney.

Professor Buscarnera’s research focuses on the theoretical study of failure processes in geomaterials, with emphasis on the multi-physical agents that can generate failure and deformation in geotechnical systems. The objective of his research is to develop new methods to improve our ability to assess the susceptibility to natural hazards, improve the design of civil infrastructures and assist the development of safe and sustainable energy technologies. During his studies he has been awared with the Rocca Fellowship from MIT in 2008 and the ALERT PhD Prize of the Alert Geomaterials association in 2011. His research activities have been awarded with the NSF Early Career Faculty Development (CAREER) Award in 2013.

Curriculum Vitae



Mehmet Cil, PhD

Modeling and characterization of granular materials at particle scale

Ferdinando Marinelli, PhD

Numerical modelling of constitutive behavior of geomaterials during failure



Constance Mihalache, PhD Candidate

Stability of multiphase porous media at varying degrees of fluid-saturation

Yida Zhang, Research Assistant

Multi-scale modeling of unsaturated granular matter at high-pressures

Jose Lizarraga, research assistant

Geomechanical models for landslide forecasting in unsaturated soil slopes

Changbum Sohn, Research Assistant

Particle-scale modeling of geoenvironmental processes in granular systems

Molly Diggory, Research Assistant

Hydrologic processes in unsaturated shallow slopes

Shiva Esna Ashari Esfahani, research assistant (co-advised with Prof. Cusatis)

Multiscale modeling of localiation and fluid flow in granular rocks

Zhenhao Shi, research assistant (co-advised with Prof. Finno)

Constitutive and numerical modeling of failure in sensitive clays subjected to cyclic loading



Andrew Sonta

Image analysis and water retention experiments for crushed granular systems

Brett Horin

Micro-scale characterization of geometry and fracture properties of sand particles

Sara Maria Ibarra

Analytical modeling of water infiltration in natural slopes



Arghya Das, PhD

Chemo-mechanics of cemented granular rocks

Post-doctoral collaborator. Now Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

Reed Laverack (MS, 2013)

Compaction banding in high-porosity rocks.

Now at GEI Consultants, Chicago, IL

Shenjun Gao (MS, 2014)

Evolving water-retention capacity of granular materials at varying levels of particle fragmentation

Now PhD student at Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Michael Rui Chen (BS, 2012)

Fluid flow experiments in granular media

Now at USDA, Ketchikan, AK


Gloria Ciceri, MS 2014 (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)

Flow-failure of variably saturated sands subjected to water injection

Zipei You, PhD 2015 (Tongji University, China)

DEM investigation of volumetric collapse in loose sands

GROUP PHOTO (May 2013):